DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Wednesday 8/21/19
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
Justin Verlander ($12,000 on DraftKings): When you have the highest price tag on the slate, it better come with good reason. Well, there are plenty of reasons why Justin Verlander is the most expensive pitcher tonight as his 3.06 SIERA and 34.9 percent strikeout rate are both ranked number one on this 11 game slate. In addition, the matchup is about as good as it gets. Verlander will take on a Detroit Tigers team that has a 26.6 percent strikeout rate against right-handed pitching — the most in the Majors.
Yu Darvish ($10,000): One major concern for Yu Darvish early in the season was his control. He put up an ugly 16.9 percent walk rate in March/April and a 13.2 percent walk rate in May. However, since then, Darvish has been fantastic as his 6.8 percent walk rate in June, 1.7 percent walk rate in July and percent 0.0 percent walk rate in August show the absolutely elite control he has had over the summer. In addition, he put up a 30 percent strikeout rate in July and a 39.7 percent strikeout rate in August. He's turned his game around big time over the last two months and has turned back into the true ace he used to be.
Mike Montgomery (4,200): The price tag is ridiculously low on Mike Montgomery even if you don't think he's any good. Over his last three starts, he's put up 16.5 DraftKings points (DKpts), 41.4 DKpts and 18.7 DKpts, if we can get any one of those scores for $4,200, we're laughing. Now, the outlier 41+ game was against the Tigers, but the Baltimore Orioles are not much better. They are striking out at a 26.0 percent clip against left-handed pitching which is the second-highest in the Majors. In addition, their .302 wOBA ranks 26th which gives Montgomery reasonable upside.
Hitters to Target
Pete Alonso ($5,400): Pete Alonso continues to absolutely smash right-handed pitching. Throughout the season, he has put up an elite .396 wOBA and .313 ISO which is incredible and tonight he has an elite matchup against the horrible Adam Plutko. The Cleveland Indians right-hander has given up a 34.4 percent hard-hit rate which is decent, but a 47.5 percent fly-ball rate and 16.8 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate are troublesome. In addition, he has a 5.44 SIERA — the worst mark on the slate.
J.D. Martinez ($5,100): Sometimes you have to look twice when you see a certain statistic and that was the case when I saw the video game-like numbers that J.D. Martinez is putting up against left-handed pitching this season. He's got an absolutely incredible .525 wOBA and .455 ISO against southpaws in 2019 and takes on a Philadelphia Phillies' pitcher in Drew Smyly that has struggled immensely. He's giving up a slate-worst 47.3 percent hard-hit rate and 46.3 percent fly-ball rate which has resulted in a horrific 22.5 home-run-to-fly-ball rate.
Will Smith ($4,600): Speaking of video game numbers, Will Smith — catch for the Los Angeles Dodgers — has obliterated right-handed pitching this season. It has been just 65 plate appearances, but when you're putting up a .530 wOBA and a ridiculous .611 ISO against righties, people are going to pay attention. Tonight he'll face a Toronto Blue Jays' right-hander in Jacob Waguespack that has given up a 39.6 percent hard-hit rate and 36.7 percent fly-ball rate with a 4.82 SIERA. In addition, he doesn't strike anybody out as his 18.3 percent strikeout rate is pretty terrible.
Aaron Judge ($3,800): I don't think I could have ever expected Aaron Judge to be sub-$4k but here we are. Last season, he was solid against right-handed pitching with a .384 wOBA and a .238 ISO but this season those numbers have dipped to a .329 wOBA and .178 ISO. That is certainly a large reason as to the steep price drop, but he still has a ton of power and has a solid matchup tonight against Oakland Athletics right-hander Mike Fiers. Fiers isn't terrible, but with just a 16.5 percent strikeout rate and giving up a 37.9 percent hard-hit rate and 39.5 percent fly-ball rate, this is the kind of matchup that Judge can thrive in.
Stephen Piscotty ($3,700): On the opposite side of the New York Yankees and Athletics matchup, Stephen Piscotty has done most of his damage against left-handed pitching in 2019. He's putting up an elite .428 wOBA and .280 ISO. Sure, playing in his home ballpark is never ideal, but Yankees' southpaw J.A. Happ has been terrible this season. He has a 40.1 percent hard-hit rate and 37.9 percent fly-ball rate which has resulted in a 19.6 percent home-run-to-fly-ball rate. So even though the park is tough for home runs, the matchup neutralizes that.
Trent Grisham ($2,600): Be sure to check the starting lineup tonight because Trent Grisham didn't end up starting last night against a right-handed pitcher — something that he had been doing a lot lately. Grisham was leading off against righties and while his .283 wOBA And .186 ISO aren't very good, getting a guy this cheap that is leading off with fantastic hitters behind him makes for a great one-off or a cheap way to afford the rest of the Milwaukee Brewers in a stack. Adam Wainwright has been giving up a 42.7 percent hard-hit rate this season which is good for Grisham who hasn't brought much raw power to the plate.
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.