MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Monday 5/20/13
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
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The Three Top Pitchers
Shelby Miller - You know as well as I do that his 1.40 ERA is unsustainable, especially in the face of a .246 batting average on balls in play (BABIP) despite 22 percent of those balls in play being line drives. His 1.5 percent homeruns rate is solid, but unspectacular as well. But that 29.1 percent strikeout rate and 6.1 percent walk rate through eight starts? I'm on board, especially when he's facing a Padres team that has the seventh-highest strikeout rate (21.6 percent of plate appearances) and a league-average walk rate (8.2 percent) heading into tonight.
Johnny Cueto - I have a bit of a grudge with Cueto; his return from injury means Tony Cingrani has to be sent back down to the minors. I loved watching Cingrani. But according to our projections, I should love watching Cueto just as much tonight. Facing the Mets and their 27th-ranked .300 OBP is always a treat, as is Cueto's roughly 20 percent strikeout rate since the start of 2012 going against the Mets' fourth-highest 22.5 percent offensive K rate this season.
Julio Teheran - Want to know one of the major surprises of the season? As Jim Sannes has been writing about all season, the Twins' hitters really aren't doing that badly. At the very least, Minnesota's .321 OBP sits slightly above league average. But when your main strength is a top ten walk rate (9.9 percent), facing a pitcher with solid control can lead to problems. Enter Julio Teheran - he has only allowed eight walks in 41.1 IP this season, and his strikeout rate isn't terrible at 14.3 percent. Despite his (unsustainably high) 3.3 percent HR rate, the Twins are an excellent matchup tonight.
Top High-Priced Hitters
Paul Goldschmidt - A bit too expensive for your taste? He is the highest-priced batter on some platforms, after all. But perhaps you should take a look at the matchup - Jon Garland holds a 1.500 WHIP, low 13.1 percent strikeout rate, and 3.5 percent of opposing plate appearances have been hit for homeruns. The slight Coors Field bump doesn't hurt as well. I'm inclined to believe Goldschmidt's 0.17 projected homeruns and 0.96 projected RBIs tonight are no fluke, and if David Ortiz isn't listed at 1B in your fantasy format, there are no other options I'd even consider.
Robinson Cano - Didn't realize that Freddy Garcia had returned to a major league mound? Neither did Freddy Garcia: he's 0-2 with a 5.51 ERA through three starts with the Orioles. And that ERA is no fluke, as Garcia has only struck out 9.1 percent of opposing batters while an absurd 6.1 percent of opposing plate appearances have gone for homeruns. Even if those numbers slightly regress to the mean, is it any wonder that Cano leads all batters with 0.30 projected homeruns tonight?
Mid-Range Cost-Effective Hitters
Jarrod Saltlamacchia - With an off day on Saturday, Saltlamacchia is likely a go for tonight's game against the White Sox. And it's a good thing for Daily Fantasy players too, as Dylan Axelrod has allowed homeruns on at least 3.0 percent of opposing plate appearances in both 2012 and 2013 while striking out just 12.5 percent of batters this year. It's no fluke Saltalamacchia's 0.27 projected homeruns are top ten among all batters tonight, while he only holds 0.81 projected strikeouts on the night. Salty's 33.9 percent K rate is mitigated against this particular pitcher.
Didi Gregorius - Gregorius was the high-riser of the Daily Fantasy world circa a week or two ago; I even saw his name among the top five highest costs on a day or two. Just because he has one extra-base hit game in his last six contests, though, it doesn't mean his .414 on-base percentage through 21 games played has gone anywhere. His 28 percent line drive rate through those 21 games is sure to decrease, but it's also a measure of how well he's seeing the ball. And just like Goldschmidt, facing Jon Garland doesn't hurt, either.