DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Monday 4/29/19
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
Justin Verlander ($10,800 on DraftKings): This is not necessarily an ideal matchup as the Minnesota Twins have been a great offensive team this season. However, Justin Verlander had his way with them in his last start, striking out eight across eight innings while keeping his pitch count under 100. He was dominant last season with a 34.8 percent strikeout rate, which is the best mark on the slate. In addition, he held opponents to just a 29.1 percent hard-hit rate in 2018 and had a slate-best 2.63 SIERA.
Mike Soroka ($8,600): It is tough to say what we should expect from Mike Soroka in terms of his strikeout rate in the Majors. He has put up a respectable 26.5 percent strikeout rate in two starts this season, but his 18.6 percent strikeout rate in 2018 leaves a lot to be desired. The good thing is that he is taking on a San Diego Padres team that has a 27.0 percent strikeout rate against right-handed pitchers, which is the third-highest in the Majors. In addition, their .289 weighted on-base average (wOBA) against righties ranks 25th in all of baseball. It's a nice matchup, and Soroka is worth checking out if you're passing on the high-priced arms.
John Means ($7,000): This could be a bit of a risky play at this price point, and John Means was much more desirable at $5,200, which he was not too long ago. However, he threw 92 pitches over five innings in his last start, an outing in which he piled up six strikeouts. That is a lot of pitches to get through just five innings, so there could be issues of him picking up a win if his pitch count gets up there quickly. He'll once again face the Chicago White Sox, the team he saw in his last start. That could be a good thing considering he put up 22.3 DraftKings points in that one. Or, it could be a bad thing in that they are more familiar with Means now. It's a risky play, but there is certainly some upside at a relatively cheap price.
Hitters to Target
Charlie Blackmon ($4,900): Of course, his numbers are better in Coors Field, but his output against right-handed pitchers in general last season was solid as Charlie Blackmon put up a nice .376 wOBA and .235 isolated power (ISO). While neither mark is truly elite, it's the opposing pitcher that makes the matchup interesting for Blackmon. In 2018, Zach Davies gave up a 39.5 percent hard-hit rate and 13.1 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate. His 30.2 percent fly-ball rate was solid, but when he gave up fly balls, they left the park at a very high rate. Facing a low-strikeout righty, Blackmon is firmly in play.
Juan Soto ($4,800): Juan Soto came onto the MLB scene last year as a 19-year-old and was dominant. His numbers against right-handed pitchers would have been impressive for a seasoned veteran, but to smash the ball like he did as a 19-year-old rookie was incredibly impressive. He hit righties to the tune of an insane .401 wOBA and a .231 ISO last season. He'll have a pretty solid matchup tonight against St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Michael Wacha, who gave up an abysmal 42.7 percent hard-hit rate a year ago.
Alex Bregman ($4,700): Alex Bregman crushed right-handed pitching last season and has an absolutely delghtful matchup against Minnesota Twins right-hander Jake Odorizzi. In 2018, Bregman lit up righties for a .390 wOBA and .243 ISO. Odorizzi, on the other hand, was a disaster last season. He gave up a 36.5 percent hard-hit rate, 48.8 percent fly-ball, 88.0 mile-per-hour average exit velocity and 206-foot average batted-ball distance -- yet somehow gave up just an 8.9 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate. Odorizzi's batted-ball profile is one we want to attack.
Khris Davis ($4,300): Khris Davis has been a relatively splits-neutral hitter throughout his career, though he was much better against right-handed pitchers last season. Anyway, he'll take on Boston Red Sox left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez. This is still a fine matchup for Davis, who, in 2018, had a .265 ISO against southpaws, which is in line with his career numbers against lefties. This isn't an easy matchup though as Rodriguez was tough on righties a year ago, holding them to a .296 wOBA. That could keep Davis' ownership lower than it usually is versus a lefty, making him a nice GPP option.
Corey Seager ($3,900): Seager's price has plummeted. He has had some injury issues throughout his young career, but his numbers against right-handed pitchers speak for themselves. His .377 wOBA is great while his .198 ISO is also solid. His matchup tonight is with Jeff Samardzija. In his career, Samardzija has given a .331 wOBA to left-handed hitters along with a .449 slugging percentage, numbers that could get him in trouble in this matchup.
Brandon Nimmo ($3,900): Nimmo absolutely crushed right-handed pitching in 2018. His .407 wOBA and .246 ISO were elite marks, and although those numbers have dropped off a cliff in the early part of 2019, his 2018 sample is about five times as large, so we shouldn't get carried away with his slow start. He's taking on Tanner Roark, the owner of a meager 8.4 percent swinging-strike rate a season ago, a number that's fallen to 6.4 percent through 25 frames this year.
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.