MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Thursday 5/16/13

With not many solid options at catcher or second base, high-priced hitters seem to be the way to go tonight.

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

PlayerPositionProjected FPCostValue
Andy PettitteSP21.57$24,8000.87
Jose FernandezSP19.61$19,6001.00
Ryan BraunLF15.61$7,8002.00
Robinson Cano2B14.6$7,6001.92
Buster PoseyC14.46$6,9002.10
Pablo Sandoval3B14.35$6,6002.17
Dexter FowlerCF13.12$6,1002.15
Shin-Soo ChooCF13.81$6,1002.26
Mike Napoli1B11.78$5,0002.36
Everth CabreraSS10.78$4,7002.29
Michael SaundersCF12.22$4,6002.66

Fan Duel, Draft Kings, and Fantasy Feud Optimized Rosters

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The Three Top Pitchers

Jose Fernandez - Yes, I am indeed recommending a pitcher in my top slot who is facing the National League's second-best team and an opposing pitcher who is 4-0. No, I didn't get checked into the boards by Raffi Torres and get a concussion, but thanks for asking. For the cost, you won't find many pitchers who have a higher strikeout rate than Fernandez's 25.7 percent K rate, and his 1.162 WHIP through seven starts really isn't half bad. The real key, though, may be his 2.0 percent homerun rate - no other starting pitcher today is projected to give up less homeruns than Fernandez's 0.53.

Andy Pettitte - For today's bad offense specialty pitcher, we have Andy Pettitte! The Mariners are doing their best to trot out a functioning lineup, and they even put up 12 runs yesterday against Phil Hughes. But when all is said and done, their .313 OBP still sits in the bottom third of MLB teams, and their 21.7 percent strikeout rate is seventh-highest in the majors. Even Pettitte and his declining 6.9 strikeouts per nine innings should luck into a few free swingers tonight.

Francisco Liriano - So let's recap. Your top pitching choices tonight are Jose Fernandez, Andy Pettitte, and Francisco Liriano. If I was placing another pitcher on this list, it would have been Jerome Williams. We are officially in the Twilight Zone. The Milwaukee Brewers actually hold a league-average OBP and strikeout rate, but their main issue is walks: their 6.9 percent walk rate is fourth-worst in the MLB. That takes away Liriano's main weakness, his 9.9 percent career walk rate. That Milwaukee team .305 batting average on balls in play (BABIP) is bound to regress to the mean sometime as well.

Top High-Priced Hitters

Buster Posey - When there aren't many teams playing on a given night, you're better off taking the sure thing at positions where there aren't many of them. That's why you'll see Buster Posey on all five of our optimized rosters tonight; your next best options are Mike Napoli (if he even counts as a catcher in your format), Jared Saltalamacchia, and Jonathan Lucroy. Seriously. Posey is your only catcher tonight projected above a .281 BA (he's at .326) or above 0.64 runs scored (he's at 1.17). Just don't overthink this please.

Robinson Cano - Similar to Posey, there really aren't that many other second base options out there. Once you're past Cano, Pedroia is facing Alex Cobb and Kinsler is facing Justin Verlander. And then you're getting into... Marco Scutaro? Howie Kendrick? Just don't overthink this one either, as Aaron Harang's 1-4 record and 7.30 ERA are no joke given his absurdly high 5.4 percent homerun rate and 1.419 WHIP this season.

Mid-Range Cost-Effective Hitters

Dexter Fowler - Continuing with the theme of higher-priced hitters to offset lower-priced pitchers, Dexter Fowler falls into the realm of mid-range guys tonight when compared to Posey and Cano. But that doesn't mean he'll give you mid-range type numbers; his 10.1 projected fantasy points in StarStreet are the seventh-most of any batter and third-most of any outfielder behind Braun and Choo. Matt Cain's struggles this year don't exactly hurt, and although we think Cain will regress towards the mean eventually, his 23 percent line drive rate and .237 BABIP (meaning the failures aren't defense) when facing a guy like Fowler is troubling.

Derek Dietrich - Who? Yes. Since being called up from AA last week, Dietrich has gone 8 for 20 in five games for the Miami Marlins, including a hit in every single game. With shortstop almost a complete wash tonight, why not go for the guy with some upside? (Dietrich plays second base, but holds shortstop eligibility in most formats.) His .538 BABIP obviously isn't sustainable, and his three strikeouts yesterday are troubling. But against Mat Latos, who has given up line drives on 26 percent of balls in play this season, I'll take the upside potential.