MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Friday 8/21/15

Chris Sale and Felix Hernandez face off against each other tonight. Which ace provides better daily fantasy value?

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 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

Top Pitchers

High-Cost Pitcher

Felix Hernandez – Although he hasn't posted the super-human numbers that we've come to expect from him, King Felix has managed to put up another impressive season through his first 24 starts of 2015. Despite earning just a 3.65 ERA on the season, Hernandez' 3.20 xFIP and 3.24 SIERA show us that he has pitched better than his ERA indicates and that he is due for an improvement. Tonight's matchup against the White Sox provides a perfect opportunity for that huge outing we are expecting. Chicago ranks just 21st in both wOBA (.306) and wRC+ (92) against right-handed pitching this season while striking out at the 12th highest rate in the league at 20.7%. Although a matchup against Chris Sale gives him a tougher shot at a win, Seattle is a slight favorite in a game that is expected to be the lowest scoring on the slate tonight. King Felix is our second highest projected pitcher on the slate -- he is only slightly below Sale -- but can be had at a substantially cheaper price than the White Sox ace. 

Alternative Options: Chris Sale, Madison Bumgarner

Cost-Effective Pitcher

Gio Gonzalez – Gonzalez has quietly put together a very impressive season, earning a 3.06 FIP and 3.57 xFIP while striking out 8 batters per nine innings. Additionally, the Nationals' southpaw has been red hot since the All-Star break, posting a 2.31 FIP and striking out 8.33 batters per nine innings over that span. Tonight, Gonzalez draws a tremendous matchup against a Brewers' lineup who has struggled to hit left-handed pitching all season long, ranking 28th in both wOBA (.281) and wRC+ (72) against lefties on the year. With the Nationals currently locked in as -150 favorites in a game with an over/under of just 7, look for Gonzalez to provide excellent value in all formats tonight.

Alternative Option: Chris Bassitt

Top Hitters

High-Cost Hitters

Yoenis Cespedes – With the Mets taking a trip to Coors to take on the Rockies tonight, pretty much all New York bats are in play. Although Rockies' rookie starter Jon Gray has been impressive through his first two starts in the bigs, tonight's game features the highest total on the board at 11.5 which does not bode well for the young right-hander. With all of this in mind, Cespedes is one of my favorite plays on the board. Although at first glance it seems like he does not have the favorable platoon splits, the Mets' outfielder has actually hit better against righties than lefties this season. Cespedes has amassed a .372 wOBA, .219 ISO and .874 OPS against righties, all of which are a great deal better than his numbers when facing left-handed pitching. The Mets' slugger is our top overall projected batter.

Joey Votto – Votto has been scorching hot since the All-Star break, sporting a ridiculous .516 wOBA, .306 ISO and 1.242 OPS so far through the second half of the season. With a matchup against Diamondbacks' starter Rubby De La Rosa on the docket tonight, Votto becomes one of the truly elite plays on the board. De La Rosa has been horrendous against left-handed batters this season, posting a horrific 6.11 FIP and 4.76 xFIP while lefties have hit for a .397 wOBA while facing the Diamondbacks' right-hander. Meanwhile, Votto has earned a .414 wOBA, .241 ISO and .971 OPS against righties on the season. Do not hesitate to plug Votto into your lineup despite his expensive price tag.

Alternative Options: Charlie Blackmon, Brian Dozier

Cost-Effective Hitters

Andre Ethier – While I wouldn't dream of playing Ethier against a fellow lefty, the Dodgers' outfielder has been outstanding against right-handed pitching this season. Ethier has put up a .385 wOBA, .212 ISO and .894 OPS against righties on the year and draws a plus matchup against Astros' right-hander Mike Fiers tonight. Despite his success against right-handed pitching, Ethier costs just $2,800 on DraftKings and $2,700 on FanDuel making him one of the best value plays on the board. He makes a strong play in all formats tonight.

Welington Castillo – Reds' southpaw David Holmberg has been nothing short of terrible so far this season, posting a 7.33 FIP, 5.85 xFIP and 5.89 SIERA through his first four starts of the season. With this in mind, all Diamondbacks' batters are in play tonight -- especially righties with Holmberg allowing a .390 wOBA to right-handed bats this season -- and Castillo is no exception. The Diamondbacks' catcher has put up a .361 wOBA and .266 ISO against left-handed pitching this season and should have little trouble taking advantage of his plus matchup against Holmberg tonight. Castillo should provide excellent value at just $3,400 on FanDuel and $3,500 on DraftKings.

Alternative Options: Cesar Hernandez, Russell Martin

Click here for our top stacks of the day.