MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Wednesday 5/15/13
We know that people play all sorts of fantasy platforms, not just from from our friends at StarStreet but on other platforms such as FanDuel, Draft Kings, and Fantasy Feud as well. So once again, we have four optimized rosters, all for you, the numberFire reader. One is for free here; the others can be found in our Premium section.
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.
StarStreet Optimized Roster
Fan Duel, Draft Kings, and Fantasy Feud Optimized Rosters
For the optimal rosters for the other main players, be sure to check out our brand new Daily Fantasy Optimized Rosters for our Premium members. We know that you're killing it with our picks; maybe now you'll help us continue to help you win each night, every night.
Access to the optimal rosters is immediate, and you'll have it constantly updated for the latest injury news and updates from around the league. The best news of all? For new subscribers, you can use the promo code WELCOME and get it 50% off what was already the reduced price. Think of the savings!
The Three Top Pitchers
Shelby Miller - For the past two weeks, a Cubs fan friend has been complaining to me about Shelby Miller. "How did he gain 10 MPH on his fastball between the minors and the majors? Isn't this odd? Aren't the Cardinals the spawn of Satan?" Maybe... but that doesn't mean I'm not riding it all the way to the bank. Drawing strikeouts on 29.1 percent of opponent's plate appearances while walking only 6.3 percent is too great of a difference to ignore. And while his .239 BABIP (batting average on balls in play) is unsustainable given the .296 MLB average, the Mets and their No. 26 OBP aren't exactly the strongest competition, either.
David Price - Normally, I'd be scared taking a pitcher to face Boston. Boston's .340 OBP does sit second in the majors, after all. But know what they also are in the top five in? Total strikeouts, third at 329 total this season. That plays right into David Price's hand given his 22.4 percent career strikeout rate. An inflated ERA due to a .338 BABIP has driven his price down, and given the opponent, you can gain a real edge considering he won't be chosen by many people tonight.
Jeff Samardzija - His 1-5 record may be ugly, but his 27.7 percent strikeout rate, 9.2 percent walk rate, and 1.253 WHIP aren't actually all that bad in comparison. His 6.28 projected strikeouts are the most of any late-game starter, and as a result, his 2.32 projected earned runs allowed trails only Miller and Price. It doesn't hurt that Colorado's 51 total homeruns this year seems to be a highly unsustainable statistic.
Top High-Priced Hitters
Robinson Cano - Mariners starter Hisashi Iwakuma looks strong with a 4-1 record and a 1.74 ERA. His WHIP is also a league-best 0.735. But look closer. His strikeout rate has jumped by seven percentage points - that screams unsustainable. His walk rate cut in half - unsustainable. And his BABIP is .096 lower than the MLB average - unsustainable. I don't think I'm stretching too much when saying that Robinson Cano shouldn't be scared of facing him tonight.
Pablo Sandoval - Full disclosure: I have a completely unhealthy love of Kung Fu Panda, almost as unhealthy as his eating habits. But this isn't because of my love; it's because Sandoval appears on over half of our optimized rosters today. And why is that? It may be that Toronto's starter, Ramon Ortiz, has only struck out 7.9 percent of opposing hitters while walking 15.8 percent. It may be that Ortiz has allowed 76 percent of opposing batters to hit a ball in play, which bodes well for a slugger like Sandoval who only needs opportunities. Or it may just be that the math shares my irrational love.
Mid-Range Cost-Effective Hitters
Garrett Jones - To be fair, Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo has gotten a bit unlucky so far this season, allowing a .327 BABIP. But that doesn't account for the whole of his high 1.500 WHIP, propped up by a "Yes, this is a true statistic" 30 percent line drive rate of the balls in play he has allowed (now that BABIP makes more sense). With Jones holding a 26 percent line drive rate himself this season, it's the perfect mixture for hard-hit balls to be flying in Pittsburgh tonight.
Alcides Escobar - Barry Enright is an actual major league pitcher. His current 19.1 percent strikeout rate is way over his 12.0 percent career rate, but so is his way high 16.1 percent walk rate as well. He has allowed a 1.895 WHIP (1.439 for his career), and opponents have hit 30 percent of their balls in play for line drives against him this season. This is who Alcides Escobar and the Royals are facing tonight. For a guy who can do some major damage if only he gets on base, this is an absolute dream matchup.