DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Friday 8/31/18

Mitch Haniger has an elite matchup against Oakland's Mike Fiers. Which other players should you consider on DraftKings tonight?

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

High-Priced Pitcher

Luis Severino ($11,300 on DraftKings): Luis Severino is the highest-priced pitcher on the slate, and it is probably justified because the New York Yankees host the Detroit Tigers and sit as -355 favorites, which is the largest on the slate. Severino has a 28.2 percent strikeout rate, 1.14 WHIP and 3.16 xFIP, which are all great, though he has struggled as of late. Over his last 10 games, Severino has given up 34 earned runs, including 12 home runs and averaged just 13.7 DraftKings points per game compared to a season average of 21.7 DraftKings points per game. This means he's not a safe option tonight, but with Detroit striking out at an above-average rate against righties, he has plenty of upside.

Corey Kluber ($10,300): This price seems incredibly cheap for a pitcher of Corey Kluber's caliber, despite his recent struggles. The Cleveland Indians are -215 favorites, which is the second-largest on the slate. That mark is well-deserved against the Tampa Bay Rays — despite their surprisingly solid offensive numbers against right-handed pitching, ranking 16th in wOBA and 11th in wRC+. They sit in the middle of the pack with a 22.1 percent strikeout rate, giving Kluber some solid fantasy value while sitting as such a big favorite.

Low-Priced Pitchers

Nick Pivetta ($7,900): Nick Pivetta has a pretty tough matchup against the Chicago Cubs this evening, but there are some reasons to believe that he has decent upside at this price. He has a 28.2 percent strikeout rate, which is tied for the third-best on the slate. Additionally he has the fourth-best xFIP, with a 3.28 mark. The Cubs are a great team, and they strike out at just a 21.0 percent clip (the 10th-lowest in the Majors), but, Pivetta has at least six strikeouts in six of his last eight games. That gives him the ability to make up for some of the earned runs he could give up against an offensive team like the Cubs.

Hitters to Target

High-Priced Hitters

Mike Trout ($5,900): The best player in baseball came back last week after missing about three weeks and, surprise, he's still awesome. While Mike Trout has some more success against right-handed pitching, his numbers against lefties are also elite. He has an insane .442 wOBA and an equally impressive .292 isolated power (ISO). Framber Valdez has just two Major League appearances, but they have both been solid going 4.1 innings in a long-relief role picking up 4 strikeouts and the win and a 5 inning start with 3 strikeouts and picking up the win. That small sample shouldn't scare you off a bat as strong as Trout's though.

Matt Carpenter ($5,400): Homer Bailey is a pitcher that we always look to target with our bats. He has a horrific 14.8 percent strikeout rate along with a 1.62 WHIP and 4.77 xFIP. Additionally, his 42.0 percent hard-hit rate and 34.4 percent fly-ball rate have led to an 18.1 percent home run to fly-ball rate, which is the second-worst mark on the slate. Matt Carpenter absolutely smashes right-handed pitching, with an elite .400 wOBA and .302 ISO, and looks to take advantage of the matchup with Bailey.

Manny Machado ($4,900): Zack Greinke is a great pitcher, and his numbers this season reflect that. He has a 1.05 WHIP and a 3.30 xFIP — nothing that is typically worth targeting. However, he does have a 40.3 percent hard-hit rate, 22.6 percent line-drive rate and a 15.0 percent home run to fly-ball rate. So there are some holes in his game that can be exploited. Manny Machado is a hitter that can exploit that, as he has been very successful against right-handed pitching this season, with a .384 wOBA and .248 ISO.

Value Hitters

Mitch Haniger ($4,400): Over his last 10 games, Mitch Haniger has been on fire. He's hitting for a .333 batting average with a 1.032 OPS, and his 4 home runs and 6 RBI in that stretch has helped him average 11.5 DraftKings points per game. He's taking on Oakland's Mike Fiers, who has a slate-worst 43.0 percent fly-ball rate. With an 89.0 mile-per-hour average exit velocity and 185 foot average batted-ball distance, he could be in trouble here. Haniger has also had plenty of success against right-handed pitching this season with a .370 wOBA and .234 ISO.

Justin Smoak ($4,100): As always, it has to be mentioned that although Justin Smoak is a switch-hitter, he has more success against right-handed pitching. He has a very solid .369 wOBA with a .249 ISO against righties. He has hit home runs in back-to-back games, and looks to continue this streak into the weekend against the Miami Marlins. The Marlins will be rolling with Dan Straily on the mound tonight, and he has struggled this season. Straily has an abysmal 5.00 xFIP with a 45.3 percent hard-hit rate, 26.0 percent line-drive rate and 40.7 fly-ball rate, which has resulted in a 15.0 percent home run to fly-ball rate.

Ryan O'Hearn ($3,900): Of all hitters with at least 50 plate appearances against right-handed pitching, Ryan O'Hearn leads the way with an insane .475 wOBA. Additionally, his .409 ISO shows that he brings some insane power in this split. O'Hearn also has an elite matchup tonight against Baltimore Orioles' Andrew Cashner — a pitcher that has struggled this season. Cashner has a lowly 15.8 percent strikeout rate with a 1.50 WHIP and a 4.96 xFIP. Additionally, his 22.3 percent lien-drive rate and 35.1 percent fly-ball rate don't bode well for him.

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.