MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Wednesday 5/13/15
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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.
Matt Harvey – Harvey's the most expensive pitcher today, but he's still worth using. The Mets are in Wrigley, facing a Cubs team that's striking out at a 25.6% rate against right-handers, the worst rate in baseball. Meanwhile, Harvey has a career 9.70 strikeouts per nine -- K's should be no problem today for Harvey. Throw in the fact that there's a 6.5 run over/under (the lowest on the day), and that the Mets are favored, and you've got yourself the best pitching option on the slate.
Alternative Option: Sonny Gray
Carlos Frias – To save a little cap, you could look Carlos Frias' way tonight against Miami. Frias has a 3.16 FIP in limited action this year, and that number was 3.60 -- despite a 6.12 ERA -- in 32.1 innings a season ago. Not bad. He also has decent strikeout potential, throwing eight strikeouts per nine innings throughout his career, though most projection systems for 2015 see him hitting the 6.5 mark. Still, not terrible for a low-cost guy. The Marlins have the sixth-worst strikeout rate against right-handed pitching this year, the game will be in a pitcher's park, and Vegas has Los Angeles as pretty good favorites with a relatively low 7.5 run over/under. Putting it all together, Frias makes sense today.
Alternative Option: Jimmy Nelson
Jacoby Ellsbury - Ellsbury's been a little fortunate this year with a .400 BABIP, but he is hitting a lot of line drives and not popping out a whole lot. In other words, he's just had a great start. You have to love the Yankee lefties tonight, as they'll face right-hander Nate Karns in Tampa. Ellsbury in particular gets a good bit of additional power against right-handers (evidence by a 40 point wOBA jump), and Karns -- in limited action, mind you -- has allowed an insane 1.96 homers per nine with a 5.62 FIP over his career. Let's do this, Yankee bats.
Mike Trout - You can always go with Trout, but our algorithm is in love with him tonight. He doesn't have the platoon advantage, but the Angels will take on Jordan Lyles, who's given up a .328 wOBA to right-handers throughout his career in over 280 innings. Lyles has a career 4.44 FIP and 4.20 xFIP, and has given up 1.08 homers per game over his career. It's not Coors, no, but Trout should be good to go tonight.
Alternative Option: Miguel Cabrera
Lucas Duda - Against right-handers, Duda has a career .364 wOBA and .219 ISO. He can hit the long bomb and hits for power when he's got the platoon advantage, which he has tonight in Wrigley against Jason Hammel. The Cubs' righty has a .343 wOBA against lefties throughout his career, and a 4.24 career FIP to go along with it. It's a good matchup for Duda tonight.
Jordy Mercer - Against left-hander Cole Hamels, there's a good chance Jordy Mercer finds the Pirates lineup tonight. And if that's the case, he's not a terrible punt option, because all Jordy Mercer is good for -- on the diamond, at least -- is hitting southpaws. Over his career, he has a .387 wOBA against left-handers (not a typo), and a strong .185 ISO. Versus right-handers, those numbers drop to .273 and .115. Though runs could be tough for the Pirates tonight, Mercer can be had for next to nothing, allowing you to build elsewhere in your lineup.
Alternative Option: Mike Moustakas