MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Wednesday 9/23/15
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 -- Despite just a 12-11 record, Scherzer has been one of the best pitchers in baseball all season long. The Nationals' ace has earned a 2.91 FIP, 3.07 xFIP and 2.79 SIERA while striking out the fourth most batters per nine innings in the majors at 10.40. Tonight, Scherzer gets the pleasure of facing off against an Orioles squad who ranks just 21st in the league in wOBA (.313) and 22nd in wRC+ (95) while striking out at the fifth highest rate in the league (22.6%) since the All-Star break. We project Scherzer to have the most strikeouts on the board tonight en route to being the highest scoring player on the slate.
Kyle Hendricks -- The Young Cubs' starter has quietly had a solid season, posting a 3.66 FIP, 3.46 xFIP and 3.58 SIERA while adding 7.89 strikeouts per nine innings. That said, what really makes Hendricks a quality play today is his matchup with the Brewers. Milwaukee ranks just 20th in wOBA (.314) and 25th in wRC+ (93) in the second half of this season and have struck out at the eighth highest rate in the league (22%) over that span. Vegas has the Cubs locked in as -220 favorites tonight and our algorithm gives Hendricks the highest chance of any pitcher on the board to secure a win tonight. He makes a solid number two option on two-pitcher sites and a very interesting GPP play on all platforms tonight.
Starling Marte -- Just as I've mentioned the past two days, with the Pirates still in Colorado tonight, pretty much all Pirates' bats are in play. With the Rockies' trotting out reverse-splits pitcher Christian Bergman, it's the perfect opportunity to target Marte. The righty Bergman has been horrendous against right-handed bats this season, giving up a .415 wOBA while amassing a 5.86 FIP and 4.90 xFIP. Meanwhile, Marte has been just as good against right-handed pitching as left-handed, earning a .339 wOBA, .155 ISO and .787 OPS against right-handers on the year. Considering his matchup with Bergman and the fact that the game will be at the most hitter-friendly ballpark in all of baseball in Coors Field, Marte is our number one overall projected batter for tonight's slate.
Bryce Harper -- After a few years of ups and downs, Harper is finally putting together the season we all thought he was capable of. The Nationals' star leads all of baseball in wOBA (.474), ISO (.330) and OPS (1.143) and has absolutely demolished right-handed pitching this season. Harper's crushed righties to the tune of a ridiculous .498 wOBA, .373 ISO and 1.214 OPS, which means he should have little trouble taking advantage of a plus matchup against Chris Tillman and his 4.61 xFIP when facing left-handed pitching. As usual, Harper is an elite option tonight despite his expensive price tag.
Justin Smoak -- The Blue Jays are the best hitting team in baseball and draw a matchup tonight against the struggling Ivan Nova tonight. Although he has not been great against batters from either side of the plate, Nova has been truly terrible against lefties, earning a 5.66 FIP and 5.43 xFIP against left-handed batters while they have knocked him around for a .381 wOBA on the year. While the Jays don't have many great left-handed bats, Smoak is one of the few exceptions. Toronto's switch-hitting first baseman has been outstanding when facing righties this season, amassing a .385 wOBA, .333 ISO and .908 OPS against right-handers on the year. The Blue Jays have one of the highest team totals on the board tonight and Smoak should be right in the middle of the action. He is an absolute steal at just $2,600 on DraftKings and $2,800 on FanDuel.
John Jaso -- Jaso is always one of my favorite value plays when he is matchup up against a right-handed pitcher. The Rays' slugger has put up a .362 wOBA, .184 ISO and .842 OPS from the leadoff spot in the Tampa Bay order and will have plenty of opportunities to accumulate fantasy points tonight against Rick Porcello. Porcello has not been able to get lefties out all season long, earning a 4.79 FIP when facing left-handed bats and allowing them to amass a .357 wOBA on the year. Jaso makes an excellent value play in all formats tonight.