DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Wednesday 4/3/19
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 ($11,400 on DraftKings): Gerrit Cole stands out as the top pitcher by far on this short five-game slate. He leads the slate with a 34.5 percent strikeout rate and 2.91 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA). His walk rate wasn't the best at 8.0 percent, but the rest of his numbers were so good that we can let that slide. He'll be facing the Texas Rangers in Arlington Park, which is great for hitters, but Cole's 14.1 percent swinging strike rate from 2018 gives him elite upside as his strikeouts should mitigate any earned runs that he allows.
Miles Mikolas ($7,200): Things must be bleak when a pitcher that does not strike anybody out is one worth considering. Mikolas is pretty cheap, and on a short slate he is absolutely in play. He has a lowly 18.1 percent strikeout rate, which is the second-lowest among starters on the slate, but he also has an elite and slate-best 3.6 walk rate as well as 49.3 ground-ball rate. He has a modest hard-hit rate of 32.6 percent, which is encouraging because often high ground-ball numbers come with lots of hard contact. Tonight he'll take on a Pittsburgh Pirates team that does not have many bats that one would be scared of.
Hitters to Target
Javier Baez ($5,300): Javier Baez completely broke out in 2018, and he's off to a quick start in 2019. Last season he completely smashed right-handed pitching with a .361 weighted on-base average (wOBA) and an absurd .263 isolated power (ISO). Lucky for him he gets to take on a right-handed pitcher coming off a down year tonight. Julio Teheran gave up a 36.5 percent hard-hit rate and a 41.9 percent fly-ball rate, which led to a 13.5 percent home run to fly-ball rate last year. With Baez's power, this is a premium matchup for him.
J.D. Martinez ($5,100): Speaking of power against right-handed pitching, J.D. Martinez is among the best. He put up numbers in 2018 that very few can compare to. A .434 wOBA and .315 ISO against righties are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the success that Martinez had in 2018. Tonight he's facing Marco Estrada, who tends to struggle with preventing opposing hitters from going yard. While his 29.9 percent hard-hit rate is decent, he relies on weak fly-balls to limit opponents' production, which doesn't work well against a hitter like Martinez. Estrada had an insane 55.6 fly-ball rate and 214 foot average batted-ball distance in 2018, allowing an average of 1.82 home runs per nine innings. When you consider his slate-worst 5.45 SIERA from 2018, his weak fly-ball strategy clearly didn't work well.
Enrique Hernandez ($4,200): For most of his career, Enrique Hernandez has been platoon player. In the early parts of this season, he has started all but one game including matchups against both left-handed pitchers and right-handed pitchers, so there is reason to believe he may end up being more than just a starter against southpaws.That's not a concern tonight though, as he faces San Francisco Giants left-hander Derek Holland. Hernandez has a career .362 wOBA and .223 ISO against lefties compared to just a .292 wOBA and .162 ISO against righties. Holland gave up a 24.4 percent line drive rate and 38.8 percent hard-hit rate in 2018, which is a recipe for trouble against a solid bat like Hernandez.
Yulieski Gurriel ($4,200): The Houston Astros have struggled offensively to start the season, scoring just 15 runs in 6 games. Tonight could be the night they turn things around, as they draw a matchup against Rangers' left-hander Mike Minor. Minor struggled in 2018, giving up a 37.9 percent hard-hit rate, 44.9 percent fly-ball rate and a 194-foot average batted ball distance, which led to a 12.1 percent home run to fly-ball rate. This bodes well for Yuli Gurriel, who put up a .382 wOBA and .188 ISO against lefties in 2018. While the power isn't necessarily there, being a career .290 hitter should still give him plenty of upside in a high-powered offense.
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.