DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Thursday 7/5/18

Justin Bour makes for a great salary-saving option in a matchup with Jeremy Hellickson. Which other players should you check out?

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

High-Priced Pitcher

Justin Verlander ($13,400 on DraftKings): Justin Verlander is the layup play tonight. Pitching on this slate is pretty ugly, and he stands out not only in price but in the numbers. He has a 31.2 percent strikeout rate, 0.86 WHIP and 3.55 xFIP with a 27.9 percent hard-hit rate. He is easily the largest favourite on the slate at -300 and takes on a Chicago White Sox team that strikes out at a 25.4 percent rate, the highest in the league.

Low-Priced Pitcher

Jeremy Hellickson ($7,700): Throughout his career, Jeremy Hellickson has typically been a pitcher you look to stack your hitters against. However, in 2018 he has been very good for the Washington Nationals. He's got a 1.02 WHIP and 3.54 xFIP, although his 20.3 percent strikeout rate does leave a lot to be desired. He's taking on a Miami Marlins team that struggles offensively, posting an 83 wRC+, which is tied for the third-worst mark in the Majors, as well as .292 team weighted on-base average (wOBA), the fourth-worst clip.

Max Fried ($7,500): The Atlanta Braves' young pitcher has just two starts this season, but he has looked fantastic, especially in his last start in which he struck out 11 St. Louis Cardinals. He's got a difficult matchup against the Milwaukee Brewers, but as much power as the Brewers have, they strike out a lot. Their 24.2 percent strikeout rate is the sixth-highest in all of baseball. Additionally, Max Fried has an elite 32.9 percent strikeout rate and 3.09 xFIP.

Hitters to Target

High-Priced Hitters

Alex Bregman ($5,500): He has really gotten up there in price, but Alex Bregman deserves the price tag on him on DraftKings. Over his last 10 games, he has been a beast, putting up a .390 average, 1.335 OPS, 5 home runs, 12 RBIs and 2 stolen bases while averaging an insane 15.5 DraftKings points per game. Tonight he's got a cupcake matchup against Carlos Rodon, who has been brutal this season with a 5.54 xFIP, 52.7 percent fly-ball rate, 88 mile-per-hour average exit velocity and 193-foot average batted-ball distance.

Paul Goldschmidt ($5,200): Paul Goldschmidt has a history of destroying left-handed pitching, and that is no different in 2018. He has once again crushed lefties with an insane .452 wOBA and .373 isolated power (ISO). He's going to take on Eric Lauer, who is struggling. He's got a 1.76 WHIP, which is the second-worst on the slate, and his 40.6 percent hard-hit rate and 29.0 percent line-drive rate aren't going to do him any favors.

Wil Myers ($4,300): On the opposite side of that game is Wil Myers, and even though he's a righty, he's had a lot of success against right-handed pitching in 2018. He's put up a solid .373 wOBA and .208 ISO in the split, and while the power isn't necessarily there, the matchup is good. He'll see Shelby Miller, who has struggled since coming off the disabled list. In his two starts, Miller has a 2.08 WHIP and is allowing 50.0 percent hard-hit rate. Obviously, this is a small sample size, but he's given up 11 earned runs in those two starts against the San Francisco Giants and Marlins.

Value Hitters

Mark Trumbo ($4,100): The Baltimore Orioles have a 4.6 implied total, which is the third-highest on the slate, thanks in part to taking on Minnesota Twins pitcher Aaron Slegers. Slegers has logged only 20.2 innings in the Majors, but they haven't been great. He's a right-handed pitcher, a split that Mark Trumbo has shown a lot of power in this season. Trumbo has put up a .373 wOBA and a very good .261 ISO against righties, and the high run total for the O's makes him even more enticing.

Ryon Healy ($3,600): Ryon Healy may not be the best hitter against right-handed pitching, but he definitely brings the power. He has a .331 wOBA but a solid .234 ISO, and that bodes well for him against Jaime Barria, who has struggled with giving up home runs. Over his last six games, Barria has surrendered nine home runs. He's giving up a 40.2 percent hard-hit rate, 41.7 percent fly-ball rate, 89.8 mile-per-hour average exit velocity and 189-foot average batted-ball distance.

Justin Bour ($3,500): Jeremy Hellickson, as noted above, certainly has some decent numbers behind his name this season. However, his career numbers tell a different story, and that is why we're looking at Justin Bour, a left-handed hitter. Hellickson has given up a .324 wOBA and .435 slugging percentage to left-handed hitters in his career, while on the other side of the picture, Bour has a .363 wOBA and .506 slugging percentage against right-handed pitchers in his career. The Marlins struggle to score runs, but Bour makes for an interesting one-off play with homer upside.

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.