DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Thursday 8/22/19

Yordan Alvarez has an elite matchup against Jordan Zimmermann tonight. Who else is worth a look on DraftKings this Thursday?

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 ($12,000 on DraftKings): It will be a tough decision between Max Scherzer and Gerrit Cole tonight, but Cole has the better matchup and actually has a better strikeout rate so despite the extra $600 to get there, he's the top pitcher. He has an incredibly 36.8 percent strikeout rate and an equally impressive 2.94 SIERA and 6.4 walk rate. The matchup doesn't get much better than the Detroit Tigers — a team with a 26.7 percent strikeout rate against right-handed pitchers which is the most in the Majors.

Kenta Maeda ($8,100): He has been a bit of a roller coaster this season, but there is no denying the solid 26.3 percent strikeout rate. In addition, he's sporting a 4.19 SIERA that's directly in line with his 4.18 ERA. While the .253 BABIP indicates he's had a bit of luck going his way, a matchup against a very young Toronto Blue Jays team shouldn't be much of an issue. The Jays are striking out at a 24.6 percent clip against righties, which is the seventh-most in the Majors. In addition, their .307 wOBA ranks 22nd in all of baseball.

Value Pitcher

Aaron Civale ($6,200): Aaron Civale may not have the upside of some of the other pitchers, but his price point is certainly intriguing. He's putting up a good, but not great, 23.7 percent strikeout rate, and a 6.5 percent walk rate is encouraging to see for a rookie. He has likely been getting a bit lucky as his .262 BABIP and 1.50 ERA don't line up with his 4.30 SIERA, but there is still some reason for interest here. Furthermore, his matchup against the New York Mets is pretty neutral, as their 22.0 percent strikeout rate against right-handed pitching ranks 19th and their wOBA of .319 ranks 16th.

Hitters to Target

High-Priced Hitters

Ronald Acuna ($5,900): He certainly brings more power against left-handed pitchers than right-handed, but his numbers against righties are still great. He's sporting a .379 wOBA and .230 ISO against righties and tonight will take on a struggling Miami Marlins pitcher in Sandy Alcantara. He has had some serious control issues with his 11.2 percent walk rate and very poor 16.4 percent strikeout rate. In addition, he's sporting a slate-worst 5.72 SIERA and a not-so-great 35.5 percent hard-hit rate.

Yordan Alvarez ($5,800): Now we get into a hitter who absolutely smashes right-handed pitching — much like the rest of his teammates. The Houston Astros offense is ridiculous, and what they can do against right-handed pitching as a team is incredible. Yordan Alvarez brings incredible power with a .455 wOBA and .357 ISO, which puts him in a great spot against a terrible Detroit Tigers right-hander on the mound — Jordan Zimmermann. Zimmerman is giving up an abysmal 41.1 percent hard-hit rate and 24.1 percent line-drive rate that puts him in a tough situation tonight.

Justin Turner ($4,700): There is so much power in the Los Angeles Dodgers' lineup, but with that comes a hefty price tag. Justin Turner, on the other hand, has a bit more of a reasonable salary and still puts up legitimate numbers against right-handed pitching. He's posting a fantastic .381 wOBA but an underwhelming .186 ISO. While we wish there was more power for Turner, the wOBA is still great. He'll face Blue Jays right-hander Jacob Waguespack, a pitcher giving up a 39.6 percent hard-hit rate and has a 4.82 SIERA.

Value Hitters

Didi Gregorius ($4,000): In 2018, Digi Gregorius crushed right-handed pitching to the tune of a .358 wOBA and a .256 ISO. Fantastic numbers, but in 2019, they've dipped to a .337 wOBA and .208 wOBA, and that's likely due to the fact that he started the season on the IL. In the month of August, Gregorius has been better against righties despite his low .330 wOBA, and he has a much improved .264 ISO that shows a bit more power. Oakland Athletics pitcher Tanner Roark will be on the mound tonight, and he's giving up a 36.8 percent hard-hit rate and a slate-worst 26.9 percent line-drive rate. While his .327 BABIP shows he's been getting a bit unlucky, there is still reason to believe he could be in trouble tonight.

Anthony Santander ($3,900): This is far from an easy matchup as Ryan Yarbrough has been dominant, putting up back-to-back outings with 30-plus DraftKings points. Sure, they were against the Tigers and Seattle Mariners but impressive nonetheless. The numbers worth looking at for Yarbrough is that he really only has a 21.7 percent strikeout rate this season despite these last two starts. In addition, his .242 BABIP show he's certainly been getting lucky play from his fielders. Anthony Santander is a switch-hitter, so if the Baltimore Orioles can chase Yarbrough from the game, he won't lose much value. Santander has a .333 wOBA and .203 ISO against righties and a .319 wOBA and .194 ISO against lefties. The numbers aren't otherworldly, but they are solid.

Brian Dozier ($3,600): After a big dip last year, Brian Dozier has brought some power back to the plate against left-handed pitching. He's putting up a legit .397 wOBA and .271 ISO and will face a Pittsburgh Pirates lefty in Steven Brault, who has not been great. He's got a horrific 11.0 percent walk rate, in addition to a 5.06 SIERA that's the third-worst mark on the slate. While his 36.9 percent hard-hit rate isn't horrible, it's not great either, and with the power in the Washington Nationals lineup, Dozier should have ample opportunities to put up some DraftKings points.

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