DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Wednesday 4/17/19
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
Cole Hamels ($9,400 on DraftKings): Apparently all Cole Hamels had to do was get out of Texas to rejuvenate his career. He was lit up in Texas in his first start of the year but was great in his last two, including one against the offensive powerhouse Milwaukee Brewers. He had a modest 23.3 percent strikeout rate in 2018, but he really struggled in other facets of the game, getting hit for a 41.9 percent hard-hit rate and a 17.5 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate. He'll face the Miami Marlins who have a .287 team weighted on-base average (wOBA) against left-handed pitchers this season.
Kevin Gausman ($8,600): It is certainly an ugly slate when it comes to pitching tonight, with Kevin Gausman coming in as the second most expensive pitcher. He had a very good walk rate last season at just 6.4 percent, but his 19.1 percent strikeout certainly left a lot to be desired. He takes on the Arizona Diamondbacks tonight — a team that's outperforming pre-season expectations. While Gausman will have his hands full tonight, he is showing an increased strikeout rate early in 2019, and this is still one of the better options on a slate that's lacking in effective pitchers.
Jeremy Hellickson ($7,100): He's had two starts this season, both against the Philadelphia Phillies, and one was a disaster while the other was great. So it's tough to say which Jeremy Hellickson will show up tonight. However, it's a matchup against the San Francisco Giants which should be one of the better ones in baseball. The Giants have scored just 54 runs in their 18 games, and while Hellickson didn't have the best strikeout rate in 2018, at 17.6 percent, he limited hard-contact to a slate-best 26.4 percent with a 45.9 percent ground-ball rate. This should lead to a successful game against a struggling offence.
Hitters to Target
Khris Davis ($5,000): Khris Davis leads the Majors with 10 home runs already, and he has been absolutely tearing a strip off the ball. Davis has been crushing left-handed pitching in the early part of 2019 with an unfathomable .510 wOBA and .625 isolated power (ISO). He is taking on Houston Astros left-hander Wade Miley who gave up a 37.1 percent hard-hit rate last season as well as a 23.6 percent line-drive rate. While Miley did post an elite 5.2 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate, Davis can take any pitcher yard so that doesn't concern me.
Jose Altuve ($4,900): For a hitter not really known for his power, Jose Altuve just had a five-game, six-home-run streak snapped. However, he is certainly known for a very high batting average. That is something that will benefit him tonight as he faces Oakland Athletics right-hander Frankie Montas. In 2018, Montas gave up a 46.1 percent hard-hit rate, 88.6 mile-per-hour average exit velocity and a 24.9 percent line-drive rate. This bodes well for Altuve who has put up a .417 wOBA and .271 ISO in the early part of the 2019 season.
Austin Meadows ($4,900): While Chris Archer has been fine for the Pittsburgh Pirates, I'm sure they are regretting giving up Austin Meadows based on his start to the season. Meadows has hit for a .350 batting average with 6 home runs, 17 RBI and a 1.126 OPS. In addition, he has multi-hit games in four of his last six, swatting four home runs in that time. Tonight he'll take on Baltimore Orioles right-hander David Hess. Hess struggled in 2018 giving up a 46.5 percent fly-ball rate and a 32.2 percent hard-hit rate which resulted in a 14.2 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate.
Freddy Galvis ($4,300): For a team that is devoid of many offensive hitters, Freddy Galvis has been a surprising breath of fresh air for the Toronto Blue Jays. Hitting 2nd in the order for the last little while, he has managed to put up a very nice .328 average with 5 home runs and a .969 OPS this season. Tonight he takes on Jake Odorizzi of the Minnesota Twins — a right-handed pitcher that in 2018 gave up a 36.5 percent hard-hit rate, 48.8 percent fly-ball rate, 88.0 mile-per-hour average exit velocity and a 206 foot average batted-ball distance.
Nick Markakis ($4,100): Nick Markakis doesn't really hit for power, but his .321 average in 2019 is fantastic. In addition, he has hit right-handed pitchers to the tune of a .372 wOBA and modest .195 ISO. The high average and wOBA is good in this matchup against Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Zack Godley, as Godley gave up a 38.4 percent hard-hit rate and a 23.0 percent line-drive rate in 2018. That is a recipe for disaster as a high line-drive rate typically leads to giving up more hits.
Justin Bour ($4,000): Justin Bour is probably a bit overpriced here, but the matchup is an intriguing one against Texas Rangers right-hander Lance Lynn. Bour has had plenty of success against righties and in 2018 he managed to put up a very solid .349 wOBA and .221 ISO. He's off to a slow start in 2019, but Lynn has given up a home run in two of his first three games. In 2018, Lynn struggled with a 10.9 percent walk rate, something that Bour is capable of taking advantage of. In 2019 he has an incredible 17.0 percent walk rate, and while that might not be sustainable, he also had an elite 14.6 percent walk rate in 2018.
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.