MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Saturday 6/11/16
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 7:15 PM ET and features six games.
Pitchers to Target
Jose Fernandez ($12,000 on FanDuel): It's going to require a significant investment to roster Fernandez tonight, but the dude is straight fire lately. Over his last six starts, a span of 41 innings, the Miami Marlins' ace has allowed a total of three runs while fanning 63. Like I said, he's on one. Even a tough matchup (Arizona Diamondbacks) in a hitters' park (Chase Field) shouldn't scare you off Fernandez today. For his career, he's pitched to a superb 2.91 xFIP away from home, and the Diamondbacks' implied total for tonight is just 3.55 runs, the lowest mark on the main slate.
James Paxton ($7,300): Paxton is our fourth-ranked hurler for his home matchup against the Texas Rangers. A former highly-regarded prospect, Paxton has pitched just 9 2/3 innings in the big leagues this season, but they've been impressive. Obviously, all the small-sample-size caveats apply, but he's struck out 17 and walked just two. It's a continuation of what he was doing at the start of the year in Triple-A. There, he posted a 25.9% strikeout rate and 7.3% walk rate. Obviously, he's unlikely to maintain his this Kershaw-ian pace, but he's in a decent spot tonight. Not only is Seattle home to one of the best pitchers' parks in baseball, but Texas' high-octane offense isn't quite the same outside of Arlington. The Rangers are sporting a .694 OPS on the road, compared to a blistering .788 clip at home. With just 12 starting-pitcher options on the main slate, if you're looking to be contrarian, Paxton is a solid dart throw.
Hitters to Target
Christian Yelich ($3,700): Yelich, a lefty, is quietly having a monster season. He owns a .396 wOBA with an 11.7% walk rate and 17.0% strikeout rate -- all of which are career-best numbers. He is our top-ranked bat for his matchup with Arizona Diamondbacks' right-handed pitcher Zack Godley. As our own Jason Schandl broke down in today's value plays piece, the Miami Marlins' left-handed bats make for great targets tonight. Godley, who is making his season debut, owns a career 4.83 xFIP versus lefties. Yelich has always fared better against right-handers, posting a .361 wOBA versus righties in his career, compared to a .318 mark against southpaws. Yelich has been hitting third, right in front of Marcell Ozuna and Giancarlo Stanton, so he's in a great spot in a lineup with an implied total of 4.45 runs, which is the slate's best mark.
Matt Carpenter ($4,300): Death, taxes and Carpenter putting up good numbers. The St. Louis Cardinals' infielder has become a consistently excellent producer. He's performing at career-best levels this season, mashing to the tune of a .401 wOBA while recording a 14.9% walk rate, both of which are career highs. Hitting at the top of a potent Cardinals' lineup, Carpenter is always on the DFS radar. Tonight, he's our second-ranked hitter for St. Louis' clash with Pittsburgh Pirates' lefty Francisco Liriano. Carpenter, a left-hander himself, fares well against same-sided pitchers, posting a .337 wOBA versus lefties in his career. Liriano has been riding the struggle bus in 2016. He's boasting an ugly 4.76 SIERA with a sky-high 13.5% percent walk rate.
Corey Seager ($3,400): Seager is a tad more expensive than the typical value play, but he checks in as our top-ranked value play nonetheless. Seager has been raking in his first full season in the bigs, racking up a .366 wOBA with 14 taters and performing as an elite option at a thin position. In his brief career, Seager has shown no discernible splits, posting a .384 wOBA versus righties while putting up a .379 wOBA against southpaws. He will square off against San Francisco Giants' right-hander Jeff Samardzija this evening. Owner of a 3.77 xFIP over his career, Samardzija is having a good debut season with the Giants, but he's had a tough time with left-handed hitters in his career, recording a 4.07 xFIP versus southpaws.
David Peralta ($2,600): After posting a superb .380 wOBA last season, Peralta hasn't quite matched that stellar output, but he's still having a nice season. Peralta is sporting a .329 wOBA with four jacks through 144 plate appearances. His matchup with Fernandez, Miami's ace righty, is a tough one, but Peralta has two things working in his favor. First, the game is at Chase Field, the fifth-best hitters' park, per ESPN's Park Factors. Secondly, Peralta has owned righties in his career, annihilating them to the tune of a .380 wOBA, compared to a .273 wOBA versus left-handed pitching. Because he's facing Fernandez, a lot of people may be scared off, making Peralta an intriguing tourney play.