FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Sunday 5/26/19
The beauty of daily fantasy baseball is that the top targets are different each and every day. Whether it's the right-handed catcher who destroys left-handed pitching or the mid-range hurler facing a depleted lineup, you're not going to find yourself using the same assets time after time.
While this breaks up the monotony, it can make it hard to decide which players are primed to succeed on a given day. We can help bridge that gap.
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.
If you need help getting started on that trek, here are some of the top options on the board today. We'll be focusing exclusively on the main slate.
Pitchers to Target
Justin Verlander ($11,700 on FanDuel): Verlander carries a 32.5% strikeout rate, 15.6% swinging-strike rate, 6.2% walk rate and 3.14 SIERA into today's date with the Boston Red Sox. He's put up monstrous single-game swinging-strike rates of 26.7%, 19.8% and 20.8% over his last three starts, so even though the Red Sox have the seventh-best wOBA (.332) with the sixth-lowest strikeout rate (20.4%), JV offers through-the-roof upside. With that said, two things -- the matchup with Boston and Zack Wheeler, who is much cheaper and in a great spot -- push Verlander into more of a GPP play. We project JV for 39.6 FanDuel points, the second-most on the slate, and there's a chance he flies under the radar a bit in GPPs since we have a few high-upside options to pick from and he's so much more expensive than Wheeler.
Zack Wheeler ($9,500): Speaking of Wheeler, he's the slate's top arm for his matchup with the Detroit Tigers, per our models, as we peg him to produce 40.2 FanDuel points. While that's just a tick above Verlander's projection, Wheeler is $2,200 cheaper and figures to be the slate's most popular pitcher, especially for cash. Wheeler is sporting a 3.94 SIERA, 25.9% strikeout rate, 10.6% swinging-strike rate and 8.5% walk rate. The numbers aren't insane, but getting to face a Detroit offense that sits 27th in wOBA (.284) with the third-worst strikeout rate (26.0%) compensates for that. The Tigers' 3.26 implied total is the slate's lowest, though we're still waiting on lines for a few games as of Sunday morning.
Spencer Turnbull ($7,700): On the flip side of that game, Turnbull takes on a New York Mets lineup that holds the seventh-worst wOBA (.300) over the past 14 days. Turnbull checks a few boxes despite three straight pedestrian outings -- most notably, he can miss bats as he's got a 23.0% strikeout rate and 11.7% swinging-strike rate for the season. Throwing in a pitcher-friendly park this afternoon, Turnbull needs to be on your radar if you're opting to pay down -- although that's a scary proposition with so many high-ceiling arms in play today.
Hitters to Target
Max Kepler ($3,800) and Jorge Polanco ($4,300): The Minnesota Twins just don't quit, and oddsmakers are expecting them to roll Dylan Covey, giving the Twins a massive (and slate-best) 6.24 implied total -- slightly more than a full run above any other team's implied total. Covey finished with a lowly 16.8% strikeout rate in 121 2/3 frames in 2018, giving up a .341 wOBA to lefties. While he hinted at some positive things last year, Kepler is breaking out in a big way this season, posting a .385 wOBA against righties with identical 44.4% clips in hard-hit rate and fly-ball rate. Polanco has mashed righties to the tune of a .445 wOBA, 39.7% hard-hit rate and 50.0% fly-ball rate. The Twins will be highly owned, but they're a scary fade right now, scoring an eye-popping 44 runs across their last four games.
Joc Pederson ($3,700) and Cody Bellinger ($4,900): The Los Angeles Dodgers will face off with Chris Archer, who is allowing a 41.6% hard-hit rate and 47.4% fly-ball rate, and the wind is expected to be blowing out in Pittsburgh. Given the high prices for the Dodgers, particularly Bellinger, they may not be a super popular stack on a slate when the masses will be forking over a lot of cash on the mound. Against righties, Bellinger (52.6% hard-hit rate) and Pederson (47.9% hard-hit rate and 45.2% fly-ball rate) are having a field day. If you can't pay up for an LA stack, both guys make for great one-off plays.
Keston Hiura ($2,700) and Eric Thames ($2,700): If you pass on their big boppers, you can put together a cheapish Milwaukee Brewers stack today, which comes in handy given the arms on this slate. The Brewers are at home versus Zach Eflin, and they boast a dope 4.91 implied total. Thames isn't a lock to be in the lineup, but even though he's struggled some, he's still got a great batted-ball profile against righties this season (50.0% hard-hit rate and 40.4% fly-ball rate). Hiura pummeled Triple-A pitching for a .448 wOBA and 11 taters across 147 plate appearances at the start of this campaign.
Curtis Granderson ($2,500): As he has been for the last few season, Granderson is a decent cheap dart throw when he's taking on a righty. He'll see Erick Fedde this afternoon, and Fedde has surrendered a .368 wOBA to lefties over his brief career. Granderson has a 38.1% hard-hit rate and 48.4% fly-ball rate this season with the platoon advantage, and he had a .347 wOBA in the split in 2018.
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