MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Thursday 8/27/15

Nelson Cruz has destroyed left-handed pitching this year and gets chance to pad his stats tonight southpaw Carlos Rodon.

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

Gerrit Cole – With only six games on tonight's slate, there isn't a ton of pitching value to be had tonight. However, the Pirates' ace is one of the few pitchers taking the mound tonight who are in a great spot. Cole has put together an outstanding season. He owns a minuscule 2.49 ERA with a 2.72 FIP, 3.10 xFIP and 3.15 SIERA while striking out a 8.98 batters per nine innings and draws a spectacular matchup tonight against a Marlins' lineup that has been abysmal against right-handed pitching this season. Although they strike out at just a 19.3% rate, Miami ranks dead last in both wOBA (.290) and wRC+ (81) against righties on the year and are still without their star slugger Giancarlo Stanton. Cole should have little trouble shutting down the offensively-challenged Marlins tonight.

Alternative Options: Carlos Martinez

Cost-Effective Pitcher

Drew Smyly – Despite just a 1-2 record, Smyly has been impressive in his first five starts of the season, earning a 3.40 xFIP and 3.29 SIERA with 9.23 strikeouts per nine innings. Tonight, the Rays' starter gets a plus matchup against the Twins who, although they are better against left-handed pitching than right-handed -- still rank just 15th in wOBA (.310) and 16th in wRC+ (96) against lefties while striking out at a 20.1% rate. Vegas currently has the Rays locked in as -150 favorites in a game that is expected to be very low scoring with an over/under of just 7.5. Smyly is very much in play as a second starting pitcher on two-pitcher sites and is an absolute steal at just $7,400 on FanDuel.

Alternative Options: Joe Ross

Top Hitters

High-Cost Hitters

Nelson Cruz – Cruz has absolutely owned left-handed pitching this season. The Mariners' star has amassed a ridiculous .485 wOBA, .356 ISO and 1.170 OPS against lefties on the year and gets a great matchup against southpaw Carlos Rodon tonight. The White Sox' rookie starter has struggled to get out right-handed bats all season long, posting a 4.57 FIP and 4.11 xFIP against righties, while they have knocked him around for a whopping .373 wOBA. Cruz is a truly elite batting option in all formats tonight.

Yoenis Cespedes – The Mets have been on fire lately and our algorithm loves them once again tonight against Aaron Harang and the Phillies. Harang has not been great this season, earning just a 5-14 record with a 4.83 xFIP and 4.73 SIERA while allowing batters from both sides of the plate to hit for a wOBA above .315. Meanwhile, Cespedes has been the catalyst for New York's scorching hot hitting over the past month, posting a .395 wOBA, .282 ISO and .941 OPS in the month of August. Although some may fade him tonight due to a righty versus righty matchup, the Mets' slugger has actually hit much better against right-handed pitching than left-handed pitching this season, putting up an outstanding .386 wOBA, .237 ISO and .911 OPS against righties on the year. Cespedes is our top overall projected batter on the board tonight. 

Alternative Options: Paul Goldschmidt, Curtis Granderson

Cost-Effective Hitters

Logan Forsythe – With such a small slate of games tonight, finding value will not be particularly easy. Although Forsythe isn't as cheap as the kind of guys I normally like to feature in the cost-effective hitter column, he can be had for a very reasonable price of $3,300 on FanDuel and $4,000 on DraftKings which makes him one of my favorite values on the board tonight. The Rays' second baseman has destroyed left-handed pitching this year, posting a .391 wOBA, .293 ISO and .293 ISO against southpaws on the season. With a matchup against Tommy Milone on the docket tonight, Forsythe should be in an excellent position to exceed value considering Milone has earned a terrible 5.13 FIP and 4.40 against right-handed batters this season. Do not hesitate to plug Forsythe into your lineup in all formats tonight.

Ketel Marte – Much like his teammate Cruz, Marte draws a favorable matchup against Rodon tonight. The switch-hitting Marte has been much better from the right side of the plate than the left this season, sporting an impressive .387 wOBA, .178 ISO and .893 OPS from the right side of the plate. The Mariners' rookie should be batting at the top of the order and should have plenty of opportunities to both score and drive in runs tonight. He makes a great value play on all platforms tonight.

Alternative Options: Kelly Johnson, Jhonny Peralta

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