3 Daily Fantasy Baseball Hitters to Avoid on 5/3/16
As is the case in most daily fantasy sports, finding information on players you might want to roster is a lot easier than finding players to avoid.
While you can get away with a zero from a hitter in daily fantasy, you certainly don't want to target guys whose matchups aren't enticing.
Here are three hitters you may want to lessen your exposure to or even fade altogether on Tuesday.
Jordy Mercer, SS, Pittsburgh Pirates
FanDuel Price: $3,100
The entire Pirates roster is in a tough spot tonight against Jake Arrieta, but one player in particular who stands out is Jordy Mercer. The Pirates’ shortstop is off to a great start. He already has 13 RBI on the young season, and he has a wOBA of .358 in 92 at-bats. However, Arrieta is off to a better start, and Mercer has struggled some against right-handed pitching so far this season.
While the season is still young, Mercer owns a wOBA of .330 against righties, but his strikeout rate increases to 14.6 percent compared to just 4.5 percent against lefties, and his walk rate drops from 27.3 percent against lefties to only 6.7 percent against righties.
Furthermore, Mercer’s ISO this season drops to .066 against right-handed pitching, and for his career, his wOBA against righties is .277, with a strikeout rate of 18.1percent.
Arrieta’s dominance has been well documented, but he is virtually un-hittable for righties. The 81 righties Arrieta has faced faced own a wOBA of .141 this season, and Arrieta’s strikeout rate against right-handed hitters this season is 29.6 percent, compared to 16.7 percent against lefties.
Travis Shaw, 3B, Boston Red Sox
FanDuel Price: $3,400
Travis Shaw is another guy who has an extremely tough matchup tonight as he faces off against the White Sox’ lefty, Jose Quintana. The southpaw is off to a great start this season, especially against left-handed hitters, and Shaw has presented some weakness against left-handed pitchers this season after crushing them in 2015.
So far in 2016, Shaw owns a wOBA of just .126 against left-handed pitchers through 17 at-bats, but last season, Shaw crushed lefties during his time in the Majors with a wOBA of .414 and an ISO of .293. In all, Shaw has had fewer than 100 total Major League at-bats against left-handed pitching, but he's facing a pitcher who is good against left-handed hitters.
Lefties have a wOBA against Quintana this season of just .161, and last year, that number was .287. This season, Quintana’s strikeout rate has been very similar against righties and lefties. It's probably smart to fade Shaw in cash games and relegate him to GPPs only.
Ryan Howard, 1B, Philadelphia Phillies
FanDuel Price: $2,200
Ryan Howard had modest season in 2015, but he still clubbed 23 home runs and had more extra-base hits than in his 2014 campaign where he almost drove in 100 runs.
However, 2016 has not been kind to Howard so far. He has a wOBA of just .267, and his strikeout rate of 33.3 percent is on pace for the second-highest rate of his career. While he does face a right-hander on the mound tonight in St. Louis, Michael Wacha has actually been better against left-handed hitting this season and in his career.
Left-handed hitters have a wOBA of just .278 against him in 2016 and a mark of .262 in his career.
Wacha has a lower career fly ball rate and hard hit rate against lefties at 31.3 and 30.2 percent, respectively, and this season, his strikeout rate against lefties is 25.6 percent.
Howard has started to struggle against right-handers in 2016.
Howard’s strikeout rate against righties is 33.8 percent, and his ISO is .188 compared to .250 against lefties. He's had just 77 plate appearances against righties, so it could be an outlier. However, Wacha’s performance against lefties is no fluke, which makes Howard, the St. Louis native, a risky bet tonight.