MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Saturday 7/30/16
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 7:10 PM EST and features 11 games.
Pitchers to Target
Drew Pomeranz ($10,100): Pomeranz is sporting an unsightly 7.00 ERA through two starts with the Boston Red Sox, but he hasn't been nearly as terrible as that number suggests. He's been burnt by a .375 BABIP and 30.0% home-run-to-fly-ball ratio, both of which are unsustainable. In his 102 innings this season with the San Diego Padres, Pomeranz's BABIP was .240 while his home-run-to-fly-ball ratio was 8.8%. Those were probably due for a little negative regression, but nothing like the bad luck that's hit him in Boston. Although his price tag is a little hard to swallow, Pomeranz is our fourth-ranked hurler. With a 27.8% strikeout rate, he always has a shot to blow up for a big game, but the Angels have baseball's lowest strikeout rate (15.5%), capping his upside a little. On the bright side Angel Stadium is a pitcher-friendly environment, ranking 25th in park factor and 23rd in home run factor.
Scott Kazmir ($8,900 on FanDuel): It's a pretty weak pitching slate. Only two arms -- Pomeranz and Justin Verlander -- are over $9,000. Kazmir is significantly cheaper than Pomeranz, and he has just as much upside. With a home matchup against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Kazmir is our top-ranked pitcher. Owner of a 3.86 SIERA and 24.9% strikeout rate, Kazmir is turning in a quality campaign for the Los Angeles Dodgers. The 32-year-old lefty has been great this month, recording a 30.2% strikeout rate with a 3.5% walk rate while inducing a 23.2% soft-hit rate. The Diamondbacks have a good offense (.321 wOBA), but they've been ice cold of late, posting a measly .297 wOBA over the last 30 days. Arizona's 3.24 implied total is the lowest of the slate.
Christian Friedrich ($5,600): This one will take a leap of faith, but Friedrich has some things working in his favor. First of all, he's incredibly cheap. He'll allow you to load up on big bats, and if you can get a solid outing at this price, you'll have to whiff with hitters to not have a big day. He's also pitching at Petco Park, which checks in 29th in park factor. Let's just get this out there: Friedrich -- a southpaw with a 4.29 SIERA, 18.2% strikeout rate and 10.9% walk rate -- isn't very good. But the Cincinnati Reds are a team to target whenever they're facing a lefty. The Reds have struggled to a .306 wOBA against left-handers, and they have put up a .297 wOBA on the road. I definitely wouldn't use Friedrich in cash games, but with a good matchup, he's an intriguing tourney play.
Hitters to Target
Corey Seager ($3,500): Seager is our top-ranked hitter for the main slate. He has a mouth-watering matchup with Arizona Diamondbacks' righty Braden Shipley. Seager, a left-handed stick, has destroyed right-handed pitching this year. He owns a .398 wOBA with a .224 ISO and 16.3% strikeout rate versus righties. At home against right-handers, which is the case tonight, Seager's wOBA climbs to .421. Shipley, one of Arizona's top prospects, is making just his second big-league start, and Vegas gives the Dodgers an implied total of 4.76 runs.
Mike Napoli ($3,800): Napoli has been mauling southpaws this year, posting an insane 49.2% hard-hit rate against left-handers. The Cleveland Indians have an implied total of 5.11 runs, the second-highest of the main slate, for their home matchup with Oakland Athletics' lefty Dillon Overton. With just 15 career innings to his name, there's not much of a sample for Overton, but it hasn't been a pleasant start to his career. He's sporting a 5.75 SIERA while allowing an ugly 31.0% hard-hit rate. Right-handed hitters are getting to him for a .465 wOBA. Hitting fourth in recent weeks, Napoli figures to be a part of any offensive explosion for Cleveland.
Gregory Polanco ($3,700): Polanco's numbers have fallen from his red-hot start, but he's still having a breakout year for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He has posted a .359 wOBA with 13 jacks and a 10.8% walk rate -- all of which are career-best clips. A lefty, Polanco does most of his damage against right-handed pitchers, torching them for a .373 wOBA and .217 ISO. Against southpaws, his strikeout rate jumps to 30.5%, but it's just 17.2% against right-handers. As you probably could've guessed, Polanco will see a righty today as he takes on Milwaukee Brewers starter Chase Anderson, who allowed a .340 wOBA in June and is surrendering a .392 wOBA this month. Polanco is the slate's fourth-ranked bat, and Pittsburgh has a solid implied total of 4.89 runs.
Jose Abreu ($2,600): Abreu has seen his production slip for a third straight season, and his wOBA has fallen to a career-worst .318. As a result, his price is nice and low, and he's awfully enticing for tonight's clash with Minnesota Twins lefty Tommy Milone. For his career, Abreu owns a .349 wOBA against southpaws. That number is down to .253 this year despite his dope 38.2% hard-hit against left-handers, but Milone helps make this a good matchup. He is allowing a 32.2% hard-hit rate and .350 wOBA to righties. The Chicago White Sox implied total of 4.62 runs isn't huge, but it's not too shabby, either. If you're looking to save salary at first, Abreu is an option who possesses decent upside.
Nomar Mazara ($2,100): This is all about Mazara's near minimum-level price tag. Of course, it's at that level because he's been riding the struggle bus since a great start to his career. Mazara posted a meager .296 wOBA in June, and he's followed that up with a .302 wOBA in July. That's not good. At this price, though, he's a great way to get cheap access to the Texas Rangers lineup, which, at 5.25 runs, has the slate's highest implied total for their home matchup with Kansas City Royals right-hander Ian Kennedy. It's not a blind dart throw, either, as Mazara has put up a .348 wOBA this year against righties, and he usually hits second against right-handers. As a bonus, Globe Life Park ranks sixth in park factor.