MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Tuesday 7/7/15
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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.
Corey Kluber – So, just about everybody played Carlos Carrasco against the Astros last night, and let's just say that it didn't pan out. Now, Kluber is facing that very team, and he's got a high price tag ($11,200 on DraftKings). The blow up potential is there, of course, but he's our highest projected pitcher on the slate, regardless of price. He's projected for nearly a half strikeout more (6.44) than any other starter tonight. The Astros are sixth in the league in wRC+ (108) against righties but own a strikeout rate of 25.9%, highest in the big leagues. Kluber owns a strikeout rate of 29.4%, fifth-best among 96 qualified pitchers this year. His swinging strike rate (14.0%) is also fifth. It's not as safe as you'd like from a high-priced pitcher, but the upside is enormous.
Edinson Volquez – This isn't exactly a high-upside play, as Volquez boasts a strikeout rate of just 18.2%, which ranks just 61st among 96 qualified pitchers this year. His xFIP is 4.11, and his SIERA is 4.15. He does earn strikes from swings and misses 10.4% of the time, tied for 27th. Still, this isn't about Volquez as much as it is about the Rays. Tampa ranks 23rd in the bigs in wRC+ (92) against righties. Their K-Rate (21.6%) is sixth-highest in the Majors against righties, too. For the price ($6,100 on DraftKings), you could probably do worse for your second starting pitcher if you're trying to save salary.
Dee Gordon – I'm going to put this out there: there are a lot of lead-off hitters that our math likes tonight, and that's fine by me. That will save me from writing up Paul Goldschmidt and Mike Trout, our two highest projected batters tonight via DraftKings scoring. There's only so much to like about the Marlins offense, but Gordon owns a .385 on-base percentage against lefties this season, and Vegas projects Miami to score at least four runs. Wade Miley owns just a 7.80% swinging strike rate and a 4.53 SIERA. If and when Gordon, our third-highest projected batter, gets on, enough should happen behind him to cash in on the opportunities.
Josh Donaldson – I could probably just say that he's facing a lefty and leave it at that, but I'll at least mention that he's got a .430 wOBA and a .299 ISO against lefties this season. The whole Jays roster hits lefties well, and that helps his case even against the solid-enough Jose Quintana. Donaldson is the second-most likely batter to go yard tonight, so play him with confidence.
Cameron Maybin – Maybin, our fourth-highest projected hitter on DraftKings today, can be had for just $4,100. Talk about a deal. Maybin owns a .343 wOBA and a .363 on-base percentage against righties this year. He has just a .101 ISO, so don't expect much in the power department, but he shouldn't have an issue getting on base against Tyler Cravy and making things happen for the Braves offense. Nick Markakis and Kelly Johnson hit righties well enough (with a .363 and .329 wOBA, respectively) that they should be able to make Maybin's time on base worthwhile.
Joc Pederson – Pederson, another lead-off man, is on the list again, as he costs just $3,700 on DraftKings. He owns a .385 wOBA and a .294 ISO against righties this year. Chad Billingsley has maintained a strikeouts-per-nine-innings mark of just 3.43 through 21.0 innings this year. He also walked 2.57 per nine. That's a small sample, but Pederson should be the leadoff man in an offense projected to score more than four runs (according to Vegas odds). There's little reason to avoid him in cash games.
Alternative Options: Nick Markakis, Brock Holt