DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Wednesday 5/23/18
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
Jacob deGrom ($13,200 on DraftKings): This is a no-brainer tonight. DeGrom is the most expensive pitcher on the slate, sure, but he has a great matchup and stands out as the outright best option on the slate. The Miami Marlins have been surprisingly decent at avoiding strikeouts this season, with a 23.2 percent strikeout rate that ranks 12th worst in the Majors. However, that is about where it ends for good things to say about them. Miami is dead last in all of baseball with a .283 team weighted on-base average, 165 runs scored and just 37 home runs. DeGrom has crushed it this year, leading the slate with a 34.3 percent strikeout rate and a 2.34 xFIP. This is a pretty cupcake matchup and he should be able dominate.
Kenta Maeda ($9,800): Kenta Maeda has been real solid this season, putting up a 28.6 percent strikeout rate, 1.30 WHIP (not the best), and 3.08 xFIP. He has certainly been a roller coaster in his game-to-game consistency, but tonight is a great matchup for him. He'll be taking on the Colorado Rockies, who sport a .302 team wOBA, which sits 25th in the Majors. Furthermore, the Rockies sit dead last in weighted runs created plus (wRC+), going to show just how poorly their offence has been this season.
CC Sabathia ($7,900): Targeting a non-strikeout pitcher like CC Sabathia is not ideal, but the pitching is pretty ugly tonight. The New York Yankees have a -174 moneyline moneyline, and although the Texas Rangers have a 4.35 implied run total, there is still plenty to like about CC. Sabathia doesn't strike many batters out (19.3 percent), but the Rangers lead the Majors in strikeouts with a 26.3 strikeout rate. Furthermore, their 80 wRC+ puts them 28th, which shows their ineptitude to score runs or generate any offense.
Hitters to Target
Mookie Betts ($5,900): I have a mental checklist for when to play Mookie Betts: Is he playing? Yes? Okay, play Mookie Betts. Obviously I am being a bit facetious, but he has been about as reliable as a hitter can be. Tonight, he's taking on Chris Archer, who is definitely a strikeout king but also gives up a lot of hard contact. His hard-hit rate in 2017 was 39.4 percent, which is the worst on the slate and his 89 mile-per-hour average exit velocity is also troublesome. Betts has crushed right-handed pitching this season with a .480 wOBA and a .362 isolated power (ISO), so tonight's matchup is as elite as his red-hot bat.
Manny Machado ($5,500): The Baltimore Orioles are on the road to take on the Chicago White Sox in a great spot. The White Sox will be deploying Dylan Covey on the mound, and in his 70 innings last season he was terrible. He couldn't strike anybody out, with just a 13.3 percent strikeout rate. He also has a slate-worst 5.54 xFIP and 24.7 percent home run per fly-ball rate. On top of all that, he gave up a 36.5 percent hard-hit rate and an 89.4 mile-per-hour average exit velocity. Manny Machado has been crushing right-handed pitching this season with an elite .436 wOAB and a .287 ISO. This is a great matchup for Machado and the Orioles as they should be able to pile up the runs.
Gregory Polanco ($4,400): The Pittsburgh Pirates have been a surprising team based on their scoring, but when you look at the individual bats nothing stands out too much. However, Gregory Polanco does bring an interesting combo of both power and speed. Polanco started off slow, but over his last 10 games he has a .282 batting average with a .942 OPS, so he seems to be turning things around. He has a fantastic matchup tonight against Homer Bailey, a pitcher that has given up a 42.4 percent hard-hit rate and 15.8 home run to fly-ball rate while sporting a 5.41 xFIP. And he hasn't had any strikeout stuff, with just a 13.1 percent strikeout rate.
Asdrubal Cabrera ($3,800): Another batter that started off hot but has slowed down as of late is Asdrubal Cabrera. However, this matchup is too good to ignore and he is certainly in play. The New York Mets are taking on the Marlins who will have Dan Straily on the mound. Straily has been terrible in 2018, sporting a 5.74 xFIP, giving up a 55.9 percent hard-hit rate and a 32.8 percent line-drive rate. Cabrera, on the other hand, has had plenty of success against righties this season, possessing a .392 wOBA and .246 ISO, numbers that have contributed to his seven home runs, .317 AVG and .902 OPS.
Andrelton Simmons ($3,700): Andrelton Simmons is known much more for his defensive abilities than his offensive ones, but he has been solid this year at the plate. Although he has struggled of late, he still has a .325 AVG with three home runs and five stolen bases. He has been successful against right-handed pitching this season, putting up a .368 wOBA and a .149 ISO. The power isn't really there, but with the skill around him in the lineup he has plenty of RBI opportunities. He'll take on Aaron Sanchez of the Toronto Blue Jays, who has struggled again this season with a 5.02 xFIP and a horrible 90.2 mile-per-hour average exit velocity. With a 1.53 WHIP, Sanchez isn't doing himself any favors, and taking on an Los Angeles Angels full of power in the Rogers Centre he could be in big trouble.
Matt Davidson ($3,600): Matt Davidson has crushed righties this season, with a .382 wOBA and a .248 ISO, and he gets that split tonight against the Orioles' Alex Cobb, who has struggled mightily this season. So far, Cobb is rocking some horrific numbers with a 11.3 percent strikeout rate, a 1.85 WHIP, 4.44 xFIP, 18.4 percent home run to fly-ball rate and a 90.2 mile-per-hour average exit velocity. Is it safe to say he has been horrible? I think so. Davidson and the White Sox are in a premium matchup and could go underowned with so many other good spots out there.
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.