DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Friday 8/10/18
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 DraftKings' main slate? Let’s check it out, starting with the pitchers.
Pitchers to Target
Masahiro Tanaka ($10,400 on DraftKings): Much like the expensive Gerrit Cole ($12,500), Tanaka doesn't have everything going in his favor tonight. Not only is his opposition, the Texas Rangers, a top-10 offense by measure of weighted on-base average (wOBA), but Yankee Stadium is the sixth-best park for offense and the Rangers' implied total (3.73) isn't the smallest. However, the Rangers' current roster is top-10 in strikeout rate (26.3%) against righties, and Tanaka should be able to use his repertoire -- especially his splitter -- to his advantage against their lefty bats. He has a 3.71 xFIP at home against lefties, which certainly plays a part in Tanaka's status as the biggest favorite (-210) on tonight's 14-game slate.
Zack Wheeler ($10,100): If you think you can fit in some value bats to pair Wheeler alongside Tanaka, it's something worth trying given tonight's pitching landscape. Wheeler, who has surprised with a 3.88 xFIP and 3.89 ERA this year, draws a weak Miami Marlins offense in the pitcher-friendly (27th in park factor) Marlins Park. The rebuilding Marlins rank 29th in the bigs with a .292 wOBA, and are even worse at home, with their .284 wOBA also next-to-last among all teams. Against right-handed pitching, their wOBA increases to a whopping .295, thanks in part to an elevated strikeout rate (22.7%) and a league-worst fly-ball rate (29.4%) in the split. With better numbers -- a 24.9% strikeout rate and 3.80 xFIP -- on the road, Wheeler should make good on his -112 moneyline in this spot.
Shane Bieber ($8,300): In this price range, there a number of ways to go if you're willing to take on the risk. Given his matchup, though, Bieber is the preferred option over guys like Derek Holland ($7,600) and Jon Gray ($7,700). While Bieber's pitched 33 of his 57 innings at the hitter's haven that is Progressive Field (where he's actually performed better somehow), he will take to the road in Chicago, where he should reap the rewards of a top-10 pitcher's park, not to mention a poor Chicago White Sox offense. The Pale Hose rank 23rd in wOBA (.306) and in a tie for 1st with a 25.7% strikeout rate against righties, which explains why Bieber's the road favorite (-143) tonight.
Hitters to Target
Matt Carpenter ($5,800): After a slow start to the year, Carpenter did put up respectable numbers in the first half of the season. But since the calendar flipped to June, he owns the Majors' highest wRC+ (201), wOBA (.470) and isolated power (ISO; .404). Among qualified hitters, he's also top-15 in hard-hit, fly-ball and walk rate over that same span. He has five home runs in six games, and we shouldn't expect him to slow down tonight. The Kansas City Royals are rolling out righty Burch Smith, who has allowed a .394 wOBA and 40.9% hard-hit rate to lefty bats through 27 innings.
Manny Machado ($5,200): With the Los Angeles Dodgers and Colorado Rockies carrying a 10.5-run over/under into Coors Field, you'll want some exposure where you can afford. And who better to pay up for then Machado? He hasn't exactly lit the world on fire -- with a .340 wOBA and .146 ISO -- since coming over ahead of the trade deadline, but he's been deadly against righties like Jon Gray. On the year (across both teams), Machado sports a .394 wOBA and .249 ISO on a 36.2% hard-hit rate and 44.5% fly-ball rate without the platoon advantage. Oh -- and remember, he's hitting in some thin air tonight.
Aaron Hicks ($4,700): Even absent the services of one Aaron Judge, the Yankees' offense enters tonight's home matchup with the second-highest implied total, at 5.27 runs. They take on lefty Mike Minor, who is burdened by a 4.53 ERA and 4.44 xFIP, and on the year, a 45.4% fly-ball rate and 40.4% hard-hit rate against right-handed bats. And on the opposite side of the matchup, the "other Aaron" owns a .381 and .333 ISO with a ridiculous 52.8% hard-hit rate and 45.1% fly-ball rate versus southpaws in 2018.
Eduardo Escobar ($4,400): The Arizona Diamondbacks might go a little overlooked, but they're another high-total (4.95 runs) team we want a piece of tonight. Their latest addition, the switch-hitting Escobar, is as good an option as any as he'll hit from the left side against starter Anthony DeSclafani and the Cincinnati Reds. This season, that's only meant good things for the shortstop. In that split, he's turned a 40.9% hard-hit rate and 47.4% fly-ball rate into a .377 wOBA and .284 ISO in 2018, and that should translate well against DeSclafani and his 45.7% fly-ball rate allowed to left-handed bats.
Jose Martinez ($4,200): The St. Louis Cardinals' 4.84 implied total is outside tonight's top five, but it makes them an appealing stacking option on the road in K.C. Martinez isn't a strong lefty bat like Carpenter, but he does have impressive reverse splits from the right side. En route to a .362 wOBA, he has a 41.3% hard-hit rate and all 13 of his long-balls against righty hurlers. With the Cardinals decently priced, you could form a nice mini-stack, including a guy like Yadier Molina ($4,200) at the always shallow catcher spot.
Brandon Guyer ($3,600): When you get down this far in the player pool, you're usually looking for specialists against one side of the mound or the other. Today, that guy is Brandon Guyer, lefty specialist extraordinaire. Up against southpaw Carlos Rodon, the Indians come with a 4.85 total in Guaranteed Rate Field, and Guyer enters play with a 50.0% fly-ball rate and .273 ISO with the platoon. As for Rodon, righties have hit him up for a 5.14 xFIP and 47.6% fly-ball rate, so you could do a lot worse in the bargain bin on Friday.
Brett Oswalt is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Brett Oswalt also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username BRO14THEKID. 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.