MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Monday 8/26/13

Zack Greinke is keeping pace with his scorching-hot Dodgers with a 1.88 ERA since the All-Star Break.

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 SanchezSP25.04$31,8000.79
Tyler LyonsRP13.88$17,5000.79
Paul Goldschmidt1B14.17$7,3001.94
Shin-Soo ChooCF13.52$6,4002.11
Robinson Cano2B14.46$6,3002.30
Michael CuddyerRF14.57$6,2002.35
Jose ReyesSS12.25$5,8002.11
Buster PoseyC13.07$5,3002.47
Brett Lawrie3B12.11$5,2002.33
Charlie BlackmonOF12.74$4,4002.90
Ichiro SuzukiRF12.06$3,8003.17

Fantasy Feud, Draft Kings, and FanThrowdown Optimized Rosters

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The Top Three Pitchers

Anibal Sanchez – We’ve extolled Sanchez’s studliness many times here at NumberFire, but in case you forgot, here are some quick numbers: In the A.L., no one has a lower ERA or FIP, and the only guys with a higher strikeout rate are named Darvish and Scherzer. Plus Sanchez has been money since his return from an injury right before the All-Star break. In each of his last seven starts, he’s pitched at least six innings, and he hasn’t allowed more than two runs in any of them. He’s pitched into the seventh inning in each of the last five. And in the last four, he averaged 8 strikeouts. If he had a few more innings pitched, he would have a serious case for the A.L. Cy Young.

Zack Greinke – So uh, how about those Dodgers? L.A.’s scorching hot stretch of play has coincided with Greinke pitching like the $147 million player the Dodgers signed him to be this past offseason. In the second half, Greinke’s posted a 1.88 ERA, largely by cutting his walk rate by a full walk per nine innings. He hasn’t pitched fewer than six innings in a start since before the Fourth of July, and he’s only allowed more than two runs in a start once in that span. Tonight he faces the offensive jugger-NOT that is the Cubs, who rank 10th in the N.L. in runs scored third-to-last in batting average.

Tyler Lyons – If you’re spending big on aces like Sanchez and Greinke, that means you’re probably scraping together pennies for your third starter. That’s where the rookie Lyons comes in. His 5.09 ERA through seven starts belies his ability, as his 4.04 FIP reflects the Cardinals’ defensive issues. He flashed his potential early in the season, when he fired consecutive seven-inning, one-runs starts, but he has struggled since.

Top High-Priced Hitters

Robinson Cano – If you want offensive production out of your second baseman, look no further than Cano. His ranks at the position: 1st in on-base percentage; 1st in slugging; 2nd in wRC+; 1st in home runs; 3rd in batting average. Oh, and he’s hitting .371 in 100 plate appearances in August.

Michael Cuddyer – Cuddyer rarely gets mentioned as an elite offensive player, but he’s taking advantage of Coors Field and putting up career-best numbers that put him among this year’s best-hitting outfielders. On the year, he’s got a .329/.393/.534 line to go along with 17 homers. His 143 wRC+ is sixth among N.L. outfielders.

Cost-Effective, Mid-Range Hitters

Brett Lawrie – Lawrie’s star has faded a bit since his stellar rookie campaign in 2011, and he struggled mightily in the first half of this season, hitting just .204/.261/.361. But he’s righted the ship in the second half, and is back to looking like the solid offensive third baseman many projected when he first cracked the majors. His numbers since the All-Star Game: .319/.372/.511 with five homers in 149 plate appearances.

Charlie Blackmon – Blackmon’s only gotten 128 plate appearances this year for Colorado, the most he’s had in his three-year big-league career, but he’s emerged as a decent platoon option. For his career, Blackmon’s hitting .321 against lefties, and his slugging percentage is 60 points higher as well. You can probably see where this is heading: he’s facing a lefty tonight in Barry Zito.