MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Saturday 5/28/16
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. The main slate tonight only features six games, so we’re going to open this up to the all-day slate, which contains all 15 games and starts at 1:07 PM ET.
Pitchers to Target
Noah Syndergaard ($11,500 on FanDuel): Syndergaard has been absolutely phenomenal this year. He has thrust himself into the conversation as the second-best pitcher in the game, behind the otherworldly Clayton Kershaw. In his age-24 season, he ranks among the top four pitchers in strikeout rate (32.6%), walk rate (3.9%) and SIERA (2.18). We project Syndergaard to keep rolling in today’s home matchup with the Los Angeles Dodgers, ranking him as the top arm for Saturday. Los Angeles has an implied total of 3.11 runs, the lowest of the day, and Syndergaard has limited hitters to a measly .242 wOBA in 117 1/3 career innings at Citi Field, which the the game’s top pitchers’ park, per ESPN’s Park Factors. He's such a popular target, it may be tempting to pivot off him in tournament play, but he's a hard guy to pass up in cash games.
Danny Salazar ($9,500): Salazar is our third-ranked pitcher for his home start against the Baltimore Orioles. It’s a tough assignment, to be sure, but Salazar has the stuff to baffle any lineup when he’s on his game. He’s posting a 3.52 SIERA and an elite 30.3% strikeout rate, which is helping cover up a career-worst 11.8% walk rate. Still just 26, Salazar has always fared better at home, recording a 3.19 xFIP at Progressive Field, compared to a 3.51 xFIP on the road. His upside is as big any anyone on the slate not named Syndergaard, and his price tag isn’t through the roof.
Kyle Hendricks ($8,000): Hendricks has provided the Chicago Cubs with really good production at the back of their rotation. Through 306 2/3 innings over the past two-plus seasons, Hendricks owns a 3.56 SIERA, 20.2% strikeout rate and 5.6% walk rate. His numbers through 46 1/3 innings this year -- 3.51 SIERA, 20.3% strikeout rate and 6.4% walk rate -- fall right in line with his career clips. Hendricks gets a dreamy matchup with the Philadelphia Phillies, who rank 29th in home runs (36), 27th in walk rate (6.8%) and 27th in wOBA (.286). He’s our second-ranked pitcher today and provides you with extra bankroll for your offense.
Hitters to Target
Andrew McCutchen ($4,200): McCutchen and the Pittsburgh Pirates are going to be a popular stack for their road matchup with Texas Rangers’ pitcher Yu Darvish, who is making his debut after Tommy John surgery. Our top-ranked hitter, McCutchen went 2-for-5 with a bomb, two runs and two RBI’s last night in the series opener. It was just the latest big game in what’s been another productive season for Pittsburgh’s franchise player. After a slow start, McCutchen has his wOBA up to .347, slugging 9 jacks with a .210 ISO. The game is being played in the hitter-friendly confines of Globe Park, and Pittsburgh boasts an implied run total of 4.19.
Paul Goldschmidt ($4,000): Hidden on a bad team on the West Coast, Goldschmidt just keeps putting up big numbers, even if he’s off to a slower start -- by his standards -- this year. Through 220 plate appearances, he owns just a .365 wOBA and .183 ISO, but his 20.5% walk rate is a career high. Goldschmidt checks in as our second-ranked bat for his home matchup against San Diego Padres’ righty Cesar Vargas, who is sporting a 4.15 SIERA and 9.2% walk rate this season. Arizona has a tasty implied total of 4.83 runs. Not only is Chase Field one of the best hitters' parks in the game, but Goldschmidt is straight diabolical at home, mashing to the tune a .441 wOBA at Chase Field in 2015.
Michael Bourn ($2,200): If you want to try and fit Syndergaard into your lineup, you need to save some dough on offense. Bourn can help you pinch pennies while getting you exposure to Arizona, one of the day’s top offenses (4.83 implied runs). With San Diego tossing a righty, Bourn should be in the lineup, and he’s been slotted second of late, right in front of Goldschmidt. Bourn has only logged 26 plate appearances with Arizona this year, but he’s performed well in the extremely small sample, racking up a .395 wOBA and an 11.5% walk rate.
Jarrett Parker ($2,900): Parker doesn’t offer the clearance-rack price tag of Bourn, but he has higher upside. Parker is our seventh-ranked hitter for his road matchup against Colorado Rockies’ righty Eddie Butler, owner of a 4.15 SIERA and uninspiring 15.3% strikeout rate. Getting some playing time lately versus right-handers, Parker has a .350 wOBA in an extremely small sample size of 16 plate appearances. He did hit the ball well last season, too, posting a .486 wOBA in 54 plate appearances. Obviously, there’s not a ton of data off which to work, but he’s shown some signs and the matchup (and location) is dope.