DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Thursday 8/30/18
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
Justin Verlander ($12,000 on DraftKings): Justin Verlander is a standout tonight. Sure, he is the highest-priced pitcher at $12,000, but he also leads the slate with the following: a 33.1 percent strikeout rate, 0.94 WHIP, 3.28 xFIP and 29.3 percent hard-hit rate. That's pretty good, and it's a great reason as to why he's the most expensive pitcher. He has a difficult matchup against a Los Angeles Angels team that is in the bottom-third for strikeout rate against right-handed pitching as well as in the top-six in both team weighted on-base average (wOBA) and wRC+. But on a smaller slate, JV is certainly in play.
J.A. Happ ($10,000): J.A. Happ and the New York Yankees lead the slate as -311 favorites as they host the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers strikeout rate is just 20.6 percent, which is the sixth-lowest against left-handed pitching, although their wOBA and wRC+ are both among the bottom-12. Happ has some solid numbers this season with a 27.2 percent strikeout rate, 1.12 WHIP, 3.78 xFIP, 30.4 percent hard-hit rate and 16.6 percent line-drive rate. With a stout offense backing him up, he's in a great spot to pick up the win along with potentially some strikeouts.
German Marquez ($8,500): German Marquez has been amazing this season. He has a solid 25.1 percent strikeout rate and the second-best xFIP on the slate at 3.55. It's pitching in Coors Field that has hurt his numbers. He averages 21.1 DraftKings points on the road and just 12.9 points at home. Over his last 10 starts, he has put up at least 20 points in 9 of those games while striking out at least 8 batters in 6 of them and averaging 24.9 points over that span. He has a cupcake matchup against the San Diego Padres, who have a 25.8 percent strikeout rate against right-handed pitching -- the worst in the Majors.
Hitters to Target
J.D. Martinez ($5,800): J.D. Martinez absolutely crushes right-handed pitching. He has a .451 wOBA, which is the second-best clip among those with at least 50 plate appearances against righties. Additionally, he has an incredible .345 isolated power (ISO) in the split. He's got a fantastic matchup against Lucas Giolito, who has a 1.44 WHIP, 5.58 xFIP and average exit velocity of 89.1 miles per hour.
Ronald Acuna ($5,200): In his rookie season, Ronald Acuna has been as advertised. He's hitting for a .286 average with 21 home runs and 47 RBIs to go along with a .912 OPS. While he's been slightly better against right-handed pitching, his numbers after left-handed pitching have been solid, too. Acuna has a .376 wOBA and .270 ISO against southpaws and will look to continue that tonight against Mike Montgomery. Montgomery owns a slate-worst 14.4 percent strikeout rate along with a mediocre 1.34 WHIP and 4.45 xFIP.
Justin Turner ($4,900): While the power isn't elite, Justin Turner has had plenty of success this season against left-handed pitchers. In the split, he's put up an incredible .460 wOBA to go along with a .241 ISO. The Los Angeles Dodgers face Robbie Ray, a pitcher one wouldn't normally go out of their way to target. But Ray has really struggled everywhere outside of the elite strikeout upside he has. Ray has a 1.46 WHIP, 4.01 xFIP and 22.1 percent line-drive rate. Additionally, he has allowed a 42.7 percent hard-hit rate, 40.4 percent fly-ball rate, 89 mile-per-hour average exit velocity and 188-foot average batted-ball distance.
Evan Gattis ($4,100): Evan Gattis hasn't been hitting that great lately, so make sure he's in the Houston Astros' starting lineup. But given his production against left-handed pitchers, he should definitely be in the lineup as he has a .350 wOBA and an elite .293 ISO against southpaws. Tonight, the opposing pitcher is Andrew Heaney. The lefty has some pretty solid numbers, but his 39 percent hard-hit rate and 23.2 percent line-drive rate are worth targeting.
Ryon Healy ($3,700): Ryon Healy is often a cheap source of power on the Seattle Mariners. At just $3,700, he brings a .324 wOBA and .217 ISO against right-handed pitching, and while those numbers may not stand out too much, he's taking on Oakland Athletics' Frankie Montas, which is a great matchup. Montas has a slate-worst 47.4 percent hard-hit rate to go with a very ugly 26.3 percent line-drive rate. Those are numbers that can get one in trouble, especially when you combine those with his 1.46 WHIP and 4.56 xFIP. There are plenty of reasons to love the Mariners' bats tonight.
Mark Canha ($3,200): Although Mark Canha has crushed left-handed pitching this season, he has fallen out of favor in the starting lineup, so there is a chance he doesn't play. But his numbers against lefties are superb as he has an incredible .394 wOBA and .315 ISO. Wade LeBlanc owns a 42.2 percent fly-ball rate and 186-foot average batted-ball distance, so he's worth targeting tonight.
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.