DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Thursday 9/27/18
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
Gerrit Cole ($12,800 on DraftKings): Gerrit Cole is expensive, but he is also so far and away the best pitcher on the slate, though fading him in tournaments might be a viable play. Cole has been exceptional in 2018, leading the slate in strikeout rate (35.1 percent), WHIP (1.03) and xFIP (2.98). He has been utterly dominant and has an elite matchup this evening against the Baltimore Orioles. They are a team that has a 23.5 percent strikeout rate against right-handed pitching, which is the eighth-worst mark. Additionally, they have a team weighted on-base average (wOBA) of .305, which is 24th.
Francisco Liriano ($6,300): Finding a lower-priced pitcher who is viable was pretty tough tonight given the limited options. However, Francisco Liriano has a decent matchup, and despite his numbers being not-so-great, he is in play. On the season, Liriano has just a 18.3 percent strikeout rate, and his 1.49 WHIP and 4.76 xFIP also leave a lot to be desired. But he has a modest 21.0 percent line-drive rate, solid 30.1 percent fly-ball rate and a 160-foot average batted-ball distance that is second-best on the slate. He's taking on a Minnesota Twins team that has a 22.2 percent strikeout rate against left-handed pitching, and their .300 wOBA in the split sits 22nd.
Hitters to Target
Ronald Acuna ($5,200): We could have went with Jason Vargas as the low-priced pitcher, because he has been pitching well as of late. But his season-long numbers aren't great, so he actually profiles better as a pitcher to pick on. Vargas struggles to generate strikeouts as indicated by his 20.5 percent strikeout rate. He has a horrendous 1.49 WHIP and 4.53 xFIP along with a 34.5 percent hard-hit rate and 39.1 percent fly-ball rate. This has led to a 17.8 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate, the second-worst mark on the slate. Ronald Acuna has had his way with left-handed pitching this season, sporting an elite .411 wOBA and .300 isolated power (ISO) with the platoon advantage.
Alex Bregman ($5,000): Alex Bregman has struggled as of late, hitting for just a .200 average along with 1 home run and 3 RBIs over his last 10 games. However, on the season, his numbers against right-handed pitching are insane with a .393 wOBA and .247 ISO in the split. Baltimore Orioles' righty David Hess will be Bregman's adversary this evening, and Hess has struggled in 2018. He has a 1.43 WHIP and a slate-worst 5.51 xFIP. Additionally, he has a 46.0 percent fly-ball rate, which doesn't bode well for Hess against Bregman and the power bats of the Houston Astros.
Ryan O'Hearn ($4,200): The regular season is coming to a close, and Ryan O'Hearn still has the top wOBA among all hitters with 100-plus plate appearances against right-handed pitchers. That is pretty fascinating. He is sporting an otherworldly .497 wOBA in 115 plate appearances against righties along with a sparkling 434 ISO, which also ranks first. His matchup against Cleveland Indians' righty Josh Tomlin is a fantastic one as Tomlin is sporting a 39.4 percent hard-hit rate, 45.1 percent fly-ball rate, 89.1 mile-per-hour average exit velocity and 206-foot average batted-ball distance -- all of which have contributed to a slate-worst 21.6 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate.
Mike Zunino ($3,600): Mike Zunino has been hitting surprisingly well as of late, with a .333 average over his last 10 games, which is much better than his season-long .204 clip. His wOBA (.307) against right-handed pitching indicates his poor hitting, but his .227 ISO in the split is what we're interested in. Ariel Jurado has just 48.2 innings under his belt in 2018, but the results aren't great. A 1.68 WHIP and 5.22 xFIP lead the way in terms of his disastrous numbers. He also has a slate-worst 44.6 percent hard-hit rate and 90.8 mile-per-hour average exit velocity.
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.