DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Tuesday 8/20/19
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
Clayton Kershaw ($12,000 on DraftKings): He's a tad expensive, but he has been pitching way better lately. He has put up nine-plus strikeouts in five of his last seven starts and has shown that he can still produce strikeouts at an elite rate. On the season, he has a solid 3.74 SIERA, which makes his 2.63 ERA look not as good. He'll face the Toronto Blue Jays, who have a 23.6 percent strikeout rate against left-handed pitching (11th-most in the Majors), and they have just a .308 wOBA that ranks 24th.
Michael Pineda ($8,900): Michael Pineda has a fantastic matchup, which is what we will be banking on tonight if we decide to roll him out in our starting lineups. He's got a lowly 21.5 percent strikeout rate and a good-not-great 4.40 SIERA. However, he's taking on a Chicago White Sox team that has struggled against right-handed pitching. They are currently sporting a 26.3 percent strikeout rate against right-handed pitching, which is the third-most in the Majors, and their .293 wOBA ranks way down at 28th.
Aaron Sanchez ($6,800): After four straight starts in which he put up 17-plus DraftKings points — including six or more strikeouts in each — Aaron Sanchez had a stinker against the Oakland Athletics in his last start. However, he is back under $7000 again and has an intriguing matchup against a brutal Detroit Tigers team. The Tigers have a .284 wOBA against right-handed pitching, which is the second-worst number in the Majors, and their 26.6 percent strikeout rate is higher than any other team in baseball. Aaron Sanchez doesn't have much going for him this season, but his recent stretch of games is encouraging heading into this premium matchup.
Hitters to Target
Christian Yelich ($5,700): Christian Yelich is chasing history as he is just nine home runs and six stolen bases away from becoming the first player in MLB history to hit 50 home runs and steal 30 bags. That is simply incredible. Tonight, he brings his incredible talent to St. Louis to take on Cardinals right-hander Michael Wacha, who has struggled mightily this season. He's giving up a 38.8 percent hard-hit rate and 30.9 percent fly-ball rate, which has resulted in an ugly 22.8 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate. In addition, he has zero control, as his 10.4 percent walk rate would indicate, and he struggles to generate any strikeouts with a 17.7 percent strikeout rate.
Freddie Freeman ($5,300): Freddie Freeman continues to smash right-handed pitching. With a .419 wOBA and .280 ISO, Freeman enters tonight's game against Miami Marlins right-hander Elieser Hernandez — a pitcher who's struggled keeping the ball in the park. Hernandez is sporting a horrific 40.4 percent hard-hit rate and 48.6 percent fly-ball rate, which has led to a 20.8 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate. He has just a .257 BABIP, but a 5.40 ERA compared to a 4.53 SIERA, which are stats that kind of contradict one another.
Nelson Cruz ($5,100): Fresh off of the DL, Nelson Cruz went 2-for-5 last night and heads into this evenings matchup against Reynaldo Lopez with fantastic numbers against right-handed pitching. He's put up an incredible .402 wOBA and .297 ISO, which shows just how much power he brings to the plate. Lopez, on the other hand, has been terrible. He's sporting an ugly 4.99 SIERA and has struggled with a 35.2 percent hard-hit rate, 21.8 percent line-drive rate and a 43.8 percent fly-ball rate. His control has been an issue with an inflated 8.6 percent walk rate.
Jesse Winker ($3,900): Jesse Winker has been very good against right-handed pitching this season. With a .370 wOBA And .234 ISO, there is plenty to like, and even if the power isn't elite, it's been solid. He'll take on San Diego Padres rookie Cal Quantrill, a right-handed pitcher who's had his ups and downs. He's giving up a 40.3 percent hard-hit rate and 34.2 percent fly-ball rate but just an 11.8 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate. However, those are going to start leaving the park more often as his .258 BABIP has helped him out in a big way.
Joc Pederson ($3,800): Other than the pinch-hit threat, this price seems incredibly cheap for Joc Pederson against a bad right-handed pitcher. He's brought plenty of power against righties to warrant something at least in the mid-$4k range, and his .354 wOBA And .272 ISO would back that claim up. Sean Reid-Foley has the worst SIERA on the slate at 5.75, and while he only has 30 innings pitched in the Majors this season, he has struggled. A slate-worst 13.7 percent walk rate, 43.5 percent hard-hit rate and 42.4 percent fly-ball rate are also evidence of his struggles this season.
Khris Davis ($2,900): Oh boy, after four straight seasons hitting .247 and three straight with 40-plus home runs, Khris Davis has hit a wall in 2019 and has simply been terrible. But that is what makes this price tag so intriguing. Last year, he destroyed righties with a .374 wOBA and .315 ISO, but in 2019 those numbers are abysmal at .267 and .137, respectively. His matchup tonight is against a solid Domingo German, but he has some holes in his game so far this season. He's giving up a 39.9 percent hard-hit rate and 39.2 percent fly-ball rate, so if Davis can bring some of that power back, then German's 19.7 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate will be very troublesome.
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.