MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Monday 6/1/15
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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.
Felix Hernandez – There are a handful of high-cost studs tonight, but the majority of them are in unfavorable situations. Clayton Kershaw is at Coors, Gerrit Cole faces a Giants' lineup that's hit righties well, and Jacob deGrom is on the road in a game where his team isn't even favored. That leaves King Felix, who will be in Seattle to face the Yankees today. New York is 12th in wOBA this season, even with a fairly unlucky .275 BABIP. And they're a tad better against right-handers than they are lefties. But it's Felix Hernandez, people -- he has a 3.18 FIP this season (which is right at his career average), and he's striking out roughly nine batters per nine innings. I can't completely blame you for using Kershaw -- and think you should have exposure to him given his upside against a now not-so-great Rockies lineup -- but Hernandez is our top pitcher on the night.
Alternative Option: Clayton Kershaw
Clay Buchholz – This game has been postponed. On single-pitcher sites, I wouldn't recommend fading a high-cost pitcher in cash games tonight. But if you need a second pitcher on a site like DraftKings, our algorithm doesn't totally mind Clay Buchholz. Over his first five starts this year, Buchholz gave up 16 runs in 25 innings of work. He was pretty dreadful. But over his last five, he's gone at least six innings in each outing, surrendering three or fewer runs in all but one contest. And over his last three games, Buchholz has given up a total of five earned runs. His ERA isn't strong at 4.33, but his FIP, which is a better indicator of earned run success, sits at a really favorable 3.06 this year. To make things even better, his strikeout per nine rate is at a career high 9.25. The Twins, his opponent, have hit lefties relatively well this year, but they're hitting to a .299 wOBA against righties, which is sixth worst in baseball.
Alternative Option: Jaime Garcia
Adrian Gonzalez - All of the Adrian Gonzalezes. All of them. The Dodgers are playing in Coors tonight -- which is a huge plus, for obvious park factor reasons -- but then you factor in their opposing pitcher, Kyle Kendrick, and you start to get a warm feeling inside. Kendrick's a righty hurler with a 6.09 FIP, surrendering an insane .376 wOBA to lefties this year. Gonzalez has a career .384 wOBA against righties (up about 50 points versus how he performs against southpaws), making this matchup about as ideal as it gets. And his price tag across sites really isn't that bad, all things considered.
Anthony Rizzo - I'm going to have more exposure to Adrian Gonzalez tonight, but perhaps a more contrarian first base play is Anthony Rizzo, who gets a favorable matchup against Jose Urena. A lefty, Rizzo naturally hits righties better -- over his career, his wOBA has been about 30 points higher against right-handers, while his ISO jumps to .212. What we know about Urena is that he's inexperienced, and that he has a 9.39 ERA in 7.2 innings pitched this year. I -- and our algorithm -- wouldn't expect Rizzo to struggle tonight.
Alternative Option: Bryce Harper
Andre Ethier - All of that stuff I said about Adrian Gonzalez applies to Ethier, just on a smaller scale. Ethier's hit in the five-hole over the Dodgers' last two games, and has very favorable splits against righties -- a .384 wOBA (.285 against lefties) and a .203 ISO (.120 against lefties). At Coors against Kendrick and at a low cost, Ethier should be in your lineups tonight.
Nick Markakis - Markakis has been about average this year when you compare his numbers to his career ones, but he gets a great matchup tonight that could bring some points for a low-cost hitter. Against right-handers over his career (he's facing right-handers Archie Bradley tonight in Arizona), Markakis has hit to a .355 wOBA and .157 ISO, far better than the .328 wOBA and .109 ISO he sees against lefties. Perfect. But what's even better is the fact that the Braves will be in Arizona, going from an average hitter's park to one of the hitter-friendliest parks in the bigs. Putting it together, Markakis makes for a solid play.
Alternative Option: Neil Walker