MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Friday 6/7/13

The Justin Verlander bandwagon is crashing? Don't worry, the stats will keep us safe!

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
James ShieldsSP22.11$27,1000.82
Alfredo FigaroRP12.44$18,0000.69
Mike TroutCF16.16$7,9002.05
Jose BautistaRF13.27$7,0001.90
Mike Napoli1B12.54$6,2002.02
Robinson Cano2B13.53$6,1002.22
Aramis Ramirez3B13.08$5,8002.26
Buster PoseyC13.25$5,7002.32
Chase Headley3B13.23$5,3002.50
Nate McLouthLF11.28$5,3002.13
Didi GregoriusSS11.4$5,2002.19

Fan Duel, Draft Kings, and Fantasy Feud Optimized Rosters

For the optimal rosters for the other main players, be sure to check out our brand new Daily Fantasy Optimized Rosters for our Premium members. We know that you're killing it with our picks; maybe now you'll help us continue to help you win each night, every night.

Access to the optimal rosters is immediate, and you'll have it constantly updated for the latest injury news and updates from around the league. The best news of all? For new subscribers, you can use the promo code WELCOME and get it 50% off what was already the reduced price. Think of the savings!

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The Three Top Pitchers

Justin Verlander - If there's a pitcher you're going to follow down the rabbit hole to mediocrity, wouldn't you prefer it be an ex-Cy Young guy like Justin Verlander? I know 19 ER in his past four starts isn't exactly ideal, and neither is his .359 batting average on balls in play (BABIP) against. But given he's only had one BABIP above .295 as a starter, that number should regress towards the mean eventually. And it never hurts to mention: his 27.9 percent strikeout rate as it stands is currently the best of his career, and he's going against an Indians team with the fifth-highest strikeout rate in the majors.

James Shields - Here's where wins and losses don't matter, folks. James Shields currently has a 2-6 record. He also holds the AL's seventh-best WHIP among qualified pitchers at 1.047, seventh-best hits per nine innings at 7.2, and a strikeout rate way above average (and in line with his past two seasons) at 23.2 percent of opposing plate appearances. Tonight against the Astros, he's likely to get a bit more run support than in the past, and his wins should come in time. The Astros also hold the highest strikeout rate in the entire major leagues.

Alfredo Figaro - After Verlander and Shields, there are any number of options you could choose: our optimized rosters don't have a single other pitcher on more than one list. However, for my hypothetical money, I'd go with a lower-cost option such as Figaro. He holds a higher number of projected wins (0.34) than losses (0.31) going against the Phillies and their below-average .308 OBP and .402 slugging. His walks are also projected down at 1.77, which makes sense considering his 4.8 percent walk rate this season and the Phillies' below-average 7.4 percent team walk rate.

Top High-Priced Hitters

Mike Trout - I think we're seeing a repeat of 2012 begin to come to fruition: the advanced analytics always like Trout a lot better than the standard baseball numbers. He may only hold a .293 BA and .366 OBP, but he strikes out less than the MLB average (19.2 percent), walks with regularity (10.1 percent), has both power and speed (3.6 percent HR rate and 13 stolen bases), and 45 percent of his hits go for extra-bases. His BABIP may not be last year's .383, but his current .333 is still way above the MLB average. And we're certainly still on board with that eighth-best in the majors .899 OPS.

Buster Posey - I don't exactly see many people rushing out to pick against Patrick Corbin, his 9-0 record, and his 2.06 ERA. So allow me to be that guy. His 20.6 percent strikeout rate is only average, his 7.4 percent walk rate is only slightly below average, his 1.4 percent homerun rate doesn't seem like a sustainable drop from his 3.1 percent rate just last season, and his .256 BABIP doesn't seem likely to hold up either given that an above-league-average 23 percent of his allowed balls in play are for line drives. That enough for you? I'm good keeping Posey as the top catching option tonight.

Mid-Range Cost-Effective Hitters

Aramis Ramirez - Scared of Cliff Lee? What, no! Me! Never! Why I ok yes maybe a little bit. A 3.8 percent walk rate and a 1.5 percent homerun rate is nothing to mess with. But Lee's only had a barely-above-average 21.6 percent strikeout rate this season, and an above-average 23 percent of his balls in play have been hit for line drives this year. While that isn't reflected in his .270 BABIP (the lowest of his career, by the way), Ramirez and his own .354 BABIP likes facing a guy who allows a ton of balls into play just fine.

Brandon Barnes - This is a guy I like a lot but who hasn't been getting much love. He's only on one of our optimized rosters tonight, but he's low cost across the board so I'm good with it. Did you know that there is an Astros outfielder with a .350 OBP, 23 percent line drive rate, 2.5 percent homerun rate, and who has gotten on base at least once in six of his last seven games? Sure, that 26.5 percent strikeout rate hurts, especially against James Shields (see above). But if you're looking for a cheap third outfielder, you could do much, much worse.