DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Tuesday 9/25/18
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 ($12,800 on DraftKings): When a pitcher as dominant as Max Scherzer is on the mound, you try your best to get him into your lineup. It's that simple. He has a slate-best 34.6 percent strikeout rate, 0.92 WHIP and a 3.06 xFIP. Additionally, his 29.4 percent hard-hit rate and 18.1 percent line-drive rate are among the best of his peers tonight. The Washington Nationals are far and away the largest favorite on the slate, at -390, as they take on a Miami Marlins team with a slate-low 2.63 implied runs.
Walker Buehler ($11,700): The Dodgers are -215 favorites, which is second only to Scherzer and the Nationals, so a win should help pay off the steep salary he carries. He has a solid 28.9 percent strikeout rate with an elite 0.98 WHIP and a 3.04 xFIP. He's also got one of the best line-drive rates on the slate, at just 18.8 percent. He's got a great upside matchup, too, against the Arizona Diamondbacks, who strike out at a 24.2 percent clip against right-handed pitching and have a .300 weighted on-base average (wOBA) -- 26th -- and an 80 wRC+ that ranks 29th in the Majors.
Touki Toussaint ($7,500): Touki Toussaint has a strikeout rate -- 23.5 percent -- that is worth targeting, but he does have some serious walk issues. Over his last 12.1 innings pitched, he has walked 12 batters. That's, uh, not good. However, he also has a solid 31.6 percent hard-hit rate, 17.9 percent fly-ball rate, and slate-bests in a 83.3 mile-per-hour average exit velocity and 131 foot average batted-ball distance. Now, he has just 23 innings pitched this season, but a matchup against the New York Mets isn't terribly intimidating despite being an underdog (+134). Toussaint hasn't been great in the Majors yet, but his 28.1 percent strikeout rate and 3.16 xFIP in Triple-A are encouraging. He could put in a solid performance on the road tonight.
Hitters to Target
Mike Trout ($5,800): Against right-handed pitchers, Mike Trout has an absolutely dominant .456 wOBA and .338 isolated power (ISO) this season. He does have some interesting numbers over his last 10 games. His .257 AVG is much lower than his season-long average of .314, but he has hit five home runs over that stretch while picking up nine RBI. His matchup against the Texas Rangers' Yovani Gallardo is a premium one as Gallardo has a 1.67 WHIP, which is the second-worst on the slate, a 5.25 xFIP -- third-worst -- and a 37.2 percent hard-hit rate, which has contributed heavily to his 15.6 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate.
Trea Turner ($5,400): Trea Turner is not typically somebody I write up because he has just a .327 wOBA and .144 ISO against right-handed pitching. However, he still contributes across the board and is a solid option on any given night. He's been on fire over his last 10 games as he has averaged 13.5 DKpts per game. Considering he has just one home run and five RBI, it just goes to show how he contributes in other aspects, as evidenced by 5 stolen bases, a .366 AVG on the back of 15 hits, and 11 runs.
Max Muncy ($5,300): The Los Angeles Dodgers and their 4.97 implied run total are just fifth on the slate, which is a little surprising considering their matchup against Arizona Diamondbacks' Matt Koch. Koch has a decent 1.24 WHIP, but that is where the good numbers end. He has an ugly 4.71 xFIP, 45.5 percent hard-hit rate, 34 percent fly-ball rate and 89.8 mile-per-hour average exit velocity, which has led to a slate-worst 20.0 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate. Max Muncy is in a great spot, considering he has crushed righties to the tune of a .412 wOBA and .325 ISO this season.
Nelson Cruz ($4,300): I always talk about Nelson Cruz being underpriced given his upside, and although he has had a tough season, he is still underpriced at $4,300 against a left-handed pitcher. Cruz has handled southpaws quite well this season, putting up a .379 wOBA and an equally impressive .277 ISO. The matchup against Brett Anderson is solid, as Anderson has a slate-worst 12.8 percent strikeout rate, which works in Cruz's favor. His 1.23 WHIP and 4.06 xFIP are both good-not-great, and the Seattle Mariners 4.21 implied run total is about middle-of-the-pack for the evening. That could lead to low ownership for a guy that could go long more than once.
Miguel Andujar ($4,300): Miguel Andujar has one of the best matchups of the night despite the fact the New York Yankees have "just" a 4.51 implied run total. He'll be taking on Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Jacob Faria. Faria has been pretty brutal this season, with a 1.40 WHIP and 5.46 xFIP. Additionally, he has given up a 35.3 percent hard-hit rate, 21.9 percent line-drive rate, 43.9 percent fly-ball rate, 89.3 mile-per-hour average exit velocity and a 196 foot average batted-ball distance. In 2018, Andujar has been dominant against righties to the tune of a .367 wOBA and .220 ISO.
Jurickson Profar ($4,100): Matt Shoemaker has just 23 innings under his belt in 2018, but they haven't been great. Although he has a 5.48 ERA, his 3.71 xFIP does indicate he may be getting unlucky. He has a 1.35 WHIP, 50.0 percent hard-hit rate and 92.4 mile-per-hour average exit velocity -- the latter two numbers being slate-worsts. Obviously, we need to realize this is a very small sample size, but Jurickson Profar is still in a great spot given his success against right-handed pitching. The switch-hitter has a solid .343 wOBA and .219 ISO against righties.
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.