MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Monday 6/22/15
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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.
Michael Pineda – Some may be surprised to see Pineda as our top pitching option on the board on a night where two former Cy Young award winners will take the mound, but a matchup with the offensively-challenged Phillies will do that. Philadelphia ranks dead last in the league in both wOBA (.281) and wRC+ (75), not to mention they have scored the fewest runs in all of baseball this season at just 220 through their first 71 games. Meanwhile, Pineda has been absolutely dealing this season. The Yankees' ace has racked up an 8-3 record with a 2.69 FIP and 2.58 xFIP -- both of which rank in the top 10 among all starting pitchers -- while striking out an impressive 9.63 batters per nine innings. Pineda, at a significantly cheaper price, has just as much upside tonight as either of the Cy Young winners who are pitching tonight. He is our top pitching value on the board.
Hector Santiago – I'm probably not throwing any pitcher other than Pineda, Kershaw or King Felix in cash games tonight, but Santiago makes a very interesting tournament play tonight for several reasons. The main reason the Angels' southpaw is so intriguing tonight is because he faces off with an Astros squad that strikes out at the highest rate in all of baseball at 25.2% and he strikes batters out at a very respectable 8.63 batters per nine innings. In fact, Santiago is coming off of a nine-strikeout performance against Arizona in his last outing in a game where he lasted just five innings. That means he earned a strikeout on more than half of the outs that he recorded, which is a very impressive feat. All that said, Santiago has allowed multiple homers in three of his last four outings and is facing a Houston team that leads the league in isolated slugging at .186. Santiago is a high-risk, high-reward who could pay big dividends on a night with a very small slate.
Alternative Option: Joe Blanton
Brian Dozier - The Twins have struggled offensively as of late, but they are a much better hitting team against lefties than righties and get a juicy matchup against John Danks and his .390 wOBA versus right-handed hitting this season. Danks has earned a 4.76 FIP and 4.39 xFIP while allowing 1.59 home runs per nine innings against righties this season and Minnesota is loaded with right-handed batters who crush lefties, and that list is headlined by Dozier. The Twins' second baseman has destroyed left-handed pitching, posting a .377 wOBA and .280 ISO against southpaws this season. On a night where there simply aren't many bats to choose from, Dozier makes an excellent play in all formats tonight.
Mark Teixeira - The Yankees are massive -280 favorites against the Phillies tonight and much of the reason for that line -- beyond the fact that Pineda is pitching for New York -- is because Kevin Correia will be taking the hill for Philly tonight. Despite his 1.69 ERA on the season, Correia has earned a 4.60 FIP through his first two starts this year, has a career ERA of 4.95 and is bound for regression sooner rather than later. The switch-hitting Teixeira has been outstanding against right-handed pitching this season, putting up a .390 wOBA, .316 ISO and 151 wRC+ in 186 plate appearances against righties so far this year. The Yankees' slugger has blasted 13 of his 17 home runs against righties and we give him the highest chance of anyone on the board to go yard tonight. Teixeira is our highest projected batter on the board tonight.
Alternative Options: Mike Trout
Scott Van Slyke - The wind is blowing out to center field at Wrigley and lefty Tsuyoshi Wada will be on the mound for Chicago, which means it's time to fire up Dodgers' righty bats tonight. Van Slyke has obliterated left-handed pitching this season. The Dodgers' outfielder has earned a .382 wOBA and .185 ISO against lefties and should have plenty of opportunities to drive in runs in what is expected to be one of the highest scoring games on the slate tonight, despite the fact that the reigning NL Cy Young award winner will be on the mound for Los Angeles tonight. Van Slyke makes a strong play at just $3,200 on FanDuel but is an absolute steal at just $3,600 on DraftKings tonight.
Ryan Raburn - Much like Van Slyke, Raburn is an inexpensive outfielder who crushes southpaws. The Indians slugger is slashing .310/.392/.536 against lefties this season and draws a fantastic matchup against Tigers' starter Kyle Ryan and his 5.67 FIP versus right-handed batters on the year. The only problem with Raburn is that since his success against lefties is such common knowledge he will likely be a very popular play tonight, making him less-appealing in tournaments. However, at minimum value on FanDuel and just $3,500 on DraftKings Raburn is nearly impossible to ignore for cash games.
Alternative Option: Trevor Plouffe