6 Daily Fantasy Baseball Studs to Target on 5/17/16

Clayton Kershaw is in the midst of a historically-good start to the season. Who else is a good play today?

Tuesday provides us with a 14-game schedule on FanDuel’s main slate, and it’s a day loaded with top-flight pitching options.

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.


Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers

FanDuel Price: $13,000

Not very often in sports are we lucky enough to realize we’re watching something historic as it’s happening. With Clayton Kershaw, we’re getting to see something historic.

He is the game’s best pitcher, and he keeps getting better.

Innings SIERA K% BB%
2013 236 2.99 25.6 5.7
2014 198 1/3 2.09 31.9 4.1
2015 232 2/3 2.24 33.8 4.7
2016 62 1.98 34.2 1.8

Not only is he posting his best numbers since 2013, but he’s putting up career-best numbers across the board. It’s getting ridiculous. has SIERA data going back to 2002, and no one has ever posted a better mark than Kershaw has so far in 2016.

Pitcher Season SIERA
Clayton Kershaw 2016 1.98
Clayton Kershaw 2014 2.09
Curt Schilling 2002 2.18
Clayton Kershaw 2015 2.24
Randy Johnson 2002 2.40

Two things: Uhhh, holy cow, Clayton Kershaw! And the Arizona Diamondbacks had a pretty nice 1-2 punch atop the rotation in 2002.

In his last outing, Kershaw twirled a complete-game three-hitter against the New York Mets, fanning 13 and walking one. In his last five starts, a span of 40 innings, he’s struck out 57 while walking just 2.

Tonight’s matchup against the struggling Los Angeles Angels, who rank 21st with a .307 wOBA, is almost unfair. We project Kershaw to score 46.29 points, making him our top-ranked pitcher by a significant margin. We forecast him to allow 1.48 earned runs on 5.30 hits while punching out 7.46 hitters over 7.01 innings of work. The Angels’ implied run total of 2.43 is the day’s lowest mark.

Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals

FanDuel Price: $10,500

With Kershaw being Tuesday’s most expensive hurler by $2,300, he may be a popular fade in tournaments. While he’s clearly our top option for the night, there are plenty of other aces in action. Two of them can be found in the big apple as the New York Mets host the Nationals.

Max Scherzer checks in as our third-ranked pitcher as we project him to score 38.13 points. That’s not even half of the 90 points he amassed in his last outing. In case you haven’t heard, he pitched pretty well his last time out.

In a road start against the Mets tonight, we see Scherzer allowing 2.11 earned runs on 5.52 hits while striking out 6.77 batters over 6.57 frames.

Noah Syndergaard, New York Mets

FanDuel Price: $10,700

With Scherzer coming off a 20-strikeout game and Noah Syndergaard coming off a two-homer game -- in addition to some pitching dominance of his own -- this one should be fun.

With two top-of-the-line aces facing off, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the implied total for the pitching showdown is a meager 6.50 runs. Syndergaard is our second-ranked pitcher. We project him to score 39.3 points, giving up 1.70 earned runs and fanning 6.62 hitters in 6.74 innings.

Syndergaard is sporting a 30.2% strikeout rate, 5.0% walk rate and 2.51 SIERA -- all of which are career-best numbers. In his brief career, he’s been dominant at home, pitching to a 1.74 xFIP at Citi Field, the site of today’s game.

In addition to Scherzer and Syndergaard, Madison Bumgarner and Zack Greinke round out our top five pitchers for the main slate, providing you with several quality options if you don’t want to fork over the cash for Kershaw.


Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs

FanDuel Price: $4,800

Anthony Rizzo, the Cubs’ first baseman, has a superb matchup tonight against Milwaukee Brewers’ right-hander Chase Anderson. For his career, Rizzo has owned righties.

Plate Appearances wOBA Home Runs
vs. LHP 773 .335 28
vs. RHP 1,919 .372 85

The game is being played at Miller Park, which ranks third in home run factor, per ESPN’s Park Factors. There’s also the not-so-small matter of Anderson not being very good. Through 35 1/3 innings this year, he is sporting a 4.66 SIERA, 16.8% strikeout rate and 8.1% walk rate.

With an implied total of 5.14 runs, the day’s highest mark, the Cubs are going to be a popular target. Rizzo checks in as our top-ranked hitter while Dexter Fowler and Jason Heyward also rank inside the top five.

Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates

FanDuel Price: $4,300

Andrew McCutchen is another top-notch hitter facing a less-than-stellar pitcher.

Tonight’s opposition, Atlanta Braves’ righty Aaron Blair, has struggled in his brief time in the big leagues. In 20 career frames, he has posted an unsightly 6.49 SIERA, 8.4% strikeout rate and 13.3% walk rate.

McCutchen especially crushes lefties, but he is sporting a career .371 wOBA against right-handed pitchers. He does his best work at PNC Park, the site of today’s game. In 2,270 plate appearances in his home stadium, McCutchen has slugged his way to a .394 wOBA, compared to a .368 wOBA on the road.

Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals

FanDuel Price: $4,000

Similar to Rizzo, Matt Carpenter is a left-handed hitter who prefers to face right-handed pitching, which is exactly what he’ll see tonight in Colorado Rockies’ starter Chad Bettis.

Plate Appearances wOBA Home Runs
vs. LHP 813 .339 21
vs. RHP 1,808 .374 40

Carpenter -- who will be playing in his home park -- was even more lethal versus right-handers in 2015, racking up a monster .394 wOBA. He’s been red-hot of late, tattooing five home runs in his last eight games, and he owns a .career .370 wOBA in home games. The leadoff hitter for the team with the second-highest wOBA (.350) in baseball, Carpenter is always someone to consider.

A member of the Rockies for his entire career, Bettis is one of the few who pitches better at home than he does away from Coors Field. In 302 1/3 career innings, he’s pitched to a 3.83 xFIP at home and a 4.35 xFIP on the road.