MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Wednesday 7/8/15
If you've never played daily fantasy baseball before, it's time to start. Unlike traditional leagues, you're able to select the players you want on that specific day only, giving you a different squad to root for each and every day.
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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.
Clayton Kershaw – Although he hasn't been quite as unhittable as he was a year ago, Kershaw is still one of the best pitchers on the planet. Through his first 17 starts of the season he has earned a 2.54 FIP and a major league best 2.12 xFIP while striking out a whopping 11.61 batters per nine innings, which ranks second in the majors behind only Chris Sale. Tonight, the reigning National League Cy Young award winner gets a dream matchup against a Phillies squad who, despite showing some signs of life over the past few weeks, still ranks 27th in the league in wOBA (.292) and 29th in wRC+ (83). The Dodgers are monstrous -380 favorites tonight in a game that is expected to be one of the lowest scoring on the slate. Kershaw is an absolute slam dunk tonight.
Alternative Options: Chris Archer
Charlie Morton – Assuming you take Kershaw as your number one pitching option tonight, you'll need to offset his massive price tag with a solid value play on sites where you start multiple pitchers. With a matchup against the offensively-challenged Padres on the docket, Morton could be your man. San Diego is not just one of the worst hitting teams against right-handed pitching in the league -- they rank 28th in all of baseball against righties in wOBA (.290) and 26th in wRC+ (87) -- but they also strikeout at the third highest rate in the league (22.6%). While Morton is not a high-strikeout pitcher, he has a high floor against a team that can't hit and is in a really good spot at home in a game that features an over/under of just 7. He provides outstanding value on FanDuel at $7,400 but is an absolute steal at just $6,100 on DraftKings.
Josh Donaldson – The Blue Jays have destroyed left-handed pitching this season, leading the league in wOBA (.365), wRC+ (132) and ISO (.187) against lefties all by a wide margin. So with White Sox' southpaw John Danks, who sports a 4.88 FIP and 4.44 xFIP against righties, pretty much all Toronto righties are in play tonight. That said, if I had to chose one Blue Jays bat to add into my lineup tonight it would be Donaldson. Donaldson has absolutely obliterated left-handed pitching this season. He has amassed a .443 wOBA, .329 ISO and 1.056 OPS against southpaws and has homered in each of the past two games, both of which came off of lefties. The Blue Jays' third baseman is our highest projected player on the board tonight.
A.J. Pollock – Similarly to Donaldson, Pollock gets a great matchup against a sub-par left-handed pitcher tonight in Rangers' starter Matt Harrison who has a career 4.54 FIP and 4.63 xFIP against righties and is making his first start of the season. Also similarly to Donaldson, Pollock has crushed lefties all season long. The Diamondbacks' outfielder has posted a .385 wOBA and .178 ISO against southpaws this season and should have plenty of opportunities to knock in runs tonight in a game that features one of the highest totals on the slate at 9.5. Pollock provides speed at the top of the lineup, plenty of pop in his bat and can be had for a very reasonable price of $3,800 on FanDuel and $4,700 on DraftKings. Do not hesitate to plug him into your lineup in all formats tonight.
Chris Young – Continuing with today's theme of targeting right-handed batters against left-handed pitching, Young will matchup against Athletics' lefty Scott Kazmir tonight. While Kazmir is not nearly as good of a target as Danks or Harrison, it's hard to ignore just how good Young has been against southpaws this season. The Yankees' outfielder has earned a gaudy .456 wOBA with a .303 ISO and 1.075 OPS against left-handed pitching this season and has a great chance to go yard considering tonight's game will be played at home in the friendly confines of Yankee Stadium. Young costs just $3,200 on DraftKings and $2,800 on FanDuel and makes an excellent value play in both cash games and tournaments.
Kike Hernandez – As I mentioned earlier, Los Angeles is a massive favorite over Philadelphia tonight and, besides the fact that they will have one of the best pitchers on the planet taking the mound, a lot of that has to do with the struggles of Phillies' rookie Adam Morgan. Morgan has posted an abysmal 5.37 FIP and 4.16 xFIP through his first two starts in the big leagues and has allowed a .348 wOBA to right-handed pitching in that small sample size. There are a number of cheap Dodgers' bats that make strong plays against the Phillies' rookie southpaw tonight, but Hernandez is my favorite dollar for dollar. The Dodgers' outfielder has smashed lefties to the tune of a .451 wOBA, .333 ISO and 1.088 OPS this season and should have plenty of opportunities to drive in runs tonight. At a ridiculously low price tag of $2,300 on FanDuel and $2,600 on DraftKings, Hernandez is our top value play on the board tonight.