DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Wednesday 6/13/18

Gerrit Cole has been brilliant in 2018, and he's poised to keep things going tonight against the A's. Who else should we look to roster tonight?

Every day is unique for daily fantasy baseball, which is both a blessing and a challenge. Although we can’t simply plug and play our favorite studs day in and day out, each slate presents us with a chance for a new gem to vault us up the leaderboards.

Through the use of numberFire’s tools, we can better identify the players primed to succeed each day, making the process of filling out a lineup just that much easier. 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.

Which names stand out for today on the DraftKings main slate? Let’s check it out, starting with the pitchers.

Pitchers to Target

High-Priced Pitcher

Gerrit Cole ($13,500 on DraftKings): Is there any limit to what the Houston Astros' ace can do? The right-hander has been a boss in 2018, ranking second in the league in strikeout rate (37.8%) and tops on tonight's slate with no Max Scherzer (38.8%). Cole is blessed with a fantastic matchup against the Oakland Athletics, who check in 12th in the league in strikeout rate (23.1%) and 15th in team weighted on-base average (wOBA) at .313. Don't overthink this one -- Cole is whiffing dudes at an absurd rate, so he's worth the hefty investment.

Trevor Bauer ($11,500): If Cole is Option 1A on tonight's main slate, Bauer, Cole's former UCLA teammate and apparently not his best buddy, makes for a strong 1B. Bauer boasts a hefty 30.3% strikeout rate this season, and he gets an even juicier matchup than Cole, facing the Chicago White Sox, who rank fourth-worst in strikeout rate this season at the dish (25.3%). Teammate Carlos Carrasco, who faced the Sox in the series opener Monday, fanned 11 over 7 innings while allowing only 3 base runners. Don't underrate Bauer's ability to pitch deep into games, either. Over 13 starts in 2018, he has fired 86 innings, which puts him 5th among starters with an average of 6.65 innings per start.

Low-Priced Pitcher

Nick Pivetta ($7,500): For a cheaper pivot at your second starting pitcher slot, the Philadelphia Phillies' starter is turning some heads in his second season as a big leaguer. Over 67 innings pitched, Pivetta has posted a fantastic 3.32 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA), and that's been bolstered by a tasty 27.5% strikeout rate. His opponent, the Colorado Rockies, checks into the top-10 in strikeout rate this season as well (9th at 23.3%). With a matchup outside of the friendly confines of Coors Field, and a strong 27.5% hard-hit rate to boot, Pivetta makes for an appealing option.

Hitters to Target

High-Priced Hitters

Aaron Judge ($5,500): All rise for the New York Yankees slugger. Judge and the Yankees' offense, which has blazed their way league-bests in wOBA (.341) and isolated power (.210 ISO), gets to blast off tonight against righty Erick Fedde of the Washington Nationals. Fedde's 21 innings at the big league level can be considered a bit of an enigma, but here is what we do know: same-sided bats are killing him. Over 44 career batters faced, righties have mashed their way to a .518 wOBA and 37.5% fly-ball rate. While there's many Bronx Bombers you can roster, Judge gets the lean here thanks to a .421 wOBA, 45.9% hard-hit rate, and 41.4% fly-ball for his career in this split.

Brian Dozier ($4,100): With a lefty on the mound, peeping Minnesota Twins second baseman Brian Dozier is always a decent idea, and let's dive in to what makes him such a strong play. Dozier and the Twins face Matt Boyd of the Detroit Tigers, who has posted a 48.4% fly-ball rate to righties over the last calendar year. Factor in Dozier's .383 wOBA and 40.5% fly-ball rate over 178 plate appearances in the same time frame, and he is definitely worth the cost at the second base spot.

Mike Moustakas ($4,100): The Cincinnati Reds' starting pitching has been an utter disaster this season. They rank dead last as a team in a traditional metrics like ERA (5.68), and they don't fare a whole heck of a lot better in a more advanced metric like xFIP (7th-worst). One bright spot, however, is rookie Tyler Mahle, who starts for Cincinnati tonight. Over 68 2/3 innings, Mahle has done his part with a 4.14 SIERA and 22.6% strikeout rate. Where it goes off the rails for Mahle is with left-handed bats, who have blasted him for a .404 wOBA, 45.9% hard-hit rate, and 40.2% fly-ball rate in 2018. Enter the Kansas City Royals' third baseman, who hit 38 bombs last season and has poked 13 long balls so far in 2018. Accounting for Moustakas' 47.5% fly-ball rate with the platoon advantage over the last calendar year, we are looking at player primed for a big night.

Value Hitters

Buster Posey ($3,900): Arguably one of the best offensive catchers over the last 10 years, Posey has taken a bit of a step back in 2018 with a slightly-above-average .344 wOBA. But tonight's tilt with lefty Caleb Smith of the Miami Marlins could be the elixir to jump start his 2018 campaign. Smith, who came over this offseason, has been very strong this year with a 29.2% strikeout rate and 11.7% swinging-strike rate. That is not meant to imply that the rookie hurler is without warts, though. This year, he's allowed a 36.0% hard-hit rate and 56.6% fly-ball rate to righties, and this is one spot where Posey excels. Over the last year, he has posted a .383 wOBA and 40.5% fly-ball rate in 178 plate appearances with the platoon advantage, so consider the Giants' backstop here.

Daniel Descalso ($3,800): The Arizona Diamondbacks utility man has started the first two games of the series against the Pittsburgh Pirates, once in left field and once at second base. If he makes his way into the lineup again tonight against Jameson Taillon, he could make for a solid option this evening. In the last 12 months against lefties, Taillon has struggled, allowing a .380 wOBA and 10.5% walk rate. Descalso, meanwhile, thrives in this spot, as he's posted a 13.5% walk rate in this split, and he's fired in a 45.6% fly-ball rate to go along with it.

Carlos Santana ($3,800): Holding their own at 34-30 and only three games out of the NL East lead, for the Philadelphia Phillies the pitching is carrying the load while the offense flounders. The Philles rank sixth-worst in team wOBA (.302). But their switch-hitting first baseman has finally woken up after a first month that saw him post only a .264 wOBA, and he could add to his totals against Tyler Anderson. Anderson has struggled mightily over the last year against righties, allowing a 35.6% hard-hit rate and 41.3% fly-ball rate in 301 total batters faced. Over the same time frame, Santana has popped lefties for a .183 ISO and 36.5% fly-ball rate, so check out the slugger as a cheaper first base option.

Matt Kupferle is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Matt Kupferle also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username MKupferle. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views