DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Tuesday 5/7/19
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
Jose Berrios ($10,400 on DraftKings): After seeing what left-hander Martin Perez did to the Toronto Blue Jays last night — seven innings, nine strikeouts and just two hits — it is exciting to think of what a high-strikeout pitcher in Jose Berrios could do. While the Blue Jays struck out a lot against left-handed pitchers, they also strike out a ton against righties. The Jays have a 26.9 percent strikeout rate against righties this season and Berrios' 25.4 percent strikeout rate provides plenty of upside in this matchup.
Noah Syndergaard ($10,100): Despite the New York Mets losing 4-0, Jacob deGrom was great last night against the San Diego Padres. The matchup is very similar for Noah Syndergaard this evening. The Padres have struck out the most in the Majors against right-handed pitching with a 27.1 percent strikeout rate. Last season, Thor was a solid strikeout pitcher with a 24.1 percent strikeout rate and a slate-best 21.9 percent hard-hit rate. He also has the third-best SIERA on the slate at 3.55.
Jalen Beeks ($7,100): Jalen Beeks is expected to come in as a long-relief pitcher today with Ryne Stanek projected to start. Beeks has put up 24-plus DratKings points in back-to-back relief appearances, striking out at least six in the process. I feel that he could go underowned in this matchup because he is not listed as a starter. Beeks had a 33.0 percent strikeout rate in Triple-A ball last season with a 18.8 percent strikeout rate in 50 big league innings. So far in 2019 his strikeout rate has been a bit better at 24.1 percent in just 25 innings, but there is plenty of upside against a Arizona Diamondbacks team that was dominated by southpaw Blake Snell last night.
Hitters to Target
Nolan Arenado ($5,600): Oh look, we have a Coors slate tonight as the Colorado Rockies host the San Francisco Giants. The Giants will have former ace Madison Bumgarner on the mound tonight — a pitcher that is having a roller coaster season. Bumgarner is not the elite ace that he was just a couple years ago, and given Nolan Arenado's complete dominance against southpaws last season, there are reasons to love him in this matchup. He put up an incredible .488 weighted on-base average (wOBA) and a .379 isolated power (ISO) against lefties in 2018 and playing in Coors Field will just inflate those numbers even more.
Brandon Lowe ($5,000): Brandon Lowe has taken a big step forward this season, especially against right-handed pitching. Last season Lowe had a respectable .344 wOBA and a .196 ISO whereas in 2019 those numbers have taken a big step forward to a .407 wOBA and a .275 ISO. His numbers this season have been elite and given that the plate appearances are about the same in each season, both of which are 100-plus. Arizona Diamondbacks will have Taylor Clarke making just his second career appearance and first career start which bodes well for Lowe.
Nelson Cruz ($4,800): Nelson Cruz is on pace for his best on-base percentage since he became a regular player in the Majors, rocking a .393 mark to start his Minnesota Twins career. A lot of this is due to the fact that he is only a designated hitter. In 2018, he didn't play his first game in the field until the end of August and in 2017 he made just five starts in the field. Last season was a clear down year for Cruz, putting up his worst batting average in almost 10 years, but he's hitting .304 right now (compared to a .275 career-average). In addition, he has hit for a .409 wOBA and .276 ISO against right-handed pitching this season.
Yulieski Gurriel ($3,700): Danny Duffy has become a complete disaster in the Majors. Last season, he had a horrendous 38.0 percent hard-hit rate, 42.6 percent fly-ball rate, an 88.2 mile-per-hour average exit velocity and 192 foot average batted-ball distance which led to a 11.4 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate. In addition, he had a brutal 10.1 percent walk-rate and struggled with a 20.4 percent strikeout rate. He'll take on a powerful Houston Astros offence tonight and Yuli Gurriel is a nice and cheap price. Gurriel doesn't bring that much power necessarily, but his .382 wOBA and .188 ISO against southpaws last season were great. While the 30 plate appearance sample size is very small, those numbers have been even better this year with a .413 wOBA and .250 ISO against lefties.
Joey Votto ($3,500): What in the world happened to Joey Votto? This is a hitter known for making constant adjustments to make himself a better hitter but perhaps he is spending a bit too much time changing things up. He is on pace to have back-to-back seasons hitting under .300 and posting an on-base percentage under .400 for the first time in over a decade. Despite his lack of power, he still had an elite .385 wOBA against right-handed hitting last season — a number that is down to a .327 wOBA in 2019. He has a matchup against a pitcher that struggles to keep the ball in the park. Oakland Athletics' Mike Fiers gave up a 39.1 percent hard-hit rate and 43.2 percent fly-ball rate which led to a 14.1 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate last season so perhaps this bargain-priced Votto get get something going.
Travis Shaw ($2,900): This value section is full of players that were good or great in 2018 and struggling in 2019. Against righties last season, Travis Shaw completely dominated with a .374 wOBA and a very powerful .285 ISO. This season, those numbers have been a nightmare with a .287 wOBA and a .176 ISO, so it is no wonder that he is priced way down under $3,000. He has a tough matchup against Stephen Strasburg — but Strasburg is an ace that gives up home runs. He had a 15.7 percent home run-to-fly-ball rate and with a 34.1 percent fly-ball rate, there is some upside with Shaw tonight if he can bring his 2018 power to the plate.
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.