MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Monday 4/20/15
If you’ve never played daily fantasy baseball before, it’s time to start. Unlike traditional leagues, you’re able to select the players you want on that specific day only, giving you a different squad to root for each and every day.
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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!
Hisashi Iwakuma – It hasn't been a great start to the season for Iwakuma, who's 0-1 with a 5.92 FIP in two starts, giving up four earned runs in each contest. He was facing the Dodgers and Angels in those two games, though, so maybe we can cut him a little slack. And you probably should tonight, as he'll face an Astros team that is striking out at a higher rate than any other club in the league. He'll also be pitching in Seattle, which ranked as the eighth-best pitcher's park in Major League Baseball last year according to FanGraphs' statistics. That, too, is a jump in the wrong direction for the Astros lineup, who play in a more hitter-friendly (albeit, a pretty average one) park. According to our projections, Iwakuma is the top option tonight.
Jake Arrieta – Arrieta is going to be a popular cash game option tonight at pitcher, as the slate isn't strong with arms. The righty -- who struck out over nine batters per nine innings last year -- will face a strong Pirates lineup in Pittsburgh tonight. Pittsburgh seems to have turned things around offensively this past weekend after a fairly miserable start, or it could have just been a little regression -- the Pirates are a bottom-10 team in BABIP this year. Arrieta, though, will have the platoon split against some of the bigger bats for the Pirates, like Andrew McCutchen, and is arguably the most talented hurler in DFS tonight. Because of that, he's worth a look. (Watch out for weather in this game.)
Best High-Priced Hitters
Miguel Cabrera - The Tigers may have to deal with some early-game rain, but once it's past, they should be good to go. And you should, ideally, be playing Miggy tonight, who's facing lefty CC Sabathia. Over his career, Cabrera has a .415 wOBA and .245 ISO against lefties, while Sabathia's opponents -- throughout his career -- see a 26-point jump in wOBA going from the left side of the plate to the right. Sabathia has a projected ERA this year of 3.80 according to our numbers, and is already giving up a .339 wOBA to right-handers to start this young season. Miggy is a great option.
Matt Kemp - San Diego gets to travel to Coors for a four-game series, which means it's time to target some Padre bats. Kemp is one of them, though not necessarily my favorite value (we'll get to that in a second). San Diego will face Jorge De La Rosa, a lefty with a career 4.36 FIP. He's surrendered a .349 wOBA to right-handed bats over his career (.282 wOBA against lefties), which plays right into Kemp's favor, who has a .224 ISO and .403 wOBA (both pretty dramatic splits) against southpaws. The only problem is that you're going to have to pay a relatively high price for him, but he should be worth it.
Most Cost-Effective Hitters
Derek Norris - The player I like most from San Diego tonight, though, is Derek Norris, who batted cleanup yesterday against lefty Jon Lester. Norris has well-documented splits, as his righty bat hits to a .192 ISO against lefties, 90 points higher than what he sees against righties. The same is true with his wOBA -- .380 against lefties, and .278 against righties. His price is low and his matchup is ideal -- you have to play him.
Mike Aviles - The Indians will use Aviles when a lefty is on the mound, which is what they get tonight in John Danks, a pitcher they manhandled already this season. Danks doesn't have very extreme splits, but Aviles' are pretty strong, favoring lefty pitching. You'll want some exposure to the Indians' lineup tonight -- Vegas thinks they'll score close to five runs, and Danks can be prone to giving up the long ball -- and Aviles is a great, cheap way of doing so.