DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Friday 6/1/18
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 ($11,600 on DraftKings): Taking on the Houston Astros is far from an easy match for Chris Sale tonight, however, with how dominant he has been it is hard to find a lot of reasons to fade him. Sale has an elite 34.8 percent strikeout rate and although the Astros only strikeout the 16th-most in the Majors, Sale's ability to miss bats should shine through. He also has a sparkling 0.96 WHIP, 2.83 xFIP and 85.4 mile-per-hour average exit velocity. He's been among the best pitchers in all of baseball and a difficult matchup shouldn't slow him down much.
Nick Pivetta ($10,000): Tonight's slate is full of aces in difficult matchups, but then there is Nick Pivetta, who has pitched like an ace over his last couple of games though he seems to be a tad expensive. But his play does warrant his price. He has put up a 28.8 percent strikeout rate, which is the fourth-best on the slate, and his 3.20 xFIP is also among the top five. Additionally, he has limited hard contact to just a 27.3 percent hard-hit rate. He gets to take on a San Francisco Giants team that strikes out 24.5 percent of the time, the sixth-most in the Majors.
Sonny Gray ($5,800): Sonny Gray seems to be a broken pitcher, but he has had a couple decent games this season. His strikeout rate is very low at just 18.6 percent, but the New York Yankees are the heaviest favorites on the slate at -170. While the upside may not be there due to the lack of strikeouts, the price is very cheap and he could get a few extra strikeouts due to the Baltimore Orioles' 24.4 strikeout rate and lowly 82 wRC+.
Hitters to Target
Aaron Judge ($5,600): In 2017, Aaron Judge is one of the best hitters against right-handed pitching. He absolutely crushed them last season to the tune of a .440 weighted on-base average (wOBA) and .364 isolated power (ISO). The New York Yankees have a 5.61 implied total against Andrew Cashner and the Baltimore Orioles. Cashner has been terrible this season with a 1.67 WHIP and 4.82 xFIP. Additionally, his 90-mile-per-hour average exit velocity could get him into a lot of trouble against this Yankees lineup.
Nolan Arenado ($5,600): Editor's Note: Since time of publication, the Los Angeles Dodgers announced that left-hander Scott Alexander -- not Dennis Santana -- will start Friday's game. Nolan Arenado versus a rookie pitcher on a bullpen day at Coors field? Yes please. Usually, Arenado a must against a poor left-handed pitcher, but this spot seems just as juicy. Not only do the Rockies carry a 5.67 implied run total, but rookie Dennis Santana lacks high-level experience. The 22-year-old started out this season in Double-A before making just two starts -- going 1-1 with a 2.45 ERA -- at the Triple-A level. And with Charlie Blackmon setting the table, Arenado should have his opportunities to drive in some runs with a 41.8% hard-hit rate and 152 wRC+ on the year.
Shohei Ohtani ($4,800): He has been dominant as a pitcher this season, but Shohei Ohtani has also been crushing with his bat as well, especially against right-handed pitching. In a small sample size of 89 plate appearances, Ohtani has tuned up righties for a .436 wOBA and a .325 ISO. Tonight, he'll be taking on "Big Sexy" Bartolo Colon, who does have a nice 0.93 WHIP but a disastrous 40.2 percent hard-hit rate, 20.6 home run-to-fly-ball rate and 90 mile-per-hour average exit velocity. This is a great matchup for Ohtani and the Los Angeles Angels.
Matt Carpenter ($3,900): Matt Carpenter started this season off horrendously, but he seems to be turning things around slowly. Over his last 10 games, he has hit for a .341 AVG, 1.120 OPS and smashed 4 home runs. Due to his struggles, his numbers versus right-handers don't look great this season, he crushed them last season with a .378 wOBA and a .235 ISO. Carpenter is cheap and if he's turning things around he will be $600-800 more in the coming days. The matchup against Jameson Taillon isn't great, but there is enough to like on Carpenter's side of things that it makes up the difference.
Matt Olson ($3,700): In 2017, Matt Olson was dominant against right-handed pitching. He put up beyond elite numbers with a .439 wOBA and an incredible .434 ISO. However, those numbers have dropped a bit in 2018. The good thing is he has a great matchup to try and turn things around. The Oakland Athletics are taking on the Kansas City Royals and they'll be tossing Ian Kennedy on the mound. Kennedy has been dreadful this season, with a 1.54 WHIP, 40.3 hard-hit rate and a 29.1 percent line-drive rate. He could get into some trouble against the A's tonight especially with Khristopher Davis back in the lineup for some support.
Justin Bour ($3,200): Justin Bour has really struggled, but there is still some power in his bat, as he has hit 10 home runs so far. Against righties, he has put up a .370 wOBA and a .274 ISO, numbers that are similar to those from last season -- .384 wOBA and .252 ISO. He'll take on Clay Buchholz of the Arizona Diamondbacks, who on the surface looks like he had a good first couple starts, but the underlying numbers suggest otherwise. He has a 5.43 xFIP and gave up a 62.5 percent fly-ball rate with a 90.9 mile-per-hour average exit velocity and a 228-foot average batted-ball distance. That could cause some issues.
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.