MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Tuesday 5/21/13

Yu Darvish may be the most expensive pitcher around, but you get what you pay for.

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
Mike LeakeSP18.05$24,9000.72
Jose FernandezSP18.95$18,6001.02
Robinson Cano2B15.14$8,0001.89
Carlos GonzalezLF12.92$7,6001.70
Paul Goldschmidt1B13.63$7,3001.87
Adrian Beltre3B12.88$6,4002.01
Dexter FowlerCF12.72$6,1002.09
Wilin RosarioC10.98$5,9001.86
Eric Chavez3B13.73$5,0002.75
David MurphyLF12.36$4,9002.52
Didi GregoriusSS13.5947002.89

Fan Duel, Draft Kings, and Fantasy Feud Optimized Rosters

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The Three Top Pitchers

Yu Darvish - He may be the most expensive pitcher across the board, but you often get what you pay for. And tonight, you get the leading strikeout rate among qualified pitchers at 36.3 percent, the sixth-best WHIP at 0.923, and an opponent that holds a slightly above-average 20.1 percent strikeout rate. It's odd to say that a pitcher is actually better than his current 2.97 ERA, but that's certainly been the case with Darvish so far this season. He's easily the safest bet on the board.

Jose Fernandez - Fernandez will give you some strikeouts - his 24.3 percent K rate through his first eight starts is no slouch - but that's not where his true value lies. Instead, it's all about keeping those potential runs down, as Fernandez's 2.28 projected ER tonight is the second-lowest among any starting pitcher (behind the guy directly under him on this list). Philadelphia's .303 OBP, No. 26 in the MLB, has a major hand in that low projection as well, as does their also 26th-best .379 slugging percentage.

Mike Leake - Yes, Mike Leake is the only starter with fewer projected earned runs than Fernandez, sitting at 2.13. That's what happens when you're playing the Mets and their can't-reach-base-to-save-their-lives .299 OBP. But don't count out Leake himself. His 1.490 WHIP may be high, but a weak defense behind him and a .353 batting average on balls in play (BABIP) doesn't help. We expect that number to be more like his .305 career average BABIP moving forward.

Top High-Priced Hitters

Robinson Cano - Another day, another Cano mention. It should go without saying at this point that unless the Yankees are facing a top-level pitcher or Cano's cost shoots through the roof, he's probably going to be your best option on any given day. Other second basemen simply can't keep up. That's certainly the case today, as the Orioles' Miguel Gonzalez and his 1.415 WHIP doesn't nearly qualify as strong enough to keep me away from Cano.

Dexter Fowler - He's a name that pops up sometimes on our lists, but on days like today where the optimized rosters are all over the board, it's nice to have a consistent name. Fowler pops up on three of our five optimized rosters today for a reason: his 0.28 projected doubles, 0.80 projected runs, and 0.79 projected RBIs places him in the top seven of all outfielders in each of those respective categories. Do you really believe that Arizona's Ian Kennedy (1.355 WHIP, 9.8 percent walk rate, 3.0 percent homerun rate) is going to keep runs off the board? I don't.

Mid-Range Cost-Effective Hitters

Eric Chavez - What, didn't notice his .343 batting average, .398 OBP, and five homeruns in 99 at-bats so far this season? I don't think the people who set prices for fantasy platforms did, either. As long as he keeps playing mostly every day with Aaron Hill sidelined, he's going to keep popping up on our optimized rosters until his cost shoots up. Today is no exception, especially playing in Coors Field against average starter Jhoulys Chacin.

David Murphy - Think he's fully healthy? His past two days going 4 for 6 with a homerun and four RBIs seem to be a solid indication. While expecting him to continue that type of output isn't statistically sound - we are stats guys after all - expecting him to live up to his .344 career OBP and not his .280 OBP this season is completely reasonable. And facing Dan Straily and his 1.462 WHIP should be an easy way to get there.