MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Sunday 5/29/16
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. This article is for the main slate, which starts at 1:07 PM ET.
Pitchers to Target
Clayton Kershaw ($13,300 on FanDuel): Kershaw is on one right now. The dude is straight dominating. He is averaging 68.4 FanDuel points -- not a typo -- over his last five starts. You’ll have to fork over a serious amount of dough to get him, but you want to get him. Kershaw owns a 2.00 SIERA, the lowest mark since Fangraphs started keeping SIERA data back in 2002, 33.7% strikeout rate and 1.8% walk rate. If you needed another reason to get him, today’s matchup against the New York Mets is being played a Citi Field, the best pitchers’ park in the bigs, according to ESPN’s Park Factors. Kershaw is our top-ranked pitcher today with a projected point total of 40.29, and the Mets have an implied total of just 2.7 runs.
Stephen Strasburg ($12,000): The fact Strasburg is $1,300 cheaper than Kershaw speaks to how great Kershaw has been, because Strasburg has been really outstanding this season. He is sporting a 2.78 SIERA, 32.0% strikeout rate and 6.7% walk rate. He is taking on the St. Louis Cardinals today in a home start. St. Louis has one of the game’s best offenses, but the Cardinals have an implied total of only 3.22 runs, the day’s second-lowest mark. Strasburg puts up great numbers all the time, but he’s especially dominant at home. For his career, he owns a 2.57 xFIP in his home appearances while limiting hitters to a .268 wOBA.
Jake Odorizzi ($7,900): Odorizzi is a solid play today for his home matchup with the New York Yankees. The Yankees have a bad offense, ranking 24th in wOBA (.302) despite playing half of their games at a very hitter-friendly park. Today’s game take place at the pitcher-friendly confines of Tropicana Field. Odorizzi’s numbers this season -- 4.23 SIERA, 20.1% strikeout rate and 7.1% walk rate aren't all that inspiring -- but he enjoys pitching at home, limiting hitters to a .292 wOBA in his home starts in 2015.
Nathan Eovaldi ($8,100): Eovaldi has always owned one of the game’s best fastballs, but he’s never been able to parlay that into big-time production. He may be figuring it out this year, though. Eovaldi is putting up career-best numbers across the board, posting a 3.43 SIERA, 22.5% strikeout rate and 5.9% walk rate. As we’ve already touched on, today’s bout with the Tampa Bay Rays takes place in a pitcher-friendly environment, and Eovaldi has allowed one earned run on three total hits over his last 12 innings, dominating the Arizona Diamondbacks and Toronto Blue Jays.
Hitters to Target
Ryan Braun ($4,200): Braun has a lot of things going for him in his matchup with Cincinnati Reds’ southpaw Brandon Finnegan. Over his career, he’s torched left-handed pitchers, boasting a monster .435 wOBA versus lefties. The Brewers have an implied run total of 4.89, which is tied for the second-highest mark of the day, and the game is being played at Miller Park, one of the best hitters’ parks in baseball. All of it adds up to make Braun -- who has a .425 wOBA and 11.2% walk rate this year, both of which are career highs -- our top-ranked hitter for the day.
Manny Machado ($4,300): After his breakout campaign a year ago, it was hard to imagine Machado adding to his value, but that’s exactly what he’s done by becoming shortstop eligible. In addition to that, he’s just keeps getting better, posting a .429 wOBA and 10.8% walk rate. He’s our third-ranked bat for today’s road meeting with the Cleveland Indians’ starter Mike Clevinger. A rookie, Clevinger has struggled in his first 10 1/3 innings this season, recording a 4.47 SIERA, and with an implied total of 4.63 runs, Baltimore is one of the day’s top offenses to target.
Kelly Johnson ($2,200): A left-handed bat with pop, Johnson is our top value play of the day. He’s off to a slow start this year, struggling to a .276 wOBA, but he put up a .326 wOBA and .181 ISO versus right-handed pitchers last season, which is what he’ll see today in Miami Marlins’ starter Tom Koehler. If you want to get Kershaw in the lineup, you need to take fliers on some cheap bats, and Johnson’s power gives him decent upside.
Adam Jones ($2,700): With an affordable price tag, Jones is a cheap way to get access to the Orioles’ potent lineup. Jones owns a meager .289 wOBA, but his 35.6% hard-hit rate, his best mark since 2013, suggests he is hitting the ball well. Jones has hit leadoff the last two days, but he’s been Baltimore’s cleanup hitter for most of the season. Either way, he’s a key cog in an offense which ranks in the top 10 in wOBA (.330) and home runs (67).