DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Monday 7/30/18
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
Gerrit Cole ($12,800 on DraftKings): Gerrit Cole is probably the best pitcher on the slate, and his price indicates that. At $2,700 more than any other pitcher, Cole stands out as the ace to own. He's got slate-highs in multiple categories, including an elite 35.3 percent strikeout rate, 0.98 WHIP and 3.04 xFIP. Although he's taking on a solid Seattle Mariners team, Cole has been virtually matchup-proof this season, so we should feel good about plugging him in.
Robbie Ray ($8,000): Robbie Ray has very good strikeout ability -- as indicated by his 30.8 percent strikeout rate -- and his 3.73 xFIP is absolutely solid. However, he tends to get hit around a bit, which will always cause some of a concern. However, he is a -211 favorite tonight, which is the largest on the slate and gives him some safety along with the upside he always offers. He is taking on a Texas Rangers team that strikes out at a 23.3 percent clip against left-handed pitching, which is the eighth-worst in the Majors.
Derek Holland ($7,600): He isn't a big-time strikeout guy, but Derek Holland still has a solid 24.1 percent strikeout rate to go with a modest 1.27 WHIP and 4.08 xFIP. Luckily, he is taking on one of the worst teams in baseball in the San Diego Padres. They strike out at a 24.9 percent rate against left-handed pitching, which is the third-most in the Majors. Additionally, they struggle to generate any offense against southpaws with a 21st-ranked 88 wRC+ and 24th-ranked team weighted on-base average (wOBA) of .298.
Hitters to Target
Jose Ramirez ($5,700): Jose Ramirez is having an MVP-caliber season and is second only to Mike Trout in the Majors with a 6.8 fWAR. He's destroyed right-handed pitching with a .440 wOBA and .357 isolated power (ISO), and he has done so with a very low .256 BABIP. He's taking on Minnesota Twins right-hander Ervin Santana, who has only five innings pitched this season. But looking at his 2017 numbers, he struggled with a 4.77 xFIP and 42.5 percent fly-ball rate.
Alex Bregman ($5,200): A matchup with James Paxton is far from something you normally have any interest in targeting. but there are a couple numbers worth noting for Paxton that makes Alex Bregman a viable play. Paxton, as elite as his 1.09 WHIP and 3.06 xFIP are, has given up an 89.6 mile-per-hour average exit velocity, 191-foot average batted-ball distance and 41.2 percent fly-ball rate -- which has led to a 13.4 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate. Bregman has had a lot of success against left-handed pitching, putting up a .424 wOBA and .310 ISO in the split, and with this being Paxton's first start off the disabled list, the Mariners' lefty figures to be on a tight pitch count anyway.
Khristopher Davis ($5,000): Khris Davis brings a world of power to his game and takes on a pitcher who is very prone to giving up fly-balls. Davis has hit right-handed pitching for a lot of pop with a .314 ISO, and his .380 wOBA is also on the high end. He's taking on Marco Estrada, who will be coming off the disabled list to make his first start since July 3rd. Estrada has a horrendous 5.23 xFIP and 54.3 percent fly-ball rate, along with a 210-foot average batted-ball distance. The long fly balls could come back to bite him against an Oakland Athletics team with a lot of power.
Miguel Sano ($4,100): Miguel Sano has gone 0-for-7 with 5 strikeouts since being promoted from Triple-A over the weekend. However, he is still very cheap and has a history of hitting right-handed pitching well. He has a career .347 wOBA and .231 ISO against righties and is taking on Cleveland Indians' Shane Bieber, who has some flaws in his game. The rookie righty has a 1.44 WHIP and is giving up a slate-worst 47.5 percent hard-hit rate along with a not-so-great 89.5 mile-per-hour average exit velocity.
Nelson Cruz ($3,900): Nelson Cruz has a very tough matchup versus Cole, who has been absolutely dominant this season. While Cole does give up a 43.2 percent fly-ball rate and 88.2 mile-per-hour average exit velocity, those marks aren't terrible by any means. Cruz's price is just too cheap for a hitter with this much power. Cruz has hit for a .362 wOBA and .239 ISO against right-handed pitching this season, but his .268 BABIP indicates he has gotten a bit unlucky, with hopes of that leveling out in the second half of the season. For reference: In 2017, Cruz crushed righties for a .395 wOBA and .280 ISO with a .336 BABIP.
Mike Moustakas ($3,700): Here we have another underpriced, splits-favored hitter in a difficult matchup. Mike Moustakas hits for a lot of power with a .246 ISO against right-handed pitching. However, his .338 wOBA is pretty mediocre. But when looking at the .233 BABIP that he is rocking, some positive regression is bound to occur in the second half as that sort of BABIP is just way too low. He's taking on Kenta Maeda, who has some sparkling numbers across the board but does have a 25 percent line-drive rate that could be exploitable.
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.