DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Friday 4/13/18

Gerrit Cole has been dominant so far and draws a depleted Texas Rangers offense tonight. Who else is in a favorable spot?

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 ($12,100 on DraftKings): Gerrit Cole is the most expensive pitcher on DraftKings, but his two starts as a member of the Houston Astros have been incredible. He has gone seven innings in both games while striking out 11 in each — giving up just one run across the 14 innings. Tonight is a somewhat difficult matchup against the Texas Rangers, but one of his two starts was against the Rangers and he had no problem then. Texas hasn't been striking out much this season with just a 21.9 percent strikeout rate (11th in MLB), but their team weighted on-base average (wOBA) is just .297, which is 21st in the majors.

Eduardo Rodriguez ($8,500): Eduardo Rodriguez started off hot in his last outing as he struck out seven in his first three innings, but things unraveled quickly after that. Tonight, he's taking on a swing-happy Baltimore Orioles team that strikes out at the highest rate (27.2 percent) in baseball. E-Rod has great strikeout potential, as he put up a 25.8 percent strikeout rate in 2017. It's also worth noting that his 4.05 skill-interactive earned run average (SIERA) is sixth-best among the 26 pitchers on tonight's slate.

Low-Priced Pitchers

Andrew Heaney ($5,900): After being too gun-shy to write-up Nick Tropeano yesterday, let's take a shot with a similar pitching situation tonight. Andrew Heaney is coming off the DL and taking on the Kansas City Royals tonight, a team that Tropeano had his way with yesterday by striking out six in 6.2 innings. In limited action in 2017, Heaney put up a fantastic 26.7 percent strikeout rate, but when he got hit he was hit hard. This is a high risk-high reward play as the strikeout upside is there, but there's also the possibility of him lasting no more than a couple innings.

Hitters to Target

High-Priced Hitters

Carlos Correa ($5,100): Carlos Correa absolutely crushed left-handed pitching in 2017. His .445 wOBA was the best on the Astros in this split, while his .217 ISO was among the best. Tonight he will face Cole Hamels, who struggled in 2017 and through the start of this season. In just 16 innings in 2018, Hamels has already given up five home runs. Given the power that comes with the Astros lineup, he could be in for a world of trouble and Correa should be at the forefront.

J.D. Martinez ($4,800): J.D. Martinez had a ton of success against right-handed pitchers in 2017, putting up a .402 wOBA and .351 isolated power (ISO). Martinez is lucky enough to be taking on Chris Tillman tonight, a pitcher that struggled immensely in 2017. The righty's 37.7 percent hart-hit rate, 89.6 mile-per-hour average exit velocity and 189-foot average batted-ball distance against are all among the bottom-five on the slate. Martinez is a power hitter that also hits for a great average, so he should thrive in this premium matchup.

Justin Upton ($4,700): One of many big moves, the Los Angeles Angels' acquisition of Justin Upton has gone a little under the radar with Shohei Ohtani blasting his way on the scene. But Upton's been solid so far this season for the Angels. Tonight, they take on the Royals, a team that will be throwing Jason Hammel on the mound. This is a good matchup for Upton, who had solid numbers against right-handed pitchers in 2017, sporting a .351 wOBA and .234 ISO. Hammel, on the other hand, struggled in some of the Statcast numbers as his 88 mile-per-hour average exit velocity (seventh-worst) and 194-foot average batted-ball distance (second-worst) are among the worst on the slate.

Value Hitters

Hunter Renfroe ($3,700): Hunter Renfroe smashed left-handed pitching in 2017, putting up an elite .439 wOBA and a .368 ISO. He is fortunate to be in a matchup against left-handed Kyle Freeland, who gave up a .345 wOBA and a .437 slugging percentage (SLG) against right-handed hitters last season. Freeland is a ground-ball pitcher, as indicated by his 53.9 percent ground-ball rate and horrible 15.6 percent strikeout rate. If Renfroe gets a hold of one tonight, he could be in for a big game.

Mitch Haniger ($3,600): Mitch Haniger had great righty-righty splits last year, putting up a fantastic .375 wOBA and .213 ISO against them. As a team, the Seattle Mariners have also had more success against right-handed pitchers, likely because of the fact that they have four regular starters that are left-handed. Tonight, Hanger and company are taking on Andrew Triggs, who also has reverse-splits as he struggled against right-handed hitters to the tune of a .342 wOBA and a .443 SLG in 2017, compared to a .281 wOBA and .364 SLG against left-handed hitters.

Brandon Belt ($3,300): Throughout his career, Brandon Belt has hit right-handed pitching pretty well, as is the case for most left-handed hitters. His .357 wOBA and .195 ISO for his career are both great, and his 2017 numbers -- .372 wOBA and .254 ISO -- were even a tick above that. Tonight's matchup is with Tyson Ross, who has been limited to just 54.1 innings since 2015. In his limited work in 2017, Ross struggled and was unable to produce strikeouts with just a 15.5 percent strikeout rate as well as a slate-worst 6.17 SIERA. It's a good sppot for Belt at this price.

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.