MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Sunday 6/5/16
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 1:10 PM ET and features all 15 games.
Pitchers to Target
Jose Fernandez ($11,300 on FanDuel): Today is not a fun day to swing a bat for a living as the slate is loaded with electric arms. Fernandez, one of the game’s top pitchers, is our third-ranked hurler for his home matchup with the New York Mets. Fernandez has been straight fire over his past three outings, racking up 27 punchouts and allowing just two earned runs over 20 innings. For the year, he is sporting a 2.77 SIERA while leading the league with an unfair 36.0% strikeout rate. Fernandez, still just 23, has been dominant at home in his career, holding the opposition to a crazy-low .225 wOBA in his home starts. The Mets have an implied total of 3.17 runs, the day’s lowest mark.
Jake Arrieta ($12,000): Arrieta has been nothing short of spectacular since coming to the Chicago Cubs. He has posted a SIERA of 2.83 and 2.75, respectively, in each of the past two seasons. While his numbers aren’t quite as otherworldly this campaign, he’s still performing at an elite level, recording a 3.15 SIERA and 26.0% strikeout rate. Arrieta gets a home tilt with the Arizona Diamondbacks today, and he’s our second-ranked pitcher for the slate. Arizona ranks in the top 10 in wOBA, but the Diamondbacks’ slugging percentage is .419 on the road, compared to .442 in Arizona.
Corey Kluber ($9,200): Kluber is a little more expensive than the typical value play, but he’s certainly a value when it comes to today’s pricing of the top arms. Kluber is our top-ranked pitcher for Sunday, but he’s $2,800 less than Arrieta and $2,100 less than Fernandez. In fact, he’s also cheaper than Gerrit Cole and Jose Quintana. While Kluber’s traditional stats, specifically his 4.15 ERA, don’t look good, he’s still an elite performer, posting a 3.38 SIERA, 24.4% strikeout rate and 5.4% walk rate. Today, he gets the Kansas City Royals in a home start. Kluber held hitters to a measly .280 wOBA in his home outings in 2015. The only reason for pause here is the weather. It looks like there’s a decent chance for rain this afternoon in Cleveland, so check the forecast before rostering Kluber.
Matt Harvey ($7,500): Like Kluber, Harvey is considerably more talented than your average value play. However, unlike Kluber, Harvey’s performance warrants a low price tag. Harvey’s mysteriously poor 2016 has been dissected from all angles, but his last start was his first positive sign in awhile. In that outing, Harvey blanked the Chicago White Sox over seven strong innings, punching out six and recording his highest fastball velocity of the season. Harvey is our ninth-ranked pitcher for today’s road matchup with the Miami Marlins. He has as much upside as anyone on the slate, which is saying something today, and he makes for an intriguing tournament play. Admittedly, with a 4.28 SIERA and 18.7% strikeout rate, which is below the league average, Harvey has a pretty low floor, too.
Hitters to Target
Jose Bautista ($4,300): Bautista is the day’s top-ranked hitter for his road matchup with Boston Red Sox lefty Eduardo Rodriguez. Bautista’s recent move to the leadoff spot may hurt his chances to drive in runs -- although the return of Devon Travis will be a boost for the bottom of the Toronto Blue Jays’ lineup -- but the change will help him get more plate appearances, which is always a good thing. Bautista’s .358 wOBA, while still being a good clip, is one pace to be his lowest mark since 2009. His 38.4% hard-hit rate, however, is his best rate since 2011. That and his career-high 17.4% walk rate suggest not a single dang thing is wrong with Bautista. Toronto has an implied total of 4.69 runs today for a game in Fenway Park, the second-best hitters’ park in baseball, per ESPN’s Park Factors.
Anthony Rizzo ($4,300): Rizzo’s .251 batting average, his worst clip since 2013, is extremely deceiving, because he is having the best year of his career. In his age-27 campaign, Rizzo owns career-best marks in walk rate (14.5%), strikeout rate (11.9%) and ISO (.272) while sporting a gaudy .386 wOBA. He is our second-ranked hitter for his meeting with Arizona Diamondbacks’ lefty Patrick Corbin. Despite being a southpaw himself, Rizzo has a solid .336 wOBA against left-handed pitchers for his career. With a 16.7% strikeout rate, 7.5% walk rate and 4.34 SIERA, Corbin is going to have his work cut out for him against a Chicago lineup which ranks fourth with a .338 wOBA.
Shawn O'Malley ($2,000): With a minimum price tag, O’Malley is a cheap way to get access to the Seattle Mariners for their matchup with struggling Texas Rangers’ starter Derek Holland. Seattle’s implied total of 4.9 runs in the day’s second highest mark, and O’Malley has been in the lineup lately versus southpaws, including hitting leadoff Saturday. In his brief career, O’Malley owns a .296 wOBA against lefties. Holland has been in some kind of rut this season, posting a 5.40 SIERA, 11.9% strikeout rate and 7.1% walk rate. Playing in one of the game’s top hitters’ parks in Arlington, Seattle should be in for a big day.
Ben Revere ($2,500): Revere should be hitting leadoff for the day’s top offense as the Washington Nationals’ implied total of 5.13 runs leads the way Sunday. Revere will likely be slotted in front of Jayson Werth, Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy, which is a pretty nice place to be. Cincinnati Reds’ righty Jon Moscot is the biggest reason the Nationals are expected to have a huge day. Moscot is putting up some incredibly bad numbers this year, struggling to the tune of a 6.22 SIERA, 8.1% strikeout rate and 10.3% walk rate. Revere got a late start to the season because of injuries, but he posted a .327 wOBA versus right-handers in 2015. The game is being played at Great American Ballpark, which ranks fifth in home run factor. The Nationals figure to be a popular target today.