DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Tuesday 5/21/19
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
Justin Verlander ($11,300): Justin Verlander is an elite pitcher with an elite matchup and being priced atop the slate makes the most sense. He put up a ridiculous 34.8 percent strikeout rate last season which is 6.6 percentage points better than any other pitcher on the slate. In addition, he leads the slate with a 2.63 SIERA and 4.4 walk rate from last season. He has a premium matchup against the Chicago White Sox which strike out at a 26.0 percent clip against right-handed pitchers — the fourth most in the Majors this season.
Caleb Smith ($10,400): I know Caleb Smith is the second-highest-priced pitcher tonight, but his consistency this season has been incredible and if you want to be a bit different in tournaments tonight, going with Smith over Verlander is a great option. He has put up 20-plus DraftKings points in seven of his nine starts and he has 25-plus DraftKings points in five of his last six. He has a matchup against a Detroit Tigers team that strikes out at a 26.8 percent clip — the eighth-most against left-handed pitchers. However, their .327 team weighted on-base average is the 10th-best, so there is some boom/bust potential here.
Gio Gonzalez ($7,400): The sub-$7,500 pitchers are pretty ugly tonight if I'm being honest. Gio Gonzalez had a not-so-great strikeout rate at just 19.8 percent in 2018, but his career 22.6 percent strikeout rate is a bit more encouraging. His matchup against the Cincinnati Reds is an interesting one. They are a team that has a 22.1 percent strikeout rate which is the 20th-most against left-handed pitchers. In addition, the Reds' .303 wOBA ranks 20th as well, so they are a lower strikeout team that struggles to produce offense against lefties. It will be Gio trying to induce groundouts for most of the game, which is no different than usual for him.
Hitters to Target
Christian Yelich ($5,800): Christian Yelich has been ridiculous this season and he has already hit 19 home runs, which leads the Majors. In addition to the incredible power he brings to the plate, he also has nine stolen bases which brings a unique power/speed element to his game. Yelich has simply destroyed right-handed pitching in 2019 with an unfathomable .512 wOBA and .462 isolated power (ISO) — numbers that are video game-esque.
Dan Vogelbach ($4,900): Another left-handed hitter that has had his way with right-handed pitching is one Daniel Vogelbach. This is his first season in the Majors in which he is a regular contributor — he has more plate appearances this season than the rest of his career combined — and he has gone most of his damage against righties. Similar to Yelich, though clearly not as dominant, Vogelbach has a .458 wOBA and a .410 ISO against righties, which are among the best in the Majors.
Marcell Ozuna ($4,900): Our second former Marlins outfield is showing up now and he has brought an incredible amount of power to the plate this season — especially against right-handed pitching. While his .360 wOBA is solid, it is the .286 ISO we're focused on as he takes Homer Bailey whose name says it all. In 2018, Homer Bailey gave up a 40.9 percent hard-hit rate and 33.0 percent fly-ball rate which led to an 18.7 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate — the second-worst on the slate.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ($3,900): Vladimir Guerrero Jr. started a bit slow in his Major League career and some people were unreasonably concerned. However, Vlad has seemingly "arrived" and it's a fun time. Vladdy is hitting just .235 AVG and just a .325 OBP this season which are way down from his Minor League numbers, but things seem to be turning around. Over his last 10 games, he is 10-for-27 for a .370 AVG while hitting all four of his home runs over that stretch. He's taking on left-handed pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez of the Boston Red Sox tonight — a pitcher that gave up an ugly 41.2 percent fly-ball rate.
Kendrys Morales ($3,600): He is 35-years-old and playing for his seventh team in the Majors, but he is still trucking along. While he is a switch-hitter, Morales was way better in 2018 against right-handed pitching than he was against lefties. His numbers against righties were a solid .365 wOBA and a .220 ISO but his ugly .255 wOBA And .125 ISO are not so great. He hasn't really been great this season against either handed pitcher, but with the New York Yankees injuries, he should get into the lineup on a somewhat regular basis — especially when playing in an American League stadium.
Chris Davis ($3,100): After 62 consecutive plate appearances without a hit, Chris Davis broke that streak and has been solid since then, especially against right-handers. Since April 13th, the game in which he snapped the streak, Davis has hit for a .372 wOBA and .265 ISO against right-handed pitchers across 77 plate appearances. Tonight he'll take on Yankees Domingo German — a pitcher that struggled with the long-ball last season. In 2018, German gave up a modest 37.5 percent hard-hit rate and a 40.4 percent fly-ball rate which led to a 15.8 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate.
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.