3 Daily Fantasy Baseball Hitters to Avoid on 4/5/16
Welcome to a new season of daily fantasy baseball!
As is the case in most daily fantasy sports, finding information on players you might want to roster is a lot easier than finding players to avoid.
While you can get away with a zero from a hitter in daily fantasy, you certainly don't want to target guys whose matchups aren't enticing.
Here are three hitters you may want to lessen your exposure to or even fade altogether on Tuesday night.
Giancarlo Stanton, OF, Miami Marlins
FanDuel Price: $4,700
The Miami Marlins open up at home on Tuesday, but they welcome in Justin Verlander to South Beach, which is an incredibly tough matchup for any Marlins hitter, including their stud outfielder, Giancarlo Stanton. Marlins Park has never been too kind to hitters, but after a season of struggles in 2015, Verlander’s numbers were still pretty good.
Verlander still had a hard hit rate of only 23.0 percent, which was his lowest since 2011. His fly ball rate was the highest of his career at 45.5 percent, but injuries had to have a hand in that. His career fly ball rate is just 40.1 percent. Verlander did get better as the season wore on in 2015 though. Once he got settled in during the second half, batters hit just .218 off of him, and he had an ERA of 2.80 in 15 second-half starts.
In 2015, Stanton had a strikeout rate of close to 30 percent against right-handed pitching, and in 251 plate appearances, he hit only .259 against righties and owned a wOBA of .375. His season was obviously limited by injury as well, but he still was right around his career mark in strikeout rate against right-handed pitching, wOBA and batting average.
While Verlander has had only one career start in Marlins Park, it was a very good one. He struck out 10 batters and gave up only one walk and three hits during that game. Marlins hitters had a batting average on balls in play (BABIP) of only .273 in that game, so don’t look for Stanton to have a big night against Verlander.
Gregory Polanco, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates
FanDuel Price: $3,300
Fresh off of a two-hit day and a fresh new contract, Gregory Polanco should be feeling good about himself. However, that may not last tonight against Michael Wacha, who -- despite being a right-handed pitcher -- dominates left-handed hitting. Combine that with a game in PNC Park tonight, and you’re looking at a player to avoid that some people may jump on after he posted 18 FanDuel points just a few days ago on Sunday.
Throughout his career, left-handed batters are hitting just .214 off of Wacha. Even though they strike out less often, lefties have a career slugging percentage of just .300 against Wacha and a wOBA of just .261.
Another factor is Wacha’s cutter, which is one of his best pitches. Last season, Wacha had -0.32 cutter runs above average per 100 pitches, which was the best his cutter has performed his entire career. Polcano subsequently has not hit the cutter well in his career. Last season, Polanco posted -0.53 cutter runs above average per 100 pitches, and throughout his young career, the way to get him out so far has been to throw splitters, cutters and sinkers. Look for Wacha to keep to that formula tonight.
Kole Calhoun, OF, Los Angeles Angels
FanDuel Price: $3,200
The Angels are probably ready to forget about the beat down they suffered at the hands of Jake Arrieta and the Cubs last night, but Tuesday might be more of the same with Jon Lester on the mound. The veteran left-hander could also get the better of Angels’ left-handed hitting, and that includes outfielder, Kole Calhoun. In 2015, Calhoun hit just .220 off left-handed pitching, and his strikeout rate was close to 26 percent against lefties. His wOBA was also only .293 against left-handed pitching, compared to .329 against righties in 2015.
Lester, on the other hand, has done well against left-handed hitting throughout his career, but in 2015, he dominated them. Lefties had a wOBA of only .286 against him last season, and when he went on the road, lefties owned a wOBA of only .191. Lester also had a strikeout rate of 28 percent against lefties last season.
Calhoun struck out a lot last year as well. He upped his overall strikeout rate to nearly 24 percent in 2015. Also, considering close to 42 percent of Calhoun’s batted ball outs came via the ground ball in 2015 and considering Lester posted a groundout rate of nearly 49 percent last season, Calhoun may struggle tonight in his home park.