3 Daily Fantasy Baseball Hitters to Avoid on 5/19/16

The Mets face Stephen Strasburg on Thursday night, giving Curtis Granderson a tough matchup. Who else should you avoid?

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 Thursday.

Curtis Granderson, OF, New York Mets

FanDuel Price: $3,200

Curtis Grandson has his work cut out for him on Thursday night. The Mets’ leadoff man has to go toe to toe with Stephen Strasburg who, despite being right-handed, has been even better against left-handers during his career and this season.

Lefties own a .223 wOBA against Strasburg this season through 92 total batters faced, and that's no anomaly -- last season, lefties had a wOBA of .255 against Strasburg, and for his career, left-handed batters have a lower BABIP, hard-hit rate, and fly-ball rate against Strasburg compared to righties. This season, Strasburg has a strikeout rate against left-handed hitters of 28.3 percent.

Granderson, on the other hand, has also started to struggle more against right-handed pitching this season. This could very well be an outlier, but so far through 106 at-bats against right-handed pitchers, Granderson’s average is just .208, and his wOBA is .325. His walk rate of 12.2 percent is a big reason for his serviceable wOBA against righties this season, and Strasburg is walking nearly 10 percent of all lefties he faces this season. However, lefties have only three extra base hits off him this season, and that's not going to win anyone anything on Thursday’s short slate.

Colby Rasmus, OF, Houston Astros

FanDuel Price: $3,400

Colby Rasmus had pretty nice month of April, and while his May hasn’t been bad for the Astros, for those looking for daily fantasy value, Rasmus has not delivered. Up until last night, that is, where he hit his first home run since April 24th. Wednesday was only his fourth extra base hit in the month of May, though, and his strikeout rate in May before Wednesday night was 28.3 percent.

Things aren't going to be any easier tonight as the Astros head into Chicago for a matchup with Chris Sale. There's no other way to put it -- Sale has dominated lefties this season. Their wOBA against him in 2016 is only .191, and Sale is striking out lefties at a rate of 27 percent. Their hard-hit rate is only 12 percent, and while the Astros will stack their lineup with righties to combat him, Rasmus might be left to take on Sale, and it likely won’t be pretty.

Rasmus is hitting just .190 against lefties this season, and while his wOBA of .301 against them this season is respectable, it's likely only because of his insanely high walk rate against lefties of 21.4 percent. Sale has a career walk rate against lefties of 5.3 percent, and it’s down to 2.7 percent this season. Don’t make the mistake of chasing points from Rasmus here on Thursday.

Ryan Zimmerman, 1B, Washington Nationals

FanDuel Price: $3,100

If it weren’t for advanced statistics, Ryan Zimmerman might look like a moderately solid play tonight. However, a deeper look into the advanced metrics of both Zimmerman and opposing pitcher Matt Harvey tonight shows that Zimmerman should be avoided.

Zimmerman does own a much higher average against righties this season than lefties. But his wOBA against righties is .297 this season, compared to .320 against lefties. This is due to sample size, as well as his much higher walk rate against lefties. His strikeout rate against righties this season is 22.5 percent and, more importantly, his hard-hit rate against righties is only 27.9 percent.

Enter Harvey, who has struggled to start the season, but is slowly making his way back to the Harvey we all know -- the Harvey that hitters fear. Even though righties are hitting .290 off him this season, Harvey’s xFIP this season against righties is 2.62, which is actually better than his career xFIP of 2.89 against right-handed hitters.

Harvey’s strikeout rate of 22.9 percent against righties this season is only about a percentage point less than his career average. Plus, his hard-hit rate is 25.4 percent, and his fly-ball rate is 22.1 percent this season, which are both either below or only a few percentage points higher than his career numbers. Don’t be surprised if the old Harvey starts to show up tonight in this important divisional battle.