MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Thursday 8/29/13

Gerrit Cole has been a bit overshadowed by the star rookie pitchers in the NL, but he's having a solid year in his own right.

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
Gio GonzalezSP26.58$30,6000.87
Gerrit ColeSP20.29$22,1000.92
David OrtizDH14.28$7,0002.04
Andrew McCutchenCF13.46$6,7002.01
Adam JonesCF16.91$6,6002.56
Jarrod SaltalamacchiaC11.78$4,9002.40
Kyle Seager3B11.94$4,8002.49
Justin RuggianoOF13.68$4,7002.91
Nick Franklin2B11.7$4,3002.72
Justin Smoak1B11.17$4,1002.72
Josh HarrisonSS12.82$3,4003.77

Fantasy Feud, Draft Kings, and FanThrowdown Optimized Rosters

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The Top Three Pitchers

Gio Gonzalez – Gio Gonzalez is good. Sure, his 3.72 ERA is a little inflated compared to the last couple years, but that’s due to a higher home run rate. He still has an ace-level 9.06 K/9. But since I’m a card-carrying hater, it’s much more fun for me to talk about players and teams that aren’t good. The worse, the better. And the Marlins are the embodiment of “worse” in 2013 MLB. This is a team that is dead last in the majors in runs scored, and the second-to-last team is 83 runs ahead of them. Miami’s 70 wRC+ as a team is the worst since the infamous 1963 Mets. And those Mets were only one point worse! Incredible. This team will go down in history as one of the worst offensive teams of all time. Oh, Gonzalez is pitching against Miami tonight, by the way.

Gerritt Cole – Cole has been somewhat overshadowed by the other sensational rookie hurlers in the N.L. this year, but the former first overall pick has put up a solid debut, posting a 3.34 FIP and just 1.96 BB/9 in 13 starts this year. His 6.58 K/9 is a little low for a potential ace, but his minor league numbers were much higher, so that might correct itself. In the majors, Cole hasn’t had a single disastrous start – he hasn’t allowed more than four runs in an outing yet.

Kris Medlen – By now it’s evident that Medlen is not the pitcher who blanked hitters with a 1.57 ERA in 12 starts after coming off the DL last season. But that’s OK! What he is is a solid middle-of-the-rotation guy whose true talent probably lies somewhere between last year’s Maddux impression and this season’s 3.74 ERA. After all, Medlen’s HR/FB rate doubled since last year, and that typically is not an especially reliable variable.

Top High-Priced Hitters

David Ortiz – Hey look at that – it’s David Ortiz in our optimized lineup when he’s facing a righty! Today’s unlucky pitcher is Orioles up-and-comer Chris Tillman. Tillman is good, but Ortiz is simply deadly against right-handers. A quick recap: his line against righties this year is .345/.443/.659 with 19 home runs.

Andrew McCutchen – McCutchen is one of the N.L.’s best hitters, with a .323/.400/.508 line, plus 17 home runs and 27 steals, all while playing good centerfield defense. Tonight he faces Yovani Gallardo, who is in year four of continuing decline. This year Gallardo has really fallen off, and his 6.97K/9 is significantly lower than his career 8.90 mark.

Cost-Effective, Mid-Range Hitters

Justin Smoak – Smoak has been a bit of a post-hype sleeper this year. Remember, he’s the guy Seattle got in the Cliff Lee trade, who promptly stunk up the joint in 2011 and 2012 when he got major league chances. This year, he’s hitting .252/.347/.413 with 14 homers, which adds up a very respectable 114 wRC+. There’s another A.L. first baseman with similar numbers: .262/.348/.432 with 20 homers and a 113 wRC+. His name? Prince Fielder.

Nick Franklin – Franklin is a dirt-cheap source of power at second base. Yeah, his average is only .227, but he’s slugging .403 and has 11 homers in just 306 plate appearances. Also, Franklin is a switch-hitter who fares much better (OPS 160 points higher) against righties. Tonight he faces Jordan Lyles, a righty who’s allowed left-handed batters to slug over .500 against him on the year. Franklin is a very solid platoon play tonight.