DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Tuesday 6/18/19
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 ($11,900 on DraftKings): Justin Verlander is the most expensive pitcher on the slate, but his performance justifies his salary. He has slate-best marks in strikeout rate (32.8 percent) and SIERA (3.11). He also carries an elite 5.0 percent walk rate and 18.1 percent line-drive rate. Verlander will take on a Cincinnati Reds team that has a 24.2 percent strikeout rate against right-handed pitchers -- the ninth-highest in the Majors -- and a .298 wOBA in the split, which ranks 25th.
Cole Hamels ($10,500): Cole Hamels has actually been pretty good this year. He has a 2.98 ERA, though his 4.20 SIERA indicates he's gotten a bit lucky. However, the batted-ball data is very good as his 18.2 percent line-drive rate, 52.8 percent groundball rate and 29.0 percent fly-ball rate are all superb numbers. In addition to that, he has a respectable 23.6 percent strikeout rate and an elite mark of 0.74 homers per nine. Hamels takes on the Chicago White Sox, a team with a modest 23.9 percent strikeout rate against left-handed pitchers. At -235, Hamels is the second-biggest favorite on the slate.
Mitch Keller ($6,900): Mitch Keller's 22.5 percent strikeout rate is about the only positive thing going for him in his very early time in the Majors. However, there is still plenty to get excited about with Keller, especially at the bargain basement price tag of $6,900. In Triple-A ball this season, Keller has a 30.2 percent strikeout rate and a 3.87 xFIP. He also has an elite matchup against a Detroit Tigers team that struggles against right-handed pitchers. The Tigers have the second-highest strikeout rate in the split (26.3 percent) as well as a .281 wOBA, which sits dead last.
Hitters to Target
Cody Bellinger ($5,700): Cody Bellinger has slowed down a bit, as one would have expected after his historically elite start to the season. However, he is still putting up elite numbers against right-handed pitching with a .456 wOBA and .327 ISO in the split. In Triple-A, Shaun Anderson looked like he was improving as he brought his 16.9 percent strikeout rate from 2018 to an improved clip of 25.2 percent. Since being called up to the bigs, though, he has a 15.3 percent strikeout rate. The Los Angeles Dodgers are in a great spot, and Bellinger is worth his lofty salary.
J.D. Martinez ($5,100): In 2018, J.D. Martinez tore a strip off the ball against right-handed pitchers. With a .434 wOBA and .315 ISO against righties, he found himself among the league's best last season. His numbers are down in 2019, but with a .352 wOBA and .199 ISO, you can still use him with confidence. Tonight he'll take on Minnesota Twins' right-hander Michael Pineda. This season, Pineda has given up an abysmal 43.3 percent hard-hit rate and 42.3 percent fly-ball rate, making him prone to dingers.
Juan Soto ($4,100): Since their game was rained out yesterday, I'll pretty much repeat what I said about Juan Soto. Plus, he's cheaper today. As a rookie in 2018, Soto crushed right-handed pitching with a .401 wOBA and .231 ISO. Compared to that, his production is a bit down in 2019, but a .382 wOBA and .218 ISO are still stellar clips. The Washington Nationals take on Philadelphia Phillies right-hander in Jake Arrieta. He has given up a 38.3 percent hard-hit rate this season, and he's much worse against left-handed hitters.
Paul Goldschmidt ($3,800): Remember when Paul Goldschmidt was regularly over $5,000 on DraftKings? As recently as last season, in reality, and that is because against right-handed pitching Goldschmidt put up an elite .384 wOBA and .230 ISO. Those numbers are down considerably this season, but they are still respectable -- a .333 wOBA and .161 ISO. However, with Goldy down below $4,000 against Miami Marlins' Jordan Yamamoto, it is tough to ignore him even with his underwhelming hitting stats.
Renato Nunez ($3,700): Somehow it seems like the Baltimore Orioles are taking on a terrible pitcher. Tonight Baltimore will see Oakland Athletics southpaw Brett Anderson. In 78.2 innings this season, Anderson has a horrendous 12.6 percent strikeout rate, and despite his 52.9 percent groundball rate, he still has a 5.32 SIERA. Both his strikeout rate and SIERA are the second-worst marks on the slate. Renato Nunez has been better against left-handed pitchers, sporting a .372 wOBA and .300 ISO in the split.
Robinson Cano ($3,100): Far from the hitter he once was, Robinson Cano can provide some nice, cheap value when he's facing a bad pitcher. Although his .336 wOBA and .197 ISO are nothing to get too excited about, he makes for a bargain one-off play who allows you to pay up elsewhere. It certainly helps that his opponent will be the Atlanta Braves' Julio Teheran -- a pitcher who is rocking a slate-worst 11.4 percent walk rate. Teheran has surrendered a 38.9 percent hard-hit rate and 37.5 percent fly-ball rate and that has somehow resulted in just a 9.5 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate. A 2.92 ERA juxtaposed to a 5.00 SIERA also supports luck going again Teheran the rest of the way this season.
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.