MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Saturday 7/23/16
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 7:05 PM EST and features 12 games.
Pitchers to Target
Max Scherzer ($11,800 on FanDuel): Scherzer has so much going for him tonight. Not only does he get a fantastic home matchup against the San Diego Padres, but he’s not even the most expensive arm on the slate as Jose Fernandez takes that title. Scherzer is our top-ranked pitcher with a projected FanDuel point total of 39.42 points. The Washington Nationals’ ace is limiting opposing hitters to a .252 wOBA in his home outings, and he is posting a sparkling 32.3% strikeout rate overall. San Diego has been better of late, but the Padres still rank 29th in strikeout rate (24.5%) and 26th in wOBA (.304). Vegas doesn’t expect much of anything from San Diego tonight, giving them a measly implied total of 2.8 runs.
Jose Fernandez ($12,100): The fact Scherzer has such a great matchup and he’s still not the most expensive pitcher tells you how incredible Fernandez has been this season. With a 37.7% strikeout rate, he’s punching out hitters as a clip that’s unrivaled by anyone in the history of the game. He’s been stupid-good at home, which is terrible news for the New York Mets. In his outings at Marlins Park, Fernandez is holding hitters to a .224 wOBA while racking up a 39.8% strikeout rate. Having to choose between Fernandez and Scherzer isn’t fair. That’s to say nothing of Chris Sale, Jacob deGrom and David Price, who are also pitching on the main slate. Please keep all of tonight’s hitters in your thoughts and prayers.
Tyler Anderson ($6,300): Admittedly, this one will take some guts, but hear me out. Anderson, a southpaw, is pitching against the Atlanta Braves tonight at Coors Field. One of the things from that last sentence is terrifying, and it’s not the part about the Braves. While it’s scary to invest in anyone pitching at Coors, Atlanta is the team against which to do it. The Braves own a feeble .281 wOBA this season against lefties, and they’ve only hit 18 jacks in 1,233 plate appearances versus southpaws. Anderson has just 42 innings on his resume, but he owns a solid 3.49 SIERA with a 5.1% walk rate. His 10.9% swinging-strike rate tells us his 19.9% strikeout rate sound probably be a touch higher. Not only will Anderson allow you to go after some big bats, but with the murderer’s row of pitching on the slate, he’ll be about as contrarian as you can get. Again, it’ll take some courage, but I think Anderson is worth investigating.
Hitters to Target
Anthony Rizzo ($4,100): Rizzo is one of the best players in the game, he’s 26 and he keeps getting better. His .410 wOBA, .301 ISO and 12.4% walk rate are career-best numbers while he’s tattooed 24 homers and driven in 72 runs. Rizzo is worth checking out whenever he’s facing a righty, which is the case tonight as he will see Zach Davies. The Milwaukee Brewers’ starter is surrendering a .347 wOBA against left-handed hitters, and Rizzo owns a .439 wOBA against right-handed pitchers. Rizzo, who torched the National League in July with a .493 wOBA last month, is our top-ranked bat, and he joins two other Chicago Cubs -- Dexter Fowler and Kris Bryant -- in the top six. Target those Cubbies tonight and take advantage of their 4.71 implied total.
Paul Goldschmidt ($4,400): Goldschmidt garners nightly consideration. He’s good versus lefties and righties, and he puts up numbers on the road and at home. It’s hard to find a situation where he's not worth rostering. The only negative with Goldschmidt tonight is his price, but he has a tasty road matchup against Cincinnati Reds’ righty Keyvius Sampson. Great American Ball Park checks in fifth in home run factor, and Goldschmidt is posting a .369 wOBA this season on the road versus right-handed pitchers. The Arizona Diamondbacks’ implied total of 4.98 runs is just the cherry on top.
Mike Trout ($4,400): Everything that was just said about Goldschmidt applies to Trout; the guy is good all the time. He’s in a sweet spot tonight for a road matchup against Houston Astros’ righty Collin McHugh, who is allowing a .492 slugging percentage at home against right-handed hitters. Trout has a .413 wOBA with 19 taters and 17 steals, and he’s putting up a .397 wOBA on the road against right-handed pitchers. The Los Angeles Angels have an implied total of just 3.83 runs, so he’s probably better as a standalone option tonight than as part of a stack.
Mike Napoli ($2,900): With Rizzo and Goldschmidt likely to see high ownership numbers, Napoli makes for an intriguing pivot. A righty facing Kevin Gausman, a right-handed pitcher, Napoli may fly under the radar, but he’s been fine against same-sided hurlers. He owns a .346 wOBA against righties, compared to a .354 wOBA versus southpaws. Napoli has been mashing lately, sporting a .419 wOBA with a 40.5% hard-hit rate this month. Gausman actually has reverse splits as he’s allowing a .369 wOBA to righties. As an added bonus, the game is at Camden Yards, which ranks third in park factor and sixth in home run factor.
Ryan Schimpf ($2,200): Schimpf made his big-league debut this season as a 28-year-old without much of a prospect pedigree, but dude is putting in work. Schimpf boasts a .390 wOBA through 97 plate appearances, hitting 7 jacks with a 13.4% walk rate. His 21.9% home-run-to-fly-ball ratio is likely unsustainable in the long run, but he’s our top value play for his matchup against Max Scherzer. Obviously, Scherzer is a bad, bad man, but he will probably draw ownership away from Schimpf, making the Padres’ lefty an enticing tourney play. It’d be foolish to pretend that Scherzer is a good matchup for anyone, but Schimpf has dominated righties to the tune of a .395 wOBA and 6 bombs in his short career. At a near minimum-level price tag, Schimpf is a worthy dart throw.