DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Friday 5/3/19
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
Chris Sale ($9,900 on DraftKings): After a disastrous four starts to start the season for Chris Sale, he seems to have turned of a corner. We're only six starts in and just two have been good, but he has back-to-back 23-plus DraftKings points games with at least 8 strikeouts in each. This is not necessarily the best matchup as the Chicago White Sox have had plenty of success against left-handed pitching, but if Sale has turned things around then this price point is just way too cheap. His strikeout upside was elite and just last season he had a 38.4 percent strikeout rate.
Tyler Glasnow ($9,600): In 2018 Tyler Glasnow had a great 29.1 percent strikeout rate, but his 11.3 percent walk rate was ugly. Moving on to 2019, his strikeout rate is still up there at 27.7 percent but he has lowered his walk rate considerably, to 5.1 percent. He'll take on the Baltimore Orioles this evening — a team that has been middle-of-the-pack against right-handed pitching as indicated by their 21.2 percent strikeout rate (which ranks 8th best) and their .306 team weighted on-base average (wOBA), which ranks 21st best.
Robbie Ray ($7,500): This is going to be an extreme boom-or-bust play. Robbie Ray has shown an elite strikeout ability with a 27.9 percent career strikeout rate (31.4 percent in 2018). However, he gave up an abysmal 44.4 percent hard-hit rate and 38.5 percent fly-ball rate which led to a 17.4 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate last year. Those numbers are scary when you consider he is about to step on the mound in Coors Field. However, the Colorado Rockies have struggled against left-handed pitching this season. Their 28.0 percent strikeout rate is the fourth-highest in the Majors and their .292 wOBA against lefties ranks 23rd. Ray's price tag and elite strikeout upside makes him an intriguing option tonight.
Hitters to Target
Nolan Arenado ($5,500): Now, I did just recommend Ray as a possible option tonight. But, as noted above, there are plenty of warts in his game. That's where Nolan Arenado comes in to play. He absolutely destroys left-handed pitching and it's a player like him that could get Ray in to a lot of trouble tonight. In 2018, Arenado absolutely destroyed southpaws with an incredible .488 wOBA and a ridiculous .379 isolated power (ISO). Arenado's numbers are obviously even better in Coors Field so the upside is as high as anyone tonight.
Ketel Marte ($5,400): You might see this price tag and wonder how in the world can you pay $5,400 for Ketel Marte. Well, he has been completely dominant against left-handed pitching in both 2018 and 2019. Last season he had a .408 wOBA and .263 ISO against lefties and a .392 wOBA and overly impressive .350 ISO in 2019. These are great to see as Marte heads to Coors Field this evening to take on Rockies lefty Tyler Anderson. In 2018, Anderson struggled with a modest 33.5 percent hard-hit rate, but a 39.3 percent fly-ball rate combined with his hard-hit rate led to a 15.2 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate.
Bryce Harper ($4,600): This is a price-tag that is just too cheap for Bryce Harper. Now, he has had a troubling 28.6 percent strikeout rate and was even booed at home earlier in the week. Harper is certainly going to want to turn his season around and a matchup against Washington Nationals' Jeremy Hellickson is a great spot to get things going again. Hellickson is a groundball pitcher as indicated by his 45.9 percent groundball rate and he does so with just a 26.4 percent hard-hit rate. But he generates just an 8.3 percent stringing strike rate so that aspect of Harper's game should be less of a factor tonight.
Khris Davis ($4,200): Khris Davis continues to be under-priced considering his double-dong upside each and every game. His raw power is undeniable, and last season he put up fantastic numbers against right-handed pitchers. Davis is actually more successful against righties than he is against lefties, and in 2018 he put up a .374 wOBA and .315 ISO in the split. His matchup tonight really isn't that great against Joe Musgrove, though Musgrove doesn't pose a big strikeout threat, as his 2018 20.6% percent strikeout rate would indicate.
Brandon Belt ($4,100): Brandon Belt is bringing an insane amount of power against right-handed pitching this season. His career numbers against righties are decent with a .358 wOBA and .198 ISO, but this season he has taken it to another level so far. He has annihilated them with a .410 wOBA and .315 ISO over 64 plate appearances. He'll take on Sonny Gray, who had a horrific walk rate last year at 9.8 percent and is an extreme groundball pitcher at 50.0 percent. However, when the ball is hit in the air he gets in to trouble as his 13.3 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate would suggest.
Justin Turner ($4,000): I seem to keep falling for the Justin Turner trap, but tonight he's going to get a pretty terrible left-handed pitcher in Eric Lauer of the San Diego Padres. In 2018, Lauer had a 9.1 percent walk rate and just a 19.8 percent strikeout rate. In addition, he gave up a 39.8 percent hard-hit rate and 27.5 percent line-drive rate which will be difficult for him to get through unscathed against a guy like Turner who had an elite .433 wOBA and .244 ISO against lefties last season.
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.