MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Wednesday 8/21/13

Our optimized lineup features two front-line starting pitchers. The other one is Ross Ohlendorf.

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 SanchezSP28.36$32,2000.88
Ross OhlendorfSP15.64$17,9000.87
Troy TulowitzkiSS14.91$6,9002.16
Robinson Cano2B14.62$6,6002.22
Adrian Beltre3B12.63$6,4001.97
Paul Goldschmidt1B14.18$6,4002.22
Ian DesmondSS14.24$5,4002.64
Dexter FowlerCF13.43$5,2002.58
A.J. PierzynskiC11.76$5,1002.31
A.J. PollockCF13.16$4,0003.29
Ichiro SuzukiRF12.81$3,8003.37

Fantasy Feud, Draft Kings, and FanThrowdown Optimized Rosters

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The Top Three Pitchers

Anibal Sanchez – Sanchez is nearly a must-start every time his spot in the rotation comes up. He has a lower ERA (2.50) than Yu Darvish or Adam Wainwright. He has a higher K/9 (9.74) than Felix Hernandez or Max Scherzer. And he walks fewer hitters than Justin Verlander or Jose Fernandez. In short, he’s the total package, and he’s putting it all together in an fantastic year that’s making the Tigers look very smart for nabbing him this offseason. (Not to mention he’s helping to make them look like World Series favorites.) He’s facing the Twins tonight, who rank 12th in the A.L. in runs scored and strike out at the second-highest rate in the league.

Ross Ohlendorf – Ohlendorf is only getting a spot start, his third of the season, but has put up a 1.85 ERA in 34 innings this year. That ERA, accumulated over two starts and several relief appearances, is supported by a strikeout rate over a full K per nine higher than his career norm. Ohlendorf is also walking one full batter fewer per nine than he has over his career. In his last start, which came on July 26, he threw seven innings of one-run ball and struck out eight. Tonight he faces the Cubs, who rank just 11th in the N.L. in runs scored.

Derek Holland – Holland is putting up a career year for the Rangers, as his ERA and FIP have dipped below 3.94 for the first time since he’s been pitching in the majors. (His ERA and FIP are 2.95 and 2.99, to be exact.) He’s also striking out 8.41 batters per nine innings, and has thrown enough innings to rank 6th in all of baseball in WAR, with 4.8. He has done so on the back of consistency to batters on both sides of the plate – righties are hitting .245 against him, while lefties are hitting .243. Tonight he faces the Astros, who don’t score any runs and strike out more often than any team in the history of baseball.

Top High-Priced Hitters

Troy Tulowitzki – Tulowitzki is facing a lefty – albeit a very good one in Cliff Lee – which is good news for fantasy owners. Tulo has posted a .927 OPS against lefties for his career. Tulowitzki also leads shortstops in WAR by a fairly wide margin despite not having enough plate appearances to qualify for the batting title yet. His slugging, on-base percentage and home runs all rank first at the position.

Robinson Cano – Cano is basically Tulowitzki’s second base equivalent. He leads second basemen in home runs, slugging and on-base percentage and trails only Matt Carpenter in wRC+ by two points. Yes, he’s facing a right-hander tonight, but it’s R.A. Dickey, who more or less defies platoon splits by virtue of being a knuckleballer. When in doubt, go with the best offensive player at the position.

Cost-Effective Mid-Range Hitters

Ichiro Suzuki – Although his skill set has been in decline for three years now, Ichiro can still serve fantasy owners as a cheap source of steals. His 18 tie him for 17th in the majors, in a down year for stolen bases. On the year, though, Ichiro’s ground ball percentage is down while his fly ball percentage is up, which isn’t good for a player who’s been a singles hitter throughout his career.

Dexter Fowler – We’re big fans of Fowler, especially at his relatively cheap price. Fowler’s a nice source of both power and speed – he’s got 18 steals and 12 homers on the year. Of the 20 players with at least 18 steals, only six have hit more home runs than he has. And Fowler’s hit lefties much better than righties this year, posting an .848 OPS against southpaws, which might come in useful as he’s facing Cliff Lee tonight.