MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Wednesday 5/22/13

Yes, Francisco Liriano is still in the majors. And his 30 percent strikeout rate means he's a top option today.

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
Francisco LirianoSP25.97238001.09
Hector SantiagoSP23.81150001.59
Miguel Cabrera3B13.09$8,6001.52
Robinson Cano2B15.02$8,0001.88
David OrtizDH15.25$7,5002.03
Alex RiosRF12.96$7,2001.80
Carlos SantanaC11.65$7,1001.64
Brett GardnerCF12.43$6,0002.07
Adam Dunn1B13.36$5,7002.34
Jimmy RollinsSS11.65$5,5002.12
Jonny GomesLF12.59$4,3002.93

Fan Duel, Draft Kings, and Fantasy Feud Optimized Rosters

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The Three Top Pitchers

Francisco Liriano - Matt Harvey is our top scoring pitcher across all formats, but even if he was a late game (he's not), you'd have to take out a second mortgage on your hypothetical Daily Fantasy home to be able to afford him. Know who has the second-highest scoring across all formats? This guy. And if that's a surprise, then take a look at Liriano's 30.0 percent strikeout rate and zero homeruns given up through two starts. Sure those numbers are unsustainable, but I don't think the Cubs' No. 26 OBP (.303) is much of a detriment, either.

Hector Santiago - Looking for strikeouts for cheap? You've come to the right place. Santiago has struck out 22.0 percent of opposing batters this season and 24.1 percent for his career. The Red Sox, meanwhile, may hold the second-highest OBP in the majors but also strike out an above-average 20.9 percent as well. Santiago doesn't give you much of a chance to win (0.36 projected wins, 0.34 projected losses), but the raw numbers catapult him to the top.

Justin Verlander - Oh, this guy? Yeah, I guess we can include him too. Of course Verlander is going to be high-priced, but strangely enough, he's actually lower priced than late game starters Cliff Lee and James Shields across many formats. Think about the long play here: he's Justin Verlander, and the stats back up his strong, consistent pitching. Even though the Indians are hot-hitting, their 21.3 percent strikeout rate still sits eighth in the MLB. Verlander's own 26.4 percent strikeout rate is good enough to take advantage.

Top High-Priced Hitters

Miguel Cabrera - You know us; we're not ones to automatically jump on the bandwagon as soon as a player becomes extraordinarily hot. We like to think long-term. But then again, what's to say that Cabrera can't hit another homerun after four in his past two games? He is the No. 1 player on our current Player Power Rankings after all, and that 5.9 homerun rate is actually below last season. This should also be the part where you note Ubaldo Jimenez has allowed homeruns on 4.2 percent of opposing plate appearances this season.

Alex Rios - Clay Buchholz currently holds a 27.1 percent strikeout rate. For his career, he has an 18.2 percent rate, and he hasn't been above 17.0 percent since 2008. Does anybody else see something wrong here? Given Rios' 15.0 percent strikeout rate this year and 15.9 percent rate for his career, I'm betting that it's much more likely he hits a successful ball in play (.318 BABIP) or a homerun (5.4 percent HR rate) than strikes out tonight.

Mid-Range Cost-Effective Hitters

Adam Dunn - In case you haven't noticed, I'm not exactly high on Buchholz. Dunn is another one who can benefit from facing the fireballer. Sure, he strikes out with more frequency than Jay Cutler in a Packers bar, but he also holds the third-highest homerun projection at 0.28 tonight. Coupled with his third-best 0.87 projected runs, his 1.00 projected strikeouts and .293 projected average are certainly worth the low-cost risk.

Jonny Gomes - No, we're not joking. We're actually recommending Jonny Gomes, assuming he's going to be in the Boston lineup (always the possibility he's not). Sometimes, a player plays so bad in comparison to his past production that he's on the extreme down end of the outlier scale. That's what has happened to Gomes; his .220 batting average on balls in play is simply too far down compared to his .295 career average. Considering his strikeout rate (22.3 percent) is his best mark in three seasons and his walk rate (18.3 percent) is his best ever, he'll become a valuable asset once those balls in play regress to the mean. Facing a lefty doesn't hurt, either.