MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Wednesday 4/29/15
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.
Felix Hernandez – I'm not head over heels excited about Felix Hernandez tonight for a couple of reasons. First, there are plenty of cheaper pitching options today, lowering his value a bit. Second, his matchup isn't as good as it appears. Yes, the Rangers are 26th in Major League Baseball in wOBA, and have generally struggled at the plate this year. But they also have the lowest BABIP in all of baseball, and are striking out at a pretty average rate. That, and Hernandez has to deal with the park shift, going from Seattle, a decent pitcher's park, to Texas, a hitter's park. With all of this being said, he's still the number-one pitcher today according to our metrics because he's Felix Hernandez. If you're going to pay, spend your money on him. It just may not be completely necessary today and tonight.
Alternative Option: Zack Greinke
Andrew Cashner – Cashner is our sixth-best pitcher on the day, but has a ton of upside against Houston. Take last night as a perfect reason why. The Padres lost by 11 runs to the Astros, and starter Tyson Ross was still a reasonable fantasy option despite only pitching five innings. Why? Strikeouts. He was able to K nine Houston batters in those five innings, because Houston batters love striking out. Or, at least, that's what the data says -- so far this year, no team has a higher strikeout rate than the Astros. Cashner himself isn't a huge strikeout guy, but he can be against Houston, because anyone can be against Houston. Not only that, but the game is in San Diego -- a big pitcher's park -- where Cashner surrendered just a .216 wOBA in 75 innings pitched last year.
Alternative Option: Carlos Martinez
Nelson Cruz - I could probably just copy and paste what I said about Nelson Cruz yesterday and make use of it today, but that wouldn't be proper writing. It's just so easy to target and use him against left-handed pitching. In a hitter's park, Cruz will face Wandy Rodriguez tonight. Against southpaws over his career, Cruz has a .385 wOBA and .245 ISO. If you're going to pay up for some bats, he has to be near the top of your list today and tonight, dependent upon the slate you're playing.
Lucas Duda - Duda's hit the ball well to start the year, and gets a strong matchup against Mat Latos later tonight. Latos has been better since his horrific 0.2 innings pitched outing to start the year, but he's still Mat Latos, a pitcher capable of imploding on any given day. He's also a right-handed hurler, which gives Duda a big advantage. Over his career, Duda's hit righties to a .367 wOBA (.284 wOBA versus southpaws) and a .222 ISO. The Mets have a reasonably high team total (hovering above four runs), which makes Duda and that lineup enticing.
Alternative Option: Joey Votto
David Peralta - The Diamondbacks have one of the highest team totals on the day thanks to their matchup in Arizona against Jordan Lyles. The Rockies' righty has a 4.42 FIP over his career, and surrenders 1.07 home runs per nine innings. (He does pitch in Colorado though.) That should be music to David Peralta's ears, who often gets the start against right-handed pitching for the D-Backs. The reason is pretty simple: against righties -- albeit, in just a 292 at-bat sample size -- Peralta has a .368 wOBA and .209 ISO. Given his cheap tag, he's the perfect player to use to get Diamondback exposure, though you should probably have at least one lineup with a D-Backs stack tonight.
Adam LaRoche - Depending on the site you're playing at, LaRoche may not exactly qualify as "cheap". Today, however, he could be cost-effective against Ubaldo Jimenez in the vacant Camden Yards. Jimenez doesn't have extreme righty-lefty splits -- though he certainly likes right-handers more -- but LaRoche is all about some right-handed pitching, hitting to a .359 wOBA when he's in the split. He's probably less of a play on DraftKings given his price tag, but he's not a bad option on FanDuel for just $2,700.
Alternative Option: Andre Ethier