DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Friday 6/15/18
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
Corey Kluber ($13,600 on DraftKings): There are three expensive arms priced above $10,000 tonight, and none are particularly in a fantastic spot. James Paxton, who's priced at $10,700, gets the unenviable task of the Boston Red Sox, who check in fifth-best in team strikeout rate (20.3%) and second-best in team weighted on-base average (.337 wOBA). The second-most expensive option, Charlie Morton ($12,100), faces a Kansas City Royals team that isn't the most explosive offensively, but they rank as the toughest team to strikeout in the bigs (18.6%). That leaves us with a consolation prize of Kluber, which certainly isn't too shabby. Kluber owns a 27.5% strikeout rate this season, and he has the best matchup of the big three against the Minnesota Twins, who own a 22.5% strikeout rate. If you're looking to pay up tonight, Kluber seems to be the best bet.
Ross Stripling ($9,800): With a host of Los Angeles Dodgers pitchers out injured, the men in blue desperately needed someone to step up on their staff, and Stripling has certainly done that. So far this season, Stripling sports a robust 30.1% strikeout rate, good for third-best on tonight's main slate. He also gets the benefit of a matchup with the San Francisco Giants, who rank seventh-worst in strikeout rate at 24.1%. To pivot off one of the big arms, Stripling makes for a great secondary choice as an SP1 tonight.
Seth Lugo ($7,100): For a cheaper pitching option, check out the New York Mets hurler, who has been on fire in 2018. Lugo owns an impressive 2.86 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA), 27.0% strikeout rate, and 22.3% hard-hit rate over 45 2/3 innings pitched, mixing in time both as a starter and reliever. His last appearance, which was in a starting capacity, was brilliant; he struck out eight over six scoreless innings on his way to a win. Lugo will face an Arizona Diamondbacks offense in Chase Field that ranks 3rd in team wOBA (.371) over the last 14 days, but they own a 24.8% strikeout rate in 2018, putting Lugo in line for a big score.
Hitters to Target
Bryce Harper ($5,200): The Washington Nationals will take to an interleague series tonight against the Toronto Blue Jays, and that could mean a big night for Harper, who will face Aaron Sanchez. Over the previous 12 months, Sanchez has been blasted by lefties for a .389 wOBA, and he's actually walking more hitters (18.5%) than he's striking out (14.0%). Harper needs no introduction, but he's performed well in this same split, crushing the platoon advantage for a 42.1% hard-hit rate, 37.0% fly-ball rate, and .311 isolated power (ISO). Pay up for Bryce and don't look back.
Jose Altuve ($5,000): After a strong start to the season that saw Jake Junis dominate the opening month with a .285 wOBA and 3.34 ERA over 32 innings pitched, Junis has slowly backslid for the Kansas City Royals, and his batted-ball peripherals are ones we want to exploit. For the season, Junis has allowed a 38.0% hard-hit rate and 42.1% fly-ball rate, leading to a 1.69 home runs per nine innings (HR/9) mark. Enter Altuve, who's excelled against righties over the last year with a .407 wOBA and .184 ISO mark.
Trevor Story ($4,900): The Texas Rangers will start Yohander Mendez tonight, and given Mendez's limited Major League sample, the book is a big tough to figure out. With only 16 big-league innings, what we can see is that same-sided bats have really bombed him to the tune of a .581 slugging percentage, 53.7% fly-ball rate, and a paltry 4.4% strikeout rate. Mendez appears to get himself into significant trouble by working behind in the count; he's thrown a first-pitch strike only 48.6% of the time. All of this makes the Colorado Rockies shortstop a tantalizing play as Story owns a 47.2% hard-hit rate and 50.9% fly-ball rate against opposite-handed pitching in 2018.
Adrian Beltre ($3,800): Anyone playing DFS knows that Colorado Rockies pitchers often fare far better away from Coors Field, and tonight's starter, Chad Bettis, is no exception to this rule. In 2018, Bettis owns a 7.76 ERA at home, and a sparkling 2.03 ERA on the road. Those numbers, however, could be a bit misleading as Bettis actually sports an improved xFIP in Denver (4.15 versus 4.55, respectively). And tonight is no cake walk at Globe Life Park, which ranks fourth in park factor in 2018. Beltre, who just continues to mash same-sided pitching, could be in line for a huge night. Over the last calendar year, the veteran third baseman owns a .361 wOBA and 37.2% hard-hit rate against righties. To save some coin tonight, Beltre makes for a juicy choice at the hot corner.
Daniel Palka ($3,600): The Chicago White Sox rookie outfielder may own only 145 plate appearances to his big league career, but he's shown some nice pop so far in 2018, especially with the platoon advantage. Palka sports a .230 ISO, 41.6% hard-hit rate, and 40.3% fly-ball rate, and he often mans the cleanup spot. That becomes even tastier when we look at Mike Fiers' batted-ball profile, which showcases a 5.10 xFIP, 10.7% walk rate, and 44.0% fly-ball rate over the last year against lefties.
Victor Martinez ($2,900): A first glance at White Sox starter Reynaldo Lopez's 3.26 ERA in 2018 would make you think he's been performing like a boss. Not so much. Lopez has struck out only 16.7% of hitters while walking 10.5% of them. He's also allowed an extreme 46.7% fly-ball rate, and lefties have pounded him further for a 50.4% fly-ball rate. That makes Martinez a very attractive choice tonight as he's dirt cheap and sports a 44.7% hard-hit rate and 37.6% fly-ball rate in this split in 2018. It may be the twilight of Martinez's career, but he's in a great spot tonight to make some noise.
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