MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Wednesday 8/5/15
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.
Matt Harvey – The Mets have had one of the best pitching staffs in all of baseball this season and Harvey has been a huge part of it. The young Mets' ace has accumulated a 9-7 record with a 3.47 xFIP and 3.41 SIERA while striking out a very respectable 8.46 batters per nine innings. Tonight, Harvey draws a spectacular matchup against a Marlins team who is still without their star slugger Giancarlo Stanton and rank dead last in the majors in both wOBA (.285) and wRC+ (78) against right handed pitching. Look for Harvey to put together another impressive outing tonight against the offensively-challenged Marlins.
Gio Gonzalez – Gonzalez has put together another solid season, posting a 8-4 record, 3.18 FIP and 3.70 SIERA through 19 starts so far this season. Usually, the Nationals' southpaw would not be my ideal fantasy play due to the fact that he does not strike out a ton of batters -- he has averaged just 7.99 strikeouts per nine innings -- but with a matchup against the Diamondbacks on the docket tonight is a different story. Arizona strikes out at the second highest clip in the league since the All-Star break at 24.7% and, although they are far from a bottom-feeding offensive unit, rank just 17th in all of baseball in wRC+. Given his low price tag, Gonzalez could end up as the steal of the night, especially at just $7,800 on DraftKings.
Alternative Option: Drew Hutchison
Brett Gardner – The Yankees have been the best hitting team in baseball as of late, ranking first in the majors in wOBA (.375), wRC+ (140) and ISO (.221) since the All-Star break. Tonight, New York gets another spectacular matchup against Red Sox' starter Steven Wright and his 5.24 FIP, 4.83 xFIP and 4.56 SIERA. Gardner has had his way with right-handed pitching this season, sporting a .368 wOBA and .173 ISO against righties on the year. He will be batting at the top of the order for the hottest lineup in baseball and should have plenty of opportunities to both score and knock in some RBI of his own. Gardner makes a great play in all formats tonight.
Brandon Crawford – Despite being the defending World Series champions, the Giants have flown somewhat under the radar this season. Much like his team, Crawford has quietly had a very strong season. The Giants' shortstop has belted 18 homers and driven in 67 runs this season and has crushed right-handed pitching. Crawford has earned a .351 wOBA and .231 ISO against righties this year and should have little trouble taking advantage of Braves' righty Williams Perez who has been absolutely lit up by lefties this season. Perez has allowed left-handed batters to hit for a .371 wOBA while earning a horrific 5.47 FIP. Crawford should provide excellent value on all platforms tonight.
Adrian Gonzalez – Unless you're an avid daily fantasy player, you may be surprised to see Gonzalez in the cost-effective section, but the Dodgers' first baseman costs just $3,900 on DraftKings and $3,300 on FanDuel tonight. The Dodgers' slugger had gone through a bit of a slump before in June and early July, but seems to have found his stroke once again since the All-Star break. Gonzalez has amassed a .449 wOBA, .236 ISO and 1.062 OPS since the break and gets the pleasure of facing off with Phillies' righty Aaron Harang tonight. Harang has given up a .341 wOBA to lefties with an abysmal 5.22 FIP and 5.67 xFIP this season. Meanwhile, Gonzalez has amassed a .392 wOBA, .258 ISO and .927 OPS when facing right-handed pitching so far this year. Gonzalez is a great buy-low candidate tonight. Get him cheap while you still can.
Preston Tucker – Speaking of players who have destroyed right-handed pitching this season, Tucker comes into tonight's matchup with Nick Martinez with a monstrous .391 wOBA, .268 ISO and .913 OPS against righties on the year. Meanwhile, the aforementioned Martinez has earned a 4.11 FIP and 4.81 xFIP against left-handed hitters this season. Tonight's game between the Astros and Rangers is expected to be one of the highest scoring on the slate with an over/under of 9.5, and considering the Astros are -160 favorites they will be one of my favorite lineups to target tonight. With Tucker batting right in the middle of the order, he should have an excellent opportunity to knock in some runs against the Rangers' struggling young starter. Tucker provides spectacular value at just $3,700 on DraftKings and $3,300 on FanDuel.