MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Monday 7/20/15
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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.
Gio Gonzalez – The pitching options tonight are ugly -- so ugly to the point that Gio Gonzalez is our top-rated arm. He's not bad, don't get me wrong -- his FIP of 3.26 is strong (and better than his ERA), and his strikeout per nine rate is nearly eight. But he's certainly not an elite option. He'll face a team in the Mets that's struggled against left-handed pitching, hitting to the 24th best wOBA in Major League Baseball. More importantly, New York's striking out at a 24.1% rate against southpaws, which is third worst in baseball. That gives Gio plenty of upside.
Alternative Option: AJ Burnett
Andrew Heaney – Our second-favorite pitcher tonight is Heaney, who will pitch in a favorable park at home against the Red Sox, a team that ranks in the bottom 10 against left-handers in wOBA. This will be Heaney's fifth start on the year, and he's gone six innings in each outing so far, hitting the seven inning mark in three of the four. The strikeouts have been there for the most part, and while Boston tends to make contact against left-handing pitching, the cost is attractive enough to use Heaney pretty heavily tonight, especially on two-pitcher sites.
Alternative Option: Tim Hudson
Anthony Rizzo – Rizzo has a .366 wOBA and .217 ISO against right-handed pitching this season, and he'll face Michael Lorenzen tonight, who's surrendered a .431 wOBA to lefties over the season. There's also a favorable park shift for Cubs' bats -- as a result, Rizzo has the fourth best odds of hitting a homer tonight according to our algorithm.
Delino DeShields Jr. – The Rangers are in Coors, so it wouldn't be right if I didn't mention a strong bat from that game. Our algorithm loves DeShields tonight, who should bat leadoff against Chris Rusin, giving him the platoon advantage. Against lefties this season, DeShields has a .153 ISO, far better than how he performs against righties.
Alternative Option: Charlie Blackmon
Ben Paulsen – Paulsen only has 22 at-bats against left-handed pitching this season, so don't let his "extreme" splits fool you. The Rockies platoon him and will use him against right-handed pitching, which is what he'll get tonight with Nick Martinez. Using Paulsen gives you a cheap option to get exposure to the Coors game, and a bat facing a pitcher who has a 4.65 FIP on the year.
Andre Ethier – Ethier's daily potential is always a question mark because the Dodgers lineup likes to change a good bit, but he's in a good spot tonight against Matt Winsler and the Braves. Winsler has little experience under his belt, but he's a righty, and Ethier has a .382 wOBA against right-handers this season. Though it's a small sample size, Winsler, too, has pretty extreme splits, surrendering a .383 wOBA to lefties this season.
Alternative Option: Logan Morrison