MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Saturday 4/16/16
The beauty of daily fantasy baseball is that the top targets are different each and every day. Whether it's the right-handed catcher who destroys left-handed pitching or the mid-range hurler facing a depleted lineup, you're not going to find yourself using the same assets time after time.
While this breaks up the monotony, it can make it hard to decide which players are primed to succeed on a given day. We can help bridge that gap.
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.
If you need help getting started on that trek, here are some of the top options on the board today. With the staggered start times, these will focus exclusively on the main slate, which starts at 7:05 pm Eastern.
Pitchers to Target
Max Scherzer (FanDuel Price $11,500) - Scherzer hasn't looked quite like himself yet this season, but has a chance to remind everyone that he's one of the most dominant pitchers in the game in a matchup against the Phillies tonight. Philadelphia really struggled against right-handers last season, posting a putrid .297 wOBA against righties, the worst mark in the league. They also posted the 10th-highest strikeout rate against righties, whiffing 20.9 percent of the time. So far this season, they have posted a 21.5 percent strikeout rate with just a 23.9 percent hard-hit rate. In four starts against Philadelphia last season, Scherzer went 3-0 with a 1.50 ERA, .073 WHIP, and 30 strikeouts in 30 innings. Do everything you can to fit him in tonight.
Tom Koehler ($7,200) - Koehler is coming off of a strong debut, in which he struck out six over 6.1 innings of two-run ball, for 31 FanDuel points. He now draws a much easier matchup against the Braves, who ranked 27th in wOBA against right-handed pitching last season. Their wOBA against righties this season is actually 20 points lower than last season's, and their 23.2 percent strikeout rate against righties is the ninth-highest in the league. Their 20.5 percent hard-hit rate against righties ranks dead last so far. Do everything you can to fit Scherzer in, but if you can't make it work, Koehler isn't a bad value play.
Hitters to Target
Manny Machado ($4,500) - Machado has gotten off to a terrific start for Baltimore, hitting safely in each game this season and averaging 14.4 FanDuel points per game. He should have no problem keeping that hitting streak going in a matchup against Colby Lewis, who posted a 4.43 SIERA last season. Machado is a notorious reverse-splits hitter, and he absolutely crushed right-handed pitching last season. His slugging percentage, ISO, wOBA, and hard-hit rate were all much improved against righties last season. This season has been no different, as he has a ridiculous .967 slugging percentage and 50 percent hard-hit rate against righties. Lock and load.
Chris Davis ($4,300) - While Lewis was bad against right-handers, he was even worse against lefties last year, allowing a slightly elevated slugging percentage and wOBA against lefties. Enter Chris Davis, the one Oriole who hits righties better than Machado. Davis has gotten off to quite the hot start himself, averaging 15 FanDuel points, which has been boosted by four long balls already. Against righties last season, Davis posted a .608 slugging percentage, .350 ISO, .410 wOBA, 44.3 percent fly-ball rate, and an absurd 44.7 percent hard-hit rate. Fade at your own risk.
Ryan Braun ($3,800) - Braun is likely to be a popular option coming off of a 45 point Double-Dong performance, and with good reason in this matchup against Jonathon Niese, who posted a 4.27 SIERA last year. Braun crushed left-handed pitching last year, raising his slugging percentage, ISO, and wOBA, while posting an impressive 40 percent hard-hit rate against lefties.
Christian Yelich ($3,800) - Between Braun and Yelich, Yelich is the safer cash game play, as he has scored double digit FanDuel points in every game this season other than the season opener. He looks to build on his eight game hitting streak tonight against Bud Norris, who posted a 4.17 SIERA last season, Norris struggled specifically against left-handed batters, allowing them to post a higher slugging percentage, wOBA, and fly-ball rate against him than righties. Yelich, a lefty, performed much better against right-handed pitching last year, significantly raising his slugging percentage, ISO, wOBA, and hard-hit rate. In 2016, he has demolished right-handed pitching, with a 52.6 percent hard-hit rate against them. He's an awesome play in all formats at this price.
Rougned Odor ($3,300) - Vegas likes the Rangers to be the top scoring team tonight, projecting them for 4.5 runs against Yovani Gallardo. That's not overly surprising, considering Gallardo posted a 4.59 SIERA last year and the Rangers have a left-handed heavy lineup. Gallardo struggled mightily against left-handed batters last year, posting a higher slugging percentage, wOBA, fly-ball rate, and walk rate, while posting a lower strikeout rate. Odor's career wOBA is up just 10 points against righties, but his power numbers have been much improved, as both his career slugging percentage and ISO jump up nearly 50 points against righties. He also improved his hard-hit rate from 27 percent against lefties to 30.3 percent against righties last season.
Mitch Moreland ($2,900) - Moreland should also feast on Gallardo, as he absolutely crushed right-handed pitching last season, elevating his slugging percentage from .387 against lefties to .528 against righties, his ISO from .142 to .234, his wOBA from .297 to .372, his hard-hit rate from 34.5 percent to 36.7 percent, and his fly-ball rate from 31.9 percent to 35.9 percent. The Rangers have the highest implied team total on the board today, and Moreland should be a big part of that, hitting in the heart of the order. Stacking him and Odor is a nice way to get cheap exposure to that high team total.