DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Tuesday 8/14/18
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
Justin Verlander ($12,600 on DraftKings): Justin Verlander is the most expensive pitcher on the slate and that's because his numbers are the best on the slate. He has a slate-best 33.3 percent strikeout rate and leads tonight's pitchers with a 0.91 WHIP. His 3.27 xFIP is also among the top five. He's got a premium matchup against the Colorado Rockies, who have a 23.2 percent strikeout rate against right-handed pitching, which ranks ninth-worst in the Majors. However, it's their inability to produce offense in this split that is the real boost. The Rockies have an abysmal 78 wRC+, which is the second-worst in all of baseball despite a respectable .312 team weight on-base average (wOBA).
J.A. Happ ($9,500): It has only been two starts, but J.A. Happ has been solid since being acquired by the New York Yankees. He's entering off a nine-strikeout performance and, tonight, he has a fantastic matchup against the Tampa Bay Rays -- a team that strikes out a lot against left-handed pitching. They've got a 23.7 percent strikeout rate, which is the fifth-highest rate in the Majors. However, the Rays are a sneaky-good offense against lefties, as their .326 team wOBA ranks 11th and their 108 wRC+ is 4th-best in the Majors. Happ has a solid 27.0 percent strikeout rate and his 15.9 percent line-drive rate is a slate-slow mark.
Nick Pivetta ($7,600): Nick Pivetta is consistently underpriced on DraftKings. While tonight is justified, considering he has a very difficult matchup against the Boston Red Sox, his numbers show that he has been a borderline elite pitcher. This is a boom-or-bust tournament play without a doubt, but Pivetta has a very good 29.1 percent strikeout rate, acceptable 1.28 WHIP and the third-best xFIP on the slate, at 3.19. His 18.3 percent line-drive rate is also among the best this evening. Boston is Boston, so the matchup is about as tough as it gets, but the Philadelphia Phillies seem to keep winning, so there is some additional upside here tonight.
Hitters to Target
Freddie Freeman ($5,100): The Atlanta Braves will be taking on the Miami Marlins' Trevor Richards, who has been a poor pitcher to date. He's got a 42.3 percent hard-hit rate and 24.5 percent line-drive rate on the year. Additionally, his 38.8 percent fly-ball rate certainly won't help him improve, especially against this tough lineup. Freddie Freeman has crushed right-handed pitching this season, with a .384 wOBA and .192 isolated power (ISO). While the power is not where we might want it, the Braves boast an elite lineup with enough protection for Freeman to at least knock some runs in even if he doesn't go yard.
Bryce Harper ($5,100): Another left-handed hitter in a favorable split tonight is Bryce Harper. He'll be taking on the St. Louis Cardinals' John Gant. Gant sports a slate-worst 45.1 percent hard-hit rate and a not-so-great 88.3 mile-per-hour average exit velocity. While some other numbers are respectable, that hard-hit rate -- even as a groundball pitcher -- is not acceptable. Harper brings plenty of power with his .376 wOBA and .288 ISO against righties, and though he has a brutal .236 average this season, his last 10 games have been so much better. Over that stretch, he has a .306 AVG and 1.016 OPS with a trio of home runs.
Gregory Polanco ($4,600): Why wouldn't we round out the final high-priced hitter with yet another lefty? Gregory Polanco has really struggled lately, with just a .143 AVG and .482 OPS over his last 10 games, but he brings plenty of power against right-handed pitching. His .361 wOBA is solid, but it's the .266 ISO that stands out. He'll be taking on Minnesota Twins righty Jake Odorizzi, who has an 88.1 mile-per-hour average exit velocity and slate-worst 203 foot average batted-ball distance. His 35.0 percent hard-hit rate, 23.3 percent line-drive rate and 48.1 percent fly-ball rate will only get him into more trouble against some of the power bats of the Pittsburgh Pirates, with Polanco chief among them.
Justin Turner ($4,300): Justin Turner is pretty cheap considering how well he's been playing and the solid matchup he has tonight. Over his last 10 games, Turner has smashed the ball to the tune of a .400 AVG, 1.202 OPS, two home runs and five multi-hit games over his last seven. Additionally, his matchup against the left-handed Andrew Suarez is fantastic as Turner has an elite .437 wOBA and .217 ISO against southpaws. Suarez has given up a 40.5 percent hard-hit rate, 22.0 percent line-drive rate and 89.1 mile-per-hour average exit velocity, which has all led to a brutal 18.5 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate.
Evan Longoria ($3,900): As good as some of Alex Wood's numbers are, there are a couple that stand out as very poor. He has given up a 38.5 percent hard-hit rate and a 23.1 percent line-drive rate -- a combination that does not bode well for success, especially when he has just a 20.9 percent strikeout rate. Evan Longoria has some decent numbers against lefties, sporting a .366 wOBA and .234 ISO against them. With the hard contact that Wood's allowing, Longoria has the opportunity to have a big game.
Robinson Chirinos ($3,700): This is pretty expensive for a catcher recommendation, especially one taking on the solid Patrick Corbin. But as I've mentioned many times before, with how hard he gets hit it is surprisingly he doesn't allow more runs. Corbin has a 41.9 percent hard-hit rate and 24.1 percent line-drive rate, but with an elite 31.0 percent strikeout rate he can get out of any jam he gets in. Robinson Chirinos brings enough power to the table to make Corbin pay if those ahead of him in the batting order get on base. He has a .353 wOBA and .239 ISO against left-handed pitching, which is definitely solid for this price tag as well as the catcher position.
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.