6 Daily Fantasy Baseball Studs to Target on 4/19/16

Which expensive players can you count on to anchor your lineup?

All 30 teams are in action on Tuesday, and despite a pair of early games, there are still 13 matchups on FanDuel’s main slate, providing plenty of options for building a winning lineup.

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 three pitchers, who, despite costing a good chunk of change, are worth the investment.


Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals

FanDuel Price: $11,300

When Stephen Strasburg has been healthy, he’s been one of the game’s premier pitchers. Take a look at his yearly numbers.

Season Innings xFIP SIERA Strikeout Rate (%)
2010 68 2.04 2.18 33.6
2011 24 2.48 2.46 27.3
2012 159 1/3 2.81 2.88 30.2
2013 183 3.15 3.09 26.1
2014 215 2.56 2.64 27.9
2015 127 1/3 2.69 2.76 29.6

Strasburg is healthy now, and he gets to face a Miami Marlins lineup which ranked 26th in wOBA last season with a .302 mark. He is the day’s most expensive arm by $1,100, but he’s our top-ranked pitcher for the main slate. We project Strasburg to allow 2.44 earned runs on 5.63 hits and 1.44 walks while fanning 5.96 hitters over 6.36 innings, which adds up to 35.28 FanDuel points.

Helping his case, the Marlins have the second-lowest implied total today at 3.44.

Francisco Liriano, Pittsburgh Pirates

FanDuel Price: $9,500

Francisco Liriano gets the dream matchup for any pitcher early on this season: the San Diego Padres. The game being at pitcher-friendly Petco Park is the cherry on top.

It’s only been 13 games, but San Diego’s hitters have a front row seat on that struggle bus right now. After ranking 29th with a .298 wOBA last season, the Padres own a laughable .268 wOBA this season, which somehow doesn’t rank last (it’s 28th, ahead of the Braves and White Sox). San Diego’s minuscule 3.22 implied total is the lowest of the day.

Our models project Liriano to score 33.66 points. We have him allowing 2.00 earned runs on 5.67 hits and 2.22 free passes while punching out 5.58 hitters over 6.08 innings of work.

Jaime Garcia, St. Louis Cardinals

FanDuel Price: $9,100

Similar to Strasburg, when Jaime Garcia has been healthy, he’s been pretty darn good. For his career, he owns a 3.49 SIERA and 3.38 xFIP.

He’s been a machine through two starts this season. Garcia is throwing harder than he ever has, and he’s allowing just an 18.2 percent hard hit rate while fanning 33.9 percent of hitters over 15 innings. Here’s a pitch from his start against Milwaukee earlier this season that just freezes Jonathan Lucroy.

Obviously, it’s just 15 innings, but our projections like Garcia in a tough home matchup with the high-powered Cubs, ranking him fourth among the day’s starting pitchers with a projected point total of 32.49.

We project him to give up 2.28 earned runs on 5.75 hits and 1.87 walks while striking out 4.93 batters over 6.34 innings. The Cubs own an implied total of just 3.56 runs, and Busch Stadium ranked 21st in 2015, according to FanGraphs’ Park Factors.


Josh Donaldson, Toronto Blue Jays

FanDuel Price: $5,400

Tuesday’s second-most expensive hitter, Josh Donaldson, has a nice matchup versus a pedestrian pitcher (Mike Wright) in a hitter’s park (Camden Yards).

In 49 2/3 career innings, Wright, a right-handed thrower, owns a 5.61 xFIP and 5.15 SIERA. Against righties in his MVP season a year ago, Donaldson racked up a .390 wOBA, hit a homer on 22.1 percent of his fly balls, and recorded a meager 12.9 percent soft hit rate. Camden Yards is extremely favorable to left-handed hitters, but it’s pretty kind to right-handers, as well, with FanGraphs’ Park Factors ranking the Orioles’ home park eighth in 2015 in terms of homers to righties.

Toronto’s implied total of 4.58 ties for second on the night, so the Blue Jays’ high-octane lineup is one to target. In addition to Donaldson, our daily hitter projections also rank Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion among the top five batters. Donaldson is first, though, as we project him to put up 16.29 points -- nearly 2 more points than any other batter -- and give him the best odds (0.35) of going deep, making him our top-ranked hitter for the day.

Yoenis Cespedes, New York Mets

FanDuel Price: $4,200

Only the seventh-most expensive player at his position, Yoenis Cespedes provides nice value as our top-ranked outfielder. We project him to amass 14.34 points in a road matchup with Vincent Velasquez and the Philadelphia Phillies.

According to FanGraphs’ Park Factors, Citizens Bank Park ranked fifth in 2015 in terms of allowing home runs to right-handed batters, which bodes well for Cespedes, a righty. In his career, Cespedes has posted a slight reverse platoon split, owning a .349 wOBA and .495 slugging percentage against same-sided pitchers. 

2015 Plate Appearances wOBA Home Runs
Versus Right-Handed Pitchers   521 .383 27
Versus Left-Handed Pitchers 155 .313 8

Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks

FanDuel Price: $4,400

Along with the likes of Mike Trout and Bryce HarperPaul Goldschmidt is almost always a good play. That’s the case again Tuesday as we have Goldschmidt as our fifth-ranked hitter, projecting him to total 13.62 points in his road clash with Matt Cain and the Giants.

There are not a lot of negatives in Goldschmidt’s hitting profile. He mashed right-handers last season to the tune of a .408 wOBA, and for his career, he owns a .390 wOBA away from home.

With a 3.66 SIERA, Cain has looked respectable in 10 2/3 innings this year, but he posted a hard-to-look-at 4.78 SIERA in 60 2/3 frames in 2015.