MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Saturday 6/25/16
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 FanDuel’s main slate, which starts at 7:05 PM ET and features eight games.
Pitchers to Target
Madison Bumgarner ($12,000 on FanDuel): Bumgarner is our top-ranked pitcher, and it’s not even close. Our models give him a projected point total of 40.41 points, which is nearly 7 points better than the main slate’s second-ranked hurler. Not only is Bumgarner one of the game’s best arms -- 3.35 SIERA and 28.1% strikeout rate -- but he is facing off with the Philadelphia Phillies, who rank 25th in ISO (.142) and 29th in wOBA (.284). For the cherry on top, the game is being played at AT&T Park, which ranks last in home run factor and 28th in overall park factor. Vegas gives the Phillies an insanely low implied total of 2.44 runs. The only negative here is his Rolls Royce price, and the fact that he’ll probably be very highly owned, which could make him slightly less attractive in tournaments.
Jacob deGrom ($10,400): For those wanting to pivot off Bumgarner but still wanting to roster a high-upside flamethrower, deGrom is your man. The Mets’ righty has bounced back from a slow start and is sporting a 3.61 SIERA and 23.8% strikeout rate. He’s been lights out in June, recording a 33.7% strikeout rate this month while limiting hitters to a .277 wOBA. He gets the Atlanta Braves tonight. Atlanta has been better of late, but the Braves’ offense is still a trainwreck, ranking last in wOBA (.279), last in ISO (0.98) and last in long balls (35). The Braves have an implied total of 3.29 runs.
Jhoulys Chacin ($5,600): It’ll take some courage, but if you’re looking for a contrarian play, Chacin is at least worth looking into. At a clearance rack price, he will allow you to go all retail therapy on your offense. Chacin’s 5.50 ERA is much worse than his 4.48 SIERA, and his 32.0% hard-hit rate is his best clip since 2011. Owner of a 52.5% ground-ball rate, Chacin stands to greatly benefit from the return of shortstop Andrelton Simmons, who vacuums up just about everything on the left side. Chacin gets the Oakland Athletics tonight at Angel Stadium, which checks in 25th in park factor and 23rd in home run factor. Oakland has a below average offense (24th in wOBA), and the A’s really like to put the ball in play, ranking 29th in walk rate (6.3%) and 27th in whiff rate (18.2%). Quick outs could help Chacin go deep into tonight’s game.
Hitters to Target
Yoenis Cespedes ($4,500): Cespedes is our top-ranked bat for his road matchup against Atlanta Braves’ righty Julio Teheran. Last year was supposed to be Cespedes’ breakout campaign, but he’s raised his game to another level in 2016. Cespedes boasts a .391 wOBA, 9.4% walk rate and .288 ISO -- all of which are career-best numbers by a significant margin. He’s been particularly deadly away from Citi Field, posting a massive .414 wOBA on the road. Cespedes owns a .349 wOBA against righties for his career, which is what he’ll see tonight in Julio Teheran. With a 2.66 ERA, Teheran is getting pretty lucky this year. Both his 81.6% strand rate and .206 BABIP are due for some regression, and 3.75 SIERA -- albeit still solid -- is a better indication of how he’s pitched this year. Cespedes missed some time with a sprained wrist, but he played Friday and should be good to go today.
Mike Trout ($4,400): When, four years into your career, a .394 wOBA is the worst mark of your career, you’re Mike Trout. The dude is something else. Trout is putting together another monster campaign, sporting a .303/.404/.528 slash line with 14 jacks, 10 steals and a career-low 18.4% whiff rate. Trout squares off against Oakland lefty Dillon Overton, a 24-year-old who will be making his big-league debut. Trout owns a .392 wOBA versus southpaws for his career, and he boasts a 35.3% hard-hit rate this season against left-handers.
Wilmer Flores ($2,000): With David Wright on the shelf, Flores is seeing every-day at-bats for the Mets. As we mentioned earlier, Teheran isn’t having quite the year his traditional numbers suggest, and with a minimum salary, Flores has a chance to be a nice value play today. A righty, Flores owns a small reverse split, posting a .304 wOBA against same-sided pitchers. He’s been hot this month, mashing in June to the tune of a 30.6% hard-hit rate and .367 wOBA. Flores has been hitting sixth in the Mets’ lineup, and he can be a cheap piece of a New York stack.
Kolten Wong ($2,200): Wong, the St. Louis Cardinals’ starting second baseman last season, has had an interesting year. His early-season struggles and the emergence of Aledmys Diaz -- which made him expendable once Jhonny Peralta got healthy -- resulted in a demotion to Triple-A. Wong went scorched-earth policy in Memphis, putting up a comically-huge .606 wOBA in 34 plate appearances and earning a quick recall to the bigs. This time, however, the Cards plugged him into centerfield. Wong has been playing and hitting near the bottom of the order versus righties, so he should be in there today against Seattle Mariners’ pitcher Nate Karns. Wong owns a career .301 wOBA against righties, and his 8.0% walk rate this year is a career high.