MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Thursday 7/9/15
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.
Zack Greinke â€“ The Phillies are in Los Angeles, giving their bats a negative park shift. Now add in the fact that they're the Phillies, a team hitting to a .285 wOBA (tied for the worst in the bigs) against right-handers, and you can see why Greinke is our algorithm's top pitcher on the night. Greinke's strikeout rate is down a bit, but he's still a safe option in cash games given the matchup.
Alternative Option: Felix Hernandez
Jeff Locke â€“ Whew, boy -- this doesn't feel very comfortable, does it? Locke faces the Cardinals to start a big four-game series at PNC, and is coming off the best outing of his season, where he surrendered just two hits in the Indians on Independence Day. He hit a bump in the road in early- to mid-June, but has now allowed a combined five earned runs over his last four starts. The Cardinals aren't scary against left-handed pitching, either -- this season, only five teams have a worse wOBA against southpaws. In a pitching environment, our algorithm thinks you could do a lot worse than Locke tonight.
Alternative Option: N/A
Cameron Maybin â€“ Let's start off the hitters section by noting the obvious: the Braves are at Coors, and the game has a 10 run over/under. You're going to want some exposure. One player our algorithm is into is Maybin, who's been seeing the ball really well since the end of June. He's hit the double-digit fantasy point mark on DraftKings in five of his last seven games, and will face Kyle Kendrick, who has a 6.01 FIP on the year. He's expensive, but Maybin could be worth it.
Adrian Gonzalez â€“ If you're looking for another big bat outside of the Coors game, don't ignore Adrian Gonzalez. The Dodgers face Severino Gonzalez, who has an 8.28 ERA in limited work this year. The important thing here is that we've got an inexperienced right-handed pitcher going up against Adrian Gonzalez, who has a .383 wOBA when in the platoon advantage over the course of his career, and a .393 wOBA and .250 ISO against righties in 2015. Plug him in if you can.
Alternative Option: Charlie Blackmon
Justin Bour â€“ Bour faces Michael Lorenzen and the Reds tonight, which means he'll have the platoon advantage. Against right-handers in his career, Bour has a .194 ISO (up almost 150 points compared to his hitting against lefties), and .360 wOBA. If he bats in a favorable spot in the lineup, which he should, there's reason to believe he can take advantage of Lorenzen, whose 5.88 FIP is far worse than his 3.88 ERA.
Ryan Raburn â€“ Raburn is almost always a good value play when facing a lefty, and that's no different tonight. Brett Oberholtzer is on the mound for the Astros against Cleveland, and the lefty has a mediocre 4.34 FIP on the year. He sort of has reverse splits during his career, but Raburn certainly doesn't, hitting to a .395 wOBA this season against southpaws (.279 against righties). He's dirt cheap on both FanDuel and DraftKings, and you'll need those cheaper guys to use a pitcher like Greinke with some Coors players.
Alternative Option: DJ LeMahieu