DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Thursday 7/12/18
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
Blake Snell ($11,700): Over his last 10 starts, Blake Snell has put up at least 23 DraftKings points in 8 of them. He has become one of the more consistent pitchers in the Majors, and on a slate full of names that people flock to, his lower price could also cause him to be a bit lower owned than others. But his numbers are still elite, with a 28.8 percent strikeout rate, 1.03 WHIP and 3.48 xFIP. He's taking on a Minnesota Twins team that only strikes out 21.9 percent of the time, the 17th-most in the Majors, but his strikeout ability should boost that a bit.
Ross Stripling ($9,100): Ross Stripling's numbers are actually incredible, and considering who else is on this slate, he leads the way with a 2.74 xFIP and 28.1 percent hard-hit rate. His 28.7 percent strikeout rate and 1.07 WHIP are also very good. He also has arguably the best matchup of all top pitchers, taking on the lowly San Diego Padres. The Los Angeles Dodgers are -179 favorites and given that the Padres strikeout at a 25.6 percent clip, the ceiling is very high for Stripling tonight.
Jameson Taillon ($5,700): There is a steep dropoff at pitching, and even though Jameson Taillon hasn't been great, he and the Pittsburgh Pirates are still -125 favorites over the Milwaukee Brewers. Taillon has just a 22.2 percent strikeout rate, but that gets boosted a bit in this matchup against Milwaukee as they strikeout 24.3 percent of the time, which is the fifth-worst in the Majors. At this bargain price-point, he will allow you to pay up for a stud pitcher and still have some room to get some solid hitters, too.
Hitters to Target
Mookie Betts ($6,200 on DraftKings): Mookie Betts is the most expensive hitter on the slate, but considering splits, he draws the best matchup. He's taking on Toronto Blue Jays' left-hander J.A. Happ, who has struggled a bit of late, giving up 16 runs, including 4 home runs, over his last 14.1 innings (3 starts). Betts has destroyed southpaws this season, putting up an elite .481 weighted on-base average (wOBA) and .386 isolated power (ISO). The Red Sox also sport a 5.08 implied run total -- the highest mark on the slate.
Max Muncy ($4,900): Max Muncy has been making the very best of his opportunity with the Dodgers, and gets a great matchup tonight against Tyson Ross. Muncy has crushed right-handed pitching this season to the tune of a .477 wOBA and .358 ISO, just a hair below Betts' numbers in this split. Ross, on the other hand, has been brutal, giving up a 26.5 percent line-drive rate and 15.9 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate while pitching to a weak 1.29 WHIP and 4.09 xFIP.
Juan Soto ($4,800): Through his first 192 career plate appearances, Juan Soto has been fantastic. In the 53 that have come against left-handed pitching, he has done some serious damage with a .471 wOBA and .311 ISO. Tonight, he gets New York Mets' left-hander Steven Matz, a pitcher with just a 21.4 percent strikeout rate while sporting a 1.23 WHIP and 4.24 xFIP. Additionally, he has struggled with the long-ball, with a 16 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate. Matz has some respectable numbers, but on a slate full of aces he finds himself near the bottom.
C.J. Cron ($4,200): Against right-handed pitchers, C.J. Cron's .336 wOBA isn't the best, but his .223 ISO is definitely solid. The Tampa Bay Rays are far from the most offensive team in the league, however, they are taking on the Minnesota Twins' Kyle Gibson, who has some numbers worth exploiting. Gibson doesn't strike out many batters as he's doing so at just a 23.2 percent rate. His 1.27 WHIP and 3.91 xFIP, while not horrendous, are among the worst this evening. His 36.9 percent hard-hit rate is what Cron should be able to exploit from the middle of the Tampa order.
Francisco Cervelli ($4,000) or Elias Diaz ($3,500): Wade Miley is returning off the 60 day DL and presents a great matchup for the Pirates and whoever they start at catcher. Cervelli is only a few games removed from a DL stint, but he has a career .348 wOBA and 34.5% hard-hit rate against lefties. If it's Diaz, he has crushed left-handed pitching for a .453 wOBA and .277 ISO this season, and although he doesn't get that many starts, the numbers look great. In 2017, Miley had a 1.73 WHIP, 4.66 xFIP and gave up a 32.5 percent hard-hit rate and a 26.8 percent fly-ball rate, which led to a 19.4 percent home-run-to-fly-ball ratio (20.9 percent against righty bats).
Max Kepler ($3,300): A short slate like this one needs us to go outside the box. A lefty-on-lefty matchup is not normally a target, and maybe this isn't a good one either, but Max Kepler has hit southpaws great this year, and his 101 plate appearance sample size is large enough for us to buy into. He's got a .366 wOBA with an elite .253 ISO in that sample, and despite a tough matchup with Blake Snell, he could take advantage of Snell's 37.3 percent fly-ball rate and 34.2 percent hard-hit rate.
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.