MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Tuesday 4/28/15
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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.
Clayton Kershaw – Kershaw hasn't gone deep into a game yet this year, and in his last outing (against the same Giants team he'll face tonight), he went just six innings. But in Kershaw form, he struck out nine batters. That's what you're paying for -- a guy who's capable of striking out over a batter per inning, giving him an insane daily fantasy ceiling each time he's on the mound. Vegas doesn't expect the Giants to hit three runs today, too, which adds to the fact that Kershaw is our top pitching option. I can't blame you for going with Johnny Cueto tonight in cash games, but do yourself a favor and have some exposure to Kershaw.
Alternative Option: Johnny Cueto
Tyson Ross – You have to love Tyson Ross' situation tonight. His game is in San Diego -- a pitcher's dream -- and he's facing an Astros team that strikes out at a higher rate than any other squad in the bigs. Ross had a nice 8.97 strikeout per nine average last season to go along with his 3.24 FIP, and in a little over 100 innings at home, opponents hit to just a .243 wOBA against him. Logic says that he'll have a big night.
Alternative Option: Kyle Lohse (GPP only)
Ian Kinsler - Kinsler's actually our top-rated hitter tonight, which doesn't often come from a player at his position. He doesn't get the platoon advantage against Mike Pelfrey, which is a bummer, but Pelfrey has still pitched horribly to right-handed bats throughout his career, surrendering a .334 wOBA. The Tigers have a 4.5-ish team total tonight according to Vegas -- one of the higher ones of the day -- meaning Kinsler will have plenty of chances to make some noise on the daily fantasy scoreboard. If you're paying up at the position, either Kinsler or Dee Gordon seem like the best plays.
Nelson Cruz - Since hitting six homers in five games earlier in the year, Cruz has "just" three bombs over his last 10. That could change tonight. He'll get southpaw Ross Detwiler of the Rangers in Texas, one of the better hitter's parks in the country. Against lefties throughout his career, Cruz has hit to a .384 wOBA and .243 ISO, both pretty significant increases when compared to how he hits righties. Detwiler has a pretty middle-of-the-road ground-ball rate throughout his career, but he's struggled this year in a Rangers uniform, having surrendered 3.65 home runs per nine innings pitched. Cruz could have a huge night.
Alternative Option: Miguel Cabrera
Rickie Weeks - Sticking with the Mariners, if you'd rather not pay up for someone like Kinsler tonight, you could opt for Rickie Weeks. Against lefties in his career, Weeks has a pretty strong .368 wOBA, up 38 points when you compare his wOBA to right-handers. Seattle's expected to score a lot of runs tonight, and if Weeks is in the Mariners lineup (he should be), then he's a great punt choice.
Francisco Cervelli - The Pirates will face left-hander Travis Wood tonight at Wrigley, and chances are, Cervelli will be behind home plate. Over his career, Cervelli has a .356 wOBA against left-handed pitching, while Wood also sees pretty strong handedness splits. Considering catcher is typically one to punt, Cervelli provides that cheap option tonight for you.
Alternative Option: Kolten Wong