MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Saturday 7/2/16
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 EST and features eight games.
Pitchers to Target
Rich Hill ($9,900 on FanDuel): In his first start back from a groin ailment, Hill gets to take on the Pittsburgh Pirates at pitcher-friendly Oakland Coliseum. Through 64 innings this season, Hill has been outstanding, putting up a 3.57 SIERA, 28.0% strikeout rate and 9.1% walk rate. The whiff rate checks in 10th in all of baseball. Pittsburgh has a good offense, ranking 10th in wOBA, but the Pirates have been terrible of late. Over the last 30 days, Pittsburgh ranks last in wOBA (.294), 26th in homers (25) and 25th in ISO (.142). The Pirates have been considerably worse away from PNC Park, putting up a .316 wOBA on the road, compared to a .331 wOBA at home. Ranking 22nd in park factor and 27th in home run factor, per ESPN’s Park Factor, the Oakland Coliseum provides a nice backdrop for Hill tonight.
Jake Arrieta ($11,500): Aside from his walk rate, Arrieta is putting together another stellar campaign. His 27.1% strikeout rate ties his clip from his Cy Young effort a year ago, and his 21.9% hard-hit rate is a career-best mark. The aforementioned walk rate -- which, at 9.8%, is up significantly from his 5.5% walk rate in 2015 -- is his only blemish. Tonight, Arrieta takes on the New York Mets at Citi Field. The Mets ranks 20th in wOBA against righties (.308), and Citi Field ranks last in home run factor. New York’s implied total of 3.15 runs is the lowest of the main slate.
Joe Ross ($8,400): In his age-23 season, Ross has become a dependable back-of-the-rotation arm for the surging Washington Nationals. Ross’ numbers -- 4.12 SIERA, 20.7% strikeout rate and 7.0% walk rate -- are all slightly worse than what he did last season as a rookie. However, his 29.7% hard-hit rate and 16.2% soft-hit rate are both improvements from his 2015 numbers. Ross, a righty, is coming off a superb month of June. In 29 1/3 innings last month, he pitched to a 3.33 xFIP, 24.4% whiff rate and 6.3% walk rate. He’s in a good spot today in his home start against the Cincinnati Reds, who have struggled this season to a .298 wOBA against right-handed pitchers. The Reds aren’t the same squad away from the homer-happy Great American Ballpark, posting a meager .293 wOBA on the road.
Hitters to Target
Mike Trout ($4,600): Trout’s player page on Fangraphs should be a required bookmark for any baseball fan. He’s incredible. Just 24, he’s having another monster season, posting a .419 wOBA with 17 jacks and 12 steals. Trout -- our top-ranked hitter for today -- owns a reverse split this year, abusing right-handed pitching to the tune of a .434 wOBA, and he’s also posting a .438 wOBA in home games. Absolutely none of that is good news for Boston Red Sox’ right-hander Clay Buchholz, who will toe the rubber tonight at Angel Stadium. With a 5.30 SIERA, 15.7% strikeout rate and 10.9% walk rate, Buchholz is putting up career-worst numbers across the board. It’ll take a serious investment as Trout is the day’s most expensive bat, but you want to roster him.
Buster Posey ($4,400): Owner of a career .368 wOBA and a guy who walked more than he struck out last season, Posey has set the bar extremely high for himself. He’s not producing at his usual level this year, but he still provides great numbers -- .344 wOBA with 9 bombs -- at a thin position. Posey will face off with Arizona Diamondbacks’ lefty Patrick Corbin tonight in a game at hitter-friendly Chase Field. It’s an ideal matchup for Posey, who has mashed his way to a .387 wOBA against southpaws. Posey has put up a .359 wOBA on the road, and Chase Field ranks fifth in park factor. Like Trout, Poset costs a pretty penny, but he's hard to ignore when things line up this well.
Trevor Story ($2,300): Story has a very attractive price tag for his road matchup against Los Angeles Dodgers’ lefty Scott Kazmir. Story was never going to maintain his insane home-run pace from early on, but he’s still raking, posting a .379 wOBA in June. He’s sporting a .350 wOBA on the road and a .363 wOBA versus southpaws. The Colorado Rockies’ implied total is just 3.41 runs, but Story’s power makes him awfully enticing at this price.
Adam Lind ($2,700): With a career .365 wOBA versus righties, Lind is always worth a look when the Seattle Mariners are facing a right-handed pitcher, which is the case tonight as they take on Baltimore Orioles’ starter Tyler Wilson. There’s no way around it -- Lind is having a poor season. He owns a .298 wOBA and 4.7% walk rate, both of which are career-worst numbers. On the bright side, his 39.5% hard-hit rate tells us Lind has been really unlucky to have a .247 BABIP. Safeco Field is a pitcher-friendly environment, but Lind is posting a .349 wOBA at home this season.