DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Tuesday 5/14/19
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 ($10,800 on DraftKings): Remember the struggles that Chris Sale had to start the season? Well, we can safely say those are long behind him. Over his last four starts, he has accumulated 42 strikeouts, allowed just five earned runs, and scored 23-plus DraftKings points in each of those games. Tonight he's got a home matchup against a Colorado Rockies team that has been decent against left-handed pitchers but still strikes out at a 25.7 percent clip in the split. In addition to that, their .280 weighted on-base average on the road ranks 27th.
Charlie Morton ($10,500): In 2018, Charlie Morton had a very good 28.9 percent strikeout rate, although his 9.2 percent walk rate was a little concerning. His strikeout rate is up to 30.4 percent this season, but his walk rate has jumped, as well, up to 11.4 percent. Luckily, he has a great matchup tonight against the Miami Marlins. The Marlins lead baseball with a 27.1 percent strikeout rate against right-handed pitching, and they rank dead last with a .262 wOBA in the split.
Trent Thornton ($7,300): Trent Thornton has a solid 24.7 percent strikeout rate, but his 40.8 percent hard-hit rate and 31.7 percent line-drive rate is worrying. He has had a bit of a roller coaster of a season as he has had three starts with seven-plus strikeouts but also has four starts in which he has allowed four-plus earned runs. His 10.1 percent walk rate is an eyesore, as well. In short, there's a reason he's priced where he's priced. But he's in a good spot today thanks to a matchup against a brutal San Francisco Giants offense in a very pitcher-friendly park. The Giants have the 11th-worst strikeout rate (24.1 percent) and 25th-best wOBA (.293) wOBA.
Hitters to Target
J.D. Martinez ($5,300): Last season, J.D. Martinez was more successful against right-handed pitching than he was versus lefties, but so far in 2019, his numbers against lefties have been otherworldly. Now, the sample size is just 35 plate appearances, so we have to be careful here, but he's got a .580 wOBA and .567 isolated power (ISO) with the platoon advantage. A year ago, he had a .406 wOBA and .244 ISO against lefties. Tonight he'll take on Kyle Freeland, the owner of a 4.35 SIERA last season, which was significantly worse than his 2.85 ERA.
Adalberto Mondesi ($5,300): A player many were hyping for season-long drafts heading into this season, Mondesi has been pretty good so far. He is a switch-hitter with a .298 wOBA and .196 ISO against lefties this year and a .347 wOBA and .241 ISO against righties. While the power is mediocre -- just five home runs this year -- it is his 13 stolen bases that give him incredible upside. He'll take on Shelby Miller of the Texas Rangers. Both Miller and the Rangers' bullpen are terrible, so the Kansas City Royals have full-game upside in this spot.
Domingo Santana ($4,800): After struggling considerably against left-handed pitchers last season (.232 wOBA and .121 ISO), Santana has completely crushed them this season (.429 wOBA and .382 ISO). Both sample sizes are small as 2018 was just 65 plate appearances and we've got just 38 plate appearances in the split so far in 2019, but there is plenty of reason for optimism tonight. He's going to take on Oakland Athletics' left-hander Brett Anderson -- a pitcher with a lowly 14.1 percent strikeout rate. Anderson gives up only a 24.8 percent fly-ball rate, but when he does give up fly balls, they often leave the park as his 15.2 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate indicates.
Max Kepler ($3,800): Los Angeles Angels' right-hander Cam Bedrosian will serve as an opener for tonight's game with Felix Pena coming in as the long-reliever. Pena is expected to come in after the first inning and that's when the Minnesota Twins can start to dominate. Pena gave up an ugly 40.1 percent hard-hit rate last season and while his 33.3 percent fly-ball rate wasn't terrible, his 13.3 percent home-run-to-fly-ball clip was. Kepler has been solid against righties this season with a .355 wOBA and.264 ISO. For the most part, Kepler has been leading off against right-handed pitching, and he's a nice value at this price assuming he's atop the lineup tonight.
Justin Smoak ($3,700): The Giants will roll out Nick Vincent as an opener. He is likely to be followed by Tyler Beede -- both of which are right-handed pitchers. While the park is terrible for hitters, Justin Smoak crushed right-handed pitching last season, so given that both the opener and long-reliever will be righties, this is a great spot for him. He was able to put up a .370 wOBA and .257 ISO versus righties last season, and while those numbers are down to a .339 wOBA and .172 ISO in 2019, there is still reason to believe in his upside tonight.
Miguel Cabrera ($3,200): Miguel Cabrera is clearly not the same hitter he used to be. However, he is still able to get things done against left-handed pitchers. He put up a respectable .341 wOBA in the split last season, but his power was all but gone (.100 ISO). In his 24 plate appearances against southpaws this season, he has mashed to the tune of a .512 wOBA and .263 ISO. Obviously, we;re dealing with a small sample, but he's got a friendly matchup today against left-hander Wade Miley, who gave up a 37.1 percent hard-hit rate and 23.6 percent line-drive rate 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.