DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Wednesday 5/22/19
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
Gerrit Cole ($12,000 on DraftKings): Justin Verlander crushed the Chicago White Sox last night with 12 strikeouts across 8 innings. Tonight, Chicago takes on another Houston Astros ace in Gerrit Cole. Cole had an absolutely elite 34.5 percent strikeout rate in 2018 and takes on a White Sox team that has struggled considerably against right-handed pitching this season. The White Sox have a 26.5 percent strikeout rate against righties which is the third-worst in the Majors in 2019 and their .306 weighted on-base average (wOBA) ranks 20th.
Jacob deGrom ($10,500): Jacob DeGrom has struggled a bit this season, but he has also had some completely dominant. Of DeGrom's nine starts, he has three where he has allowed five-plus earned runs and three in which he has allowed zero. He has three starts in which he has put up nine-plus strikeouts and two in which he has just three strikeouts. He has been very enigmatic this season but has a solid matchup tonight. The Washington Nationals have a 25.1 percent strikeout rate against right-handed pitchers (seventh-most) and have a 23rd ranked .297 wOBA in the same split.
CC Sabathia ($7,400): This is a tough one because I am going to write up a Baltimore Orioles down below, but CC Sabathia has an intriguing matchup against the O's tonight. Sabathia had just a 21.1 percent strikeout last season — a number that has dropped even more this season — but Baltimore is a very free-swinging team. Against left-handed pitching in 2019, the Orioles have a 27.5 percent strikeout rate — the fourth-most in the Majors. In addition, their .291 wOBA against southpaws ranks 24th.
Hitters to Target
Gary Sanchez ($5,500 on DraftKings): Gary "the GOAT" Sanchez struggled in 2018 but he has come back with a vengeance in 2019 by tearing a strip off the baseball. While his numbers against left-handed pitchers are solid with a .348 wOBA and a .375 isolated power (ISO), they are even better against righties. This is evidenced by his incredible .413 wOBA and .392 ISO against right-handed pitching. He has a premium matchup against one of the worst pitchers in baseball — Dan Straily. In 2018, Straily gave up an 88.6 mile-per-hour average exit velocity and a 194-foot average batted-ball distance which led to a 1.47 HR/9.
Michael Brantley ($5,200): Coming to Houston was a great decision for Michael Brantley as he has been fantastic this season. His numbers against right-handed pitching have been especially elite. He has put up a .411 wOBA and a .265 ISO. He'll get to face Ivan Nova of the Chicago White Sox — a pitcher that struggled last season. He gave up a modest 31.5 percent hard-hit rate and a 34.0 percent fly-ball rate which led to a 14.8 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate.
Mitch Moreland ($4,900): It's rare to write up an expensive Boston Red Sox player and it not be Mookie Betts or J.D. Martinez — but here we are. Mitch Moreland has been putting up video game-like numbers against right-handed pitching in the early part of 2019 and his matchup tonight should allow him to continue that. He has an elite .401 wOBA and incredibly powerful .390 ISO against righties in 137 plate appearances in 2019 and will face Toronto Blue Jays' Aaron Sanchez who gave up an 89.0 mile-per-hour average exit velocity last season.
Tommy Pham ($3,800): Tommy Pham was pretty solid last year bringing an interesting element of both speed and power — 21 home runs and 15 stolen bases. He is on pace for way fewer home runs, but similar stolen bases in the early part of 2019. His matchup tonight is far from easy against Los Angeles Dodgers' left-hander Rich Hill, but Hill did have some struggles last season. He gave up a 42.8 percent hard-hit rate and a 40.1 percent fly-ball rate which led to a 14.7 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate. While those numbers are better this season, there is still some vulnerability to his game as he has given up five home runs through his first four starts of the season.
Renato Nunez ($3,800): Here we have the O's player I mentioned above. Renato Nunez has been solid against left-handed pitchers as evidenced by his .354 wOBA and a .235 ISO. Sabathia is no longer the pitcher he used to be and while the Orioles as a whole aren't very good, the matchup for Nunez is good. Sabathia has struggled to keep the ball in the park this season as he has given up at least one home run in five straight games — nine in total across those games.
Starlin Castro ($2,900): This is far from a sexy pick as Starlin Castro does not have that much upside, but being a sub-$3k player is also not right. Castro has a very solid .384 wOBA against left-handed pitching with a .163 which isn't great. His matchup comes against Daniel Norris — a left-handed pitcher who was a disaster in limited 44 innings last season. As bad as they were last season, his career has not been much better as he's given up a .334 wOBA and a .442 SLG to right-handed hitters.
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.