DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Tuesday 6/12/18
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
Mike Foltynewicz ($11,800 on DraftKings): The Atlanta Braves' hurler has been in absolute beast mode in 2018, and while it is still early, the stars are aligning for his finest major league season of his career. Over 74 innings pitched, the righty has posted a 3.70 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA), 28.7% strikeout rate, and allowed only 0.61 home runs per nine innings pitched (HR/9). The Braves' ace has boosted his swinging-strike rate to 9.8% this season, and he gets the benefit of an NL East matchup with the New York Mets, who rank slightly above the middle of the pack with a 22.8% strikeout rate (14th), and check in fourth-worst in team weighted on-base average (wOBA), with a .298 mark. This all adds up to a potentially high-scoring night for Foltyniewicz in your SP1 slot.
Eduardo Rodriguez ($11,100): The Boston Red Sox southpaw is a very solid option in the higher tier. Over 66 innings this season, Rodriguez has blistered his way to a 7-1 start thanks to a 27.6% strikeout rate, which ranks third-best on the slate. Rodriguez has also shown improvement with his 7.5% walk rate, which is slightly below his career average of 8.0%. He's also limited hard contact to 27.5% this season. To make matters better, the lefty also has a juicy matchup with the Baltimore Orioles, who rank sixth-worst in strikeout rate at 24.5%. If you're in a pinch to save a few bucks and cannot afford Foltyniewicz, Rodriguez is a great backup option.
Caleb Ferguson ($6,100): To fill out your SP2 slot, Ferguson makes for a fantastic option in this space, despite pitching only1 2/3 innings at the major league level. Due to a bevy of pitching injuries for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Ferguson has been called up, and his minor league peripherals show quite a bit of upside. In two minor league stops this year, Ferguson posted a 25.8% and 31.6% strikeout rate at Double-A and Triple-A, respectively. He also faces a Texas Rangers team that ranks second-worst in strikeout rate in 2018, with a mark of 25.6%, and they rank 22nd in team wOBA at .307. It may be a bit of a risky play given his lack of big league experience, but the upside is there for Ferguson tonight.
Hitters to Target
J.D. Martinez ($5,500): Owning the highest projected fantasy output on the main slate, Martinez and the Sox will look to pile up some runs against David Hess of the Baltimore Orioles. Over 29 1/3 innings in his rookie campaign, the right-hander has showcased some less-than-stellar peripherals we'll want to take advantage of -- namely, a 13.6% strikeout rate and 47.9% fly-ball rate. Hess' 3.07 ERA may lead you to believe he's been solid to start the year, but that's being held down by a 93.0% strand rate, and a 5.18 SIERA could be a harbinger of things to come. Since the beginning of the 2017 campaign, covering 590 plate appearances, Martinez owns .418 wOBA, 49.1% hard-hit rate, and 38.9% fly-ball rate against right-handers. Pay up for this man.
Michael Brantley ($4,700): The injury-riddled 2015 and 2016 campaigns for Brantley were sad to see, as this dude can flat out rake when healthy. Covering the 2013-2015 seasons, Brantley posted double-digit homers and steals in each year, highlighted by a 2014 campaign that saw Brantley post a .389 wOBA, 20 home runs, and 23 steals. Finally, we may be seeing Brantley back to form -- over his first 241 plate appearances, the left-handed batter has mashed his way to a .380 wOBA and 11 home runs. Tonight, he gets James Shields, who has not performed well against lefties recently. Over the last calendar year in this split, spanning 387 total batters faced, the veteran righty has been tattooed for a 5.41 xFIP and 39.5% fly-ball rate. Brantley should continue his run of strong play up tonight against Shields.
C.J. Cron ($4,100): With southpaw Jaime Garcia on the mound against the Tampa Bay Rays tonight, Cron certainly deserves a long look. While Garcia did twirl six innings of one-run ball in his last start out, it's hard to ignore the poor statistics he has posted recently. This season, over 53 1/3 innings pitched, the lefty has recorded a 4.51 SIERA, 38.7% hard-hit rate, 41.3% fly-ball rate, and 10.0% walk rate. Over the last calendar year, Garcia has had a tough time with right-handed bats specifically, as they've rocked him for a .371 wOBA and 4.81 xFIP. Dating back to the start of 2017, Cron now owns a 40.9% hard-hit rate and 47.3% fly-ball rate with the platoon advantage, so be sure to take a look at him at first base.
Jason Heyward ($3,600): After a short disabled list stint, the oft-maligned Chicago Cubs outfielder has been on fire at the plate. Since May 18, Heyward has posted a .381 wOBA over 78 plate appearances, including a 36.2% fly-ball rate and a minuscule 7.7% strikeout rate. He becomes even more attractive when you consider he faces Chase Anderson, who hasn't looked the same after his own time on the disabled list. Covering his last four starts (19 2/3 innings), Anderson has recorded an 11.6% walk rate, 41.9% hard-hit rate, and 41.7% fly-ball rate. It could just be a noisy small sample, or Anderson could still be rounding into form. Either way, it makes Heyward a good value at this price.
Tucker Barnhart ($3,200): The Cincinnati Reds' switch-hitting catcher could be primed for a big night of fantasy production, thanks to an outstanding matchup with Ian Kennedy. Kennedy started off 2018 with solid marks, but the wheels have fallen off the wagon as of late, as Kennedy owns a 9.42 ERA dating back to May 10. Left-handed batters are a prime culprit, and going back to the last calendar year, the right-hander has allowed a 46.9% hard-hit rate and 51.6% fly-ball rate, including 2.3 HR/9. Barnhart, meanwhile, has been strong from this side of the plate -- going back to the beginning of the 2017 season, the catcher has posted a solid 34.8% hard-hit rate and 10.4% walk-rate against righties. For a cheap catching option, the Reds' backstop makes an appealing choice.
Alex Gordon ($3,100): After a dreadful 2017 campaign that saw Gordon post a .269 wOBA mark, the veteran has fared slightly better in 2018, with a mark of .309. He has been solid with the platoon advantage, too, as Gordon owns a .346 wOBA and 36.7% hard-hit rate against right-handers like tonight's starter, Sal Romano. Romano has been more than accommodating to left-handed bats himself. For his career against lefties (69 2/3 innings pitched), he has been bombed for a .365 wOBA and 37.7% hard-hit rate. For another salary-saving option in the outfield, Gordon could make for a nice play.
Matt Kupferle is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Matt Kupferle also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username MKupferle. 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.