FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Saturday 4/13/19
The beauty of daily fantasy baseball is that the top targets are different each and every day. Whether it's the right-handed catcher who destroys left-handed pitching or the mid-range hurler facing a depleted lineup, you're not going to find yourself using the same assets time after time.
While this breaks up the monotony, it can make it hard to decide which players are primed to succeed on a given day. We can help bridge that gap.
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.
If you need help getting started on that trek, here are some of the top options on the board today. We'll be focusing exclusively on the main slate.
Pitchers to Target
Justin Verlander ($10,500 on FanDuel): Verlander is the top arm on the board by a good distance, and he's priced as such -- exactly $2,000 more than any other probable pitcher. Following an absurd 2018 campaign (2.63 SIERA), Verlander's numbers have slipped a bit through his first 17 frames this year. Obviously, it's a small sample thus far, and his 3.97 SIERA, 25.0% strikeout rate and 13.0% swinging-strike rate are still pretty tasty. He takes those numbers into T-Mobile Park, which sat 28th a season ago in ESPN's Park Factor, to square off with the red-hot Seattle Mariners. The M's carry the slate's lowest implied total (3.42) while Verlander is a -198 moneyline favorite, making him the clear go-to option in cash.
Merrill Kelly ($8,300): After JV, ownership should be pretty spread out on the remaining hurlers as it's a pretty meh pitching slate other than Verlander. We've got a few juicy hitting spots we'd ideally like to get access to, so Kelly's salary is pretty appealing. Admittedly, the upside is a bit lacking, however, as he owns a mere 7.1% swinging-strike rate through his first 14 frames of 2019. The results have been nice, though. Kelly has two straight quality starts, including an eight-inning, nine-punchout, one-run effort versus the Boston Red Sox. His other quality start came against the San Diego Padres, the same team he'll see tonight. San Diego's .307 wOBA and 24.7% strikeout rate are numbers we can feel good about attacking.
Matt Strahm ($6,300): On the flip side of the Padres-Diamondbacks game, Strahm will get the ball for San Diego. A popular breakout pick this year, Strahm is carrying a 7.04 ERA through 7 2/3 innings while allowing a 65.5% hard-hit rate. It hasn't been all bad, though, as he's posted single-game swinging-strike rates of 10.8% and 10.3% in his two starts. Strahm put up a 28.2% strikeout rate and 12.6% swinging-strike rate in 61 1/3 innings last year, mostly out of the bullpen, so he's got the ability to miss bats. The floor here is scary, but if you're looking to pay down on the bump and go nuts with bats, you could do worse than Strahm.
Hitters to Target
Joc Pederson ($4,300) and Justin Turner ($4,100): Zach Davies has never finished a season with a swinging-strike rate above 8.4%, so even though he's usually done a pretty good job limiting hard contact, he's a guy we should look to stack against. That's especially true when he's facing a team like the Los Angeles Dodgers, who pace baseball with a .384 wOBA while having the third-lowest strikeout rate (18.4%). Pederson and Turner hit first and third, respectively, last night against a righty. Joc boasts a .465 wOBA, 55.9% hard-hit rate and 51.5% fly-ball rate in the split this year. Turner, meanwhile, has a .358 wOBA and 50.0% hard-hit rate off of right-handers so far this season.
Robbie Grossman ($3,200) and Stephen Piscotty ($3,500): The Oakland Athletics have a slate-best 5.29-run implied total for their sublime matchup against Adrian Sampson, the holder of a 4.90 SIERA and 14.1% strikeout rate across 37 1/3 career innings. Just in case that's not enough incentive for you, Sampson's strikeout rate was 15.8% over 126 2/3 innings last year at Triple-A. You need some A's in your life tonight, and you can craft a nice Oakland stack without breaking the bank. Grossman has been hitting leadoff against righties, and Piscotty has a 45.5% hard-hit rate in the split in the early going of this campaign.
Kendrys Morales ($2,600): Sticking with Oakland, Morales should be in the lineup today, and he was slotted fifth the last time they saw a righty. He's mashed his way to a 44.0% hard-hit rate against right-handers in this year's small sample, and he finished 2018 with a .365 wOBA and 43.3% hard-hit rate in the split. On the road, the A's get a huge park-factor boost today as Globe Life Park was the best run-scoring environment in the bigs last season.
Tyler O'Neill ($2,300) and Jose Martinez ($2,700): O'Neill was in the five hole last time out while Martinez hit cleanup. If either are in the lineup today, they'll be nice value options versus Tanner Roark in a game being played at hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park. Roark had a 19.2% strikeout rate and 8.4% swinging-strike rate in 180 1/3 innings last year. O'Neill has registered a 42.9% hard-hit rate with a 47.1% fly-ball rate against righties in his brief career. Martinez had a .360 wOBA and 41.0% hard-hit rate in the split in 2018.
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