DraftKings MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Friday 4/17/15
Now that the NBA's regular season is over, why not change it up a bit and play daily fantasy baseball over on DraftKings.com?
DraftKings has contests going on each night where you can win real cash prizes. And with a nice slate tonight in baseball, it's the perfect chance to join and play.
Not sure who to select? Don't worry, we've got you covered with tonight's optimal lineup.
Be sure to check out our optimal lineups prior to games starting to ensure each player is in his team's lineup.
You can make a strong case for a lot of pitchers tonight, but our algorithm is opting for Michael Wacha and Corey Kluber, two pitchers with a lot to offer each time they're on the bump. Kluber will face a decent Twins lineup that has close to a four run team total tonight, but should be in store for some strikeouts, which are huge in daily fantasy baseball. He had a ridiculous 10.27 strikeout per nine rate last year, and is still projected by nearly every projection system imaginable to stay in the 9.0 to 9.5 range this season. Last season (the sample sizes are still far too small this year), Minnesota struck out at the eighth-highest rate against opposing right-handed pitching, which is a strong plus for Kluber tonight. Play him with confidence.
The numbers are also into Michael Wacha against the Reds, who will see a downgrade in terms of park factor tonight in St. Louis. Wacha may not get you the same strikeout numbers as Kluber does, but he's capable of going deep into games, and has a strong 3.14 career FIP. A big reason to like Wacha tonight, too, is because Vegas doesn't see the Reds -- depending on where you're looking for your lines -- scoring three runs, projecting for one of the lowest-scoring lineups on the night. Putting it all together makes Wacha a pretty safe play.
Players like Paul Goldschmidt, Giancarlo Stanton, and even Jonathan Lucroy -- who has the platoon split in his favor tonight in Pittsburgh -- make sense given their abilities each night. So let's talk about some of the cheaper guys listed above.
Luis Valbuena is a nice, cheap infield option when the Astros face right-handed pitching, as they will tonight against Jered Weaver. Valbuena's hit either in the cleanup spot or fifth in the Astros lineup when facing righties this year, which makes sense considering his strikeout rate is 18.6% in the split (23.8% out of it), while his ISO jumps a good 23 points.
Erick Aybar will be in the other dugout against Valbuena, and he's a relatively cheap way of getting exposure to a lineup with one of the highest Vegas team totals on the night. It helps, too, that he's a switch hitter and doesn't see big splits depending on the handedness of the pitcher.
Lastly, we have Gregor Blanco, a lefty bat in the Giants' lineup that'll also see a favorable split tonight against right-hander Josh Collmenter. That game will be played in a pitcher's park, but if Blanco's in the lineup, he's a great punt option that allows you to spend elsewhere in your lineup.