MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Tuesday 5/24/16
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
Stephen Strasburg ($10,600 on FanDuel): Stephen Strasburg is already great, but he keeps on getting better. Over his last seven starts, his SIERA is 2.50 with a 33.3% strikeout rate and a 5.7% walk rate. All of this is validated by his simply delectable 12.4% swinging-strike rate, which helped him fan 10 New York Mets batters just last week. There may be some risk in using a pitcher with consecutive starts against the same team, but the Mets do present upside with their 22.7% strikeout rate against righties. Strasburg is under-priced, so even with a little bit of risk thanks to the matchup, he's worthy of a roster spot today.
David Price ($10,700): Speaking of risk, we should never feel super comfortable about using a pitcher at Fenway Park. It's just impossible to ignore the immeasurable upside that David Price brings to the table. The Colorado Rockies' offense is much better against lefties this year, but they still have a 25.1% strikeout rate. That can get them in a whole world of trouble facing a guy with Price's 29.4% strikeout rate, which has brought his SIERA down to 2.90 for the season. The Rockies do have some thumpers, so Price may be better suited for tournaments than cash, but he has the ability to completely dominate in this matchup.
Nate Karns ($8,500): There are a good number of relatively low-cost pitchers in play today between Justin Verlander, Julio Teheran, and tourney-option Chris Tillman, but Nate Karns seems to provide the most safety of the group. The Seattle Mariners have a -175 moneyline with an over/under of 7.5, putting Karns' opponent implied team total at the third-lowest on the slate. Karns seems to have unlocked something during his time in Seattle as he has jacked his swinging-strike rate up to 10.6% from 9.2% last year. The Oakland Athletics don't strike out often, but injuries have brought terror upon their lineup. You've got options at pitcher today, but don't overlook Karns and his newfound upside.
Hitters to Target
Mike Trout ($4,900): Mike Trout is a guy who could truthfully be here every day as he doesn't need a quality matchup to go bonkers. But when he's facing a guy like Martin Perez with a 5.08 SIERA and 13.8% strikeout rate, the drool will start to flow. Trout has a 41.8% hard-hit rate and 11.9% soft-hit rate in the month of May, and his hard-hit rate against lefties last year was 41.1%. DFS is more fun when Trout is swinging a quality stick, and he appears to be doing exactly that right now.
Gregory Polanco ($3,900): Shelby Miller's first 112 meetings with left-handed batters this year have not gone well. The Arizona Diamondbacks' righty has walked 19 of those batters, stuck out 9, allowed 4 homers, and plunked 1. Those ratios are sub-Gucci to say the least. He likely didn't sleep well last night knowing a matchup with Gregory Polanco was coming up. Polanco has nearly as many walks as strikeouts against righties this year, and his 36.1% hard-hit rate gives him tasty upside. Any other Pirates lefties would also be fun, but Polanco is easily the most intriguing of the group.
Chris Davis ($3,800): Chris Davis' salary starts with a number that isn't "4" today against a low-strikeout pitcher. That might be of note. Davis has torpedoed righties this year with a 44.4% hard-hit rate, but his one downfall has been a 33.3% strikeout rate. Houston Astros starter Doug Fister has struck out only 12.0% of the lefties he has faced since the start of last year. Minute Maid Park may not be as dope as Camden Yards, but it's good enough to unlock Davis' potential for a relatively-low price.
Mitch Moreland ($2,900): Overall, Los Angeles Angels starter Jhoulys Chacin has been doing some nice things this year. His 3.71 SIERA is infinitely better than his 5.21 ERA would indicate. However, even with this, Chacin struggles against left-handed batters, and Mitch Moreland is good enough to exploit that. His hard-hit rate against righties this year has dipped a bit to 33.3%, but that's still not a bad mark given his pricing and situation. It'll be interesting to see how the Rangers shuffle the lineup with Joey Gallo back with the club, but as long as Moreland doesn't drop, he's a decent option for this slate.
Steven Moya ($2,200): With Justin Upton out of the lineup the past two days -- including being a late scratch last night -- Steven Moya has found himself batting sixth. This is a guy who was hitting .310/.341/.627 in Triple-A prior to his promotion and belted 20 dingers in 535 plate appearances there last year. Philadelphia Phillies starter Jeremy Hellickson has been tremendous this year, but he has continued to struggle when facing left-handed batters. With them at the dish, Hellickson's ground-ball rate falls to 27.8%. That's bad news for Hellickson when facing a big-bopper like Moya, but it could be delightful for your DFS squads. If Moya's in there again, he might be worth a roll of the dice.
Chris Young ($2,500): Chris Young is one of those dudes who's a risk of leaving early for a pinch hitter, but his recent game logs are encouraging. He has either completed or lasted until the ninth inning in each of his past six starts dating back to May 3rd. That can allow us to bask in his hard-hit rate, which has hovered around 33.0% the past two years against lefties, while worrying a bit less about an early trip to the showers. Jorge De La Rosa is making his first start off of an injury for the Colorado Rockies, and any slip up could lead to a big night for the lefty-bashing Young.