FantasyScore Daily Fantasy Baseball Primer: Tuesday 5/19/15

James Shields has a cost-effective salary on FantasyScore tonight, and should be a good value.

Season-long fantasy baseball leagues can be tiresome. You have to set your lineups each day, play the waiver wire for new players, and when it's all said and done, you still might be out of it by the All-Star break.

Fortunately, we've got an alternative to your season-long fantasy baseball woes:

FantasyScore has tons of games to choose from and compete in for real cash prizes every single day. All you need to do is sign up, enter a lineup based on salary restrictions, and join contests against baseball fans just like you.

With an interesting slate going on tonight in baseball, it's a perfect time to try it out. And to help you, we're giving out our FantasyScore optimized lineup, which you can find below.

James Shields (SP, SD)$7,100 11.25
Gio Gonzalez (SP, WSH)$6,300 11.59
Giancarlo Stanton (RF, MIA)$6,200 4.63
Michael Brantley (LF, CLE)$5,800 4.32
Josh Donaldson (3B, TOR)$5,800 3.77
Dee Gordon (2B, MIA)$5,600 4.21
Russell Martin (C, TOR)$5,100 3.78
Ryan Howard (1B, PHI)$3,200 5.01
Kevin Kiermaier (OF, TB)$2,700 4.13
Freddy Galvis (SS, PHI)$2,000 4.12

James Shields faces the Cubs in San Diego tonight in a contest with the lowest over/under, per Vegas, on the day. And that makes sense -- Petco Park is one of the best out there for pitchers. But Shields' matchup is even better than just a park. The Cubs have the worst strikeout rate in the league at 25.2%, and it's at an even worse 25.4% this season against right-handed pitching.

Shields has a silly-good 11.92 strikeouts per nine average this season, which is sure to regress closer to his 7.77 career average, but it goes to show that he's capable of striking out batters. When you combine all these factors, he's a top play on the day, which is why our algorithm chose him.

To go along with Shields, we have Gio Gonzalez, who's got the Yankees in Washington tonight. Gonzalez's 4.25 ERA may scare folks off, but his 2.75 FIP tells us that he's been a little unfortunate to start the year. That's true, for the most part. His line-drive rate needs to come down a bit, but it doesn't exactly explain his high .387 BABIP against, which is up nearly 100 points from his career average.

The Yankees have a middle-of-the-road wOBA against left-handed pitching this season, and are striking out at a fairly below-average rate against southpaws, too. But there's a slight park shift for them here that favors the pitcher, which should help Gonzalez's cause.

As usual, rather than going through the obvious, big-play bats in today's lineup (and there are a lot), I'll highlight some of the cheaper plays and explain why our algorithm is into them.

Let's start with the Phillies, and more specifically, Ryan Howard and Freddy Galvis. Philadelphia will continue their series at Coors, the daily fantasy baseball dream land, tonight against right-hander Chad Bettis.

Bettis has only pitched five innings this season and has little experience, but, for what it's worth, has a 4.35 FIP in those innings. Howard gets the platoon advantage and is actually our top hitter on the day, while Galvis will more than likely hit close to the top of the order for a lineup that is projected to score close to five runs. They're so cheap as well, despite the fact that they have the nice park shift in Colorado.

Lastly, we have Kevin Kiermaier, who should lead off for the Rays tonight against Mike Foltynewicz and the Braves. Not only is Kiermaier cost-effective, but he has the platoon advantage as the Rays have a favorable team total. Foltynewicz doesn't have a ton of MLB experience, but in the small sample, he's been mashed by lefties. Kiermaier, meanwhile, has huge splits that favor left-handed pitching -- he's hitting to a .352 wOBA against southpaws in his career, up from a .243 wOBA against lefties.

Enter the lineup now on!