MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Monday 5/4/15
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.
Clayton Kershaw – You've got three big aces on the mound tonight in Kershaw, Felix Hernandez and Madison Bumgarner, but our numbers naturally like Kershaw best. There's good reason for it -- he may be the most expensive option, but he's facing a Brewers lineup that has the third worst strikeout rate in all of baseball this year, as well as the third worst wOBA. Their K rate, too, is worse against left-handed pitching. Really, the only downside in using Kershaw tonight -- aside from cost -- is the fact that there's a park shift that doesn't move in his favor. But that shouldn't sway you from using the best pitcher in the world against an offense that's struggling mightily to start the year.
Alternative Options: Madison Bumgarner, Felix Hernandez
Alex Wood – If you'd rather differentiate from one of tonight's big three, looking Alex Wood's way isn't a bad idea. I'd have a hard time playing him in cash games, especially considering his mediocre start to the year, but as a GPP option, there's enough to like to warrant a start. Wood gets the Phillies, who have performed just as poorly as the aforementioned Brewers this season offensively, if not worse. However, they are hitting lefties better than righties -- to start the year, they're only striking out at a 15.9% clip against lefties, and their wOBA is actually pretty middle-of-the-road. The latter could be due to a little BABIP luck, but the former could be a little worrisome from an upside standpoint tonight. With that being said, Vegas has the over/under in this game set at just seven runs, and the Phils get a slight park shift in the wrong direction for their bats. Going with Wood is risky -- as I said, I wouldn't shy away from the high-cost options in cash games tonight -- but there's reason to like him in tournaments.
Alternative Option: Aaron Harang
Paul Goldschmidt - It's going to be very difficult to fit Goldy into your lineup if you're using someone like Kershaw, because his cost ($6,100 on FanDuel, $5,700 on DraftKings) is pretty absurd. But there's a reason for it. He faces Tyler Matzek, a lefty, at Coors Field tonight. Goldschmidt has a career .432 wOBA against lefties (!!!), and his ISO is .285 in the split, too. The combination in Coors is drool-worthy. Just make sure the game happens, as the weather looks questionable right now.
Adrian Gonzalez - Though Adrian Gonzalez is still expensive, he's going to provide salary cap relief if you're comparing him to Goldschmidt's cost tonight. The Dodger lefty will get Kyle Lohse in Milwaukee -- not only is that a nice move in ball park for Gonzalez, but Lohse has been atrocious this year, pitching to a 5.96 FIP (7.28 ERA). Gonzalez, too, gets the handedness advantage in the matchup, and against right-handers over his career, he's hit to a .385 wOBA (up 50 points compared to his .335 wOBA against lefties). It's a great matchup for Gonzalez, who's tearing the cover off the ball this year.
Alternative Option: Josh Donaldson
Jhonny Peralta - Left-hander Travis Wood is on the mound for the Cubs tonight in St. Louis, which means right-handed Cardinal bats are in play. Over his career, Wood has a .327 wOBA against right-handed hitters, which is far worse than what he sees against lefties. Peralta's got a .344 career wOBA against lefties, with an ISO that approaches .200. He's one of our algorithm's top value plays.
Chris Owings - With Matzek on the mound in Coors, you're going to want to stock up on Diamondbacks tonight. Owings gives you a pretty cheap option in the lineup, which is one that's projected to score, according to Vegas, close to five runs in a game with a 10 run over/under. The problem is that Owings just isn't very good, and has been a reverse splits hitter over his career. So, in essence, you're playing him for cost tonight. And Coors Field, of course.
Alternative Option: Marwin Gonzalez