5 MLB FanDuel Studs to Target on 4/8/16

Francisco Liriano is the top pitching option on the main slate tonight. Who else should you pay up for?

In daily fantasy baseball, pitchers are the cornerstone of your lineups. It’s important to spend wisely at the position; if your pitchers fail, your lineup is doomed.

On any slate, it’s also important to select the correct top-priced hitters. Luckily for us, some top bats have excellent matchups today.

Let’s take a look at the FanDuel studs for today’s main slate:


Francisco Liriano, Pittsburgh Pirates

FanDuel Price: $9,900

Because we can’t take advantage of Jacob deGrom’s awesome matchup versus the Phillies on the main slate, we turn to Francisco Liriano as the next best option.

On Opening Day, Liriano pitched like, well, Liriano. He walked five batters but struck out 10 en route to a 4-1 victory over the Cardinals. Because of the walks, Liriano was able to complete only six innings of work after 94 pitches thrown.

But with five projected Reds starters having a 2015 strikeout rate versus left-handed pitching north of 20 percent -- Eugenio Suarez, Jay Bruce, Adam Duvall, Alfredo Simon, and Billy Hamilton -- Liriano should once again provide elite strikeout numbers in tonight’s matchup with Cincinnati.

When in doubt, look to Vegas. The Pirates are currently a -165 favorite, which gives Liriano a good chance to pick up a win to add to his strikeout totals.


Mike Trout, OF, Los Angeles Angels

FanDuel Price: $4,800

Whenever we can talk about Mike Trout, it’s a good day.

Tonight, Trout will welcome Rangers’ righty A.J. Griffin to California, and given Griffin’s peripherals, Trout will be welcoming him with open arms. Griffin hasn’t pitched in nearly two seasons after recovery and rehab from Tommy John surgery.

When Griffin last pitched In 2013, he allowed a 52.5 percent fly ball rate off the bats of right-handed hitters. Last season, 23 percent of Trout’s fly balls off of right-handed pitching cleared the fence.

Griffin surrendered a 35.4 percent hard-hit rate to right-handed batters in his last full season. Trout’s hard-hit rate versus righties was actually higher than that number last season: 40.6 percent.

Opposing righties posted a .220 ISO against Griffin before his injury. Trout, meanwhile, hammered right-handed pitching to the tune of a .292 ISO in 2015.

But honestly, did you need those stats to tell you to play Mike Trout versus A.J. Griffin?

Colby Rasmus, OF, Houston Astros

FanDuel Price: $3,000

Colby Rasmus is always an outfielder to keep on our short list of DFS targets on days when he is facing a right-handed pitcher. Over 948 plate appearances in the past three seasons, Rasmus has posted an .ISO split of .242.

Tonight, Rasmus will travel to Miller Park, where left-handed hitters enjoyed a 28 percent increase in home runs from the league average park in 2015.

Chase Anderson is on the hill for Milwaukee, and he allowed a 24.6 percent line drive rate to lefties a year ago to go along with a .325 wOBA.

The stars are aligned for Rasmus: a favorable split, a favorable opponent, and a favorable park.

David Peralta, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks

FanDuel Price: $3,500

The same that was said about Colby Rasmus above can be said about David Peralta: he’s always in play versus a right-handed pitcher, especially at home in the Arizona weather.

Look at how well Peralta fares versus righties compared to lefties:

Pitcher Hand BB % K % wOBA ISO
Left 6.7 25.6 0.299 0.125
Right 8.9 19.7 0.397 0.228

That’s nearly a 100-point increase in both the wOBA and ISO departments!

His opponent tonight, Jason Hammel, hasn’t offered much resistance versus left-handed hitters over the last three seasons -- he’s allowed an ISO 32 percent above league average and a wOBA eight percent above league average.

Chris Davis, 1B, Baltimore Orioles

FanDuel Price: $3,800

I wrote this on Monday about the Orioles' first baseman, " Chris Davis is always an intriguing DFS option due to his huge power numbers. He’s a decent contrarian tournament option when he’s facing a left-handed pitcher or he’s on the road, but when he matches up with a righty at home, it’s all systems go.

"Last season, 29 of Davis’ 47 home runs came at Camden Yards. With a short porch in right field, this ballpark was made for lefty power hitters like Davis."

But there's a little more to it today. 

Upon first glance, Davis has a tough matchup with Rays’ pitcher Chris Archer. This matchup will likely drive down Davis’ tournament ownership percentage, but there are a few chinks in Archer’s armor that suggest this drop is ownership is unwarranted.

Archer showed some slight warts when facing lefties away from Tropicana Park in 2015: his wOBA allowed jumped from .257 to .277, his strikeout rate dropped from 31.9 percent to 25.7 percent, and his line drive rate spiked to 24.2 percent from 17.4 percent.

Any time you can roster Chris Davis at home at a lower ownership, he becomes an excellent GPP play.