DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Friday 6/8/18
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 ($11,100 on DraftKings): Left-hander Chris Sale has been dominant this season, his second with the Boston Red Sox. He's got an elite 34 percent strikeout rate, 0.98 WHIP and 2.90 xFIP, all of which are top-three on the slate. He has also done a fantastic job at limited hard-contact with just a 26.2 hard-hit rate and 85.3 mile-per-hour average exit velocity. Sale's matchup tonight is among the best as he takes on the Chicago White Sox who have a 24.7 strikeout rate, the fifth-worst in the Majors and have struggled to generate much offence with 238 runs, ranked the fourth-lowest in all of baseball.
J.A. Happ ($10,400): One of the somewhat bright spots for the Toronto Blue Jays this season is J.A. Happ's performance. While his ERA looks bad at 4.08, his 3.17 xFIP indicates that he's been getting a bit unlucky. He has a fantastic 30 percent strikeout rate and his 1.13 WHIP is also very good. He has a matchup tonight against the Baltimore Orioles who have a 24.6 strikeout rate, 82 wRC+ and .293 team weighted on-base average (wOBA), all of which are among the bottom-six in the Majors.
Garrett Richards ($7,700): Garrett Richards has had a bit of a roller coaster season with plenty of ups and downs. He has put up a solid 26.9 percent strikeout rate, 1.23 WHIP and 3.58 xFIP. Obviously these numbers are far from elite, but that is also why he is priced at $7,700. He has also limited his average batted-ball distance to just 143 feet. The Los Angeles Angels are small -120 favourites, but there is nothing that stands out from the Minnesota Twins that scares me away from Richards as a solid SP2 tonight.
Hitters to Target
Charlie Blackmon ($5,800): Happy Coors Field night! The Colorado Rockies are hosting the Arizona Diamondbacks, and Zack Greinke will be on the mound for the D-Backs. His peripherals are a bit troubling this season, which could get him into a lot of trouble in this high-octane hitting environment. He's given up a slate-worst 45.1 percent hard-hit rate with an 89.6 mile-per-hour average exit velocity and 195-foot batted-ball distance. Charlie Blackmon hasn't been as dominant against righties in 2018 as he was in 2017, but his .383 wOBA and .264 isolated power (ISO) are still great, so he should be able to crush one tonight.
Jose Ramirez ($5,500): Jose Ramirez has been an absolute beast this year, posting a solid combination of both power (19 home runs) and speed (7 stolen bases) while not sacrificing his batting average, which sits at .298 with a 1.028 OPS. Additionally, he has destroyed right-handed pitching to the tune of a .454 wOBA and .372 ISO. Taking on Michael Fulmer and the Detroit Tigers tonight should be a solid matchup as Fulmer has given up a 39.1 percent hard-hit rate and an 88.2 mile-per-hour average exit velocity which has resulted in a 4.34 xFIP.
Justin Smoak ($4,300): Toronto Blue Jays switch-hitter Justin Smoak has had a bit more success against right-handed pitching than left-handed pitching throughout his career, especially in the power department. He's put up a decent .352 wOBA but a very impressive .244 ISO against righties this season and looks to continue that tonight against Andrew Cashner of the Orioles. Cashner has struggled with a terrible 1.67 WHIP and 4.79 xFIP. Additionally, his line-drive rate of 23.7 percent is causing him to give up the seventh-most hits in the Majors.
Evan Gattis ($3,900): You want to talk about a baseball player that is on an absolute tear? Look no further than Evan Gattis. Over his last 10 games, he has put up a "meh" .263 AVG but a 1.062 OPS, 6 home runs, 14 RBI and 8 runs. He doesn't always get on base, but when he does, he's doing something with it. Gattis has been better against left-handed pitching than right-handed pitching in his career, but taking on Doug Fister could help his case. Fister has given up a 39.6 percent hard-hit rate, which has led to a 18.5 percent home run-to-fly-ball rate, 1.38 WHIP and 4.44 xFIP. He also has a slate-low 14.2 percent strikeout rate so Gattis will likely be swinging for the fences.
Marcell Ozuna ($3,700): The start of the 2018 season was slow for Marcell Ozuna as he adjusted to life with the St. Louis Cardinals. However, he has picked things up as of late and over his last 10 games he has a solid .345 AVG, .976 OPS, 2 home runs and 7 RBI. He's taking on right-hander Matt Harvey of the Cincinnati Reds, and Ozuna has smashed righties in the past. While this season hasn't been great, he put up an elite .400 wOBA and .268 ISO against righties in 2017 with the Miami Marlins.
Brian Anderson ($3,500): Eric Lauer has had a couple decent starts but has mostly been terrible this season. He has put up a 1.83 WHIP and 4.86 xFIP, which are both among the bottom-two on the slate, and his 19.1 percent strikeout rate isn't getting many to bite. Additionally, he has a slate-worst 205-foot average batted-ball distance and a 42.9 percent hard-hit rate, which can certainly get him in trouble. Brian Anderson and the Miami Marlins are not the best offensive team, but he has a decent .355 wOBA and .164 ISO. Even better, over his last 10 games, Anderson has been hitting .400 with a 1.042 OPS, five extra-base hits and seven RBI.
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.