MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Thursday 8/20/15
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
Jake Arrieta – As John Stolnis told us a few weeks ago, Arrieta has been one of the most underrated pitchers in baseball this season. The Cubs' ace has posted a 14-6 record while ranking in the top 10 among all starting pitchers in FIP (2.67), xFIP (2.88) and SIERA (3.02). Arrieta also ranks among the top 20 in strikeouts per nine innings (9.06), strikeout percentage (25.8%) and strikeout to walk ratio (3.98). Tonight, the Cubs draw a great matchup against the offensively-challenged Braves who rank just 25th in the majors in wOBA (.300) and 28th in wRC+ (88) against right-handed pitching this season. Additionally, Chicago is currently a massive -280 favorite in a game that is expected to be one of the lowest scoring on the slate tonight with an over/under of just 7.5. Arrieta is our top overall projected pitcher on the board tonight.
Alternative Option: Chris Archer
Brad Hand – Through his first six starts of the season, Hand has earned an unimpressive 4.74 ERA. However, his 3.14 FIP, 3.80 xFIP and 3.85 SIERA indicate that he is due for a bounce-back performance, and with the Phillies visiting Miami there is a great chance that tonight will be that night. The Phillies have been one of the worst hitting teams in baseball all season long, ranking 26th in the league in both wOBA (.298) and wRC+ (87). With Miami currently installed as a -140 favorite in a game with an over/under of just 7.5, Hand should provide excellent value at just $4,000 on DraftKings and $5,400 on FanDuel tonight.
Bryce Harper – Harper has arguably been the best hitter in baseball this season, leading the league in wOBA (.454), wRC+ (195), ISO (.306) and WAR (6.9). Although he does not have the platoon split advantage tonight against Rockies' southpaw Yohan Flande, the Nationals' star has still managed to post a .409 wOBA, .230 ISO and .951 OPS against left-handed pitching this season and gets the pleasure of playing in Coors Field tonight. Washington is currently a huge -200 favorite over Colorado tonight in what Vegas expects to be the highest scoring game on tonight's slate and Harper should be right in the middle of the action. He is our top overall projected batter on the board tonight.
Miguel Cabrera – After missing nearly six weeks with a calf injury, Cabrera is finally back in the Tigers' lineup and he has been scorching hot since his return. In the five games since he as come back, the Tigers' star has already reached base safely 14 times in just 26 plate appearances and gets a plus matchup tonight against Rangers' lefty Martin Perez and his 4.34 xFIP against right-handed batters this season. Meanwhile, the former triple crown winner has absolutely destroyed left-handed pitching this year, amassing a .451 wOBA, .267 ISO and 1.064 OPS against southpaws on the season. Do not hesitate to plug Cabrera into your lineup in all formats tonight.
Nick Castellanos – As I mentioned above, Perez has not been great against right-handed bats this season. On top of his 4.34 xFIP against righties, the Rangers' starter has allowed a .354 wOBA to righties so far this season. Much like his teammate Cabrera, Castellanos has had his way with left-handed pitching all season long, Posting an impressive .422 wOBA, .211 ISO and .981 OPS against southpaws on the year. Despite these gaudy numbers, the Tigers' third baseman costs just $2,800 on FanDuel and $3,100 on DraftKings. He makes a great value play in all formats tonight.
Todd Frazier – Frazier has struggled over the second half of the season and his price has dropped accordingly. That said, the Reds' slugger has put up outstanding numbers against left-handed pitching this season. Frazier has posted a .403 wOBA, .965 OPS and an outrageous .409 ISO against lefties on the year so I expect him to break out of his slump tonight against Diamondbacks' southpaw Patrick Corbin. Frazier is in play on all platforms tonight, but he is an absolute steal at just $2,800 on FanDuel.