MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Wednesday 9/2/15
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
Matt Harvey -- Harvey has put together a very impressive campaign after missing the 2014 season following Tommy John surgery, earning a 3.34 FIP, 3.38 xFIP and 3.37 SIERA while striking out 8.38 batters per nine innings through his first 24 starts of the season. Tonight, the Mets' ace draws a dream matchup against a Phillies squad who ranks in the bottom three in the majors in wOBA (.297), wRC+ (85) and ISO (.135) against right-handed pitching in a game in which New York is a massive -260 favorite. Harvey makes an excellent play in all formats tonight.
Kevin Gausman -- With the likes of Harvey, Kershaw, Hamels, Max Scherzer, Michael Wacha, Masahiro Tanaka and Scott Kazmir taking the mound tonight, it's unlikely that I look to an inexpensive pitching option in cash games tonight. However, if you're looking for an inexpensive pitching option for a tournament Gausman could be your guy. Although he has managed just a 2-6 record and 4.39 ERA, Gausman's 3.89 xFIP and 3.71 SIERA show us that he has pitched better than his record and ERA indicate. With a matchup against a Rays team who ranks just 27th in wOBA (.298) and strikes out at the fifth highest rate in the league (21.6%) against right-handed pitching, tonight provides a great opportunity for a bounce-back performance from the Orioles' pitcher.
Alternative Options: Ian Kennedy
Paul Goldschmidt -- With the Diamondbacks continuing their series in Colorado against the Rockies, pretty much every member of Arizona's lineup is in play tonight. That said, if I had to choose just one, it would be Goldschmidt. Goldschmidt has been one of the best hitters in all of baseball this season. The Diamondbacks' slugger ranks inside the top five of the league in wOBA (.417) and OPS (1.000) while rankings sixth in the majors in wRC+ (163) on the year. Additionally, Rockies' starter Jon Gray has not looked particularly sharp through his first few starts of the season, posting a 4.02 xFIP and 3.93 SIERA and has allowed a .374 wOBA to right-handed hitters. Goldschmidt is our top overall projected player on the board tonight.
Nolan Arenado -- As I just mentioned, the Rockies and Diamondbacks will square off at the most hitter-friendly park in the big leagues in Coors Field tonight. While Arizona is the team most will target since Vegas has given the highest team total on the board tonight, the Rockies' lineup is in a pretty damn good spot tonight as well. The Diamondbacks are rolling out Chase Anderson tonight who has earned just a 4.19 xFIP and 4.34 SIERA on the season. He has also allowed a wOBA higher than .320 to batters from both sides of the plate on the year. Arenado is a reverse-splits batter who has absolutely destroyed right-handed pitching this season. The Rockies' third baseman has put up a .384 wOBA, .312 ISO and .919 OPS against righties and should have little trouble taking advantage of a plus matchup at home against Anderson. Do not hesitate to plug him into your lineup in all formats tonight.
Trayce Thompson -- Although it has been a somewhat small sample size, Thompson has been outstanding against lefties this season. In 15 starts -- 11 of which were against left-handed starters -- Thompson has amassed a ridiculous .596 wOBA, 1.420 OPS and .440 ISO. Obviously it is extremely unlikely for the White Sox rookie to keep up that pace over the course of a full season, but with a matchup against Tommy Milone and his 5.15 FIP against right-handed bats on the docket I would bank on another big outing from Thompson tonight. He is dollar for dollar one of my favorite players on the board at just $2,700 on DraftKings and $3,000 on FanDuel.
Abraham Almonte -- Tonight's matchup between the Indians and Blue Jays features one of the highest totals on tonight's slate. While much of that has to do with the fact that Toronto's lineup is one of the most potent in all of baseball, the Jays are only -165 favorites which indicates that Vegas expects the Tribe to score some runs tonight as well. Blue Jays' starter R.A. Dickey has had a rough season, posting a 4.82 xFIP and 4.81 SIERA through his first 27 starts of the year. Meanwhile, the switch-hitting Almonte has crushed right-handed pitching this year, earning a .371 wOBA, .253 ISO and .871 OPS against righties this season. He is definitely in play at $3,300 on FanDuel, but is an absolute steal at just $2,200 on DraftKings.