MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Wednesday 8/3/16
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.
Pitchers to Target
Johnny Cueto ($10,700 on FanDuel): Even though Johnny Cueto gets a significant park-factor ding tonight, there's a reason he's the top-priced arm on the slate. Cueto's SIERA is 3.58 with a 22.2% strikeout rate and 5.1% walk rate, and he allows hard contact only 25.9% of the time. This gives him a decent floor before we even factor in a matchup with the Philadelphia Phillies. They're 29th in wRC+ against righties with a 21.5% strikeout rate, so Cueto's a quality target despite the price.
Michael Fulmer ($8,500): What if we had told you before the season that the Detroit Tigers would be favored in a game against the Chicago White Sox in which Michael Fulmer and Chris Sale were the respective starters? That's what we have today with the Tigers at -130, and it's a reflection of how good Fulmer has been (and potentially a nod to Sale's velocity dip in his last start). Fulmer's strikeout rate is 21.3%, and his 11.3% swinging-strike rate may actually hint he has upward mobility there. The White Sox are 26th in wRC+ against righties, further adding to the reasons to buy into this rookie.
Chad Green ($5,700): This is a slate overflowing with mediocre pitchers. When that's the case, it's okay to get a little weird every now and then. It's safe to say using Chad Green would be a bit weird. Even though Green has allowed a 42.4% hard-hit rate in his first 23 2/3 innings, he pairs that with a 3.06 SIERA, 27.3% strikeout rate, and 6.1% walk rate. Because it's such a small sample, we also want to peep his swinging-strike rate, and that's an impressive 13.3%. When you include his 15 starts at Triple-A this year, Green has a 17.5% swinging-strike rate, meaning this dude has a legit ability to get strikeouts. The New York Mets' offense gets a boost in moving to an American League park, eliminating Green from cash-game consideration, but he really seems like he could be a talented young pup.
Hitters to Target
Justin Turner ($4,200): Colorado Rockies starter Tyler Anderson is a really good pitcher, and if he played for any other team, he'd likely be generating a good amount of buzz right now. Still, Coors Field can wreck even quality pitchers, and his peripheral stats against righties aren't prohibitive. Not only has Justin Turner been crushing overall since June 1st with a 45.4% hard-hit rate, but he's at 40.8% overall against lefties. He doesn't strikeout much, furthering the incentive to use him even against a decent hurler.
Mike Napoli ($3,900): It's not enjoyable to target a player with dingers in four consecutive games simply because the bump in ownership there is a bit frightening. Still, the process aligns to endorse Mike Napoli against Tyler Duffey. Duffey's strikeout rate is just 15.2% versus righties, and he allows hard contact to them 36.4% of the time. When Napoli makes contact, that puppy will fly with a 37.4% hard-hit rate and 43.0% fly-ball rate against right-handed pitchers.
Matt Holliday ($3,400): No matter what his age is, Matt Holliday is still a tremendous hitter, and he has been obliterating left-handed pitchers this year. He has a 41.7% hard-hit rate and 40.5% fly-ball rate while facing them, and Cincinnati Reds starter Cody Reed allows hard contact to righties 41.9% of the time. That's a recipe for dongs no matter the park, and they're in dinger-friendly Great American Ballpark. He and the St. Louis Cardinals' other middle-of-the-order righties are high-upside options despite Reed's elevated strikeout rate.
Miguel Sano ($2,700): Trevor Bauer's an interesting pitching option for DFS today, but there are some red flags in his game logs. His average fastball velocity has decreased each of his past five outings, and his swinging-strike rate his past 12 starts is 8.3%. With Bauer's 18.4% strikeout rate against righties, Miguel Sano could be an issue for him. Sano has a 41.8% hard-hit rate this year, and his fly-ball rate is 46.8% versus righties. Even though Sano has struggled with strikeouts, his potential is far beyond this price.
Nick Hundley ($3,000): Brock Stewart is stupidly, stupidly good, so I'd be inclined to fade the Rockies' high-priced sticks today. Nick Hundley is not in that realm, though, and he's also brimming with Gucciness, so he's absolutely in the discussion. Hundley has a 38.0% hard-hit rate and 12.7% soft-hit rate while striking out 18.8% of the time. Those are tremendous numbers across the board, and this is a guy who plays in Coors Field. He should not be this cheap, and you can use him in bad matchups when the Rockies are at home.
Marcus Semien ($2,700): We should probably talk about the fact that Marcus Semien has 22 dongs this year. It seems like that's just kind of sneaking up on people, and it probably shouldn't be. He faces Jered Weaver tonight, and Weaver allows a 38.7% hard-hit rate and 51.7% fly-ball rate against right-handed batters. That aligns well with Semien's 44.5% fly-ball rate, making him worth the price even if he does wind up batting seventh again.
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