DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Friday 4/12/19

Carlos Carrasco is Friday's top arm as the Indians face the Royals. Which other players are in play for DFS tonight?

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

High-Priced Pitchers

Carlos Carrasco ($11,000 on DraftKings): For such a large slate (12 games), the pitching options aren't as satisfying as one would expect. Nevertheless, there are a few pitchers that stand out above the rest, and Carrasco edges out Patrick Corbin ever so slightly in that regard. Carrasco had a 29.5 percent strikeout rate in 2018 and the Cleveland Indians have had no trouble picking up the wins this season despite their very low run-scoring numbers. Their opponents -- the Kansas City Royals -- sit last in their division due to their horrific run differential. The Indians are -154 favorites this evening which should help keep Carrasco's ceiling high as the Royals do not strike out very much.

Patrick Corbin ($10,100): You could probably pick Corbin or Carrasco as the top dog tonight, but Corbin is a bit more volatile in my opinion, so while his Washington Nationals are larger favorites at -180, there may be a bit more blowup potential. Corbin had a high strikeout rate in 2018 at 30.8 percent, but his 41.7 percent hard-hit rate and 24.3 percent line-drive rate can be scary to see. In addition to the elite strikeout rate, he had an equally impressive 2.47 FIP which would indicate that his 3.15 ERA was a bit unlucky. Corbin has had one great and one average start this season, and we'll see what he can do against the Pittsburgh Pirates tonight.

Low-Priced Pitcher

Trent Thornton ($7,800): In his first two Major League starts, Trent Thornton has gone at least five innings, has thrown 75 or more pitches, and struck out at least seven hitters in each game, while only giving up five combined hits and two earned runs. He's off to an impressive start to his Major League career even though his two matchups were a bit on the easy side against the Indians and Tigers. Tonight, he'll take on the Tampa Bay Rays, who are off to an incredible -- if not improbable -- start, depending on who you ask. He will look to continue his good pitching and slow down the 10-3 Rays tonight at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.

Hitters to Target

High-Priced Hitters

Mookie Betts ($5,000): Betts is certainly off to a slow start to the season, but there is no reason to believe this will continue for much longer. Betts is one of the most elite hitters in the Majors, and tonight seems as good as any to start to turn things around. He'll take on Baltimore Orioles right-hander David Hess -- a pitcher that struggled last season. He gave up an ugly 46.5 percent fly-ball rate and a 197 foot average batted-ball distance to go along with a 32.2 percent hard-hit rate, which led to an abysmal 14.2 percent home run to fly-ball rate. This is where Betts thrives as his numbers against righties last season were incredible as he put up an absurd .436 weighted on-base average (wOBA) and .271 isolated power (ISO).

Joey Gallo ($4,900): Speaking of hitters that smash right-handed pitching, Joey Gallo's power against righties is matched by very few. While his .343 wOBA is solid, it is the .274 ISO that is most impressive. It looked as though Gallo was starting to improve in the batting average department, as he hit for a .239 average in the second half of last season, but to start 2019 his .189 average is more concerning. We will see if this continues, but the power is undeniable. This makes him a boom-or-bust candidate, but in the same breath, he is capable of giving you a double dong on any given night.

Edwin Encarnacion ($4,700): After a slow start the season, Edwin Encarnacion has caught fire with hits in eight straight games including four multi-hit games and a pair of four-RBI ones. Encarnacion has historically been a relatively splits-neutral hitter with a .373 wOBA and .229 ISO against lefties and a .363 wOBA and .235 ISO against righties. Tonight he'll take on extreme groundball pitcher Wade Miley, who gave up an insanely high 52.8 percent groundball rate in 2018 but also a 23.6 percent line-drive rate, which could bode well for Edwin's power if he can't get under the ball. Miley rarely gives up home runs, as his 0.33 HR/9 last season would indicate.

Value Hitters

Ozzie Albies ($4,200): Fresh off signing a highly-scrutinized contract yesterday, Ozzie Albies has a pretty good matchup against Zack Wheeler, who has struggled immensely this season. Wheeler has given up 11 earned runs and 8 walks in just 9.2 innings of work this season. While his second half of 2018 looked to be turning a corner, this rough start to 2019 is discouraging. Albies' numbers against righties weren't necessarily spectacular last season, with a .299 wOBA and .182 ISO, but if Wheeler continues to struggle it may not matter.

Marcus Semien ($4,200): What a great start to the 2019 season for Marcus Semien, who has hits in 15 of 17 games. He has put up a .323 average and .922 OPS with three home runs to date. Tonight, he has a very nice matchup against Drew Smyly, a guy who missed the entire 2017 and 2018 seasons after undergoing Tommy John Surgery. While he has only given up five earned runs over his first two starts, it has taken him 73 and 90 pitches just to complete three innings, which suggests he has quite a few kins left to work out.

Jeff McNeil ($4,100): While the majority of his hits going for singles, Jeff McNeil is hitting for a .353 average to start the season. While this kind of average is not sustainable, he did put up an elite .329 average in 248 plate appearances in 2018, so it is not out of the question that he continues to hit for an elite average. In 2018, the power wasn't really there, with just a .125 ISO against right-handed pitching, though he did have an elite .374 wOBA in this split. Atlanta Braves right-hander Kyle Wright will be the opposing pitcher tonight, but he only has 16 innings in the Majors, meaning there's a limited sample to go off of. His numbers in Double-A ball were just okay, with a 22.5 strikeout rate and a 3.34 FIP last season in 109.1 innings pitched. McNeil should take advatnage.

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.