DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Thursday 7/26/18

With pitching a mess tonight, paying up for hitters like Mookie Betts looks like the best option. Which other players should you consider on DraftKings?

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

Trevor Cahill ($9,900 on DraftKings): With Stephen Strasburg getting scratched, this pitching slate became even worse than it already was. Oakland's Trevor Cahill is the highest-priced option, and although his numbers have been solid this season, it is hard to be very confident in him. He has a modest 24.3 percent strikeout rate with a slate-best 1.02 WHIP and 3.26 xFIP. Taking on the Texas Rangers is a solid matchup, as their 25.2 strikeout rate against right-handed pitchers positions them as the fourth-highest club in that split, giving Cahill some upside tonight.

Nick Kingham ($9,400): Nick Kingham owns the third-best WHIP -- at 1.11 -- and fourth-best xFIP -- of 4.05 -- on this slate, which again shows just how bad the pitching options are. However, he and the Pittsburgh Pirates are -150 favorites, and his opponent -- the New York Mets -- have just a 3.64 implied run total. Kingham has an underwhelming 22.7 percent strikeout rate, but has gone at least six innings in four of his last five games. With Kingham tonight, we're hoping for him pitching deeper into the game and picking up the win rather than relying on heavy strikeout numbers.

Low-Priced Pitcher

Sonny Gray ($8,200): The New York Yankees and Sonny Gray are the largest favorites on the night at -25\. They are taking on a Kansas City Royals team that is implied for just 3.72 runs, and although that is not necessarily a high number, it isn't the lowest either. Gray doesn't strike many batters out, as indicated by his 21.2 percent strikeout rate, so he is another pitcher we need to go deep to pick up the points. The Royals don't strike out often, but they struggle to produce offense, as shown by a .292 team weighted on-base average (wOBA) that ranks 28th in the Majors.

Hitters to Target

High-Priced Hitters

Mookie Betts ($5,900): He has smacked five lead-off home runs this season and tonight presents another decent opportunity against Minnesota Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson. Mookie Betts has crushed righties to the tune of an elite .446 wOBA and .284 isolated power (ISO) this season. Gibson has been solid this season, sporting a solid 1.24 WHIP and 3.87 xFIP, but the Boston Red Sox have a ton of power in their lineup, and Betts could should be able to take advantage of his 38.2 percent hard-hit rate and 22.7 percent line-drive rate.

Aaron Judge ($5,600): Another right-handed hitter that crushes right-handed pitching is Aaron Judge. He's putting up elite numbers, with a .397 wOBA and a .262 ISO, and is taking on the Kansas City Royals' Jake Junis, who has really struggled. Junis is giving up an abysmal 41.7 percent hard-hit rate, 42.1 percent fly-ball rate, 89.1 mile-per-hour average exit velocity and a 193 foot average batted-ball distance -- all of which have contributed to his 17.9 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate. Judge is among the cream of the crop tonight.

Khristopher Davis ($5,400): Let's complete the trifecta with righties crushing righties as we get to Khris "Khrush" Davis. He brings the most power of this trio, with an incredible .318 ISO. His matchup is against the ageless "Big Sexy" Bartolo Colon, a pitcher that continues to struggle while maintaining a starting spot. Colon struggles immensely with strikeouts, with just a 13.7 percent strikeout rate — the worst on the slate, and his 42.2 percent hard-hit rate, 22.8 percent line-drive rate and 17.3 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate don't give us any reason to believe that his groundball tendencies are doing him any favors.

Value Hitters

Matt Adams ($4,100): Matt Adams brings a lot of left-handed power to a team that can roll out a lefty-heavy lineup when it's called for. He has put up an elite .402 wOBA and .297 ISO against right-handed pitching in 2018, and with a matchup against Dan Straily, he should be able to continue that dominance. Straily has a slate-worst 28.1 percent line-drive rate, which has been a big factor in his 4.91 xFIP. The 1.31 WHIP he sports isn't awful, but a 42.6 percent fly-ball rate and 38.4 percent fly-ball rate, along with his brutal xFIP, lead me to believe that his WHIP could fall off a cliff shortly, starting tonight.

Nick Williams ($4,000): Cincinnati Reds right-hander Tyler Mahle is another pitcher that is getting hit real hard this season. His 41.0 percent hard-hit rate and 24.9 percent line-drive rate have been direct contributors to his brutal 1.47 WHIP. Additionally, he has given up 19 home runs in 106.1 innings this season, including 6 over his last 6 games. Nick Williams brings some power against right-handed pitchers, as his .341 wOBA and modest .214 ISO would indicate. While they aren't elite numbers, the matchup makes up for the difference.

Tyler Flowers ($3,200): I want to preface this by saying that against left-handed pitchers, Tyler Flowers does have an insanely unsustainable .520 batting average on balls in play (BABIP). With that said, he has an elite .532 wOBA and .263 ISO in 52 plate appearances against lefties in 2018, and he has an interesting matchup against Rich Hill, who could be very chalky. Hill has a slate-worst 47.1 percent hard-hit rate as well as a 39.9 percent fly-ball rate, though. These numbers have resulted in a 16.9 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate, which could get him into trouble tonight in Atlanta.

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.