MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Wednesday 8/19/15
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.
And if you'd like, you can use our optimal lineups here at numberFire.com to crush the competition.
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
Corey Kluber – Despite just an 8-12 record on the year, Kluber has actually been one of the best pitchers in baseball. The reigning American League Cy Young Award winner ranks in the top 10 among all starters in FIP (2.59), xFIP (2.93), SIERA (2.91), strikeout percentage (27%) and strikeouts per nine innings (9.61), and actually leads the majors with 180.2 innings pitched. Although a matchup with a Red Sox team who ranks 12th in the league in wOBA (.315) and 18th in wRC+ (96) against right-handed pitching is less than ideal, Kluber's ability to consistently pitch deep into the game and strikeout batters at a high rate makes him a strong play any night he takes the mound. The Indians' ace is our highest projected pitcher on tonight's slate on a night with few elite pitching options to choose from.
Alternative Option: Jon Lester
Ubaldo Jimenez – Jimenez has quietly managed to put together a very solid campaign this season, earning a very respectable 3.54 xFIP and 3.66 SIERA while striking out 8.38 batters per nine innings. While his numbers pail in comparison to the aforementioned Kluber, the one thing that Jimenez has going for him tonight that the Indians' ace doesn't is an excellent matchup. Tonight, the Orioles' starter gets the pleasure of facing off against a Mets' squad that ranks in the bottom five in baseball in both wOBA (.296) and wRC+ (90) against right-handed pitching and strikes out at the eighth highest rate in the majors against righties at 20.8%. Our algorithm projects Jimenez within less than a point of Kluber on both FanDuel and DraftKings at a fraction of the price. Jimenez makes a strong second starting pitcher on two-pitcher sites and a very interesting tournament play on all platforms tonight.
Alternative Option: Jered Weaver
Josh Donaldson – The Blue Jays are the best hitting team in the majors against left-handed pitching. They lead the league in wOBA (.356), wRC+ (126) and ISO (.181) against southpaws and draw a dream matchup against Phillies' rookie lefty Adam Morgan and his 5.38 FIP and 5.58 xFIP against right-handed batters. While pretty much all Toronto bats are in play tonight, Donaldson is definitely my favorite. The Blue Jays' slugger has amassed a ridiculous .458 wOBA, .345 ISO and 1.100 OPS against left-handed pitching this season and should have little trouble taking advantage of his plus matchup against Morgan tonight. Donaldson makes an excellent play in all formats tonight despite his expensive price tag.
Paul Goldschmidt – Speaking of batters who absolutely destroy left-handed pitching, Goldschmidt has actually put up better numbers against southpaws than Donaldson. The Diamondbacks' star has earned an absurd .482 wOBA, .292 ISO and 1.150 OPS against lefties this season and draws a matchup with the Pirates' newly acquired left-handed pitcher J.A. Happ. Happ has struggled to get right-handed batters out all season long, earning a 4.50 FIP and 4.45 xFIP against righties on the year, so look for the National League MVP hopeful to put together another big game tonight. Do not hesitate to plug Goldschmidt into your lineup in all formats tonight.
Russell Martin – As I mentioned earlier, the Blue Jays crush left-handed pitching. While Donaldson and Bautista might be our two top overall projected players on the board tonight, Martin has also had great success against lefties this season and can be had at a fraction of the price. The Blue Jays' catcher comes into tonight with a .424 wOBA, .254 ISO and .987 OPS against southpaws and costs just $2,700 on FanDuel and $3,600 on DraftKings. Martin is dollar for dollar one of the best values on the board tonight.
Abraham Almonte – The switch-hitting Almonte has been a breath of fresh air for the banged-up Indians since they acquired him from the Padres at the trade deadline. Since joining the Tribe, Almonte has earned a .357 wOBA, .293 ISO and .856 OPS, with the majority of his success coming from the left side of the place. Tonight, the newly acquired Indians' outfielder gets a matchup against Red Sox' righty Joe Kelly, which gives him an opportunity to hit from his more effective left side. Almonte makes a very solid play at just $2,800 on FanDuel, but is an absolute steal at the $2,000 minimum value on DraftKings.