MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Thursday 4/23/15
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.
Max Scherzer – Scherzer has a pretty average matchup overall today, as he's pitching in Washington (a very normal park) against the Cardinals (13th in wOBA with an above-average BABIP). But it's Max Scherzer -- he strikes out batters at an insane rate (9.61 K rate throughout his career), and given today's slate, that could be pretty tough to find. Vegas, too, sees the Cardinals only scoring about three runs, which just adds to the allure. If there's a downside here, it's that he's facing a decent pitcher in Michael Wacha, so the win potential may not be as strong. You really shouldn't be concerned with a win though, as the statistic is inherently flawed and largely luck-driven.
Alternative Option: Chris Sale
Barolo Colon – Depending on the site you're playing at, Colon's price could range from mid-tier to more on the lower end. The bigger platforms have him at a mid-tier cost, but he's still pretty cost-effective overall given his matchup. The Braves have started the year as a middle-of-the-road club hitting the ball (.310 wOBA), and they've done a good job at limiting strikeouts (17.9% strikeout rate). But the game is at home for the Mets, a place that ranked as the third-best pitcher's park in the bigs according to FanGraphs' data last year. Scherzer is certainly the cash game guy to go with today, but Colon isn't a bad option.
Alternative Option: Jake Odorizzi
Corey Dickerson - Dickerson will stay in Coors for the last game of the Rockies' series against the Padres, and he gets a righty pitcher in Tyson Ross to [hopefully] mash. Against right-handed pitching last season, Dickerson hit to a .419 wOBA, which was nearly 100 points better than what he saw against lefties. His ISO against righties was an astounding .278, too. The problem with Dickerson today is simply going to be his cost -- if you go with someone like Scherzer, Dickerson's going to be hard to fit into your lineups. And you don't want to force it, either.
Justin Upton - Upton's probably burned you a bit if you used him in this series against the Rockies, as he just hasn't reached value at Coors yet. But he's our top hitter today, and I have to give him a little love. The Padres will face Jordan Lyles today, a right-handed pitcher. That means the splits advantage is in Lyles' favor, but the problem with that logic is that Lyles is really bad against righties too -- over his career, they've hit to a .327 wOBA. Upton definitely has liked left-handed pitching more throughout his career, but he's still a good hitter against righties, hitting to a .348 wOBA and .188 ISO. At Coors, that should only go up.
Note: Justin Upton is not in the Padres lineup today. Other Padres are a go, though.
Alternative Option: Giancarlo Stanton
Cody Asche - Asche is hitting third in today's lineup against right-hander David Phelps, giving Asche the advantage. Phelps has a career 4.21 FIP and is more of a fly-ball pitcher than ground-ball one, meaning Asche could use some of his power to hit him deep. Just do keep in mind that Asche has seen reverse splits throughout his career, so the matchup isn't quite as good as it may seem on paper. But his cost across the industry is still pretty low, making him a punt play.
Devon Travis - If Jose Bautista misses today's game, Devon Travis could, again, bat second for the Jays. He did that yesterday against Ubaldo Jimenez, and ended up being one of the top plays of the day. The Jays get Chris Tillman at the Rogers Centre today, and are projected to score 4.5 runs in a game that has an 8.5 over/under. Travis is still cheap around the industry, and given the fact that he could hit close to the top of the order again, he makes for a strong, strong second base play.
Alternative Option: Mark Canha