5 MLB FanDuel Studs to Target on 4/14/16

Though they're expensive, these players are worth their hefty price tags for Thursday night daily fantasy baseball.

With just five games on FanDuel’s main slate, Thursday provides us with a lighter schedule and a smaller pool from which to choose.

As always, when playing any sport on FanDuel, it’s imperative to hit on high-priced players, especially when it comes to pitching. Let’s take a look at three hitters and two pitchers, who, despite costing a good chunk of change, are worth the investment.


Cole Hamels, Texas Rangers

FanDuel Price: $10,200

Cole Hamels has been one of the game’s most reliable and consistently productive starting pitchers since 2010. Check out his yearly numbers:

2010 208 2/3 3.28 3.24 3.5
2011 216 3.02 3.02 4.9
2012 215 1/3 3.23 3.29 4.6
2013 220 3.44 3.41 4.5
2014 204 2/3 3.21 3.29 4.2
2015 212 1/3 3.4 3.45 4.2

He's eclipsed the 200-inning mark in each of the last six seasons, posting a SIERA between 3.02 and 3.45 every year in that span while racking up at least 4.2 Wins Above Replacement in the last five campaigns.

All that history is nice, but what we really care about is how he’ll do in Thursday's home matchup with the Baltimore Orioles. Hamels is the day’s most expensive pitcher, but he’s also our second-ranked hurler for Thursday’s main slate, as we peg him to score 29.4 FanDuel points. We project Hamels to allow 3.23 earned runs on 6.13 hits while fanning 5.31 hitters and issuing 1.97 free passes.

Jason Hammel, Chicago Cubs

FanDuel Price: $7,900

There’s a probably-not-that-funny joke or play on words somewhere about the day’s top two pitchers almost having the same last name, but for the life of me, I can’t find it. So I’ll just give you information. Come for the numbers, stay for the missed joke attempts.

Jason Hammel very quietly had a really nice 2015 season. Among starters, he ranked 22nd with a 3.45 SIERA while his 24.2 strikeout percentage ranked 21st. He zeroed in on his control, finishing with a walk percentage of 5.6 percent, his best clip since 2009.

Despite being just the fifth-most expensive arm on the main slate, Hammel checks in as our top-ranked pitcher for Thursday. We project him to total 30.24 points in his matchup with the Reds, who ranked 22nd last season with a .307 wOBA. Our models have Hammel allowing 2.46 earned runs on 5.59 hits while punching out 5.14 batters and walking 1.22.


Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks

FanDuel Price: $5,100

Paul Goldschmidt doesn’t care who throws the ball, and he doesn’t care what arm they use to throw it -- he’s just here to mash.

Despite going up against a righty in Dodgers’ starter Ross Stripling, Goldschmidt is still a good play. In fact, it's pretty hard to find a time when he’s not a good play. A right-hander himself, he owns a career .383 wOBA against same-sided throwers and a mind-boggling .433 wOBA versus southpaws.

Despite playing his home games in hitter-friendly Chase Field, Goldschmidt -- who will be at Dodger Stadium for this one -- does nearly as much damage on the road (career .392 wOBA) as he does at home (.398 wOBA). 

Morale of the story: Goldschmidt rakes, and we project him to do 13.56 points worth of damage Thursday night.

Jose Bautista, Toronto Blue Jays

FanDuel Price: 4,600

Since Jose Bautista turned his career around in 2010, he’s been absolutely lethal against right-handed pitching. The trend continued in 2015 as he mashed righties to the tune of a .395 wOBA and 37 long balls.

Bautista gets to face Yankees’ hard-throwing right-hander Nathan Eovaldi Thursday night. The most expensive outfielder on the main slate, Bautista is also our top-ranked hitter. We project Joey Bats to rack up 14.52 points and give him the best odds (0.36) of going deep.

And I can’t really think of a good reason not to include this:

Carlos Correa, Houston Astros

FanDuel Price: $4,700

Carlos Correa is such a well-known, established star, it’s amazing he’s only had 466 career plate appearances. It’s tough to draw too much from that sample size, but thus far in his career, Correa has shown a tendency to swing it with a little more pop in his home stadium. Last season’s Henry Rowengartner has posted a .407 wOBA at Minute Maid Park compared to a .345 mark on the road. He’ll be at home for tonight’s playoff rematch against Kansas City.

As far as pitcher handedness, Correa hasn’t had much of a preference early on. He owns a career .370 wOBA against righties -- which is what he’ll see tonight in Ian Kennedy -- and a .379 wOBA versus left-handers.

Our projections have Correa scoring 12.33 points, which makes him our highest-ranked shortstop for the main slate by 2.88 points.