DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Thursday 8/1/19
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 ($11,300 on DraftKings): Tonight is just a small, six-game slate, but Gerrit Cole stands out head-and-shoulders above the rest in terms of sheer upside. While Clayton Kershaw is still a great pitcher, he does not have the strikeout upside anymore. Cole has an incredible 37.3 percent strikeout rate to go along with an elite 2.88 SIERA. His matchup against the Cleveland Indians is modest-at-best, though, as they have just a 22.1 percent strikeout rate which sits down at 20th against right-handed pitching and their .319 wOBA ranks 16th.
Max Fried ($5,800): At almost half the price of Cole, Max Fried is an interesting option this evening. His season has certainly been a roller coaster ride of good and poor showings, but the price tag is too low to ignore. He brings to the table a modest 23.0 percent strikeout rate and a respectable 7.2 percent walk-rate. In addition, his 53.6 percent groundball rate is where he generates most of his outs. A matchup against the Cincinnati Reds is far from ideal for a pitcher like Fried as their strikeout rate against lefties is just 20.9 percent (23rd) and their wOBA is decent, too, at .322 (14th).
Hitters to Target
Trey Mancini ($5,000): The Toronto Blue Jays will have Trent Thornton on the mound tonight and he's been brutal for the better part of the season. He's rocking a 4.92 SIERA while walking hitters at a 10.1 percent clip. In addition, a 36.9 percent hard-hit rate and 30.7 percent line-drive rate are going to get him into plenty of trouble tonight. Enter Trey Mancini — a Baltimore Orioles hitter that has had plenty of success against right-handed pitching this season. With a .373 wOBA and .272 ISO, there is a lot of upside for Mancini in this matchup.
Josh Donaldson ($4,300): The former power hitter for the Blue Jays, Josh Donaldson, has an opportunity to really showcase his power tonight. He brings a .376 wOBA and .268 ISO into tonight's game against a Reds team that will be putting Anthony DeSclafani into the line of fire. DeSclafani has a 4.17 SIERA which is basically in-line with his 4.01 ERA and .302 BABIP, but it's the long-ball that is going to kill him. He's giving up a horrendous 41.8 percent hard-hit rate and 40.9 percent fly-ball rate which has resulted in a troublesome 16.0 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate.
A.J. Pollock ($3,600): A.J. Pollock was about $1000 more expensive earlier in the week in Coors Field, but now he's bringing that same bat that has a lot of success against left-handed pitchers into San Diego to take on the Padres. While the .205 ISO leaves a bit to be desired, rocking an elite .433 wOBA is fantastic and puts Pollock way underpriced here. He'll face Joey Lucchesi — a southpaw that is giving up a 35.0 percent hard-hit rate and 35.6 percent fly-ball rate which has resulted in a 12.4 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate. While those numbers aren't awful, they are certainly worth targeting with an underpriced Pollock.
Jose Martinez ($3,500): Speaking of southpaw smashers, Jose Martinez has smashed left-handed pitchers this season and is batting second in the lineup tonight. His incredible .463 wOBA and .333 ISO are among the best against left-handed pitchers and taking on an aging and struggling Jon Lester is a great way to go. Lester has given up hard hits in volume as his 39.3 percent hard-hit rate would indicate. Pairing that up with a 34.7 percent fly-ball rate and he's giving up a 15.0 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate. His strikeout rate is down to just 22.4 percent and his 4.21 SIERA certainly isn't doing him any favors.
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.