DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Friday 7/20/18
Every day is unique for daily fantasy baseball, which is both a blessing and a challenge. Although we canâ€™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 numberFireâ€™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? Letâ€™s check it out, starting with the pitchers.
Pitchers to Target
Trevor Bauer ($13,600 on DraftKings): Standing out as easily the most expensive pitcher on the slate, Trevor Bauer is also in the best matchup of the top-tier pitchers. He's taking on a Texas Rangers team that strikes out at a 24.8 percent clip, the fourth-highest in the Majors. Bauer doesn't even necessarily need this going in his favor as his numbers are elite. He's sporting a 31.4 percent strikeout rate with a 1.08 WHIP and 3.05 xFIP on the year.
Robbie Ray ($8,800): Let's be honest, this has been a pretty brutal season for Robbie Ray. He's sporting an ugly 1.49 WHIP and 5.03 ERA, though his 3.58 xFIP indicates he is getting a bit unlucky. He's also giving up a 47.3 percent hard-hit rate, 44.5 percent fly-ball rate and 20.4 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate. Normally, these are numbers that cause us to target pitchers. However, there is one stat that stands out even more, and that's his 34.1 percent strikeout rate, the highest on the slate. The Colorado Rockies aren't necessarily a high strikeout team -- their 22.6 percent strikeout rate sits 15th, but they struggle to generate offense as their 87 wRC+ ties them for the fifth-worst mark in the Majors.
David Price ($8,000): He is not the pitcher he used to be, but David Price still has solid numbers, with a 24.2 percent strikeout rate, 1.25 WHIP and 4.10 xFIP. The Boston Red Sox are the third-largest favorite at -173, and are taking on a Detroit Tigers team with just a 86 wRC+, fourth-worst in the Majors. Additionally, the Tigers' team weighted on-base average (wOBA) of .299 ranks 25th. With the Tigers' offensive troubles, Price should be able to get the best of them and pick up a win on Friday.
Hitters to Target
Francisco Lindor ($5,700): Switch-hitter Francisco Lindor has hit for more power against right-handed pitching this season, as is displayed in a .290 isolated power (ISO) compared to a .220 ISO from the right side against lefties. However, his .437 wOBA against southpaws is much better than his .374 wOBA against righties. Tonight, he takes on Rangers left-hander Martin Perez, who has been brutal this season. He's got a slate-worst 2.05 WHIP and 5.63 xFIP, and his 11.7 percent strikeout rate is not even close to the others pitching on Friday evening.
Freddie Freeman ($4,800): A classic righty-masher, Freddie Freeman is in an interesting spot as he takes on Stephen Strasburg, who is making his first start off the DL. Strasburg's numbers are mostly solid this season, but a 24.0 percent line-drive rate and 18.2 percent home run to fly-ball rate leave a bit of cause for concern. Freeman has put up elite numbers against righties once again, as he has a .283 ISO and .442 wOBA in the split. The matchup would not normally be one worth targeting, but a rusty Strasburg -- and one with what should be a short leash -- could be worth exploiting.
Justin Smoak ($4,700): Hopefully the All-Star break doesn't slow down Justin Smoak as he entered it white-hot. Over his last 10 games, he has put up a .333 average and 1.204 OPS, including 5 home runs and 10 RBI for an average of 12.4 DraftKings points per game. Smoak has been hitting righties really well, with a .271 ISO and .375 wOBA. Dylan Bundy has struggled this season, and his numbers reflect that. He has given up a 46.2 percent fly-ball rate, 89 mile-per-hour average exit velocity and 194 foot average batted-ball distance, which has led to a 15.2 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate.
Mitch Haniger ($4,100): Mitch Haniger is a reverse-splits hitter in that he is much more successful against right-handed pitching than he is against left-handed pitching. He's hit righties to the tune of a .362 wOBA and .241 ISO this season, which is solid considering his price and matchup. He'll be taking on James Shields, who has an abysmal 5.10 xFIP and 42.8 percent fly-ball rate while he struggles to strike out batters, as indicated by his lowly 17.1 percent strikeout rate.
Joey Wendle ($4,000): Although his numbers against right-handed pitchers aren't as elite as some others -- just a .317 wOBA and .110 ISO, Wendle was crushing the ball prior to the All-Star break. In the 10 games leading into it, Wendle hit for a .424 average with a 1.258 OPS to go with 2 home runs, 1 triple, 8 RBI and a stolen base. While his numbers may not be elite, he has an elite matchup against Miami Marlins right-hander Dan Straily. Straily has a horrendous 44.5 percent hard-hit rate, 29.6 percent line-drive rate, and his Statcast numbers are equally terrible, as he sports an 89.1 mile-per-hour average exit velocity and 190 foot average batted-ball distance.
Max Kepler ($3,800): A lefty-lefty matchup is something rarely worth targeting. However, Max Kepler has done pretty well for himself against southpaws in 2018, putting up a very nice .242 ISO and .358 wOBA. He's taking on Kansas City Royals left-hander Danny Duffy, a pitcher with some ugly numbers. Duffy has a 1.46 WHIP, 4.97 xFIP to go along with a 37.9 percent hard-hit rate, 44.0 percent fly-ball rate and horrendous 89.4 mile-per-hour average exit velocity and 199 foot average batted-ball distance.
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.