DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Friday 9/14/18
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
Masahiro Tanaka ($11,600 on DraftKings): Obviously, Max Scherzer is the top-flight play tonight, but you can save $2,100 by dropping down to Masahiro Tanaka. Tanaka has some great numbers of his own, with a 25.2 percent strikeout rate, 1.09 WHIP and 3.44 xFIP. His 18.6 percent line-drive rate is also very good. The Toronto Blue Jays aren't a crazy strikeout team, but their 22.7 percent strikeout rate puts them 12th in the Majors against right-handed pitching, which is high enough for Tanaka to still put up a great game.
Jack Flaherty ($9,700): When you look at Jack Flaherty's strikeout rate, the only names higher than him are Scherzer, James Paxton and Robbie Ray. Then, comes Flaherty with a 29.9 percent strikeout rate. That's an elite number, and his 1.07 WHIP and 3.54 xFIP make him one of the best pitchers this evening, and although he doesn't have the best matchup against the Los Angeles Dodgers, he had a big game against them earlier in the season. In his one matchup against them, he went 6 innings with 10 strikeouts. Target the upside at this price tag.
Tyler Anderson ($6,400): He has been struggling lately, but Tyler Anderson has acceptable numbers on the season, especially considering how cheap he is. A 22.4 percent strikeout rate, 1.31 WHIP and 4.22 xFIP are not in any way great numbers, but they aren't horrendous for this matchup. He's taking on a San Francisco Giants team that has struggled immensely against left-handed pitching. They have a 22.8 percent strikeout rate -- eighth-highest in the Majors -- and have a .289 weighted on-base average (wOBA), which ranks 27th, and an 81 wRC+ that rates 28th in baseball.
Hitters to Target
Alex Bregman ($5,400): Talk about being on an absolute heater. Over his last 10 games, Alex Bregman has averaged 14.4 DraftKings points (DKpts). How? He has crushed 4 home runs, picked up 13 RBI, hit for a .378 AVG and put up a 1.381 OPS. Additionally, his success against left-handed pitching is elite, with a .415 wOBA and a .268 isolated power (ISO). Bregman's matchup against Ray is better than one might realize, too, as the lefty has given up a 44.9 percent hard-hit rate and 39.2 percent fly-ball rate, which has led to an 18.1 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate in 2018.
Didi Gregorius ($5,200): Left-handed pitchers get the benefit of a short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium, which bodes well for Didi Gregorius tonight. This is especially good for Didi, as not only does he have a solid .350 wOBA and .238 ISO against right-handed pitching, he's facing a very fly-ball heavy pitcher from the in the Jays' Marco Estrada. Estrada has a slate-worst and utterly brutal 56.4 percent fly-ball rate. Now, he does induce weak-ish contact, as indicated by his 30.7 percent hard-hit rate, but his average batted-ball distance is still 217 feet, which is also the worst on the slate. Given the short porch in right field, he could be in trouble.
Nick Castellanos ($4,800): He crushes left-handed pitching, but Nick Castellanos still has acceptable numbers against right-handed pitching, with a .333 wOBA and .195 ISO. He does have an elite matchup against the Cleveland Indians' Josh Tomlin, though. Tomlin has struggled this season in his 55.2 innings with a 1.51 WHIP and 5.40 xFIP. Additionally, he has a 39.9 percent hard-hit rate, 45.2 percent fly-ball rate, 90.1 mile-per-hour average exit velocity and a 210 foot average batted-ball distance, which has led to a slate-worst 23.4 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate. So, while Castellanos' numbers aren't the best, the matchup is fantastic.
Eugenio Suarez ($4,400): Among all hitters with at least 75 plate appearances against left-handed pitchers, Eugenio Suarez ranks fifth with a .463 wOBA. He also brings plenty of power against southpaws, sporting an elite .318 ISO. His matchup is against the Chicago Cubs' aging starter Cole Hamels. He has struggled this season despite a not-so-terrible 1.27 WHIP and 3.97 xFIP. He has given up a 42.2 percent hard-hit rate, 23.2 percent line-drive rate and an ugly 16.8 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate. Although his low 31.4 percent fly-ball rate should help, Suarez has the power to make him pay if he misses his spot.
C.J. Cron ($4,100): It is rare that we look to use Tampa Bay Rays hitters, but C.J. Cron brings some power against right-handed pitchers. Though his .321 wOBA leaves a lot to be desired, his .225 ISO is good enough to warrant consideration against the Oakland Athletics' struggling right-hander Edwin Jackson. Jackson has an ugly 4.77 WHIP to go along with a 36.3 percent hard-hit rate and 24.0 percent line-drive rate. His lack of strikeouts, at just 17.6 percent, works in Cron's favor as he strikes out at a mere 26.7 percent clip.
Ryan O'Hearn ($4,000): When you look at hitters that crush right-handed pitching, you wouldn't expect Ryan O'Hearn to lead the way among all of those with at least 50 plate appearances in that split. Well, he does and sits one spot ahead of Mike Trout. O'Hearn has an otherworldly .528 wOBA and .479 ISO against righties. and although his matchup against Jose Berrios isn't ideal, his success in this split puts him in play. Berrios has some solid numbers across the board, but it's his 38.5 percent fly-ball rate and resulting 13.3 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate that makes O'Hearn an interesting play in this spot.
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.