MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Wednesday 9/30/15
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.
Jon Lester -- The veteran Cubs' starter has put together a very strong season, earning a 3.01 FIP, 3.11 xFIP and 3.24 SIERA while striking out 9.05 batters per nine innings. Additionally, Lester has played his best ball in the second half of the season, pitching his way to a 2.75 FIP and 2.89 xFIP with 9.24 strikeouts per nine innings since the All-Star break. Meanwhile, the team he is facing tonight -- the Cincinnati Reds -- have been one of the worst hitting teams in all of baseball over that same span, ranking just 23rd in wOBA (.309), 25th in wRC+ (91) and 27th in ISO (.143) while striking out at the 10th highest rate in the league (21.5%) over the second half of the season. With the Cubs locked in as -165 favorites in a game that Vegas expects to be one of the lowest scoring on tonight's slate, Lester makes a strong play in all formats tonight.
Andrew Cashner -- Although he has amassed a horrendous 6-15 record this season, Cashner has actually pitched much better than his record indicates. The Padres' veteran starter has accumulated both a FIP (3.93) and xFIP (3.89) under 4 and has struck out a respectable 7.91 batters per nine innings on the year. Tonight, the Padres are a significant favorite (-160) in what Vegas predicts to be the lowest scoring game on the board against a Brewers lineup that has not hit the ball well over the second half of the season. Milwaukee ranks just 22nd in wOBA (.312) and 26th in wRC+ (91) while striking out at a massive 22.3% rate. Cashner is our top overall projected player on tonight's slate and can be had at a very reasonable price across the industry.
Alternative Options: Chase Anderson
Yoenis Cespedes -- Cespedes has been absolutely tearing the cover off of the ball since joining the Mets at the trade deadline, crushing 17 homers with 44 RBI and a .940 OPS in 53 games with New York and has been even better down the stretch. The Mets' slugger has posted a ridiculous .421 wOBA, .388 ISO and 1.020 OPS in the month of September and has an outstanding opportunity to stay hot tonight against Phillies' rookie starter Alec Asher. Asher has looked terrible in the first five starts of his career with a 5.99 FIP, 5.33 xFIP and 5.10 SIERA so far in his young career. He has also particularly struggled against right-handed bats, giving up a .423 wOBA with a horrific 7.12 FIP and 5.43 xFIP when facing righties on the year. Cespedes should have little trouble taking advantage of a plus matchup against Asher and should be on your radar in all formats.
Josh Donaldson -- Donaldson has been one of the best hitters in the Majors all season long, ranking inside of the top 10 in all of baseball in wOBA (.401), wRC+ (156), ISO (.277) and OPS (.947). The Blue Jays' star has hit both left-handed and right-handed pitching well this season and gets a great matchup against Orioles' starter Kevin Gausman tonight. Even though he is a righty, Gausman has actually been much worse against right-handed batters than left-handed this season, with righties knocking him around for a .362 wOBA while he has amassed a 5.29 FIP and 4.32 xFIP against them. With the Jays' magic number to clinch the American League East is down to just one, look for their stars to shine in a big win tonight. Donaldson is our top overall projected batter on the slate.
Dexter Fowler -- The Cubs' switch-hitting outfielder has been spectacular since the All-Star break, posting a .370 wOBA, .198 ISO and .851 OPS in the second half of this season. Fowler has also crushed right-handed pitching to the tune of a .371 wOBA and .855 OPS on the year. Tonight, Fowler draws a matchup against Anthony DeSclafani and his 4.43 FIP and 4.42 xFIP against left-handed batters. Although he is a bit on the pricey side on DraftKings, Fowler is an absolute steal at just $2,800 on FanDuel.
Alex Gordon -- Despite the fact that he draws a lefty versus lefty matchup, Gordon surprisingly makes a very strong play tonight. The Royals' outfielder has actually fared better against southpaws than right-handers, putting up a .356 wOBA, .148 ISO and .804 OPS when facing lefties this season. Although White Sox starter Jose Quintana has been solid against left-handed batters this season, Gordon will likely be batting at the top of the order and should have plenty of opportunities to drive in runs tonight. He makes a strong value play at just $2,500 on FanDuel and $3,400 on DraftKings.