MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Wednesday 4/22/15
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.
And while there are many platforms to play daily fantasy baseball on, one of our favorites is from our partners over at DraftKings.com. Never played over there before? It’s time for that to change. Sign up now and use our optimal lineups here at numberFire.com to crush the competition. You won’t regret it.
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!
Clayton Kershaw – Citing Kershaw's statistics is silly at this point, so let's focus on the matchup. He'll be in San Francisco, a pitcher's park, squaring off against the Giants' lineup. San Francisco's done a good job of not striking out this season (fourth-best strikeout percentage in the bigs), but they were a middle-of-the-road squad in terms of K rate in 2014. The Giants, this year, have the 21st-best wOBA in baseball, with an average BABIP -- they're not hitting the ball exceptionally well by any means. To be honest, the biggest reason you may feel hesitant with Kershaw is because Madison Bumgarner is on the mound for the Giants -- there's less of a chance Kershaw gets a win. But to back off the best pitcher in baseball in a pretty strong matchup based on a flawed statistic like wins is silly. Use him, especially in cash games.
Alternative Option: David Price
Vance Worley – Tonight's not the night to get cute with pitcher in cash games, but everything is open in a GPP. Looking Worley's way is frightening to say the least, especially with the new-look Cubs lineup, but there are a couple of things in Worley's favor. First, the park. PNC Park loves pitchers, which should benefit Worley tonight. Second, Vegas sees the Pirates winning this game with a 7.5 over/under. Third, while the Cubs can certainly hit, they've started the year with the eighth-worst strikeout rate in baseball. Worley should hover around the seven strikeouts per nine range this year, which is solid enough given the price you'll pay for him. Don't be stupid and play him in a cash game, but don't overlook him as a second pitcher in tournaments tonight.
Alternative Option: Aaron Sanchez
Joey Votto - The Reds kind of ruined daily fantasy baseball last night with their 16-run performance against the Brewers, and while I don't expect that to happen again tonight, a righty pitcher on the mound for Milwaukee means Joey Votto is certainly in play. Votto's been a monster to start the year, ranking third in wOBA in all of baseball to go along with an ISO above .400. Over his career, Votto's seen good spikes against right-handed pitchers, hitting to a .419 wOBA and a .235 ISO. In a hitter's park -- more so than Great American Ball Park last year, per FanGraphs -- Votto makes for a great play.
Jose Altuve - The Astros face lefty JA Happ tonight, which means Altuve is certainly in play. Last year, Altuve had a .440 wOBA against left-handers, good for a .414 batting average. His power isn't necessarily there (he's 5'5'', people), but he'll be able to give you a high floor for cash games in a plus matchup.
Alternative Option: Edwin Encarnacion
Dustin Ackley - The last three times the Mariners faced a right-handed starter, Dustin Ackley hit either first or second in the lineup. Tonight they get right-hander Roberto Hernandez, meaning we could certainly see the same. Ackley isn't a strong hitter, but does have a .306 wOBA against righties, which is far better than what he sees against lefties. If you throw him into your lineup, it's just a price play. But our algorithm does like him a fair amount.
Chris Owings - A righty, Owings actually has hit right-handed pitching better throughout his career (442 plate appearances) than left-handed pitching. Like Ackley, his numbers aren't going to blow you away, but he's a really cheap play each night, and batted second in the D-Backs order last night. The Diamondbacks get Yovani Gallardo tonight, and Vegas has their team total hovering the 4.5 mark. That's enough reason to get some cheap exposure to that lineup, and that's what you can do by using Owings. Just make sure he's in a favorable part of the order.
Alternative Option: Ike Davis