MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Wednesday 6/5/13

Sometimes you get what you pay for, like when Clayton Kershaw faces the Padres.

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
Johnny CuetoSP25.16$30,2000.83
Joe KellyRP18.69$21,2000.88
Mike TroutCF14.23$7,8001.82
Chris Davis1B12.14$7,2001.69
Adam JonesCF12.31$5,9002.09
Josh HamiltonRF11.29$5,2002.17
Jason KubelLF11.24$5,1002.20
Howie Kendrick2B10.81$4,6002.35
Jason CastroC10.75$4,4002.44
Didi GregoriusSS10.9$4,3002.53
Alberto Callaspo3B9.76$3,9002.50

Fan Duel, Draft Kings, and Fantasy Feud Optimized Rosters

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The Three Top Pitchers

Clayton Kershaw - He may be the highest priced pitcher among most formats in late games today, but sometimes, you get what you pay for. And today, you get a surprisingly sustainable given his prior statistics 0.916 WHIP, 24.6 percent strikeout rate, and 1.2 percent homerun rate going against the Padres' below-average .314 OBP, above-average 20.1 percent strikeout rate, and seventh-worst 2.3 percent homerun rate. Sometimes, the universe just works out in your favor.

Johnny Cueto - Johnny Cueto has allowed a .189 batting average on balls in play (BABIP) this season in 37.1 innings pitched. .189. That's not just good, it's positively (probably unsustainably) incredible. The leader among pitchers with a qualified number of innings is Travis Wood's .222. Still, even against the Rockies, we don't see Cueto's 0.884 WHIP and 2.1 percent homerun rate increasing too much, although his 23.8 percent strikeout rate may fall some due to the above-average patience of the Rockies squad.

Joe Kelly - Kelly hasn't exactly wowed me so far this season, especially given his 4.4 percent homerun rate and .431 BABIP that comes from 27 percent of balls in play being line drives. But does that mean he's worth being the lowest-priced starter across many formats? Given the Cardinals' offense behind him, I'd say no. He still has more projected wins (0.35) than losses (0.31) according to our analytics today, and his 21.1 percent strikeout rate helps explain his seventh-most 4.97 projected K's. If you're feeling risky with your pitchers, Kelly has solid value and high upside potential.

Top High-Priced Hitters

Chris Davis - Could it be? The Man, the Myth, the Legend (since April 2013) actually has a low-enough cost to make him worthwhile to play? Well, given Astros starter Dallas Keuchel's atrocious 1.594 WHIP, 11.1 hits allowed per nine, and way below average 14.2 percent strikeout rate (11.6 percent for his career), I'd say that Davis' cost across most formats is just fine by me. Keuchel may be a ground ball pitcher, but he has still allowed homeruns on an above-average 3.3 percent of opposing plate appearances this season (and 3.6 percent for his career).

Mike Trout - Cubs starter Matt Garza holds a 1-0 record, 3.38 ERA, and 1.125 WHIP so far this season through three starts. Do we expect that to continue? Say it with me class, Nooooooo. 26 percent of his balls allowed in play have been solid line drive hits, but somehow, he still holds a .250 BABIP. We expect that number to go up, especially facing Trout's fifth-best in the AL .542 slugging tonight.

Mid-Range Cost-Effective Hitters

Howie Kendrick - Kendrick is now starting to heat up, going 6 for his last 11 and a 3 for 3 day yesterday against the Cubs. Normally, we're not for looking short-term, but his recent numbers are indicative of a longer .344 OBP trend. With his own 26 percent line drive rate (the league average is 22 percent), Kendrick matches up well against Garza for a few hard-hit balls, and Kendrick's 2.9 percent homerun rate this season doesn't hurt for some potential pop, either. Although Kendrick doesn't walk that often (5.0 percent of plate appearances), his strikeout rate is still below league-average (at 17.8 percent).

Dexter Fowler - The definition of "mid-range" is relative, I guess. He's fairly expensive for an outfielder, but he's certainly not on the level of Davis or Trout or even teammate Tulowitzki. And the fact that he's not up there but is still our No. 17 most efficient hitter this season makes him a good enough play for me. As mentioned above, Cueto is good, but facing off against Cueto's 9.1 percent walk rate gives Fowler a huge edge. Fowler's 0.53 projected walks is top ten among all outfielders, and he can be dangerous when he gets on base (both from speed and the guys hitting behind him).