DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Thursday 6/21/18
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
Max Scherzer ($14,500 on DraftKings): Standing out on this slate not only in talent but in the price department, given how inflated it is, Max Scherzer is far and away the top play tonight. The issue is that exorbitant salary. Scherzer has an absolutely dominant 39 percent strikeout rate along with an 0.84 WHIP, 2.46 xFIP and 30.5 hard-hit rate, all of which easily lead the slate. He's taking on a Baltimore Orioles team that loves to strikeout, as they have done at a 24 percent clip, making Scherzer an elite upside play even at the extremely high price tag.
Madison Bumgarner ($9,400): This is a lot to pay for a pitcher that has struggled as much as Madison Bumgarner has this season. However, he has a long track record of success, and you cannot get a better matchup than the San Diego Padres. They have struck out 25.9 percent of the time, the highest mark in the Majors. Their 84 wRC+ is tied for the fourth-lowest and their team weighted on-base average (wOBA) of .291 is the second-worst. The matchup is premium for Bumgarner, and it's the perfect opportunity for him to get his season back on track.
Kevin Gausman ($6,600): On the opposite side of Scherzer is Orioles starter Kevin Gausman. He is incredibly cheap, but the main reason is because he's facing Mad Max, as he was $8,500 in his last start. The Washington Nationals are obviously not the best matchup, but Gausman has a decent 22.6 percent strikeout rate as well as a 3.54 xFIP and 32.7 percent hard-hit rate. While those are not great numbers, they are among the best of the slate, which goes to show you how bad the pitching is. He's good enough to roster as a cheap SP2.
Hitters to Target
Brandon Belt ($4,500): Brandon Belt has been a beast across the board this season, putting up a solid .305 average while showing some power, as indicated by his 12 home runs and .543 slugging percentage. He has done most of his damage against right-handed pitching, as he's crushed them to the tune of a .420 wOBA and a .290 isolated power (ISO). Tonight, he'll take on Tyson Ross of the San Diego Padres, a pitcher that has struggled by giving up a 40.3 percent hard-hit rate and a 27.4 percent line-drive rate. This should give Belt plenty of opportunities to rack up the fantasy points.
Justin Upton ($4,500): The Los Angeles Angels have been quite the power squad this season, and Justin Upton has been a big reason for that, as he is on pace for another 30-plus home run season with 16 in his first 71 games already. He has shown plenty of power against right-handed pitching this season, with a .354 wOBA and a .233 ISO, and tonight he'll take on struggling Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Aaron Sanchez. Sanchez has put up a 1.49 WHIP and 4.88 xFIP, both of which are the second-worst on the slate. Additionally, his average exit velocity is a slate-worst 89.6 miles-per-hour.
Marcell Ozuna ($4,400): After a somewhat slow start, Marcell Ozuna has been smashing the ball as of late. Over his last 10 games, Ozuna has put up a .333 average, .991 OPS, and 4 home runs. He has absolutely smashed left-handed pitching this season, putting up a .404 wOBA and a .192 ISO. We'd like to see more power from him in this split, but the .404 clip is certainly encouraging. Opposing pitcher Brent Suter has struggled to strike anybody out with his 19.6 percent strikeout rate, and a 30.2 line-drive rate is certainly going to cause him trouble.
Anthony Rendon ($3,900): Gausman is a nice, cheap option specifically because of his price -- not so much his matchup. Well, if you go a different route at pitching, there is reason to target him with the Nationals bats. Anthony Rendon has put up solid numbers against righties this season, with a .349 wOBA and .149, but with the Nats getting healthy -- both Adam Eaton and Daniel Murphy returning from injury over the last two weeks -- there is plenty more RBI and run opportunities as the lineup gets stronger. Gausman has struggled with the long-ball and giving up a 17.9 percent home run-to-fly-ball rate is a big issue.
Jason Heyward ($3,900): It is always fun to target Matt Harvey, who has been an absolute disaster this season. He's rocking a 5.92 ERA, though his 4.56 xFIP indicates he's been getting a bit unlucky. However, giving up a 41.2 percent hard-hit rate and 37.4 percent fly-ball rate will lead to such an abysmal (17.6 percent) home run to fly-ball rate. He's struggled giving up home runs, obviously, giving up six over his last six games. While Jason Heyward doesn't have the most power in the league, his .349 wOBA and .160 ISO are worthy of a mention in a cupcake matchup like this.
Daniel Descalso ($3,800): Chad Kuhl has some of the worst peripheral numbers on the slate, which makes the Arizona Diamondbacks a fantastic play this evening. He has a 35.9 percent hard-hit rate, 25.8 percent line-drive rate, 38.0 percent fly-ball rate, 88.1 mile-per-hour average exit velocity and 192-foot average batted-ball distance. Daniel Descalso has been very good against right-handed pitching this season, putting up a beauty .393 wOBA and .250 ISO. There is definitely some power in this bat and he could pay off that salary with one swing of the bat.
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.