4 Daily Fantasy Baseball Studs to Target on 4/28/16

On a night with just four games, which expensive players can you count on to anchor your lineup?

Thursday presents us with a lighter schedule as there are just eight games on the MLB schedule. Only four of those games fall onto FanDuel’s main slate.

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 two hitters and two pitchers, who, despite costing a good chunk of change, are worth the investment.


Clay Buchholz, Boston Red Sox

FanDuel Price: $9,100

A one-time top prospect, Clay Buchholz has never turned into a top-of-the-rotation ace, but he hasn’t been a complete flop either. In fact, he turned in the best season of his career in an injury-shortened campaign a year ago, amassing 3.2 Wins Above Replacement (WAR), per FanGraphs.

Buchholz Innings xFIP SIERA K% WAR
2015 113.1 3.3 3.35 22.8 3.2

He’s gotten off to a slow start through his first 21 1/3 innings of 2016, but Buchholz is our top-ranked pitcher for today’s main slate.

A lot of it has to do with his matchup against the woeful Braves, who rank dead last in wOBA -- by a lot.

Team wOBA
Braves 0.261
Athletics 0.288
Angels 0.29
Padres 0.29
Phillies 0.291

Our models have Buchholz scoring 34.05 points against Atlanta. We project him to allow 2.44 earned runs on 5.88 hits while striking out 5.17 hitters over 6.46 innings.

Jose Fernandez, Miami Marlins

FanDuel Price: $10,700

Jose Fernandez’s traditional stats -- 1-2 record, 4.37 ERA -- aren’t pretty. However, his advanced numbers tell a completely different story. Fernandez owns a 3.14 SIERA, monster 34.0 strikeout percentage and 11.7 walk percentage. Other than issuing too many free passes, he’s been a stud.

Fernandez is our second-ranked arm on the main slate as Miami closes out their series against the Dodgers. We project him to permit 2.46 earned runs on 5.83 hits while fanning 5.27 batters over 6.11 frames, which adds up to 30.24 points.


Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox

FanDuel Price: $4,500

Mookie Betts checks in as our sixth-ranked hitter for the main slate. We project him to score 12.63 points.

Betts, a right-handed hitter, will square off against Atlanta righty Jhoulys Chacin. Betts doesn’t own much of a platoon split, but he’s actually hit right-handed pitchers better in his young career.

Mookie Betts Plate Appearances wOBA Home Runs
vs. LHP 229 0.349 7
vs. RHP 738 0.361 20

It doesn’t hurt that Chacin isn’t very good. Owner of a career 4.04 xFIP, Chacin hasn’t posted an xFIP under 4.12 since 2013. Additionally, the Boston's implied total of 4.9 runs is the best mark of the main slate.

Randal Grichuk, St. Louis Cardinals

FanDuel Price: $3,200

Already a masher with serious pop (17 homers, .370 wOBA in 250 plate appearances in 2015), Randal Grichuk is taking a leap forward in his plate discipline. Last season, he fanned 31.4 percent of the time and walked in just 6.3 percent of his trips to the plate, fitting the mold of the new-age, who-cares-about-strikeouts slugger.

Through 79 plate appearances this season, Grichuk has been a revelation. He’s walking 11.4 percent of the time and has cut his strikeout rate to 24.1.

Turns out, this progress is the result of some purposeful action on Grichuk’s part. After an awful start (1-for-14 and 8 strikeouts), Grichuk now owns a respectable .303 wOBA, which is suppressed by a lowly .229 batting average on balls in play (BABIP). His career BABIP is .333. In season-long leagues, he’s a nice buy-low target, and for DFS purposes, we project him to have a big game this evening.

Tonight, Grichuk, a righty, will face off with Arizona right-hander Rubby De La Rosa. In his career, the Cardinals’ slugger has fared well against same-sided pitchers, owning a reverse split.

Randal Grichuk Plate Appearances wOBA Home Runs
vs. LHP 193 0.312 9
vs. RHP 309 0.365 14

We have Grichuk as our fourth-ranked hitter for the main slate. We project him to rack up 12.82 points with the third-best odds (0.24) of cranking a home run. The Cardinals' implied total of 4.57 runs in the second-best clip of the main slate.