DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Friday 7/27/18
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
Chris Sale ($13,500 on DraftKings): If you're paying up for an absolutely elite pitcher tonight, you're going to be most likely deciding between Chris Sale and Max Scherzer. As good as they both are, Sale edges out Scherzer in just about everything. Sale leads the slate with a 37.5 percent strikeout rate, 0.87 WHIP, 2.41 xFIP and 26.7 percent hard-hit rate. Taking on the Minnesota Twins is a great matchup for Sale to maximize his strikeout ability as the Twins strike out at a 23.4 percent rate against left-handed pitching.
Zack Greinke ($10,700): Zack Greinke is a much cheaper option tonight, but you could argue that he has just as much upside. He draws a fantastic matchup against the San Diego Padres, a team that is very strikeout-heavy against right-handed pitchers. In fact, their 25.8 percent strikeout rate against righties is the second-worst clip in the Majors. Greinke comes in with a very solid 26.2 percent strikeout rate along with an elite 1.06 WHIP and 3.28 xFIP.
Wade LeBlanc ($5,500): This is certainly a difficult player to recommend because Wade LeBlanc is taking on the Los Angeles Angels. However, the Angels have actually had a lot of trouble with left-handed pitching and really struggle to score runs against southpaws. While their 21.2 percent strikeout rate is just 23rd, their team weighted on-base average of .283 is dead last in the Majors and their 81 wRC+ is third-worst. LeBlanc has a below-average 19.4 percent strikeout rate, but has a very good 1.13 WHIP.
Hitters to Target
Nolan Arenado ($5,500): Taking on a left-handed pitcher in Coors Field is basically a dream matchup for Nolan Arenado. When hitting at home against left-handed pitching, he sits at a lofty .487 weighted on base average (wOBA) and .387 isolated power (ISO), and his numbers against righties are his second-best splits at a .378 wOBA and .252 ISO. Those are drastically different and just goes to show how elite this matchup is for him. He's taking on Sean Manaea, who has a 38.1 percent hard-hit rate as well as a modest 4.27 xFIP.
Xander Bogaerts ($5,000): All Boston Red Sox are in play tonight, but I feel like I've written up J.D. Martinez and Mookie Betts recently so we get to Xander Bogaerts for this evening's festivities. He's still got elite numbers against right-handed pitching, even if they aren't as elite as the aforementioned pair of Red Sox. Bogaerts owns a .380 wOBA and .273 ISO, and has a pretty solid matchup against Lance Lynn, who has a pretty brutal 1.66 WHIP, 4.41 xFIP, 37.9 percent hard-hit rate and 22.9 percent line-drive rate.
Rhys Hoskins ($4,800): Rhys Hoskins has been on an absolute tear of late. He has 6 home runs and 10 RBI over his last 6 games, and he looks to continue that again tonight against Anthony DeSclafani. Hoskins has a lot of power against right-handed pitching, as indicated by his .383 wOBA and .279 ISO. DeSclafani has got some ugly numbers this season, with a 48.7 percent hard-hit rate, 40.7 fly-ball rate, 89.1 mile-per-hour average exit velocity and 196 foot average batted-ball distance, which has led to a slate-worst 23.7 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate.
Justin Smoak ($4,300): He is a switch-hitter, but Justin Smoak has been much better against right-handed pitching this season. He brings a lot of power, putting up a very solid .371 wOBA and .255 ISO. He's taking on the Chicago White Sox, who will send Reynaldo Lopez to the mound. Lopez has been brutal, with a slate-worst 5.63 xFIP and second-worst 47.5 percent fly-ball rate. His 188 foot average batted-ball distance won't do him any favors against Smoak's power either.
Nelson Cruz ($4,200): The Seattle Mariners are taking on the Angels, and for whatever reason Nelson Cruz is priced way down. I mean, sure, Andrew Heaney has been pretty decent this season -- a 1.15 WHIP, 3.91 xFIP and just an 86.1 mile-per-hour average exit velocity, but Cruz absolutely smashes lefties and is in a great spot here. In 2018, he has put up an absolutely elite .414 wOBA and .346 ISO against lefties, and should be able to continue that dominance this evening.
Jose Abreu ($3,800): Jose Abreu isn't having the best season, as he's hitting just .258 with 16 home runs. However, he has absolutely turned that around over his last 10 games, as he has hit for a .306 average with 4 home runs. His numbers in 2017 against right-handed pitching are encouraging for some positive regression. Last season, he put up a .361 wOBA and .239 ISO, whereas in 2018 those numbers are at just a .321 wOBA and .194 ISO. He's going to be seeing Marcus Stroman on the mound, who has a 1.45 WHIP, 39.1 percent hard-hit rate, 89.4 mile-per-hour average exit velocity and a 16.7 percent home-run-to-fly-ball 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.