DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Tuesday 7/24/18
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
Kenta Maeda ($11,300): Heading into the All-Star break, Kenta Maeda had 4 straight starts with 25-plus DraftKings points, including 9 strikeouts in each outing. He's got a 29.7 percent strikeout rate with a 1.22 WHIP and 3.29 this season, all of which are solid. He's taking on the Philadelphia Phillies this evening, a team that struggles with striking out against right-handed pitching. They have a 25.8 percent strikeout rate, which is the second-highest mark in the split. That gives Maeda plenty of upside.
Gerrit Cole ($10,900): Some people might shy away from Gerrit Cole because of the matchup at Coors Field. However, his numbers are elite and the Colorado Rockies aren't great at all, though they are clearly a better team at home. Cole leads the slate with a 35.2 percent strikeout rate and his 0.98 WHIP and 3.08 xFIP are among the top two marks. The Rockies have just a 91 wRC+ at home -- 23rd among all teams -- although they have a somewhat concerning .355 team weighted on-base average (wOBA). But a 23.2 percent strikeout rate also gives Cole the chance to miss some bats entirely while picking up some strikeouts.
Felix Pena ($5,500): He has only thrown 80-plus pitches once in his 5 starts, so that is a key factor as to why his price is so low. He has only reached five innings -- the number required to pick up the win -- three times, so that limits his upside as well. However, for $5,500, he has reached 15-plus DraftKings points in 3 of his 5 starts and 20-plus in 2 of them. He's got a legit 28.3 percent strikeout rate along with a 3.17 xFIP and is taking on a Chicago White Sox team that has a 25.5 percent strikeout rate against right-handed pitching, third-worst in the Majors. Peep Pena as your low-priced pitcher beside one of the aces.
Hitters to Target
Alex Bregman ($5,800): Alex Bregman has absolutely crushed left-handed pitching this season. He has put up an elite .423 wOBA and a .295 isolated power (ISO) and now he gets to do that against Colorado Rockies' Tyler Anderson in Coors Field. The price is pretty steep and Anderson hasn't exactly been terrible, but he's been just average. His1.21 WHIP and 4.06 xFIP are about middle-of-the-pack on this slate, and his 38.9 percent fly-ball rate and 13.1 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate could get him into trouble against the Houston Astros' power bats.
Shin-Soo Choo ($4,800): What a great season Shin-Soo Choo is having in 2018. He's hitting for a .287 average and has smashed 18 home runs with 44 RBI. Meanwhile, he's pacing to smash his career-high of 22 dingers -- a number he's hit 3 times. He's much better against right-handed pitching, against which he's put up a .411 wOBA and .247 ISO this year. Tonight, he's taking on Frankie Montas, who has a horrendous 47.5 percent strikeout rate and 26.3 percent line-drive rate. Additionally, his 14.6 percent strikeout rate tells us that he's not a threat to avoid.
Gregory Polanco ($4,600): Cleveland Indians' Shane Bieber may have a solid xFIP of 3.49, but man has he gotten hit hard this season. He's a big-time groundball-inducing pitcher with a 48.1 percent groundball rate, but he still gets hit hard. He has a 45.0 percent hard-hit rate and an 89.5 mile-per-hour average exit velocity, but the 167 foot average batted-ball distance he sports means the ball typically gets hit hard and into the ground. Gregory Polanco has plenty of power against right-handed pitchers like Bieber, as he has put up a .355 wOBA and .273 ISO. Hope that he can get lift on one and send it out.
Jake Bauers ($4,000): The Tampa Bay Rays have one of the lowest implied run totals, but that doesn't stop me from thinking about Jake Bauers against the New York Yankees Masahiro Tanaka. Bauers has hit for a lot of power against righties, with a .373 wOBA and .270 ISO. Tanaka has struggled with the long-ball this season, too. He has a modest 38.1 percent fly-ball rate but an abysmal 20.9 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate, and given that from 2013 to 2017 Yankee Stadium ranked first in home runs for left-handed hitters Bauers is worth a look this evening.
Jose Martinez ($4,000): Homer Bailey is still getting starts in the Majors despite the fact that he's shown he is incapable of producing anything useful to his ball club. He has a slate-worst 13.0 percent strikeout rate and 5.30 xFIP, while bringing the second-worst WHIP (1.69) to the table. Additionally, he has a 43.2 percent hard-hit rate and 18.3 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate. Ugly, ugly numbers. Jose Martinez has slowed down after a quick start to the season, but he has been hitting righties well this season, owning a solid .374 wOBA and a good-not-great .196 ISO.
Matt Chapman ($3,900): The Oakland Athletics went off for 15 runs last night against the Texas Rangers, so this might feel a bit like we're chasing. However, when the Rangers are tossing left-hander Mike Minor on the mound, you have to go back to the well. Minor has a 4.71 xFIP, 40.6 percent hard-hit rate, 44.6 percent fly-ball rate and brutal Statcast numbers in the form of an 88.7 mile-per-hour average exit velocity and 196 foot average batted-ball distance. Matt Chapman has decent numbers against lefties, with a .344 wOBA and .172 ISO, but this is more about who he is facing rather than the numbers he's put up.
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.