DraftKings MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Friday 5/22/15
With both the NBA and NHL playing no more than one game per night for the remainder of the season, now is the perfect time to start playing MLB DFS, if you haven't already.
DraftKings has contests going on each night where you can win real cash prizes. And with a nice slate tonight in baseball, it's the perfect chance to join and play. After all, new users at DraftKings get a free entry into a league with up to $100,000 in prizes.
Not sure who to select? Don't worry, we've got you covered with tonight's optimal lineup.
Be sure to check out our optimal lineups prior to games starting to ensure each player is in his team's lineup.
While Clayton Kershaw has somewhat struggled for the Dodgers this season -- as John Stolnis chronicles in his latest article -- Zack Greinke has really picked up the slack through the early part of this season. Greinke has opened the season with a 5-1 record while posting a 1.52 ERA, and although he is only striking out 7.43 batters per nine innings through his first eight starts, a matchup with a Padres squad who strikes out at the seventh highest rate in the league (21.5%) could help increase that number. San Diego doesn't just strike out at a high rate, but they are simply not a very good hitting team, ranking 22nd in the league in wOBA (.302). With tonight's game taking place at pitcher-friendly Dodger Stadium, the over/under at a minuscule 6.5, and Los Angeles as massive -190 favorites, all signs point to a big outing for the Dodgers' ace tonight.
The other pitcher our algorithm recommends -- Michael Pineda -- also comes into tonight with a very strong matchup and his team as a huge favorite. Pineda, who also enters with a 5-1 record, has surprisingly been one of the best pitchers in baseball so far this season. The Yankees' ace leads all starters with an outstanding 1.98 FIP and 2.38 xFIP, and has struck out an impressive 9.58 batters per nine innings. Although playing at Yankee Stadium is not ideal, a matchup with a Rangers team who strikes out at a 20.8% clip with the 10th-worst wOBA in the league (.307) makes Pineda a very strong play in all formats.
When it comes to which hitters to play, starting a scorching hot batter playing at Coors Field is always a smart move, and Buster Posey certainly fits the bill. He comes into tonight riding a nine-game hitting streak, blasting three home runs and driving in 10 RBI over that span. While some may be hesitant to start the former MVP tonight considering he is a right-handed batter facing a right-handed pitcher, Posey has actually hit righties better than lefties so far this season, posting a .309 batting average, .372 wOBA and .164 ISO against right-handers -- all of which are better than his numbers against southpaws. Posey also gets the pleasure of facing off with Rockies' starter Kyle Kendrick, who has earned an abysmal 6.70 FIP and 6.13 xFIP while allowing an outrageous 1.91 homers per nine innings so far this season. Posey is our third-highest overall projected player tonight and the number-one catcher on the board by a wide margin.
One of the two players we actually have projected higher than Posey is another former MVP -- Mike Trout. Trout has gotten off to another hot start this season, amassing a .404 wOBA and .268 ISO through his first 41 games, and looks to pad those stats in the friendly confines of Fenway. Red Sox starter Rick Porcello has been less than stellar to start the season, earning a 4.26 ERA and 4.33 FIP while allowing 1.42 dingers per nine innings. Our algorithm has Trout projected to have the highest chance of hitting a homer out of anyone on the board tonight, and he's the highest projected player by a decent margin. Don't hesitate to plug him into your lineups despite his very expensive $5,600 price tag.
With our algorithm suggesting you use a large percentage of your salary cap between Posey and Trout, finding strong value plays to offset those two huge cap hits becomes very critical. One player who makes a very interesting play at an extremely affordable price is Steven Tolleson. The Blue Jays were recently forced to place their starting second baseman -- Devon Travis -- the DL with a shoulder injury, which means Tolleson will slide into Toronto's starting lineup for the foreseeable future. In the five games since Travis went down with his injury, Tolleson has recorded six hits -- three of which went for extra bases -- and has scored five runs. He is coming off of a game in which he reached base safely four times and is now up to a .347 wOBA on the year. Although he does have an incredibly tough matchup against Felix Hernandez, given his recent hot hitting, the stacked Blue Jays lineup and a microscopic $2,200 price tag, Tolleson is dollar for dollar one of my favorite plays on the board tonight.