MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Monday 6/3/13

Kris Medlen may be 1-6, but that Pirates record isn't all that it seems...

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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
Kris MedlenSP24.39$26,2000.93
Bronson ArroyoSP17.67$23,2000.76
Mike TroutCF14.7382001.8
Robinson Cano2B14.1$6,2002.27
Didi GregoriusSS12.22$5,5002.22
Jason Kipnis2B13.27$5,5002.41
Ryan Howard1B11.79$5,4002.18
Michael BournCF12.69$5,4002.35
Chase Headley3B12.5853002.37
Will VenableOF12.8$4,2003.05
Russell MartinC11.2$4,2002.67

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The Three Top Pitchers

Kris Medlen - There are no Royals to pick on tonight! Whatever will we do? For one, focus on a team whose record is way better than they've actually played: the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates sit 23rd in on-base percentage at .305, 23rd in slugging at .383, and hold the sixth-highest strikeout rate in the majors at 21.9 percent of all plate appearances. Kris Medlen, meanwhile, is due to see his own 16.7 percent strikeout rate rise in the face of his 21.0 percent career rate, and tonight would be a good spot to pick him to do it.

Lance Lynn - The D'Backs aren't a mirror image of the Pirates - their .326 OBP sits 11th in the majors after all - but homerun rates don't lie. Arizona has only hit the long ball on 2.4 percent of plate appearances this season, good for only 23rd in the majors. Given Lance Lynn's own 1.1 percent homerun allowed rate this season, I'd be shocked to see the D'Backs hit one deep. And given Lynn's 1.118 WHIP and 9.3 strikeouts per nine recorded, they might not have much of a chance to overtake him if they don't.

Joe Blanton - I'm pretty sure this is the third straight start that we've recommended him as a low priced option, but the reasoning hasn't changed. That .386 BABIP is unsustainable given his own .307 career average and the Angels' exactly average .296 BABIP. Sure, he's allowed 25 percent of balls in play to be line drives, but that's not a ludicrous amount above the 22 percent MLB average. And his 4.3 percent walk rate is actually extremely low. Strikeouts have been the only problem for Blanton, but tonight, he faces the Astros and their league-high 25.4 percent strikeout rate.

Top High-Priced Hitters

Mike Trout - You can look at the .294 batting average; that's the reason his cost is a bit lower, after all. But for me, I'll look at that .545 slugging that sits fourth-best in the American League. 47 percent of Trout's hits this season have been for extra bases, which comes out to an extra-base hit on 12.2 percent of all plate appearances. Perhaps this would be a good time to mention that Erik Bedard has allowed a 5.0 percent homerun rate and extra-base hits on 48 percent of all hits allowed this season? I'd say so.

Ryan Howard - He's alive. It may be Domonic Brown who has received all of the Philadelphia press, but press usually doesn't make for an exploitable inefficiency. What does is Howard's power going against Tom Koehler's below-average 17.0 percent strikeout rate. Howard's been great if he can get a ball in play, as evidenced by his .333 BABIP, and he'll have a better chance of that today than in games past.

Mid-Range Cost-Effective Hitters

Didi Gregorius - Yeah, Lynn is good. We know this. But Gregorius is still hitting well, as I'll continue to say over and over and over. 29 percent line drive rate, .371 OBP, .508 slugging, below-average 16.6 percent strikeout rate. Really, only Tulo would challenge him, and he has a higher cost across most formats and a tough matchup as well against Arroyo.

Will Venable - Likely to get the start against the righty Stephen Fife, Venable should be on everyone's low-cost radar tonight. 1 for his last 9? I understand, but you should probably also understand that his .250 BABIP is way too low for this .311 career BABIP average hitter. That .284 OBP will rise, and Fife's own incredible .482 BABIP this season is a large reason why.