DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Thursday 4/4/19
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
Trevor Bauer ($11,300 on DraftKings): We have a very small four-game slate tonight after having an equally small five-game main slate last night. With only eight pitchers to choose from, Trevor Bauer stands out by far among the rest. Last season, Bauer had an elite 30.8 percent strikeout rate, and while his 8.0 percent walk rate leaves a bit to be desired, it is not a number high enough to really be concerned about. In addition, he was incredibly good at keeping the ball inside the park with an absurdly low 6.2 home-run-to-fly-ball (HR/FB) rate despite an unflattering 34.4 percent fly-ball rate.
Jordan Lyles ($6,900): Finding a second pitcher tonight is tough and finding a low-priced one worth rostering is even tougher. Jordan Lyles spent most of last season in the bullpen as just 8 of his 35 appearances were starts. This saw his strikeout rate increase a bit to 22.6 percent, up from his career mark of 16.1 percent. This is likely a direct result from being used as a bullpen arm as opposed to as a starter. Lyles had an elite line-drive rate of just 17.1 percent, which is good to see as his 39.1 percent hard-hit rate could have caused him a lot of trouble if he wasn't giving up so many ground balls.
Hitters to Target
Joey Gallo ($5,100): Joey Gallo has so much power, but he also strikes out oh so much. However, his home run upside is massive and makes him a viable play in plenty of situations. He has absolutely smashed right-handed pitching so far in his career, and 2018 was no different. Gallo tuned up righties with a .343 weighted on-base average (wOBA) and an elite .274 isolated power (ISO). His opponent tonight is Los Angeles Angels' Matt Harvey, who struggled immensely in keeping the ball in the park in 2018. Harvey gave up a 38.9 percent hard-hit rate, 89 mile-per-hour average exit velocity and a 37.5 percent fly-ball rate, which led to a 15.1 percent HR/FB rate.
Freddie Freeman ($4,600): In Yu Darvish's first start of the season, he struggled more than anybody could have imagined with his control. Issuing 7 walks in just 2.2 innings is very concerning despite him striking out 4 in the process. This is a kind of matchup that Freddie Freeman should thrive in as his .388 OBP from 2018 was the 11th-best among all qualified hitters. In addition to getting on base, he had a .371 wOBA and .184 ISO against right-handed pitchers.
Jung Ho Kang ($4,100): He turns 32 tomorrow, but Jung Ho Kang has just 859 plate appearances in the Majors despite his age. While this is his first season back in North America since 2016, his power is evident. Technically, he had six plate appearances last season, but we're just going to ignore those. He led all of Spring Training with seven home runs, and while his first home run of the regular season came last night, the power is obvious. Tonight, he is going to face a pitcher in Cincinnati Reds' Tyler Mahle that struggled keeping the ball in the park. With his 36.3 percent fly-ball rate, 41.5 percent hard-hit rate and 88.4 mile-per-hour average exit velocity, he allowed an ugly 18.5 percent HR/FB rate.
Willson Contreras ($4,000): It is very rare to see a catcher written up here, though I have actually done this quite often in the early part of 2019. One reason is that they get rest from time to time outside of the Sunday afternoon games, so there is never a guarantee they are in the lineup. Anyway, Willson Contreras has been ridiculous in the very early part of 2019. It is just an insanely small 18 plate appearances, but he is 6 for 14 with 4 walks and a home run. However, he also had plenty of success against left-handed pitching in 2018 with a .356 wOBA and .196 ISO, which bodes well for him tonight as he faces Atlanta Braves' left-hander Max Fried.
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.