MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Friday 8/28/15
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
Max Scherzer – Tonight's slate is loaded with elite pitchers. Clayton Kershaw, Francisco Liriano, Matt Harvey and Cole Hamels all take the mound tonight. However, Scherzer is the pitcher I'm most excited about. The Nationals' star ranks inside the top 10 among all starting pitchers in FIP (2.68) and xFIP (2.98), while ranking inside the top five in SIERA (2.66), strikeout percentage (29.7%) and strikeouts per nine innings (10.58). While the above aces have all posted impressive numbers of their own, what I like most about Scherzer tonight is his matchup against the Giancarlo Stanton-less Marlins. Although Miami strikes out at just a 19.2% rate, they rank dead last in both wOBA (.289) and wRC+ (80) against right-handed pitching on the season. Expect Scherzer to dominate the offensively-challenged Marlines en route to a monster outing tonight.
Alternative Options: Clayton Kershaw, Francisco Liriano
Taylor Jungmann – The Brewers rookie has quietly put together an impressive first big league campaign. Jungmann has earned a very respectable 2.98 FIP, 3.75 xFIP and 3.75 SIERA while striking out 8.29 batters per nine innings. Tonight, Milwaukee draws a great matchup against a Reds squad that ranks just 23rd in all of baseball in wOBA (.304) and 27th in wRC+ (88) against righties on the year in a game that is expected to be very low scoring with an over/under of just 7.5. While I'm probably not using Jungmann in cash games with all of the elite pitching options on the board tonight, the Brewers' starter makes a very interesting tournament play if you're trying to fit some high-priced bats into your lineup.
Alternative Options: Erasmo Ramirez
Josh Donaldson – As I've mentioned time and time again in this column, the Blue Jays absolutely destroy left-handed pitching. Toronto leads all of baseball in wOBA (.359), wRC+ (129) and ISO (.186) against lefties and draw an outstanding matchup against Tigers' southpaw Matt Boyd and his 4.74 xFIP against right-handed bats. While pretty much all Blue Jays righties are in play tonight, Donaldson is the hitter who stands out above the rest. The American League MVP candidate has amassed a ridiculous .464 wOBA, .361 ISO and 1.117 OPS against left-handed pitching on the year and should have little trouble taking advantage of a plus matchup against Boyd. Donaldson makes an excellent play in all formats despite his massive price tag.
Nelson Cruz – Speaking of players who crush southpaws, Cruz has actually posted better numbers against lefties than Donaldson has. The Mariners slugger has earned a .481 wOBA, .348 ISO and 1.159 OPS against left-handed pitching and gets the pleasure of facing off against White Sox lefty John Danks tonight. Danks has struggled to get out righties all season long, allowing right-handed batters to hit for a .366 wOBA while sporting a 4.36 FIP and 4.69 xFIP against righties on the year. Cruz is our top overall projected batter on the board tonight.
Franklin Gutierrez – As I just mentioned, Danks has not been very effective against right-handed bats this season. Just like his teammate Cruz, Gutierrez has had a great deal of success against lefties on the year. Through his first 39 games of the season, Gutierrez has put up a spectacular .439 wOBA, .324 ISO and 1.045 OPS against lefties and is in a great spot against the aforementioned Danks tonight. The Mariners outfielder provides great value at just $3,300 on FanDuel.
Stephen Vogt – With the Athletics slumping as of late, Vogt's price tag has fallen all the way to $2,500 on FanDuel. With a matchup against Diamondbacks starter Chase Anderson on the docket, Vogt becomes a very appealing play at that price point. Anderson has not been great against players from either side of the plate this season and has earned a 4.18 xFIP against left-handed batters. Meanwhile, Vogt has had a great deal of success against right-handed pitching, sporting a .356 wOBA, .219 ISO and .841 OPS on the year. Do not hesitate to plug the Athletics catcher into your lineup in all formats.