MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Thursday 4/16/15

It's an ugly slate, but there are still some good plays today in daily fantasy baseball.

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As for today's lineups -- those can be found here. The information below is to help you understand why particular players are being picked, because we don't want you going into the things completely blind. We want to help you. Keep in mind, however, that things often change up until the games start, so make sure you're refreshing the optimal lineups as close to the start of games as possible.

To get a general idea of who we're picking in tonight's slate, check out the video below, courtesy of Periscope. And be sure to follow us on there, @numberFire!

Top Pitchers

Madison Bumgarner – We've got just six games today, meaning pitching options are limited. Fortunately, we've got World Series legend Madison Bumgarner on the mound against the Arizona Diamondbacks, a team that's started the year in the bottom 10 in strikeout rate. The D-backs just finished a three-game series in San Diego, a pitcher's park, and now they'll be playing a four-game one in San Francisco, also a pitcher's park. The baseball fantasy baseball gods hate them, apparently. Mad Bum did surprisingly struggle a little more at home last year than on the road, but Vegas has this game at a six run over/under, giving the Diamondbacks the lowest or second-lowest team total on the day, depending on where you're looking. Bumgarner is the top choice according to our algorithm, and should be a heavily owned hurler in cash games.

Doug Fister – I can't blame you entirely for targeting the Phillies lineup today -- I mean, Jeff Francoeur batted cleanup for them last night. The Phils have started the year with just a .273, which is fourth-worst in baseball. They've struck out at a middle-of-the-road rate, too. But -- but! -- their BABIP is pretty low despite having the sixth-best line-drive rate in the league. Perhaps regression is coming? Let's hope it's not tonight against Fister, who won't necessarily get you a ton of strikeouts (5.38 strikeouts per nine last year), but is certainly capable of going deep into games. The most enticing part of this matchup, honestly, is the fact that Vegas opened it up at a six run over/under. However, it's moved up by a half of a run, which is a little scary.

Best High-Priced Hitters

Jose Bautista - The problem with today's ugly slate is a lot of the big bats don't have favorable matchups in terms of righty-lefty splits. Joey Bats is one of them, facing off against righty Chris Archer in the Rogers Centre, a pretty good hitter's park. And I think that's the difference between targeting a player like Bautista tonight versus going with Giancarlo Stanton, who's in a worse park. That, and Toronto's team total is the highest on the day -- you want to get a piece of the lineup in some way.

Brian Dozier - Dozier's an interesting case in daily fantasy baseball, as his FanDuel price is just $3,200, while his DraftKings tag is sitting at $4,700. If that gap doesn't make sense to you, here's some context: he's the most expensive second baseman (same price as Dee Gordon) on DraftKings, with a significant gap to the rest of the position, while on FanDuel, four other second basemen are at or above his price tag. So, yes, play him on FanDuel. A huge reason to do so is because he's facing a lefty pitcher in Jason Vargas -- Dozier has a career .371 wOBA against lefties, a significant jump from his .297 wOBA against right-handers.

Most Cost-Effective Hitters

Lorenzo Cain - There's a reason this section is titled "most cost-effective hitters" and not "best cheap hitters" -- we're looking for value, not necessarily bargain bin bats. Cain fits the profile of the former, as he's a mid-priced outfielder who could bring upper-tiered numbers today. He has a career .326 wOBA against lefties, and hit to a .362 wOBA against them last year. Tommy Milone is on the mound for the Twins, who's projected, according to our numbers, to finish the year with a 4.84 ERA. Milone has also given up 1.21 home runs per nine innings over his career, with just a 37.2% ground-ball rate. Baseballs could be flying in Minnesota today.

Adam Lind - Lind isn't cheap, either, but he's walking into a matchup that works in his favor. John Lackey has a career .327 wOBA against versus left-handed hitters, but his splits aren't super extreme. Lind's are though. His ISO jumps 100 points when he's going up against right-handers (.218 vs. .118), while his wOBA goes up 108 points (.369 vs. .261). In an atrocious-looking slate, you could certainly do a lot worse.

Click here for our top stacks of the day.