MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Thursday 5/2/13
Let's call today Practice Time. I know that I'm gearing up for Our Friday Freeroll in conjunction with Fantasy Feud, and so should you. If you're a numberFire user, you can sign up for Fantasy Feud and take part in an exclusive contest to win major prizes, all for free! That makes today a nice test run to know exactly how to form your roster so you can win free cash tomorrow.
Remember to check our site and Twitter Page all day tomorrow for links to that Freeroll.
Our baseball projections are updated throughout the day, so make sure to come back to double-check your optimized rosters for any last-minute lineup changes. Since most action happens later in the day, we will be ignoring the early games (if there are any) and focusing solely on the late contests. That way, you can use and tinker with our optimized rosters throughout the day.
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As always, the full tables for today's action are available at our Daily Fantasy Projections page. Make sure to check it out to see where the best values are for your team.
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The Three Top Pitchers
Kris Medlen - I'm not so sure I'd find the Nationals hitting all that scary. Bryce Harper may be a man on a mission, but none of the other Nationals' hitters have an OBP above .350. As a team, Washington strikes out a bit more than average (211 in 28 games, three more than average), they walk much less than league average (77, seven less than average), and they have hit exactly the league-average amount of homeruns (28). Medlen's current strikeout rate sits about seven percent below his career average; expect him to be more like the 20 percent K's pitcher of old than the 13 percent K's pitcher that his cost portrays.
Wily Peralta - Similar to the Nationals, the Cardinals offense looks like they should be better than the stats say they actually are. The Cardinals may not strike out much, sitting No. 27 in the MLB in total K's, but they don't walk much either at No. 25 in that category. That means it's a below-average OBP for St. Louis: their .309 OBP is No. 24 in the majors. For the low-priced Peralta, that means only a 3.87 projected ERA for him tonight, one of four late starters (Medlen, Kyle Kendrick, Ryan Dempster) to have a projected ERA that low.
Justin Grimm - If it's the K's and not the earned runs that are your bag, then Justin Grimm is your guy. His 5.01 projected K's are the highest of the night, an easily obtainable goal considering his 20.8 percent strikeout rate through his first three starts this season (and his 20.4 percent career rate). Facing the White Sox and their dead-last in the majors .283 OBP doesn't hurt, either.
Top High-Priced Hitters
Miguel Cabrera - Jordan Lyles of the Astros is making his first start of the season tonight. I don't think he picked a good night to start on. Given his 3.3 percent homerun rate over his two previous Astros seasons, and his career average of allowing homeruns on 9.7 of opponent's fly balls, facing the hard-hitting Detroit roster might just be the worst idea possible. For Cabrera, though, it should be spectacular: his 0.28 projected HR are the third-most in the late games, and his 0.83 projected runs are second-most.
Ryan Braun - Don't let Jake Westbrook's 0.98 ERA fool you: he's not missing too many bats. His 12.1 percent strikeout rate is down from previous years, while his 12.1 percent walk rate is up. He has just been getting a bit lucky with balls in play - opposing hitters' .286 BAbip this year is .018 under Westbrook's career average and .012 under the MLB average during that time. But all good things must come to an end, as Braun's .310 projected average, 0.80 projected RBIs, and 0.25 projected homers can tell you.
Mid-Range Cost-Effective Hitters
Carlos Beltran - Yeah yeah, I know we talked all about Wily Peralta and the weakness of the Cardinals offense earlier. But there is still no reason why Beltran has such a low cost in many fantasy formats, especially considering his outrageous 7.1 percent homerun rate (which will regress slightly, but he did hit 5.2 percent last year) and his 28 percent line drive rate. He's hitting well right now, so ride him if they're going to continue suggesting a low cost.
Jimmy Rollins - Contrary to popular belief, Rollins is indeed a person who is alive and exists. I can confirm this, I even personally saw him in a Spring Training game and everything. He also is a player with a solid matchup against Miami's Alex Sanabia, the latest in their long line of guys younger than you that you've never heard of. This guy you've never heard of has allowed more walks (12.0 percent of plate apperances) than strikeouts (11.3 percent) this season. That means Rollins will have even more chances to get on base and score: his 0.73 projected runs is 11th among players in the later games.