DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Friday 8/16/19
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
Charlie Morton ($11,600 on DraftKings): At a slight discount to Justin Verlander, Charlie Morton has one of the best matchups you can have. He's going to take on a Detroit Tigers team that has struggled immensely against right-handed pitching. They have a 26.1 percent strikeout rate against righties that's the third-most in the Majors. In addition, their .285 wOBA is the second-worst in all of baseball, which gives Charlie Morton elite upside. He has a 30.5 percent strikeout rate and a 3.54 SIERA — both of which fall into the top three on this slate.
Jon Gray ($8,000): We'll go with two value pitchers because Jon Gray is priced way down being that he is pitching in Coors Field. However, he has one of the best matchups you can have with the Miami Marlins coming to town, which makes this a fantastic risk/reward play. Gray has a solid but not great 23.5 percent strikeout rate and has relied plenty on his 50.0 percent ground-ball rate. The Marlins have a 25.0 percent strikeout rate and a league-worst .284 wOBA against right-handed pitching. Coors Field is unlikely to help them here with how poor their numbers are.
Vincent Velasquez ($7,200): Speaking of risk/reward plays, Vince Velasquez is probably one of the more polarizing pitchers in the Majors. Although most of his games have fallen on the risk side rather than the reward side, it's tough to ignore the upside he has in certain matchups. He's rocking a 25.5 percent strikeout rate and a 20 percent line-drive rate, which are both solid. On the other side, he's giving up a 46.1 percent hard-hit rate, a 2.15 HR/9 and has a 9.0 percent walk-rate. His opponent is the San Diego Padres — a team with a 26.4 percent strikeout rate that's the second-most in the Majors and a .309 wOBA that ranks 23rd.
Hitters to Target
Trevor Story ($5,700): Sandy Alcantara of the Marlins is in for a rude awakening tonight. He hasn't been great, with a slate-worst 5.66 SIERA along with a horrible 16.8 percent strikeout rate and 11.1 percent walk-rate. Now he enters a matchup in the toughest hitting environment in all of baseball at Coors Field. Now, his other numbers seem mediocre as he's giving up a 34.9 percent hard-hit rate, 20 percent line-drive rate and 37.2 percent fly-ball rate. However, the SIERA and walk rate really stand out, as does Trevor Story's dominance against right-handed pitchers. Story has put up an incredible .380 wOBA and .295 ISO against righties and has an elite matchup tonight.
Yordan Alvarez ($5,400): After putting up a solid goose egg last night, some may avoid Yordan Alvarez and go elsewhere on this slate. However, the Houston Astros and Alvarez have a plus matchup against Oakland Athletics right-hander Tanner Roark. He's giving up a 36.3 percent hard-hit rate, 27.2 percent line-drive rate and a 34.8 percent fly-ball rate. This sounds great considering how much Alvarez smashes righties. He's putting up an incredible .445 wOBA and .346 ISO, which despite the bad ballpark in Oakland, gives him elite upside tonight.
Pete Alonso ($5,100): While Pete Alonso also smashes righties, his power against lefties is unbelievable. He's putting up a ridiculous .397 wOBA and an even more amazing .393 ISO. The power is undeniable, which will give Alonso incredible upside against Kansas City Royals' southpaw Mike Montgomery. He's giving up a 42.9 percent hard-hit rate and 31.4 percent line-drive rate. While his 23.9 percent fly-ball rate is incredibly low, when the ball gets in the air it's over the fence far too often, as his 26.3 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate is the worst on the slate.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ($3,900): Vladimir Guerrero has struggled a lot against left-handed pitching in the Majors. He's put up just a .269 wOBA and a .127 ISO, which is certainly troublesome, but he has really started to pick things up in general as of late, and while it's mostly been against righties, I want to bet on his talent here. He'll take on the Seattle Mariners' Wade LeBlanc — a left-handed pitcher who generates very few strikeouts. He has just a 17.1 percent strikeout rate while giving up a 34.4 percent hard-hit rate and 40.4 percent fly-ball rate. Guerrero has struggled against lefties, but the matchup is worth the price.
Rhys Hoskins ($3,800): Chris Paddack is definitely one of the best young pitchers in the Majors, but there are still some warts in his game worth picking on. His 26.0 percent strikeout rate and 5.7 percent walk-rate are fantastic. However, his 42.9 percent hard-hit rate, 41.0 percent fly-ball rate and 15.1 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate certainly are troublesome. This is where Rhys Hoskins can take advantage. His .343 wOBA and .230 ISO are solid in 2019, but if we can get 2018 Hoskins and his .380 wOBA and .288 ISO to come out tonight, that would be great.
Isan Diaz ($3,400): We obviously mentioned Jon Gray and touched on his positives. However, there are also some negatives and getting a cheap player in Coors Field is an intriguing option. Gray has an ugly 9.2 percent walk-rate and is giving up a 39.9 percent hard-hit rate and a 23.1 percent line-drive rate. Isan Diaz has a .259 wOBA and .103 ISO in the Majors against both lefties and righties, but in Triple-A, he was bringing incredible power to the play with a .403 wOBA and a .273 ISO. There is some power here and hitting in Coors Field may just be the best spot for it to come out.
Ryan Sheppard is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Ryan Sheppard also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username donkshow_. 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 of FanDuel.