MLB

DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Friday 5/31/19

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

High-Priced Pitcher

Chris Sale ($10,800 on DraftKings): Chris Sale in 2018 was unbelievably dominant. He had an incredible 38.4 percent strikeout rate, which leads the slate, along with a 2.27 SIERA which is also the best on the slate. In addition, his 5.5 walk rate last season was elite. He's in a road matchup against the New York Yankees — a team that has struggled against left-handed pitching this season. They have a 27.2 percent strikeout rate which is the third-most in the Majors and their .295 wOBA ranks 24th in all of baseball.

Caleb Smith ($9,700): Caleb Smith has been fantastic this season. He had a 27.0 percent strikeout rate in 2018 and has bumped that up to a 33.2 percent strikeout rate in 2019. One issue he had last season was his extremely concerning 50.8 percent fly-ball rate and that isn't much better. This is an issue due to his 37.5 percent hard-hit rate, which could get him into trouble. Luckily, he's taking on a San Diego Padres team that has a 26.9 percent strikeout rate which is the fourth-most in the Majors.

Value Pitcher

Danny Duffy ($7,200): Although he was absolutely terrible in 2018, Danny Duffy has been acceptable in 2019. Now, that doesn't mean he has been great by any sense of the imagination, but there is not much down in this price range to like. He has a lowly 18.5 percent strikeout rate and a modest 32.4 percent hard-hit rate with a 3.12 ERA. However, his ERA is a bit misleading as his 4.92 SIERA would indicate he has been getting a bit lucky. Now, there wasn't much nice to say about Duffy but he's taking on a Texas Rangers team that has a 28.0 percent strikeout rate against left-handed pitchers, which is the second-most in the Majors. In addition, the Rangers have a .308 wOBA against lefties which ranks 19th.

Hitters to Target

High-Priced Hitters

Trevor Story ($5,800): The Colorado Rockies are playing at home tonight. They are taking on Toronto Blue Jays who have decided that rolling out Edwin Jackson is a good idea in this hitting environment. Well, Trevor Story completely destroys right-handed pitching and being in Coors is just the icing on the cake. Story has put up a .376 wOBA and a .278 ISO against righties this season. Jackson has only made three starts this season, but in 17 starts in 2018 he gave up a 36.9 percent hard-hit rate and a 39.8 fly-ball rate which led to an 11.2 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate. And while those numbers aren't horrific, he did so with the benefit of a ridiculous .240 BABIP. So it'll all come back down to earth very, very soon.

Juan Soto ($5,600): After coming on to the scene as a 19-year-old rookie last year and completely dominating, Juan Soto has taken a bit of a step back this season, though it had to be a bit expected. He had an elite .401 wOBA and .231 ISO against right-handed pitching in his rookie season and these numbers have dipped a bit to a .380 wOBA and .212 ISO. Still great, but not as great. He's got a matchup against Cincinnati Reds' Tyler Mahle who in 2018 gave up an abysmal 41.5 percent hard-hit rate, 88.4 mile-per-hour average exit velocity and a horrendous 1.77 HR/9.

Alex Bregman ($4,400): This seems like a pretty cheap price tag for Alex Bregman tonight. He's taking on Oakland Athletics' right-hander Mike Fiers, a pitcher that isn't exactly known for being awesome, despite his no-hitter earlier this season. In 2018, Fiers gave up a 39.1 percent hard-hit rate and a 43.2 percent fly-ball rate which led to a 14.1 home-run-to-fly-ball rate. The reason why this price seems so cheap is that last season, Bregman had a phenomenal .390 wOBA and .243 ISO with an even better .421 wOBA and .319 ISO against righties this season.

Value Hitters

Shohei Ohtani ($3,800): He is still trying to find his groove at the plate since coming back from Tommy John surgery. He completely smashed righties in his rookie 2018 campaign with a .433 wOBA and a .344 ISO which put him among the best hitters in this split. 2019 has been a different story with a lowly .260 wOBA and a .107 ISO. Tonight's matchup seems as good as any to get going for Ohtani as he takes on Seattle Mariners right-hander Mike Leake. Leake, in 2018. had a 35.7 percent hard-hit rate and an 89.6 average exit velocity which combined with a 21.9 percent line-drive rate should significantly benefit Ohtani.

Manny Machado ($3,700): I know I wrote up Caleb Smith above, but if you don't use Smith then rolling with a way under-priced Manny Machado is a great play. Look, Machado has not lived up to the massive contract he received from the Padres in the offseason, but against left-handed pitching this season he has completely smashed. He has put up an unfathomable .603 wOBA and .576 ISO. Yes, you read that correctly. Now, that is just 41 plate appearances, so take that with a grain of salt. But the point is, he still smashes lefties and is way too cheap.

Ji-Man Choi ($3,200): This is another under-priced hitter in a not-so-great matchup. Ji-Man Choi will take on Minnesota Twins' right-hander Jose Berrios this evening, a pitcher that has been a little inconsistent this season. Berrios has struggled in two of his last three starts — failing to reach double-digit DraftKings points in them. Tonight he'll take on a Tampa Bay Rays team that has been surprising and Choi has had plenty of success as a left-handed hitter. Against righties, Choi has a solid .350 wOBA and a .198 ISO and at this price tag, will not need much to reach value.



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.