DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Friday 7/13/18
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
Madison Bumgarner ($11,400 on DraftKings): His first couple starts back from the disabled list were rough, but Madison Bumgarner has had a couple solid starts since then. His numbers aren't the best, but he has struck out eight batters in two of his last four games, striking out at least five in each of them. He's taking on an Oakland Athletics team that certainly strikes out a bunch against left-handed pitching as the A's have a 23.4 percent strikeout rate against southpaws -- the sixth-highest mark in the Majors.
Dallas Keuchel ($8,400): Despite high Vegas odds in his favor, this might not be a really great matchup for Dallas Keuchel. The Houston Astros are -255 favorites, easily the largest on the slate, and with those odds have an opponent implied total of 3.34 runs. The Astros are taking on a Detroit Tigers team that, despite their struggles, are very successful against left-handed pitching. Keuchel has done a good job at limiting hard contact, doing so at just a 28.7 percent rate, and his 3.66 xFIP is solid. He owns a slate-best 128 foot average batted-ball distance, a result of the slate's second-best fly-ball rate, at 23 percent.
Felix Pena ($6,800): I understand that Felix Pena hasn't thrown more than 83 pitches in a game yet, but at $6,800 and coming off back-to-back games of 20-plus DraftKings points, including an 8-strikeout performance, the price just seems too cheap even with a pitch count limitation. His 28.1 percent strikeout rate and 3.04 xFIP are both second-best to Noah Syndergaard on the slate, though there are some hard-hit issues that come with him. Pena has given up a 45.2 percent hard-hit rate, which is tonight's second-worst, and his 91 mile-per-hour average exit velocity is the worst. He's cheap, he has some warts to his game, but there is some upside if the Angels stretch him out a bit.
Hitters to Target
Mitch Haniger ($5,600): Mitch Haniger has been a beast this season, and has shown a ton of power against right-handed pitching. Tonight he gets to take on Antonio Senzatela, who was in the bullpen earlier in the season. Haniger also gets this matchup in Coors Field, where his .369 weighted on-base average (wOBA) and .249 isolated power (ISO) will play well. Senzatela struggles to get strikeouts, as his 15.2 percent strikeout rate would indicate. Additionally, his 36.6 percent hard-hit rate and 90.4 mile-per-hour average exit velocity could get him into some serious trouble in the thin air of Denver.
Mike Trout ($5,500): Being the 10th-highest priced hitter on a slate is extremely rate for Mike Trout, as he saw his salary drop by $500 despite putting up 18 DraftKings points last time out. He'll be taking on Los Angeles Dodgers right-handed Walker Buehler, who will be making his first start in two weeks as he comes off the DL. His numbers were solid before the injury, but targeting his first game back with a hitter like Trout, and at this discount price, seems obvious. Trout crushes right-handed pitching and in 2018 has put up an absurd .440 wOBA and .304 ISO.
Jesus Aguilar ($5,200): One of the biggest surprises this season has been the Milwaukee Brewers' Jesus Aguilar. He has smashed 24 home runs while still putting up a .307 average and 1.019 OPS. In addition, he has been on fire over his last 10 games, with 5 home runs and a 1.148 OPS. His .414 wOBA and .332 ISO further show his dominance against right-handed pitchers specifically. His matchup against Nick Kingham is a great one as Kingman has given up a 37.6 percent hard-hit rate, 41.7 percent fly-ball rate, 90.9 mile-per-hour average exit velocity and 193 foot average batted-ball distance on the season.
Evan Gattis ($4,200): Evan Gattis is one of the cheaper Astros, and being that they are in a premium matchup, it is hard to ignore them. Gattis has had some decent success against right-handed pitching, with a .330 wOBA and .229 ISO. Houston has a 5.16 implied run total, which is second-highest on the slate. That isn't surprising given that they are taking on Detroit Tigers righty Mike Fiers. Fiers has been brutal this season, with a 4.76 xFIP, 45.3 percent fly-ball rate and equally terrible Statcast numbers, in the form of a 88.8 mile-per-hour average exit velocity and 191 foot average batted-ball distance.
Jake Bauers ($3,900): I don't think I've every actually rostered Jake Bauers, but he draws a premium matchup tonight, so he's hard to ignore. Taking on Jake Odorizzi is often a matchup you want to target because he has been flat-out horrendous. He's burdened with a 1.42 WHIP and 4.69 xFIP, along with slate-worst 47.9 percent fly-ball rate and 208 foot average batted-ball distance. The numbers aren't specifically sexy, but Bauers has a .363 wOBA and .205 ISO against right-handed pitchers, and this is a matchup worth exploiting.
Jose Martinez ($3,600): This price for Jose Martinez seems egregious, considering how terrible Matt Harvey was earlier in the season. Sure, Harvey has been better as of late, but the season-long numbers -- 17.3 percent strikeout rate, 4.48 xFIP, 38.3 percent hard-hit rate and 36.3 percent fly-ball rate -- are bad and leave a lot to be desired. Even if Harvey has improved his game from a Triple-A caliber pitcher to a low-level MLB starter, Martinez' price is just too cheap for his level of production -- .378 wOBA and .203 ISO -- against right-handed pitching.
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.