MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Tuesday 5/26/15
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.
Clayton Kershaw – You hate playing Kershaw, I get it. He has a 4.32 ERA this year, players are hitting line drives off of him at a higher rate than he's ever seen in his career, and he's super expensive in DFS. I get it. But you still should play him tonight. He's facing a Braves lineup that's striking out at a 22.0% rate against lefties, hitting to a .274 wOBA, which is better than just three MLB teams. Kershaw's still got an 11.26 strikeout per nine rate going this year, and as while the aforementioned ERA is a mess, his FIP is a far lower 2.90. The Dodgers are huge favorites, too -- if you're playing on a single-pitcher site like FanDuel, he needs to be rostered, at least in cash games.
Alternative Option: Jacob deGrom
Matt Shoemaker – Tonight's not a night where you want to get cheap with your pitcher. But if you're looking for a number-two guy to pair with Kershaw on a two-pitcher site like DraftKings, I supposed you could look Shoemaker's way. He hasn't been great this year -- he's got a 5.80 FIP and a 2.64 home run per nine, just to name a couple of numbers -- but his matchup tonight against San Diego isn't a bad one. The Padres rank 24th in baseball in wOBA versus right-handers, striking out at a 21.7% clip. The upside with Shoemaker is generally his strikeout rate, as he has a career 8.30 strikeouts per nine innings and an 8.53 rate this season. Vegas is on the Angels tonight at -145, and while the over/under is fairly high at 8.5 runs, the hope is that Shoemaker can strike out a good number of batters and get the W.
Alternative Option: N/A
Josh Donaldson - Against John Danks, you're going to want Blue Jays exposure tonight. So far this year, Danks has a 5.28 FIP, a 12.3% home run to fly ball ratio, a 1.64 home run per nine innings rate and a 3.27 walks per nine average. That's not great, Bob. As Jim Sannes pointed out in today's stacks article, the average Blue Jays hitter against southpaws -- given how their lineup has performed against lefties -- is basically Freddie Freeman. The whole lineup is in play, and that especially means Donaldson, who loves crushing left-handed pitching.
Paul Goldschmidt - Given cost, Edwin Encarnacion is arguably the better play at first tonight versus Goldy. But I already mentioned how good the Blue Jays will be tonight, so let's talk about Goldschmidt. He's facing left-hander Jaime Garcia, who's surrendering a .306 wOBA to right-handers over his brief career. More importantly, though, Goldschmidt mashes lefties to the tune of a .433 career wOBA and .283 ISO against them. If you have the cap space to fit him in your lineup, go for it.
Alternative Option: Giancarlo Stanton
Adam Jones - Jones doesn't have the platoon advantage tonight, but at $3,000 on FanDuel (!!!), it's going to be tough to not roster him. The Orioles have a team total north of 4.5 tonight against Scott Feldman, who's been average at best this year with a 4.14 FIP (which is lower than his career average). Jones hasn't really scored many fantasy points on FanDuel of late, which is why his price is down, but baseball is a high variance game -- these are the types of plays (he's got a .361 wOBA and is priced at $3,000, people) that will give you a return on your investment in the long run.
Luis Valbuena - Against righties over his career, Valbuena has a .306 wOBA and .154 ISO, significantly up from his numbers against lefties. But he's been stronger this year, hitting to a .330 wOBA against right-handed pitching and a very nice .243 ISO. The Astros get Chris Tillman tonight in Baltimore, a decent park shift from Houston. Tillman has also not been very strong to start the year, pitching to a 5.37 FIP while walking nearly five batters per nine innings. The Astros, and Valbuena, could score some runs tonight.
Alternative Option: Ben Paulsen