DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Wednesday 5/15/19

Justin Verlander is the top pitching option today, but is expensive. Which players can you use to save some money?

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

Justin Verlander ($11,000): Justin Verlander just smashed last season. He has a slate best 34.8 percent strikeout rate which is four percentage points better than the next best. In addition, his 4.4 percent walk rate and 2.63 SIERA also top the slate. He's got a road matchup against the Detroit Tigers who have a 25.9 percent strikeout rate as a team against right-handed pitching this season. That's the slate's seventh-highest In addition, their .283 team weighted on-base average (wOBA) ranks 28th.

Kenta Maeda ($9,200): After Verlander, pitching is somewhat difficult tonight as there are not really any cupcake matchups in the second tier. Kenta Maeda has a solid one, though, as the Los Angeles Dodgers host the San Diego Padres. San Diego has a 22nd-ranked wOBA against righties (.297) which bodes well for Maeda. Additionally, the Padres strike out at 26.7 percent clip which is the second-highest in the Majors. Maeda had an elite 28.8 percent strikeout rate last season — a number that is way down to 21.5 percent in 2019. Hopefully he can bump that up a bit tonight.

Value Pitcher

Gio Gonzalez ($7,300): Cheaper options tonight are also not the best, as the pitchers are either terrible or have a difficult matchup. Gio Gonzalez is somewhat interesting, but is still a risk. He doesn't strike anybody out as his 19.8 percent strikeout rate from 2018 would indicate. However, his 45.3 percent goundball rate shows that he can get outs in other ways. He is great at keeping the ball in the park with his 0.89 HR/9 last season. He has a tough matchup against the Philadelphia Phillies — a team that doesn't strike out much as their 20th ranked strikeout rate is just 20.9 percent.

Hitters to Target

High-Priced Hitters

Christian Yelich ($5,700): Christian Yelich was a great hitter playing for the Miami Marlins, but since getting out of that ballpark and in to the Milwaukee Brewers home stadium of Miller Park, his career has changed drastically. Yelich is tearing a strip off of the ball, especially against right-handed pitching. In 2018 — his first with the Brewers — Yelich smashed righties to the tune of a .425 wOBA and a .281 isolated power (ISO). If you didn't think those numbers could get better, they have. In 2019, Yelich has an unfathomable .514 wOBA and .435 ISO in a solid 112 plate appearance sample size.

Freddie Freeman ($4,800): Freddie Freeman is a great hitter that doesn't necessarily bring a lot of power. However, the lineup around him and his consistent nature have allowed him to still pile up a ton of stats. His numbers against right-handed pitching remains consistent to years passed. In 2018, Freeman had a .371 wOBA and .184 ISO and so far in 2019 those numbers have remained very similar with a .376 wOBA And .186 ISO. He has a premium matchup against Michael Wacha — a pitcher that struggled in 2018 giving up a 42.7 percent hard-hit rate and ugly 29.5 percent line-drive rate.

Carlos Correa ($4,800): Carlos Correa is taking on Detroit Tigers left-hander Gregory Soto this evening. This could be a good matchup for Correa as Soto has just four Major League innings under his belt and only an additional 13.1 innings in Double-A ball. Fewer than 20 innings above Single-A for a 24 year old seems like a great spot to pick on. Correa has had plenty of success against left-handed pitchers and he has been great this season with a .447 wOBA and .333 ISO against southpaws.

Value Hitters

Ji-Man Choi ($4,200): In 2018, Ji-Man Choi brought a ton of power against right-handed pitching. While his .384 wOBA was impressive it was his .256 ISO that was even more eye-opening. While it's not among the most elite, the matchup against Miami Marlins right-hander Jose Urena is a great one. Urena gave up a 38.2 percent hard-hit rate and while the 32.2 percent fly-ball rate isn't bad, when the ball was hit in the air he got in trouble as his 11.5 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate would indicate. In addition, Urena doesn't strike anybody out with his 18.3 percent strikeout rate.

Rougned Odor ($3,700): In 53.2 innings last season, Jorge Lopez struggled. He gave up a slate-worst 43.4 percent hard-hit rate and his 22.7 percent line-drive rate certainly had a direct relation to his 4.84 SIERA — another slate-worst stat. Speaking of worst numbers on the slate, here is another one with his 16.2 percent strikeout rate. This is great since Rougned Odor has been striking out at a 37.6 percent clip this season. This is much higher than his career 21.9 percent strikeout rate but it is good to see that it shouldn't be a huge effect tonight. Odor brought a bit of of power against right-handed pitching in 2018 with a modest .330 wOBA and a solid .201 ISO.

David Freese ($3,600): He isn't a lock to start, but David Freese usually gets into the lineup, especially against left-handed pitching. His .398 wOBA and .233 ISO against southpaws this season would certainly warrant a start. He'll take on San Diego Padres' Matt Strahm, a southpaw with a career 35.5 percent hard-hit rate (44.8 percent this season). While the career numbers are a relatively small sample size, Strahm has actually struggled more against lefties than righties, but that will surely course correct itself soon.

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.