MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Monday 6/29/15
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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.
Nate Karns – There is no such thing as a "high-cost pitcher" today, as C.J. Wilson tops the DraftKings chart at just $8,400, but he's not our top option. That would be Karns against the Cleveland Indians. Karns projects for just shy of five strikeouts today, which is the highest mark among all starters. That makes sense, as his strikeouts per nine innings of 8.41 is third among the starters today.
The Indians rank 14th against righties in wRC+ (99) this season and 17th in wOBA (.308), so there's no reason to be fearful, but the fact of the matter is that there are no clear-cut pitching options tonight. Karns, then, is as trustworthy as anyone else.
Alternative Options: Clay Buchholz
Joe Blanton – You can't really plug in Blanton today without cringing. It just won't be possible -- even at $4,800 on DraftKings. The Astros are tied for ninth in wOBA (.321) against righties this year and are seventh in wRC+ (105). Yikes.
But they do own a strikeout rate of 26.0% against righties, highest in the Majors (the Cubs are second at 24.9% and are the only other team above 23.0%) this season. Blanton has an xFIP of 2.94 this year and a strikeouts-per-nine-innings mark of 8.31 over 26.0 innings. He likely won't last longer than six innings, but dollar-for-dollar, he's the top pitching option on the slate, according to our algorithms.
Paul Goldschmidt – Well, if you aren't paying for pitchers, you can pay up for some bats. Rostering Goldschmidt, then, is very possible. Goldschmidt topped out at 7.0 fantasy points in his three-game stint in San Diego, but the Diamondbacks return to Arizona tonight to face Mike Bolsinger and the Dodgers. The game has an over/under of 9, so it's an insta-target.
Bolsinger has some pretty nice marks, though, including 8.53 strikeouts per nine innings in 58.0 innings this year. His xFIP is 3.33, and he gives up just 0.47 homers per nine. However, he walks 3.41 batters per nine, which would rank 12th-worst among 99 qualified pitchers this year. If Diamondbacks are on base, Goldschmidt can knock them in. It doesn't hurt that some other players could be off of him given his past three games, too.
Mike Trout – Trout, per our algorithms, is the most likely player to go yard tonight. CC Sabathia is allowing a hard hit rate of 29.80%, tied for 66th among qualified pitchers. That's not necessarily awful, but it's target-able. He also allows 1.75 homers per nine innings, third-highest among the 99 qualified pitchers. That's the best part.
If BvP is your thing, then just know that Trout has a .532 wOBA and a .454 ISO against Sabathia in 11 at-bats. I realize recommending Goldschmidt and Trout is pretty obvious, but you can make it work tonight given how this slate actually looks.
Howie Kendrick – Kendrick grades out as our second-best dollar-for-dollar batter tonight and is projected to be the third-best batter of the evening. I could have written up Adrian Gonzalez above, but I figured I'd save the Dodgers love for Kendrick. His $3,900 price tag on DraftKings isn't necessarily cheap, but this is all about being cost-effective.
He's the surest bet we have to get a single tonight, too, but the whole Dodgers team is a viable target today given the matchup and the park factor in Arizona. If Kendrick is on base, good things should be in store for him given the bats behind him.
Gerardo Parra – If you can roster a leadoff hitter against Sean O'Sullivan for a reasonable price, you should do it. If that batter has a .334 wOBA and .156 ISO against righties on a team with a projected run total (per Vegas odds) north of four, then you should really, really do it. Sure, the Brewers are the Brewers, but the matchup is right.
Parra has secured double-digit DraftKings points in six of his last 10 games (though just once in his last five), and the price, situation, and upside make him a good, affordable play tonight.