MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Tuesday 5/14/13
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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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The Three Top Pitchers
Doug Fister - Until it fails me, I'm still going to go with that "Feed off the Astros" strategy. It worked well yesterday - Anibal Sanchez finished with only two earned runs in seven innings pitched with eight strikeouts in the Tigers' victory. Do you see Fister and his 17.4 percent strikeout rate and 4.2 percent walk rate being much different? Because I don't. I wouldn't worry about that 1.256 WHIP much either; it's being inflated by a .328 batting average on balls in play (BABIP), way above the .297 MLB average.
Carlos Villanueva - Some earned runs in Villanueva's future? Possibly - the Rockies' offense is seventh with a .329 OBP, after all. But facing off against Jeff Francis, he of the 6.90 ERA, gives Villanueva a high chance of victory and a low chance of failure. Villanueva's 0.39 projected wins is top ten among tonight's starters, and his 0.24 projected losses sits second-best behind Fister. Couple that with a 19.2 percent strikeout rate, and you've got a not-half-bad low-cost starter.
R.A. Dickey - Dickey has to turn it around eventually, right? Well, that depends on your definition of "turn around". Dickey's current 18.6 percent strikeout rate and 1.354 WHIP are much more in line with his career averages than last year's outlier Cy Young season. His 3.9 percent homerun rate, however, should indeed regress to the mean over time. But if homeruns are his issue, the Giants are a good opponent - they've only hit 32 this season, seven below the MLB average. I'm not buying Barry Zito as a strong opposing pitcher, either.
Top High-Priced Hitters
Edwin Encarnacion - Why am I not buying Barry Zito as a strong opposing pitcher, you ask? Because his low 1.8 percent homerun rate fly in the face of everything we've seen from him as a starter in San Francisco. Because even a .298 BABIP doesn't seem sustainable when 26 percent of the balls in play you're allowing are line drives. Encarnacion can get to this guy, even if his 3-1 record and 2.75 ERA has you believing otherwise.
Adrian Beltre - And today's winner of the seemingly daily Beltre v. Headley 3B battle is... Beltre! Oakland starter Bartolo Colon has a lot to do with that - when 80 percent of your opponents' plate appearances result in balls in play (it was 79 percent last season), and your .303 BABIP is slightly above the MLB average, it's usually not a good sign. Beltre holds a good chance at continuing his five game hit streak tonight.
Mid-Range Cost-Effective Hitters
Josh Rutledge - That's one way to break out of a mini-slump: Rutledge hit his fifth homerun of the season yesterday against the Cubs. I wouldn't be too surprised if he got another either: Villanueva has allowed homeruns on 3.4 percent of opposing plate appearances over his career. That's a big reason Rutledge has 0.20 projected homeruns today, the most of any shortstop. He's one of the clear top two shortstops today, along with...
Everth Cabrera - Cabrera may not give you Rutledge's power, but he'll certainly bring the speed: his 0.37 projected stolen bases today are the highest among all currently projected batters. Of course, you can't have any steals if you don't get on base, but Orioles starter Chris Tillman holds a 1.377 WHIP that betrays his current 3-1 record and 3.76 ERA as somewhat of a fluke.