MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Thursday 6/4/15
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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 – Yes, Matt Harvey is the best pitcher on the mound for tonight's slate. But no, I wouldn't advise using him in each of your lineups. He's going up against an Arizona Diamondbacks lineup that has the sixth-best wOBA versus right-handed pitching, and he'll be pitching in one of the best hitter's parks in the bigs. He's obviously capable of striking out batters, but with the opponent, location and high over/under (8.5) with this game, there's more risk than normal in using Harvey. That, and tonight's slate sets up to be much more GPP-driven than cash-game driven considering the matchups, meaning you may want to save some cap space for bats rather than using it all on pitching.
Alternative Options: Jake Arrieta
Carlos Frias – If you look at Frias' ERA, you're not all that impressed, as it's sitting at 4.29. But Frias had one disastrously bad outing against the Padres, where he surrendered 10 runs in four innings. Aside from that, he's been pretty solid, giving up no more than three runs in his five other starts. Tonight he's getting St. Louis, a team that ranks eighth in wOBA against right-handed pitching. It's not a great matchup, but for what it's worth, Frias did go seven innings against the Cardinals in late May, surrendering zero earned runs. And the game will be played in Los Angeles, a pitcher's park. He's not a sure-fire stud by any means, but he's worth a look in tournaments, especially with a slate full of mediocre hurlers.
Alternative Option: Aaron Harang
Lucas Duda - The Mets face right-hander Jeremy Hellickson tonight, who has a 4.38 career FIP and 1.18 home run per nine inning ratio. Hellickson's career-long splits also show that lefties hit to a .324 wOBA off of him (right-handers are at .306), but this platoon advantage has been even more extreme in 2015, as lefties are hitting to an absurd .420 wOBA against him. Duda has been straight mashing the ball this year, and now has a .368 career wOBA against right-handed pitching. New York has one of the highest team totals on the day, giving Duda even more upside.
Note: The Diamondbacks are now pitching Robbie Ray, a lefty, which makes Duda a less-attractive but still viable play.
Michael Brantley - Brantley gets Chris Young tonight in KC, which should be a plus matchup for him and all Cleveland left-handers. Young has a career 4.34 FIP, and has generally struggled more against left-handed bats than right-handed ones. Brantley, like Duda above, crushes right-handed pitching -- he's got a .343 wOBA over his career in the split, up about 30 points compared to how he's hit lefties. Brantley's shown that he can hit lefties fine this year, too, but don't let that scare you off of him.
Curtis Granderson - Of all players going today, our numbers have Curtis Granderson getting the most plate appearances at 4.85. The more appearances, the more chances to score fantasy points. And against the aforementioned Hellickson in Arizona, the Mets should score. He's not the same Yankees Curtis Granderson who would hit for power, but he still has a solid enough .311 wOBA with a low BABIP this season, meaning that number should probably be higher. Against Hellickson, as a lefty, in the lead-off spot? Yes. Yes, please.
Note: The Diamondbacks are now pitching Robbie Ray, a lefty, which makes Granderson a less-attractive but still viable play.
Elvis Andrus - We'll have to wait and see where Andrus is batting tonight, but if it's in a favorable spot, he should be good to go for you in DFS. Shortstop is always a mess, too, so you may want to play him regardless. The Rangers are facing Carlos Rodon, who's been wild in his first few starts as a Major Leaguer so far this year. He has a reasonable FIP, but the Rangers can certainly take advantage of him, and Vegas thinks they will given their high team total. Andrus' numbers aren't going to excite you by any means, but given the platoon advantage and cheap cost, he's a good way to get exposure to that Rangers lineup tonight.
Alternative Option: Seth Smith