MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Sunday 7/31/16
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 1:07 PM EST and features nine games.
Pitchers to Target
Corey Kluber ($10,900 on FanDuel): Saturday's slate was pretty weak in terms of pitching, but that's not the case today. Kluber, the day's most expensive arm, is having another outstanding season. He's pitched to a 3.39 SIERA, 25.5% strikeout rate and 5.7% walk rate. Kluber has a nice home matchup against the Oakland Athletics, who rank 25th in wOBA (.305) and 20th in ISO (.152). Oakland likes to swing early and often as the A's check in 28th in walk rate (6.8%) and 4th in strikeout rate (18.1%). While the lack of whiffs could limit Kluber's upside, Oakland's propensity for putting the ball in play could allow Kluber to work deeper into the game. Oakland's implied total of 3.45 runs is the second-lowest of the main slate, and Kluber is our second-ranked hurler.
Noah Syndergaard ($10,300): While Kluber is in a good spot, it's Syndergaard who is our top-ranked pitcher. Considering he is modestly priced, he figures to be highly owned today, especially in cash games. Syndergaard will be at home against the Colorado Rockies, who boast a measly implied total of 2.96 runs, by far the lowest of the slate. Colorado has a .335 wOBA, but they're posting just a .293 wOBA on the road. When you add in that Citi Field ranks last in park factor, there just aren't many reasons to pass on Syndergaard and his 30.4% strikeout rate. The one negative here is the Mets flamethrower hasn't been going deep into games. In fact, Syndergaard has pitched into the seventh inning just once in his last six outings.
Michael Pineda ($9,000): He's not a massive value, but Pineda offers some nice savings when compared to the top two arms. Pineda's 3.29 SIERA is tops in the American League, and he's been outstanding in July. He is allowing a .290 wOBA while recording a 27.3% strikeout rate this month. Pineda's ability to get swings and misses gives him a good chance to have success today in a road outing against the Tampa Bay Rays, who rank 28th in strikeout rate (24.1%) and 20th in wOBA (.312). The Rays have an implied total of 3.52 runs. One of the game's best pitchers at a nice price, Pineda could be a solid contrarian play in tournaments.
Hitters to Target
Carlos Correa ($3,700): Correa and the Houston Astros are in a great spot against struggling Detroit Tigers right-hander Mike Pelfrey. A righty himself, Correa owns reverse splits this season, posting a .386 wOBA against right-handed pitching. He's been even better away from home, recording a .397 wOBA on the road versus righties. Pelfrey has been one of baseball's worst starting pitchers. He has struggled to a 5.34 SIERA, 9.6% strikeout rate and 9.0% walk rate. Those are some awful numbers, and Houston's implied total of 4.92 runs is the highest of the main slate. The Astros will be a popular stack.
Starling Marte ($4,200): Much like Correa, Marte is a righty who dismantles right-handed pitching, and he gets to face a bad right-hander today. For Marte, he goes up against Matt Garza. In 42 1/3 innings, Garza has pitched to a 4.94 SIERA with a meager 12.1% strikeout rate. Marte is sporting a .380 wOBA against righties, and he's been on fire, recording 11 hits and 3 steals over his last 6 games. As an added bonus, Miller Park, the site of today's game, is one of the best run-scoring environments in baseball. Pittsburgh's 4.74 implied total is worth targeting, and a Pirates stack could wind up being a little contrarian with the Astros also in such a great spot.
Alex Bregman ($2,600): Bregman is a cheap way to get access to the Astros lineup, which, as a reminder, paces the slate with an implied total of 4.92 runs for their matchup with Pelfrey. Bregman has just 19 plate appearances to his name at the big-league level, but he shredded the minor leagues this year. He posted a .429 wOBA with 14 jacks in 285 plate appearances in Double-A, and he followed that up by mashing to the tune of a .433 wOBA with 6 taters in 83 plate appearances in Triple-A. The game's top prospect, per ESPN's Keith Law, Bregman's salary is nice and low as he adjusts to The Show. It's the perfect time to invest.
Greg Garcia ($2,000): Hitting leadoff today for the St. Louis Cardinals and featuring a minimum salary, Garcia is an absolute steal. Vegas gives the Cards a decent implied total of 4.12 runs for their road matchup with Andrew Cashner, who is making his first start with the Miami Marlins. Garcia, a lefty, has just 138 plate appearances this season, but he's been great. He has racked up a .361 wOBA versus right-handers and a .414 wOBA against southpaws. At this price, it's tough to go elsewhere at second base.