MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Saturday 4/23/16
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.
Pitchers to Target
Jose Fernandez (FanDuel Price: $11,000) - Fernandez was finally able to put it together in his last start, getting his first win of the season in a 54 FanDuel point effort. Today he draws the Giants, who were tough against righties last season, but he is pitching in AT&T Park, which suppresses offense. The Giants are projected for just 3.3 runs, which is the second least on the day's slate. Combine that with Fernandez's elite strikeout potential, and he is easily the top pitcher of the day.
Steven Matz ($8,300) - Matz bounced back from his horrendous first start with a seven inning shutout against the Indians. He struck out nine and picked up the win, totaling 60 FanDuel points before it was all said and done. Today he draws the Braves, who were second to last in wOBA against lefties last season. This season, Atlanta has posted just a .229 wOBA against lefties, while striking out at a 23.1 percent clip. He's an excellent option in tournaments if you can't fit Fernandez in.
Hitters to Target
Jose Bautista ($4,500) - Bautista has shown no signs of slowing down in his age-35 season, averaging 11.7 FanDuel points, with one double dong game already. He has a chance to build on his numbers tonight against Chris Bassitt, who posted a SIERA of 4.39 last season and has shown susceptibility to powerful right-handers like Bautista. Bautista has experienced reverse-splits throughout his career, hitting righties better than lefties, and 2015 was no different. He already launched three bombs off of right-handed pitching this season, and last year, 35 of his 40 long balls came against righties. That should come as no surprise, considering he posted an absurd 49.9 percent fly ball rate and 35.7 percent hard hit rate against righties. His slugging percentage, ISO, and wOBA were all improved against righties as well, especially at home. Bautista posted a .583 slugging percentage, .328 ISO, and .412 wOBA at Rogers Centre last year.
Anthony Rizzo ($4,400) - Rizzo has now homered in three straight games, and tonight's matchup makes it quite likely he could post a fourth. The Cubbies get Dan Straily, a vulnerable right-handed pitcher who struggles against lefties. Rizzo has punished righties throughout his career, posting a .491 slugging percentage, .224 ISO, .368 wOBA, and 33.3 percent hard-hit rate, all of which are significant improvements from his numbers against lefties. He is the top first baseman on the board today.
Adrian Gonzalez ($4,200) - Gonzo repaid those who stacked the Dodgers last night at Coors with two hits and a home run, his second in three games. He gets a chance to add to his total tonight, as the Dodgers draw another weak righty at Coors. They're projected for 5.7 runs, which is easily the highest total of the day. Gonzo is up there with Rizzo for the top first baseman, and stacking the Dodgers gives him more upside than Rizzo, whose Cubbies are projected for 1.1 less runs today.
Corey Seager ($4,000) - If you played yesterday, you know the drill. Seager, also playing at Coors against righty Tyler Chatwood, has also crushed righties through his career. All of his counting stats are up against righties, and he has posted a sick 40 percent hard-hit rate against them. Yesterday he collected two hits, including a home run, and finished with 33 FanDuel points. He's clearly the top play at shortstop today.
Gregory Polanco ($3,500) - Polanco continues his rapid improvement at the plate, posting incredibly impressive strikeout-to-walk ratios for someone so young, and is now bringing some power to the table, too. He has three extra base hits in his past two games, including a homer last night, and remains ridiculously underpriced at just $3,500. The Pirates draw Rubby De La Rosa today, who looks like a respectable pitcher until he has to face left-handed batters. He allowed lefties to post a .567 slugging percentage and .404 wOBA against him last year. Polanco, a lefty, has some pretty fun splits himself. In his career, Polanco has raised his slugging percentage from .258 against lefties to a robust .406 mark against righties. He's also seen improvement in his ISO, wOBA, walk rate, fly-ball rate, and hard-hit rate against righties, while striking out less often. With the Pirates projected to score more than any team not at Coors, Polanco is an auto-play tonight at this price.
Maikel Franco ($2,700) - There was the Franco we all expected after we watched him crush this Spring Training! The young third baseman exploded last night, going three-for-four with two homers and 42 FanDuel points. He looks to stay hot tonight against righty Chase Anderson, who posted a 4.26 SIERA last season and experienced reverse-splits, pitching worse to right-handed batters. Franco has also experienced some reverse-splits, elevating his slugging percentage, ISO, wOBA, and hard-hit rate against righties. With this game being played at Miller Park, home of the third-highest HR-Park Factor over the past three seasons, Franco looks like a pretty easy play at third base at this price.