MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Wednesday 8/12/15

Is Jacob deGrom a better play than Clayton Kershaw tonight?

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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

Top Pitchers

High-Cost Pitcher

Jacob deGrom – Any night the reigning Cy Young award winner Clayton Kershaw takes the mound he is in play, however, I actually think deGrom provides better value tonight than the Dodgers' ace. The Young Mets' star has put together an incredibly impressive season, earning a 2.65 FIP and 2.95 SIERA while striking out 9.15 batters per nine innings. But what really makes me prefer deGrom's value to Kershaw's is his matchup and, more specifically, the location of the matchup. deGrom gets a huge boost with tonight's game being held at Citi Field where he has been outstanding. The Mets' ace has posted a 1.86 FIP while holding opposing batters to just a .217 wOBA at home this season. Contrarily, the Rockies have struggled to hit the ball away from Coors Field, ranking 25th in both wOBA (.293) and wRC+  (84) while striking out at the highest rate in the league at 24.2%. With all that in mind, deGrom is our top overall projected pitcher on the board tonight and can be had at a significantly cheaper price than Kershaw.

Alternative Option: Clayton Kershaw

Cost-Effective Pitcher

Jason Hammel – Hammel has quietly put together a very strong campaign this season, earning a 3.36 FIP, 3.40 xFIP and 3.31 SIERA while striking out a very respectable 8.85 batters per nine innings. Tonight, the Cubs face off with a below-average Brewers lineup who ranks 17th in the league in wOBA (.308) and 25th in wRC+ (90) against right-handed pitching. Milwaukee also strikes out at the 10th highest rate in the league at 20.5%. While I will probably not be starting any pitcher outside of Kershaw or deGrom on single-pitcher sites like FanDuel, Hammel makes a viable number two starter tonight on two-pitcher sites like DraftKings.

Alternative Option: Chase Anderson

Top Hitters

High-Cost Hitters

Lorenzo Cain – Cain is one of my favorite batters to target against left-handed pitching and tonight is no different. The Royals' slugger has crushed lefties to the tune of a .438 wOBA, .246 ISO and 1.035 OPS and draws a spectacular matchup tonight against Tigers' southpaw Daniel Norris and his 4.81 xFIP against right-handed batters. Cain is worth every penny of his $4,800 price tag on DraftKings but is an absolute steal at just $3,800 on FanDuel. Do not hesitate to plug him into your lineups in all formats tonight.

Mike Trout – John Stolnis recently wrote this article putting Trout's first few seasons into historical context. Ultimately he concludes that Trout is one of the best young players the game has ever seen, and given how spectacular he has been this year once again, it's hard to argue with his logic. Trout ranks in the top three in all of baseball in wOBA (.418), ISO (.304), wRC+ (178) and WAR (6.5) this season and makes a solid daily fantasy play any time he takes the field. Tonight, he gets the pleasure of facing off against White Sox' starter John Danks who has been shelled by right-handed batters all season long, amassing a 4.60 xFIP and giving up a .375 wOBA. Trout may be expensive, but he is projected as our number one overall hitter on the board tonight.

Alternative Options: Albert Pujols, Brett Gardner

Cost-Effective Hitters

Abraham Almonte – Indians' outfielder Ryan Raburn is always a solid value play when the Tribe faces a left-handed pitcher, however, he is currently on paternity leave and will not suit up for tonight's game. With Raburn out, I turn my attention to another Indians' outfielder who could provide some serious value tonight in Almonte. Almonte has faired very well against southpaws so far this season with a .343 wOBA and .216 ISO and draws a strong matchup against Yankees' starter CC Sabathia who is simply a shell of his former Cy Young self. Sabathia has given up a .387 wOBA with an abysmal 5.44 FIP against righties this season and should be in a tough spot tonight against a pretty solid Indians' lineup. With his price at $2,700 on FanDuel, Almonte makes a strong value play in all formats, but at minimum value on DraftKings he is dollar for dollar my favorite value play on the board tonight.

Chris Coghlan – Coghlan has gone through some ups and downs this season, but has ultimately put together solid numbers against right-handed pitching all season long, earning a .340 wOBA and .180 ISO. Similarly to Almonte, Coghlan draws a strong matchup against an aging veteran who looks like a shell of his former self in Matt Garza. The Brewers' starter has struggled against lefties all year, giving up a .367 wOBA with a 5.07 FIP against left-handed pitching on the year. With Garza taking the mound, all Cubs lefties are in play, and Coghlan is no exception.

Alternative Options: Francisco Lindor, Justin Smoak

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