DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Tuesday 5/22/18
Every day is unique for daily fantasy baseball, which is both a blessing and a challenge. Although we can’t simply plug and play our favorite studs day in and day out, each slate presents us with a chance for a new gem to vault us up the leaderboards.
Through the use of numberFire’s tools, we can better identify the players primed to succeed each day, making the process of filling out a lineup just that much easier. In addition to our custom optimal lineups, you can check out our batting and pitching heat maps, which show the pieces in the best spot to succeed on that slate. Put on the finishing touches with our games and lineups page to see who's hitting where and what the weather looks like, and you'll have yourself a snazzy looking team to put up some big point totals.
Which names stand out for today on the DraftKings main slate? Let’s check it out, starting with the pitchers.
Pitchers to Target
Chris Sale ($13,100 on DraftKings): Chris Sale has been dominant once again this season, posting an elite 34.9 percent strikeout rate and 2.56 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA). His numbers were just as outstanding in 2017, with a 36.2 percent strikeout rate and 2.58 SIERA. He's going to be taking on a Tampa Bay Rays team that has been a decent hitting team but has also struck out at a 23.5 percent rate against left-handed pitching. Sale should have no problem fanning the Rays and putting up a huge number in the strikeout department.
Gerrit Cole ($12,900): Sometimes the two most expensive pitchers on the slate are also the two you should consider at the higher end. Gerrit Cole has morphed into a completely different pitcher since arriving to the Houston Astros. He has an unbelievable 40.8 percent strikeout rate and 2.08 SIERA, both of which are slate-best marks. He's going to take on a San Francisco Giants team this evening that is striking out at a 24.7 percent clip, which is the fifth-most in the Majors. Sale and Cole are the night's premier cash-game plays.
Garrett Richards ($7,800): After starting off pretty impressively, the Toronto Blue Jays have been abysmal as of late. Over their last 14 days, the Jays have struck out 25.9 percent of the time, the third-most in the Majors in that span. Furthermore, their .295 team weighted on-base average (wOBA) in that stretch ranks 26th, which also shows just how poorly they have been playing as of late. Garrett Richards, on the other hand, has been solid this season, pitching to a 27.0 percent strikeout rate and a very low 139-foot average batted-ball distance.
Hitters to Target
Mike Trout ($5,200): Alright, so targeting J.A. Happ has not necessarily been a great play as he has been really good this season. However, he is going to be facing Mike Trout, who was great against left-handed pitching in 2017 with a .387 wOBA and .183 isolated power (ISO). One thing that Happ has struggled with a bit this year is giving up a 19.1 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate, which doesn't bode well against Trout's power, and Trout may come with less ownership than usual given Happ's form.
Giancarlo Stanton ($5,100): In 2017, Giancarlo Stanton was smashing baseballs like nobody else in the game. He did a lot of his damage against left-handed pitching, as evidenced by his insane .441 ISO and .480 wOBA in the split. Those numbers are astounding, and he has continued that trend with a .460 ISO and .589 wOBA against southpaws in the early part of 2018. He's going to be taking on left-hander Cole Hamels, a pitcher who has given up a 43.7 percent hard-hit rate that has resulted in a 18.4 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate.
Tommy Pham ($4,600): Last night, Tommy Pham went 0-for-4 with 4 strikeouts, but he has another great matchup and perhaps may go a little under-owned after the four-whiff outing. However, you need a short memory in DFS, and Pham smashed right-handed pitching in 2017 with a .201 ISO and .396 wOBA. He'll be facing Jason Hammel, who has been terrible this season and was just as bad a year ago. In 2017, Hammel gave up an 88 mile per hour average exit velocity and a 194-foot average batted-ball distance, both of which are among the bottom three on the slate.
Corey Dickerson ($3,900): Corey Dickerson has been pretty fantastic for the Pittsburgh Pirates this season. He started off hot for the Rays last season, too, before cooling off. He's in a great spot tonight against Matt Harvey. Harvey has given up an 89.4 mile per hour exit velocity, a 195-foot average batted-ball distance, and 43.2 percent hard-hit rate. Dickerson has been great versus righties this year, sporting a .333 ISO and .348 wOBA in 141 plate appearances in the split.
Domingo Santana ($3,500): Although Domingo Santana has struggled to get playing time this year and hasn't hit the ball nearly as well as he did last season, he is so cheap that he's worth considering in a solid matchup. He's taking on right-hander Matt Koch, who has allowed a horrific 2.15 home runs per nine innings on his way to a 4.87 SIERA. Despite his struggles in 2018, Santana smashed right-handed pitching a year ago to the tune of a .230 ISO and .370 wOBA.
Justin Bour ($3,400): Justin Bour was one of the few Miami Marlins remaining after the team cleaned house in the offseason. He is definitely usable in DFS, especially as a one-off against right-handed pitching due to his elite success in the split. In 2017, he hit righties to the tune of a .252 ISO and .384 wOBA, and even without the lineup protection around him this year, he has managed to destroy righties with a .396 ISO and .405 wOBA. Against Zack Wheeler, Bour is hard to ignore at this price.
Ryan Sheppard is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Ryan Sheppard also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username donkshow_. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.