MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Thursday 8/15/13

Ben Zobrist's favorable matchup propels him into our optimized lineup.

We know that people play all sorts of fantasy platforms, not just from from our friends at StarStreet but on other platforms such as FanDuel, Draft Kings, and Fantasy Feud as well. So once again, we have four optimized rosters, all for you, the numberFire reader. One is for free here; the others can be found in our Premium section.

As always, the full tables for today's action are available at our Daily Fantasy Projections page. Make sure to check it out to see where the best values are for your team.

Our baseball projections are updated throughout the day, so make sure to come back to double-check your optimized rosters for any last-minute lineup changes. Since most action happens later in the day, we will be ignoring the early games (if there are any) and focusing solely on the late contests. That way, you can use and tinker with our optimized rosters throughout the day.

StarStreet Optimized Roster

PlayerPositionProjected FPCostValue
Anibal SanchezSP28.63$32,3000.89
Tony CingraniSP23.97$25,5000.94
David OrtizDH15.94$6,9002.31
Ben Zobrist2B11.54$6,2001.86
Shane VictorinoRF13.38$5,3002.52
Kyle Seager3B13.71$5,2002.64
Rajai DavisLF12.62$4,5002.80
Salvador PerezC10.62$4,0002.66
James Loney1B10.91$3,8002.87
Chris HeiseyLF10.32$3,5002.95
Pedro FlorimonSS8.55$2,8003.05

Fantasy Feud, Draft Kings, and FanThrowdown Optimized Rosters

For the optimal rosters for the other main players, be sure to check out our brand new Daily Fantasy Optimized Rosters for our Premium members. We know that you're killing it with our picks; maybe now you'll help us continue to help you win each night, every night.

Access to the optimal rosters is immediate, and you'll have it constantly updated for the latest injury news and updates from around the league. The best news of all? For new subscribers, you can use the promo code WELCOME and get it 50% off what was already the reduced price. Think of the savings!

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The Top Three Pitchers

Anibal Sanchez – Sanchez is having a phenomenal season in Detroit, although he’s been overshadowed by his rotation mates. Justin Verlander’s got the hardware, Max Scherzer’s got the sparkly 17-1 record, and all Sanchez has is the league’s best FIP, at 2.41. He also strikes batters out more frequently than anyone in the AL not named “Yu,” ahead of, yup, both Scherzer and Verlander. In fact, he’s got the 5th-highest WAR among pitchers in the AL despite the fact that he’s pitched between 33 and 50 fewer innings than all the guys ahead of him. And not that it really matters who he’s facing, but he’s got the Royals tonight, who rank just 11th in the AL in runs scored.

Tony Cingrani – If he had more innings under his belt, Cingrani would be a prime candidate in the loaded NL Rookie of the Year race, that sadly, seems destined to go to Yasiel Puig. In his 87.2 innings, Cingrani’s put up a 2.87 ERA with 10.47 K/9. For reference, if he were qualified, that ERA would be tied for 10th in the NL and the strikeout rate would be first, ahead of even Matt Harvey. He faces a Brewers team missing its best hitter that ranks 8th in the NL in runs scored.

Jake Peavy – Peavy faces a Toronto team that features right-handers as five of its seven best hitters. This is good news for Peavy owners, as he’s allowed a .215 opponents’ average against righties in his career. Overall, righties have put up a pathetic .275 wOBA against him.

Top High-Priced Hitters

David Ortiz – We recommended Ortiz yesterday, backed up by our stats and projections, and just like that he went out and homered. We like him again today, even though he’s facing a lefty in Mark Buerhle. That shouldn’t be too much of a problem though, as Buerhle has allowed nearly exactly the same slugging percentage against righties and lefties in his career (.423 vs .422). This is all to say Ortiz shouldn’t be at too much of a handedness disadvantage. Ortiz has been hot too, hitting .347 and slugging .551 in August with three homers.

Ben Zobrist – The Zorilla is having a solid if unspectacular year, hitting .276/.357/.413 for Tampa. But Zobrist is facing Joe Saunders tonight, he of the 4.69 ERA this year. And Saunders hasn’t fared particularly well against righties this year, surrendering a .319/.378/.553 slash line. Basically, he makes every right-handed hitter he faces look like David Wright. Throw in the fact that Zobrist has hit 22 points better against lefties for his career, and this is an easy matchup play.

Cost-Effective, Mid-Level Hitters

James Loney – Just as Oakland cranks out pitching reclamation projects every year, Tampa Bay does the same with castoff hitters. James Loney is the flavor of the year, putting up the best season of his career and hitting .314/.362/.450 after getting dumped by the Dodgers. Those are his best numbers since his 2007 campaign in L.A. – his first full-time season. He too, will face the immortal Joe Saunders tonight.

Salvador Perez – Perez – the under-the-radar All Star – is second among qualified in AL catchers in batting average at .274, trailing only Joe Mauer. He doesn’t bring much pop – just four homers on the year – but he can put up some fantasy points on the cheap. He’s also hit righties at a .286 clip this year, which is good because he’s facing Anibal Sanchez tonight.