MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Wednesday 8/10/16
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. With the split slates, we'll be focusing exclusively on the main slate beginning at 7 pm Eastern.
Pitchers to Target
J.A. Happ ($9,200 on FanDuel): In the past, we'd likely avoid this matchup because of the Tampa Bay Rays' abilities to blast left-handed pitching into the sun. That changed at the trade deadline, though, and J.A. Happ has been straight dealing recently. He has a 2.81 SIERA since the start of July with a 33.6% strikeout rate that is largely validated by his 12.4% swinging-strike rate. His strikeout numbers have dipped significantly on the road this season, but with the Rays' 25.1% strikeout rate against lefties on the year, he should be able to post a decent total tonight.
Justin Verlander ($10,000): There is no question that Justin Verlander is the most talented pitcher on this slate. He just happens to be facing one of the game's best offenses versus righties and a team that is surging. Still, he has a 31.9% strikeout rate since the All-Star break with a 2.85 SIERA and a 20.2% hard-hit rate. There may not be a ton of pitchers who can shut down the Seattle Mariners, but Verlander would likely be one. His price implies a bit more safety than is truly present in this game, but you really can't question the upside he brings to the table.
Robbie Ray ($7,800): This slate isn't exactly brimming with aces, but who do you think has the best season-long SIERA of the bunch? That would be this guy, Robbie Ray. His mark of 3.49 is great by itself, but it cowers in the corner compared to his 2.84 SIERA over his past nine starts. He has jacked up his swinging-strike rate to 12.9%, and there have even been improvements in his hard-hit rate, the clear lingering bugaboo in his game. The New York Mets are without Yoenis Cespedes, and they strikeout 22.2% of the time versus lefties. This is a great spot for Ray to put his new-found sauciness on full display.
Hitters to Target
Nolan Arenado ($3,900): Both of the third basemen in this game are top-tier options, so don't overlook Adrian Beltre, but Nolan Arenado is not human. He pairs a 38.2% hard-hit rate with his 52.8% fly-ball rate versus lefties while only striking out 14.8% of the time. That illitude is going up against Martin Perez, who allows a 33.4% hard-hit rate to righties with a 9.7% strikeout rate. Arenado should be more expensive than this, but you won't find me complaining.
Jonathan Lucroy ($3,500): As mentioned, Beltre is a tremendous play today. So is his teammate, Jonathan Lucroy. Lucroy's hard-hit rate against lefties is 41.9% with a grotesque 55.4% fly-ball rate, giving him stupid potential every time he steps to the dish. Jorge De La Rosa's SIERA is up to 5.13 in 11 appearances since coming off the disabled list. The over/under on this game is 10 for a reason, so invest where you can.
Mark Trumbo ($3,600): It may seem at first glance as if Mark Trumbo is in a slump. Nah, fam. Since the All-Star break, Trumbo's hard-hit rate is 38.8% with a 43.3% fly-ball rate. He also blasts lefties with a 47.5% fly-ball rate, making Ross Detwiler tremble in his stirrups on the bump. With Detwiler's 4.30 FIP in Triple-A prior to his promotion, Trumbo and friends could provide a harsh welcome back to the bigs tonight.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis ($2,800): Kirk Nieuwenhuis is the perfect Milwaukee Brewers batter for this 2016 squad. Dude strikes out all the dang time, but he also bangs with a 39.4% hard-hit rate for the season. This gives us incentive to use him against low-strikeout pitchers, which is exactly what he'll get today in Joel De La Cruz. De La Cruz's strikeout rate this year is 11.2%, and that includes a good chunk of time in the bullpen. If Nieuwenhuis hits fifth again tonight, he'll be an even better value.
Jorge Soler ($2,900): Jorge Soler's time on the disabled list doesn't seem to have curtailed his ball-bashing ways. Six of the 13 balls he has put in play thus far have been hard-hit with two leaving the yard. Although opposing starter Ricky Nolasco's strikeout rate is higher against righties, they still tag him for hard contact 35.1% of the time. With Soler moving up to the five hole last night, he's a top-tier option until his price reflects the change.
Josh Harrison ($2,800): Josh Harrison has been earning his spot atop the Pittsburgh Pirates' order thus far. Since the All-Star break, he has jacked up his hard-hit rate to 35.3% with a 46.0% fly-ball rate, adding to the upside he already provided with his legs. The Pirates face Edwin Jackson today, and his 12.7% strikeout rate and 10.1% walk rate should allow plentiful base runners. Harrison is in line to greatly benefit from that.
To read all premium content, upgrade to a Premium account with numberFire
If you're not a Premium subscriber, it takes just a few seconds to sign up. You'll get access to all of our insider information, game projections, handicapping advice, DFS tools, advanced statistics, and more.