DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Friday 9/7/18
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
Blake Snell ($12,400 on DraftKings): Blake Snell has been an elite pitcher this season, with a 29.9 percent strikeout rate, 1.01 WHIP and 3.36 xFIP. Additionally, he has a very low 19.1 percent line-drive rate against. He's got a solid matchup against the Baltimore Orioles tonight, despite the fact that his one earlier start against them was brutal. However, Snell and the Tampa Bay Rays are -235 favorites, which is the largest on the slate. The Orioles only strikeout at a 21.8 percent clip against left-handed pitching, but with the high strikeout rate that Snell brings to the table, he shouldn't have any issues there.
Aaron Nola ($11,800): Aaron Nola has been low-key incredible this season. While his 26.5 percent strikeout rate isn't the best -- albeit quite solid -- he leads the slate with an 0.97 WHIP and also leads the way with an elite 24.6 percent hard-hit rate. He's taking on the New York Mets, who have just a 21.8 strikeout rate against right-handed pitching which does leave a lot to be desired. The Mets also generate offense at a league-average rate against righties compared to their brutal numbers against left-handed pitching, but with how well Nola has pitched tonight this is still an elite matchup for him.
Chris Archer ($7,300): Ah, Chris Archer. He used to be an elite strikeout pitcher that would get himself into trouble, but the amount of strikeouts he could pile up certainly helped mitigate any runs allowed. Well his strikeout rate has dropped to a 24.2 percent rate, and he has a 1.41 WHIP and 40.4 percent hard-hit rate, all of which are troubling. However, he's taking on a Miami Marlins team that has as 22.4 percent strikeout rate, which is 14th and about league-average against righties, but their 86 wRC+ is 25th in the Majors and their team weighted on-base average (wOBA) of .293 is 28th, so they struggle to generate offense even if they aren't necessarily striking out.
Hitters to Target
Max Muncy ($5,600): Max Muncy has completely torn a strip off the baseball when facing right-handed pitching with an elite .401 wOBA and .343 isolated power (ISO). Tonight, he gets this split in Coors Field, which only maximizes his power. Now, the matchup is against the Colorado Rockies' Jon Gray, a solid option in his own right. However, there are a couple numbers worth noting that Muncy can hopefully exploit given that Gray has a 22.9 percent line-drive rate and a more notable 15.4 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate. Giving up fly-balls in Coors Field is troublesome, so if Muncy can get the ball in the air, hopefully it soars out of the park.
Matt Carpenter ($4,800): Going after a lefty-lefty matchup is not usually an ideal situation, but Matt Carpenter has been crushing left-handed pitching this season, and that it is pretty tough to ignore. Carpenter has an elite .394 wOBA and .296 ISO against southpaws. Plus, his matchup against Daniel Norris is an elite one as Norris has a horrible 42.3 percent hard-hit rate, 41.2 percent fly-ball rate, a 90.7 mile-per-hour average exit velocity and 202 foot average batted-ball distance, all of which have lead to a slate-worst 19.0 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate.
Edwin Encarnacion ($4,700): Edwin Encarnacion was a fan favorite in Toronto and will once again face them as a member of the Cleveland Indians. He'll take on the Toronto Blue Jays' Marco Estrada, who has struggled immensely this season. He has a 1.41 WHIP, 5.69 xFIP and a slate-worst 55.7 percent fly-ball rate. While they don't go for home runs that often -- at just an 11.3 home-run-to-fly-ball rate, his 217 foot average batted-ball distance certainly could get him in trouble against Encarnacion, who has a .347 wOBA and .256 ISO against right-handed pitching.
C.J. Cron ($4,200): Over his last 10 games, C.J. Cron has 3 home runs and a solid .289 average. Not great, but considering his season average is .253, it's an increase. Against right-handed pitching, Cron has been solid with a .329 wOBA, but a .232 ISO is definitely something that raises his ceiling. He's got a good matchup against Dylan Bundy, who has some holes in his game. Bundy has a 1.40 WHIP, which just scratches the surface of some of his poor numbers. A 46.6 percent fly-ball rate combined with an 89.1 mile-per-hour average exit velocity and 201 foot average batted-ball distance make him a pitcher to target hitters against.
Francisco Cervelli ($3,800): It's rare to see a catcher recommended here, but Francisco Cervelli is pretty cheap and while he doesn't bring much power, he can definitely make some contact and get on base, which we can hope will lead to both RBI and runs. He has a solid .373 wOBA but just a .188 ISO against right-handed pitching, and while he has a .303 average over his last 10 games, that has only resulted in 2 RBI and a 5.5 DraftKings points per game average. He has an elite matchup against Dan Straily, who has a 1.32 WHIP, 5.01 xFIP and a 46.8 percent hard-hit rate. Additionally, his 25.3 percent line-drive rate bodes well for Cervelli.
Kyle Seager ($3,100): Let's be honest for a second here. Kyle Seager has been pretty bad this season, and against right-handed pitching, he has a horrific .263 wOBA and a .185 ISO. In 2017, his numbers were a bit better, but in all honesty, they aren't that great either (.327 wOBA and a .199 ISO). That's better than 2018, but not by that much. Seager does have 20 home runs this season so he can knock the ball out of the park which is what we're hoping for here at just $3,100. Luckily, he's facing a home run prone hitter in Masahiro Tanaka, who has an 18.3 percent home-run-per-fly-ball rate, which is the second-worst on the slate. With a 37.6 percent hard-hit rate and 34.5 percent fly-ball rate for Tanaka, one can hope Seager can get a hold of one or at least drive in some runs.
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.