DraftKings MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Friday 7/17/15

With a matchup against a southpaw, look for Lorenzo Cain to start off the second half of the season with a bang tonight.

The All-Star break is over, and it's the perfect time to start playing MLB DFS, if you haven't already.

DraftKings has contests going on each night where you can win real cash prizes. And with a nice slate tonight in baseball, it's the perfect chance to join and play. After all, new users at DraftKings get a free entry into a league with up to $100,000 in prizes.

Sign Up Now

Not sure who to select? Don't worry. We've got you covered with tonight's optimal lineup.

Be sure to check out our optimal lineups prior to games starting to ensure each player is in his team's lineup.

PlayerPositionProjected FPCostValue
Lance LynnSP19.029200.002.07
James ShieldsSP19.869100.002.18
Lorenzo CainOF10.465000.001.94
Anthony Rizzo1B11.484800.002.39
Jose ReyesSS9.154700.001.95
Manny Machado3B10.833900.002.78
Cole GillespieOF8.183400.002.41
Jimmy Paredes1B/2B8.013300.002.43
Chris CoghlanOF8.523300.002.58
Stephen Vogt1B/C10.783200.003.37

There is a lot to like about James Shields tonight, and it starts with the matchup. Although you rarely want to start a pitcher facing the Rockies at home, when Colorado is away from the friendly confines of Coors Field, it is a completely different story. The Rockies rank 25th in the league in both wOBA (.291) and wRC+ (83) while on the road and strike out at a massive 23.7% clip -- fourth worst in the Majors -- away from Coors. Not to mention they will be playing at one of the most pitcher-friendly ballparks in the big leagues in Petco Park tonight

Meanwhile, Shields has been very solid this season, posting a 7-3 record while striking out a whopping 10.11 batters per nine innings. Although his ERA has climbed all the way up to 4.01, his 3.30 xFIP indicates that he is due to bounce back and a matchup with the Rockies might be exactly what the doctor ordered, especially at home where he has an impressive 2.77 ERA and 3.15 xFIP. Big Game James is our highest overall projected pitcher on the board and comes with a very reasonable $9,100 price tag.

Now that I wrote all that about Shields, I could pretty much just copy and paste the above few paragraphs, replacing Shields with Lance Lynn and the Rockies with the Mets. In fact, New York is not only one of the few teams in the league who have been worse than the Rockies on the road, but also they actually rank dead last in the league in both wOBA (.276) and wRC+ (72) away from Citi Field and strike out at the sixth highest rate in all of baseball on the road at 22.7%. The Mets also rank in the bottom five in both wOBA (.289) and wRC+ (86) against right-handed pitching, so facing a righty at pitcher-friendly Busch Stadium is not a good look for the boys from Queens.

Similarly to Shields, Lynn has gotten off to a strong start this season, posting a 2.90 ERA, 2.80 FIP, 3.40 xFIP and striking out 9.53 batters per nine innings. The Cardinals' ace has also absolutely dominated in his home stadium, where he has posted a minuscule 1.90 ERA and 2.48 FIP while holding batters to just a .258 wOBA. Lynn comes in as our second-highest projected pitcher on the board tonight behind only Shields and costs a similarly appealing $9,200. Not a bad one-two-punch for with room to spare for some big bats.

Speaking of big bats, if skills equaled bat size Lorenzo Cain would be rocking a two-ton bat every time he entered the batters box against a left-handed pitcher. The Royals' slugger has demolished lefties this season to the tune of a .430 wOBA, .189 ISO and 1.002 OPS, and tonight he draws a dream matchup against White Sox' southpaw John Danks. Danks has struggled against right-handed batters all season long, giving up a .389 wOBA to righties while earning a less-than-stellar 4.70 FIP and 4.40 xFIP. Cain closed the first half of the season with three multi-hit games in his last four outings. Look for him to pick up right where he left off tonight.

With the left-over cash you save from starting two reasonably-priced pitchers, our algorithm recommends one more high-priced power bat -- Anthony Rizzo. Rizzo has seen a great deal of success facing both lefties and righties this season. While his .428 wOBA against southpaws is better than his .403 wOBA against righties, his .273 ISO against right-handed pitching is a full .124 better than when he faces lefties. It's those power numbers against Braves' righty Julio Teheran, who has given up a whopping 1.39 homers per nine innings to lefties, that truly makes Rizzo an elite option tonight. Beyond the fact that he allows a lot of home runs, Teheran has been straight up terrible against left-handed hitting this season. He's posted a 5.19 FIP and 4.66 xFIP against lefties while they have knocked him around for a .375 wOBA through his first 18 starts of the season. Rizzo is our top overall projected hitter on tonight's slate.

Even though we didn't spend big at pitcher today, you still have to find a few solid value plays to supplement those high-priced studs, and the two I want to focus on are Cole Gillespie and Stephen Vogt.

Although he was only called up from the minors a few weeks ago when Giancarlo Stanton hit the disabled list, Gillespie has really made the most of his time in the Majors. Through his first 13 games of the season, the Marlins' outfielder has hit .353 with a .419 wOBA and .235 ISO, and his numbers against lefties are even more impressive. Albeit in a very small sample size, Gillespie has smashed left-handed pitching, earning a .488 wOBA, .286 ISO and 1.143 OPS. With a matchup against Phillies' rookie southpaw Adam Morgan and his abysmal 6.62 FIP on the docket, Gillespie is dollar-for-dollar one of my favorite plays on the board tonight at just $3,400.

Vogt has been destroying right-handed pitching all season long -- not just for a few weeks. He has posted a .399 wOBA and .253 ISO against righties this season and gets a matchup with Ervin Santana, who has been roughed up in each of his first two starts of the season following his suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy. Despite struggling towards the end of the first half of the season, a week of rest and relaxation could do wonders for Vogt who is just too good of a player to pass up with his price tag all the way down to $3,200. Do not hesitate to plug him into your lineups in all formats tonight.