MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Friday 5/3/13
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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.
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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Fan Duel, Draft Kings, and Fantasy Feud Optimized Rosters
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The Three Top Pitchers
Jonathan Pettibone - I'll admit, I'm not his biggest fan: two straight starts of no more than 5.1 innings pitched doesn't do that much for me. But know what does? Averaging just under a strikeout per inning in both of those starts combined (10 Ks in 10.1 IP). Couple that with two walks in those 10 innings and a Marlins opponent that has less hits than Carly Rae Jepsen, and the low-cost pitcher becomes the best value on the board in most formats tonight.
Shelby Miller - Last night we recommended Wily Peralta, but it's pretty safe to say that third inning was an unmitigated, outlier disaster. Thankfully for my liver, our analytics aren't trusting another Milwaukee pitcher again. This time, we're headed to the other side of the matchup: Cardinals starter Shelby Miller. The one key stat concerning the Milwaukee offense is that they're not very patient: their 78 total walks taken sits tied for 22nd in the majors. For a pitcher such as Miller with a 27.1 percent strikeout rate and an 8.2 percent walk rate, getting a team that likes to swing away even more than normal is a godsend.
CC Sabathia - If high-priced, trustworthy pitchers are more your speed (come on, live on the edge!), we like Sabathia more than the other options such as Felix Hernandez or Clayton Kershaw. Of the three, None of the three play particularly easy lineups, but Sabathia is projected for the most innings pitched tonight of any starting pitcher (6.72), most strikeouts (5.99), less walks than Hernandez or Kershaw (1.77), and isn't too far behind on projected wins (0.42, Felix leads at 0.47).
Top High-Priced Hitters
Carlos Santana - Every single time, I swear I'll never get "Maria Maria" out of my head. Yeah, anyway, baseball. Three total starts in two seasons doesn't have me particularly sold on Twins starter Pedro Hernandez, especially considering his weak 4.1 strikeouts per nine rate. That .250 batting average on balls in play against him just isn't sustainable in light of the .296 BAbip average, and I would expect to see his 2.35 ERA shoot up right quick. Santana has had at least one hit in each of his five games since returning to the lineup, and he has a run scored in each of his past four games as well.
Hanley Ramirez - I remember once upon a time I though Hanley Ramirez was done, toasted forever. His three games since returning from the Disabled List say otherwise. After a lackluster 0-4 start, Ramirez has gone 5-8 with two doubles and a homerun in his past two games. He may not be playing the Rockies anymore, but really, do you honestly trust Barry Zito to pitch well? The analytics aren't on that bandwagon quite yet given his, well, gruesome previous body of work.
Mid-Range Cost-Effective Hitters
Paul Goldschmidt - It's all about getting on-base: Goldschmidt's .292 batting average may not look pretty, but his .387 OBP is up there with the best of them. Couple that with five homeruns already on the season, and opposing starter Jason Marquis begins to seem like a dream matchup. Marquis has allowed walks on 10.6 percent of opposing plate appearances this season, and 3.8 percent of those plate appearances have resulted in a homerun (the MLB average is at 2.7).
Chris Johnson - He's cooled down from his hot start to the season in which he was batting .418 on April 20. And by cooled down, I mean that he still is batting .352 on the season, with a .374 OBP and multi-hit games in three of his last six contests. Of course, in the other three of those contests he never reached base once, but high-upside is what you shoot for with a mid-range priced guy. And facing Shaun Marcum, who has looked atrocious since coming back from the DL with a 2.12 WHIP, his upside is high.