MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Saturday 6/4/16
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 for the games starting after 4 p.m. Eastern.
Pitchers to Target
Clayton Kershaw ($13,500 on FanDuel): The price isn't cheap, but you get what you pay for with Kershaw. His 2.02 SIERA is nearly a full run better than the second-best pitcher going today (Stephen Strasburg at 2.98). That's what happens when you own a 34.0% strikeout rate and a 15.4% swinging strike rate. Oh, and he's playing the Braves and is a -420 favorite. Play him in cash games with confidence if you feel like you can find enough value bats on a pretty full slate.
Stephen Strasburg ($12,000): The savings that Strasburg offers against the Reds is mighty tempting. We already know he's got the second-best SIERA on the slate. His 11.5% swinging strike rate ranks third, and his 30.5% strikeout rate ranks second. I can't fault you for opting for him over Kershaw, but perhaps the weather concerns in Cincinnati should give Kershaw the edge in cash games. It's really a win-win situation here.
Collin McHugh ($8,000): McHugh grades out as a solid value play, though avoiding the trio of Kershaw, Strasburg, and Chris Sale is begging for trouble. Still, in tournaments, McHugh could be a smart way to differentiate. If everyone is spending up on pitchers, the obvious value bats will be highly owned. Spending down at pitcher and up at hitter could give you an instant edge (if the pricey pitchers don't pay off). Why McHugh? He's got a usable 3.88 SIERA, a 10.4% swinging strike rate -- sixth-best on the slate -- and a 20.7% strikeout rate. As a -164 favorite, McHugh, despite an implied total for the A's just shy of four, could be a worthwhile pivot if everyone else is playing the same style after paying up at pitcher.
Hitters to Target
Jose Abreu ($3,100): Abreu isn't very expensive, but we have to talk about him. He's facing Mike Pelfrey, who has a 5.11 SIERA and just a 12.0% strikeout rate. Abreu's ISO (.143) and wOBA (.303) aren't elite against righties this season, but Pelfrey is bad enough to bring out Abreu's upside: Abreu had a .232 ISO and .383 wOBA against righties last season. At $3,100 and with pitchers to spend up for, Abreu is a high-floor, high-ceiling option.
Bryce Harper ($3,900): Harper has an ISO against righties (.305) that some guys would love to have as a batting average. Count in his .420 wOBA against righties, and you have to consider him regardless of the opposing pitcher. If that opposing pitcher is Dan Straily and owns a 4.35 SIERA, a 10.7% walk rate, and a 30.9% hard hit rate, you've gotta try to get Harper in your lineup.
Jose Altuve ($4,000): You can also consider opting for Daniel Murphy at second base today against Straily, but Altuve's .205 ISO and .389 wOBA against righties makes his matchup against Kendall Graveman enticing as well. Graveman has a modest 17.3% strikeout rate, and 9.3% swinging strike rate to pair with a 4.57 SIERA and a 31.6% hard hit rate.
Justin Bour ($2,900): Both Bour and Derek Dietrich (also $2,900) get an exciting matchup against Bartolo Colon and his 4.20 SIERA and 17.7% strikeout rate. Bour owns a .248 ISOA and .356 wOBA against right-handers this season over 137 at-bats, and Dietrich is at .184 and .386, respectively. Bour is hitting sixth today, and Dietrich is leading off, so both make for money-saving options with elite potential.
Corey Dickerson ($2,700): Remember Harper's .305 ISO against righties? Well, Dickerson isn't far behind at .295 this season, and that's without Coors Field boosting his stats as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays. Ervin Santana grades out well enough by most measures, but Dickerson is too good to ignore, especially at this price.
Chris Iannetta ($2,600): Iannetta owned a .184 ISO and .352 wOBA against left-handers last year over 71 at-bats, and in 2015, he's at .143 and .390, respectively. Martin Perez and his 4.94 SIERA shouldn't have much success shutting down the Mariners as a whole (they've got an implied total around 4.5 runs), and Iannetta, even if he hits low in the order, could be worth it given the extra chances he could see if and when the Mariners get to Perez.