DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Friday 8/17/18
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
Max Scherzer ($12,600 on DraftKings): Mad Max Scherzer is on the slate in an absolutely premium matchup. Not only does he lead the with a 34.6 percent strikeout rate, 0.88 WHIP and 3.02 xFIP, he's taking on the Miami Marlins. The Marlins have a 22.5 percent strikeout rate against right-handed pitching, which is the 11th-highest in the Majors. That's not awful. However, they have an 83 wRC+, which is 27th, and a 28th-ranked .293 team weighted on-base average (wOBA).
Carlos Carrasco ($11,200): The second-highest priced pitcher after Scherzer is Carlos Carrasco, and he also has a nice matchup. He's taking on the Baltimore Orioles, a team with a 23.7 percent strikeout rate -- the seventh-highest. Carrasco's numbers are also pretty elite as he has an impressive 28.1 percent strikeout rate, 1.12 WHIP and 3.11 xFIP. He has been missing bats lately as he has picked up at least eight strikeouts in each of his last five starts.
Robbie Ray ($7,600): This seems like a mis-price here. Robbie Ray was just $9,000 in his last start, and he's been pitching decently well lately. He has an outstanding matchup against the San Diego Padres. Ray has an elite 30.7 percent strikeout rate, but there are some concerns with his 1.43 WHIP and 42.7 percent hard-hit rate. However the matchup is just so good as the Padres strike out at a 24.0 percent clip against lefties, the third-highest mark. Ray has also been way better on the road, with just a 2.70 ERA in his travels, compared to a 7.18 ERA at home.
Hitters to Target
Jose Ramirez ($6,000): Switch-hitting Jose Ramirez continues to absolutely smash right-handed pitching. The numbers are almost unfathomable as he has an absurd .458 wOBA and an equally impressive .379 isolated power (ISO). He's taking on David Hess, who has struggled this season with a 1.51 WHIP and slate-worst 6.09 xFIP Additionally, Hess' 49.5 percent fly-ball rate, 88 mile-per-hour average exit velocity and 199-foot average batted-ball distance do not bode well for him this evening.
Bryce Harper ($5,400): Bryce Harper is another righty masher. Although he has struggled in batting average this season, he has an elite .384 wOBA and .294 ISO against right-handed pitching. He's really turned it on as of late as he has a .333 average with a 1.088 OPS and 4 home runs over his last 10 games. A matchup against Dan Straily should only continue to improve these numbers. Straily has a brutal 1.40 WHIP and 4.96 xFIP, and his 44.7 percent hard-hit rate is the worst on the slate.
Joey Gallo ($4,900): Joey Gallo is all power. He strikes out too much, but his .341 wOBA and .266 ISO against right-handed pitching is always encouraging. The raw power that he brings to the plate is among the best in the Majors. He actually has a solid .283 average over his last 10 games, which is sky high for him. His 32 home runs are the fifth-most in the Majors. He's taking on Odrisamer Despaigne, who has pitched only 20.1 innings in 2018, but in that sample, he has an ugly 1.48 WHIP with a slate-worst 33.3 percent line-drive rate.
Brandon Belt ($4,200): Brandon Belt has crushed right-handed pitching this season, posting a .395 wOBA and .245 ISO in the split, and he is taking on Cincinnati Reds' Anthony DeSclafani, a pitcher with a horrendous 43.7 percent hard-hit rate. That combined with a 40.1 percent fly-ball rate and 194-foot average batted-ball distance has lead to an abysmal 19.5 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate for DeSclafani.
Kole Calhoun ($4,200): The second-half Kole Calhoun has been a completely different player compared to the first-half version. He started off with just a .242 wOBA and .132 ISO. In the second-half, Calhoun has an insane .453 wOBA and .344 ISO. There is a bit of an explanation as his BABIP went from .206 in the first half to .369 in the second half, so things are starting to level out. He's taking on Drew Hutchison, who has given up 7 home runs in just 29.2 innings, which bodes well for the second-half power of Calhoun.
Tommy Pham ($4,000): Tommy Pham has been a disappointment this season, but his 2017 numbers were really good. He was especially elite against left-handed pitching, a split in which he hit for a .405 wOBA and .260 ISO. This injury-filled season is a different story, though, as he has just a .320 wOBA and .165 ISO off of southpaws. However, his matchup against Boston Red Sox's lefty Brian Johnson is a solid one as Johnson has given up a 39.9 percent fly-ball rate along with an 88.6 mile-per-hour average exit velocity.
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.