MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Friday 9/4/15
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.
Jacob deGrom -- After the Mets struggled to hit the ball through the first half of the season, their bats have really come to life as of late which has made them one of the hottest teams in all of baseball since the All-Star break. That said, while the offensive explosion over the past six weeks has obviously been a huge part of their recent success, it's been the consistency of their pitching staff that has been the catalyst for the team all season long. deGrom has put together a spectacular sophomore campaign, improving on his impressive rookie season in ERA (2.32), xFIP (3.00), SIERA (3.06) and strikeouts per nine innings (9.44). The Mets' young ace has posted a 2.63 xFIP since the All-Star break with a massive 30.3% strikeout rate and draws a spectacular matchup against the Giancarlo Stanton-less Marlins who rank in the bottom three in the majors in wOBA (.297), wRC+ (84) and ISO (.119) since the break. deGrom is our number one overall projected pitcher on the board tonight.
Kris Medlen -- Medlen has put together a solid season as a reliever and was impressive in his first two starts of the season. He's earned a 3.61 xFIP, 3.24 SIERA and has struck out 8.77 batters per nine innings on the year. Tonight, the Royals' starter gets a matchup against a White Sox squad who ranks just 24th in the league in both wOBA (.305) and wRC+ against right-handed pitching and strike out at the 13th highest rate in the league at 20.3%. Medlen may be a little too risky for cash games tonight, but he makes a very interesting tournament play at just $7,300 on FanDuel and is an absolute steal at just $4,700 on DraftKings.
Lorenzo Cain -- The Royals' star has absolutely destroyed left-handed pitching this season. Cain has amassed a .435 wOBA, .253 ISO and 1.030 OPS against lefties and draws a dream matchup against White Sox' southpaw John Danks tonight. Danks has struggled against right-handed bats all season long, earning a 4.38 FIP and 4.66 xFIP while allowing a .363 wOBA against righties on the year. The Royals have one of the highest team totals on the board tonight and should have little trouble taking advantage of a plus matchup against Danks. Do not hesitate to plug Cain into your lineup in all formats tonight.
Marlon Byrd -- The Giants continue their series with the Rockies at Coors tonight and with lefty Jorge De La Rosa taking the hill for Colorado tonight all Giants' righties are in play tonight. The recently acquired Byrd has had his way with left-handed pitching all season long, posting a .364 wOBA, .235 ISO and .862 OPS against southpaws this year. He'll be batting in the middle of the order against a sub-par pitcher at Coors for the squad with the highest team total on the board tonight. Byrd makes a strong play on all platforms tonight.
Andres Blanco -- The Phillies lineup has been much better in the second half of the season than they were early on, ranking 11th in wOBA (.325) and 12th in ISO (.164) in the majors since the All-Star break. The switch-hitting Blanco has been outstanding from the left-side of the plate this season, earning a .434 wOBA, .213 ISO and 1.009 OPS against right-handed pitching, and gets the pleasure of facing off with Red Sox righty Joe Kelly and his 4.25 SIERA and 4.11 xFIP tonight. The matchup between the Red Sox and Phillies has an over/under of 9 tonight and Blanco should be a major part of Philly's offense. He makes a great value play on all platforms tonight.
Travis Shaw -- As I just mentioned, tonight's game between the Phillies and Red Sox is expected to be one of the highest scoring on the slate. While I definitely like the Phillies' bats tonight, the Red Sox are -200 favorites which make then an even more exciting option. Although he is facing a fellow lefty in Adam Morgan, Shaw has actually been even better against left-handed pitching than right-handed this season. The young Red Sox first baseman has surprisingly amassed an impressive .414 wOBA, .351 ISO and .982 OPS against southpaws, and should have no trouble knocking around Morgan and his 5.42 xFIP and 5.25 SIERA. Shaw is an absolute steal at just $2,900 on both DraftKings and FanDuel.