DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Thursday 5/9/19

Gary Sanchez is in a phenomenal spot on tonight's short slate. Which other players should you consider?

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

High-Priced Pitcher

Mike Soroka ($9,000 on DraftKings): Tonight's pitching is quite difficult as there are a few solid pitchers on the slate, but they all have relatively difficult matchups. Mike Soroka has been ridiculous this season, though. He's put up 24-plus DraftKings points in three of his four starts, struck out six or more batters in all four, and has allowed just three earned runs total this season. He does not have an easy matchup against the Arizona Diamondbacks tonight, but he has pitched incredibly since being called up to the Majors in mid-April, and we can try and ride this out.

Value Pitcher

Joe Musgrove ($7,300): Another solid pitcher in a difficult matchup is Joe Musgrove. He'll take on the St. Louis Cardinals this evening as he looks to try and get back to his early-season success. In his first three starts, he had six or more strikeouts and logged over six innings in each, all while allowing just two earned runs. Since then, he has yet to break 20 DraftKings points in his most recent three starts, including getting shelled for five earned runs in 2.2 innings in his last start against the Oakland Athletics. Musgrove had an elite walk rate in 2018, which actually leads the slate at 4.7 percent rate, and while his 20.6 percent strikeout rate wasn't the best, he had a respectable 11.4 percent swinging strike rate.

Hitters to Target

High-Priced Hitters

Gary Sanchez ($5,300): Gary Sanchez has brought all of the power this season. He has already hit 11 home runs in just 91 plate appearances, and after a disastrous 2018 season, he has brought his OBP back up to his career norm. He has completely destroyed right-handed pitching this season with an elite .406 wOBA and an unfathomable .408 isolated power (ISO). Tonight, he's going to take on Mike Leake, who cannot strike anybody out with just a 15.2 percent strikeout rate last season, which bodes well for Sanchez as he has a career strikeout rate of 24.2 percent.

Freddie Freeman ($4,600): A typical 20-25 home run hitter, Freddie Freeman doesn't bring as much power against right-handed pitching as you would think. While his .371 wOBA in 2018 was solid, he had "just" a .184 ISO. This season, those numbers are eerily similar with a .378 wOBA and .184 ISO, so we know what to expect from him. Tonight, he'll take on Luke Weaver of the Arizona Diamondbacks, a pitcher that struggles to keep the ball in the park. He gave up a 36.0 percent hard-hit rate and 35.5 percent fly-ball rate in 2018, which led to a 12.7 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate.

Value Hitters

Gregory Polanco ($3,700): This is a dirt cheap price for a hitter that was very successful against right-handed pitching in 2018. Gregory Polanco put up solid .360 wOBA and a .265 ISO in this split and has an interesting matchup against Michael Wacha. Wacha struggled last season, giving up a crazy 42.7 percent hard-hit rate and a 29.5 percent line-drive rate, which certainly explains his very poor 4.60 SIERA despite a 3.20 ERA. Wacha has given up 16 earned run over his last four starts and could be in trouble again this evening.

Yulieski Gurriel ($3,100): Another player that seems to be way underpriced, given their matchup, is Yuli Gurriel. While it looks like Mike Minor's adjustments are real, he was still somebody that gave up a 37.9 percent hard-hit rate and 44.9 percent fly-ball rate in 2018, which led to a 12.1 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate. In addition, his 4.53 xFIP is among the worst on the slate, and you can argue that he got lucky, as well, considering his .259 BABIP. Gurriel put up a .382 wOBA and .188 ISO against lefties last year, so hopefully the 2018 versions of each of these players come out tonight.

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.