DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Monday 5/6/19
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
Jacob deGrom ($10,200 on DraftKings): Jacob DeGrom won the National League Cy Young Award in 2018 with an absolutely dominant season. He put up an elite 32.2 percent strikeout rate and an absurdly low 1.70 ERA. However, DeGrom's 2.78 SIERA indicates that he probably got a bit lucky to keep an ERA as low as he did, but that does not discount how good a 2.78 SIERA still is. DeGrom has an elite matchup against the San Diego Padres -- a team with the highest strikeout rate against right-handed pitching, at 27.1 percent.
Max Scherzer ($10,000): It is a rare day when Max Scherzer is not the most expensive pitcher on the slate. It is even rarer when he is the third-most expensive. Well, tonight is full of aces, and Max checking in as the third-most costly arm may be due to the fact that he hasn't really had a classic Max season, though his 2.76 SIERA and 32.8 percent strikeout rate are still excellent numbers. The Milwaukee Brewers have a 26.1 percent strikeout rate against right-handed pitching, the fifth-highest in the Majors. They have a .317 wOBA in the split, which sits just 17th. There is plenty of strikeout upside for Scherzer tonight, and it shouldn’t shock anyone if he posts the slate’s top score.
Martin Perez ($6,600): Martin Perez is rarely a pitcher you have any interest in rostering, but there is certainly some intrigue tonight against the offensively inept Toronto Blue Jays. The Jays have a 24.7 percent strikeout rate against left-handed pitching, and Perez's 20.4 percent strikeout rate is a huge improvement on his ugly 13.1 percent mark in 2018. He’s also improved his soft-hit rate to 18.6 percent. The Blue Jays have a .286 wOBA against southpaws (24th-best) and the offensive struggles they’ve had make Perez an intriguing option at his dirt-chip cost.
Hitters to Target
Cody Bellinger ($5,700): The best hitter in baseball this season has been Cody Bellinger -- without question. His numbers against right-handed pitching have been otherworldly, posting a .592 wOBA and .493 isolated power (ISO) in the split. Those numbers are unthinkable and obviously unsustainable, but for right now, Bellinger is on another planet at the plate. He's got a matchup against right-hander Kevin Gausman, a pitcher who struggled last year. In 2018, he put up a modest 19.1 percent strikeout rate, and he's allowing a 42.9 percent fly-ball rate in 2019. This is a great matchup for the hard-hitting Bellinger.
J.D. Martinez ($5,100): J.D. Martinez absolutely destroyed left-handed pitching last season. He put up an elite .406 wOBA and .244 ISO in the split, and he is taking on lefty John Means tonight. Means has just 29.0 innings pitched in the Majors, so there is little reason to look at any of his numbers in that small sample. But the dominance Martinez has had against southpaws is enough reason to focus on him tonight, and J.D. is a great offensive building block today.
Alex Bregman ($5,000): The Houston Astros have been dominant at home with a 10-3 record, and they're hosting the Kansas City Royals, who sit last in the entire American League. On the mound for the Royals will be Jake Junis -- a pitcher who struggled last season. He gave up a 41.0 percent hard-hit rate and 37.1 percent fly-ball rate, which led to a brutal 16.2 percent home-run-to-fly-ball clip. Alex Bregman absolutely crushed righties last season, as his .390 wOBA and .243 ISO indicate, and he's a nice play for this one.
Matt Carpenter ($3,800): Matt Carpenter has been off to a very slow start for the St. Louis Cardinals this season. He has just a .295 wOBA and .134 ISO against right-handed pitching -- a stark contrast from last season, when he put up an incredibly dominant .385 wOBA and .280 ISO off of righties. Tonight he's going to have a great matchup against Vincent Velasquez, one of the more polarizing DFS. Velasquez has solid strikeout upside, but a 32.8 percent hard-hit rate along with a 40.8 percent fly-ball rate can get him in trouble. Carpenter's price being lower than $4,000 is pretty crazy given how excellent he was a season ago, and it's certainly worth taking advantage of his bargain cost.
Brandon Nimmo ($3,400): It's sort of crazy to think how incredible Brandon Nimmo was against right-handed pitching in 2018 and contrast that to how terrible he has been in 2019. Last season, Nimmo was a player you loved to use against righties as he produced a .407 wOBA and .246 ISO in 384 plate appearances in this split. In 2019, those numbers have fallen to a horrific .256 wOBA and .108 ISO. Now, his 2019 numbers are in just 98 plate appearances, but still, they have become so bad that it is a bit worrisome. The price tag is so low, he's worth a roll of the dice, though he does have a bit of a difficult matchup against Chris Paddack.
Starlin Castro ($3,000): This is the kind of value where you don't even need much out of Starlin Castro to be happy with him. Of course, you want something, but he is crazy cheap today. Castro has gone hitless in six straight games, which is discouraging, but he is taking on a pitcher who had a rough go of it in 2018 -- at least by advanced stats. Looking at last year's numbers, Cole Hamels has a slate-worst 41.9 percent hard-hit rate and a modest 31.6 percent fly-ball rate, which led to a 17.5 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate. Now, he has returned to form a bit this season, but in limited plate appearances, Castro has been great against lefties this year with a .450 wOBA and a .226 ISO. He's a fine dart throw at this salary.