MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Monday 5/30/16
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. With the split slates, all prices referenced will be from FanDuel's all-day slate.
Pitchers to Target
Jeff Samardzija ($10,700 on FanDuel): The Atlanta Braves' offense has shown marked improvement of late, ranking 18th in wRC+ over the past two weeks, so they may not be as easy of a DFS target as they seem. At the same time, Jeff Samardzija is pitching well enough now to limit even quality opponents. In Samardzija's five starts this month, he holds a 3.21 SIERA with a 25.0% strikeout rate, 4.2% walk rate and 11.6% swinging-strike rate. Although Samardzija's price is a bit of a bummer, it's also a proper reflection of his current form. With the San Francisco Giants heavily favored to snag the victory, Samardzija's worthy of his lofty price tag.
Jose Quintana ($9,300): With the current funk the Chicago White Sox are in, it's hard to pick one of their pitchers for DFS as the odds of snagging a win just don't seem too friendly. With how Jose Quintana has picked up his game this year, though, we can make a bit of an exception. Quintana has brought his SIERA down to a career-low 3.47 thanks in large part to a strikeout rate he has jacked up to 23.6%. He has always been able to limit walks, and that is even more true this year with a career-low walk rate of 4.7%. The New York Mets have a quality offense, but they have also struck out in 27.2% of their plate appearances against left-handed pitching this season. Quintana has shown this year that his individual talent level is enough to overcome the recent shortcomings of the rest of his team.
Tanner Roark ($8,300): You could make a strong case for plugging Nate Karns in here thanks to his strikeout rate and matchup, but he has only topped 100 pitches in one of his past five starts. Tanner Roark, on the other hand, has done so five consecutive times, and he also finds himself with a plus matchup. The Philadelphia Phillies entered Sunday 27th in wRC+ against righties with just a 6.5% walk rate. Roark's 8.4% swinging-strike rate hints that his strikeout rate will likely come down, but that doesn't mean he'll stop inducing weak contact. Roark is the only qualified starter with an opponent soft-hit rate above 29.0%, and he's chilling all the way up at 31.5%. He's not the highest upside pitcher, but given his matchup and talent, he should provide a solid total for his price.
Hitters to Target
Jung Ho Kang ($3,700): Jung Ho Kang has been putting up stupid numbers ever since he came off the disabled list, so it almost seems unfair to give him a matchup against a struggling lefty in Justin Nicolino. Nicolino had a career-best outing last week against the Tampa Bay Rays, fanning 6 batters over 5 2/3 innings, but even that performance only gave him an equal number of walks and strikeouts for the season. Kang is now up to 115 plate appearances against lefties in his career, and he's holding down a sporty 41.1% hard-hit rate. You've got plenty of juicy Pittsburgh bats to choose from tonight, and Kang may top that list.
Charlie Blackmon ($4,700): Cincinnati Reds' starter Dan Straily has been impressive against right-handed batters this year, so if we're getting exposure to Coors Field, we want to give a heavy boost to lefties. Charlie Blackmon's batted-ball stats this year make that limitation a bit easier to swallow. He has increased his hard-hit rate this year to a career-high 35.6% against right-handed pitchers, and that has come while he has also reduced his strikeout rate to 13.3%. Blackmon's aggressiveness on the basepaths has been down this year, but the Reds have allowed the third-most steals in the league thus far, giving him a second source of upside to justify the price.
Adam Duvall ($3,900): Although Adam Duvall doesn't have the platoon advantage over Colorado Rockies' starter Chad Bettis, there are a few things that make Duvall intriguing. Bettis has a lower strikeout rate and ground-ball rate against righties this year, and his hard-hit rate against bumps up to 35.0%. That low strikeout rate is what pushes us onto Duvall -- who strikes out like there's no tomorrow -- because when he makes contact, that puppy can go a long way. He holds a 37.4% hard-hit rate and 47.0% fly-ball rate against right-handed pitching this year. Putting those juicy batted-ball stats in a park as delectable as Coors Field makes Duvall look like a bargain.
J.T. Realmuto ($2,300): The Miami Marlins haven't gotten to face many lefties recently, but one thing has been consistent when they have: J.T. Realmuto has had a sick spot in the batting order. He hit clean-up against a lefty on Thursday, he was third on Monday, and he hit leadoff a few weeks ago with a lefty on the bump. At his price, you'd want to use him regardless of what type of individual talent he had, but he does put forth a respectable 32.0% career hard-hit rate against southpaws, enough to make him one of the top value plays of the day.
Tyler White ($2,100): Just when you thought the magic had fizzled out on Tyler White's start with the Houston Astros, he's right back hitting in the meat of their order. He has hit sixth for each of his last five starts, and that'll likely remain the case today as the Astros face lefty Edwin Escobar. White has a 34.5% hard-hit rate and 51.7% fly-ball rate in a small sample against left-handed pitching, helping alleviate concerns from his high strikeout rate. The Astros rotate their order with regularity, but if White is in the lineup and hitting in a decent spot, he's a low-cost option with tons of upside.
David Freese ($2,600): If you use the afore-gushed-over Jung Ho Kang, then you can't also use David Freese as they're eligible at the same position. Bummer. But if you need to save some dough, Freese might be your guy. He has hit third basically every time the Pittsburgh Pirates have faced a lefty this year, and rightfully so with his 36.5% hard-hit rate against lefties last year. He doesn't have the most upside with a lower fly-ball rate, but a quality spot in the order against a guy who figures to allow a boatload of base runners makes his floor hard to ignore.