MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Saturday 8/6/16
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 11 games. We will not cover the Coors Field game between the Miami Marlins and Colorado Rockies. Everyone knows to target Coors, so let's look at some other options.
Pitchers to Target
Stephen Strasburg ($11,600 on FanDuel): Strasburg has stayed relatively healthy in 2016, and he's dominating like he usually does when he's healthy. Strasburg is sporting a 3.12 SIERA, 30.7% strikeout rate and 7.3% walk rate. The SIERA is actually a career-worst mark -- that's how good he's been over his career -- while the strikeout rate is a career-high clip. He is our top-ranked arm for his home matchup against the San Francisco Giants, whose 3.16 implied total is the lowest of the slate by a wide margin. The Giants boast a middle-of-the-road offense across the board, ranking 17th in wOBA against righties (.315) and 16th in wOBA on the road (.312). Nationals Park checks in 25th in home run factor, putting Strasburg in a really nice spot for this one.
Aaron Sanchez ($9,200): Sanchez is having a superb season for the Toronto Blue Jays. In his age-24 campaign, he's put up a 3.69 SIERA, 20.8% strikeout rate and 7.2% walk rate, giving the contending-now Blue Jays a lot to think about when it comes to his innings limit. Sanchez has been particularly dominant away from home, which is the situation today as he's on the road facing the Kansas City Royals. In his travels, Sanchez is limiting hitters to a .258 wOBA with a meager 25.9% hard-hit rate. What he lacks in strikeout rate, Sanchez compensates for with a juicy 57.5% ground-ball rate, helping him limit damage. Kansas City ranks 25th in wOBA (.305), 29th in ISO (.132) and Kauffman Stadium is 26th in home run factor. Vegas gives the Royals an implied total of just 3.48 runs, the second-lowest of the slate.
Taijuan Walker ($7,400): Walker is set to make his return from a foot ailment, and he comes back at a great time for a home matchup with the Los Angeles Angels. The Halos ranks 25th in ISO (.143) and 19th in hard-hit rate against righties (30.5%). Walker may be on a tighter pitch count in his first start off the disabled list, but he was throwing the ball well prior to his injury. For the year, Walker owns a 3.76 SIERA, 22.4% strikeout rate, 5.0% walk rate and 27.2% hard-hit rate over 86 innings. The strikeout rate and walk rate are both career-best numbers. The Angels' implied total of 3.71 runs is the third-lowest of the slate, and Safeco Field checks in 26th in park factor. If you're looking to save cash on the mound, Walker is an attractive option.
Hitters to Target
Josh Donaldson ($4,200): Danny Duffy is no joke, but anytime Donaldson is facing a lefty, he's worth trying to squeeze into your roster. For the year, Donaldson -- our top-ranked bat for the day -- is straight up mauling southpaws, posting an insane .432 wOBA with a 174 wRC+ against lefties. Toronto's implied total of 4.02 runs is a little lower than we're used to seeing for the potent Jays' offense. Couple that with Duffy's 29.2% strikeout rate, and Donaldson may even be a tad contrarian tonight.
Bryce Harper ($4,300): Harper may never have another season like his incredible 2015 campaign, but he's still one of the best hitters in baseball. After putting up a .416 wOBA with 42 jacks last year, Harper's decent 2016 numbers -- .344 wOBA with 20 bombs -- look downright pedestrian. His .237 BABIP isn't helping, but he's walking (18.4% walk rate) more than he's striking out (16.8% strikeout rate) and he has a huge ceiling against right-handers. Harper is posting a .360 wOBA against righties with a 32.9% hard-hit rate and 44.4% fly-ball rate. Those numbers give him a great chance to erupt against Matt Cain, who is giving up a .403 wOBA to left-handed hitters. Washington's implied total of 4.84 runs is attractive, and Harper is our fifth-ranked non-Coors stick on the slate.
Wilmer Flores ($2,800): Flores has been a lefty killer this year, and tonight he gets to square off with Detroit Tigers southpaw Matt Boyd. For the season, Flores is sporting an insane .454 wOBA against left-handed pitchers. Usually priced economically, he's darn near a must play when the New York Mets see a lefty. Flores has been hitting fourth against southpaws, but the Mets haven't faced a left-hander since acquiring Jay Bruce. Even if Flores isn't hitting cleanup, the addition of a power bat like Bruce to the middle of the Mets lineup only helps his stock, and Flores will likely still get to hit from a tasty spot in the order.
Victor Martinez ($3,100): Simply put -- there is no way Martinez should be the cheap. The timeless wonder gets a matchup with Mets righty Logan Verrett. A switch hitter, Martinez owns a .357 wOBA and .202 ISO against righties. His batted-ball stats versus right-handers are to die for as he's sporting a 42.9% hard-hit rate and 41.1% fly-ball rate. Verrett is allowing a 35.5% hard-hit rate and 38.3% fly-ball rate to lefties, giving Martinez a shot to do some real damage. Detroit's implied total of 5.33 runs is the highest non-Coors total of the day, and at this price -- at a thin position, no less -- Martinez is difficult to ignore.