MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Wednesday 6/19/13

If you're ever going to use Jake Westbrook, against the Cubs' low BABIP and walk rate is the time.

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
Jake WestbrookSP19.28$19,5000.99
Justin GrimmSP16.18$19,0000.85
Carlos GonzalezLF13.81$7,9001.75
Mike TroutLF15.37$7,8001.97
Albert Pujols1B13.38$7,0001.91
Jason Kipnis2B12.63$6,9001.83
David OrtizDH13.76$6,9001.99
Michael CuddyerRF13.81$6,2002.23
David Wright3B12.6$6,2002.03
Jimmy RollinsSS11.08$5,3002.09
Jonathan LucroyC12.74$4,7002.71

Fan Duel, Draft Kings, and Fantasy Feud Optimized Rosters

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The Three Top Pitchers

Jake Westbrook - Yes, his 2.05 ERA and his 1.500 WHIP represent two completely different efficiencies of pitchers. And yes, an exact 1:1 strikeout/walk ratio isn't exactly my idea of solid. But on the flip side, Westbrook hasn't given up a single homerun all season in seven starts, has a 1.74 GB/FB ratio that would easily be the highest in the majors if he had enough innings to qualify, and is playing a Cubs team that holds a fifth-worst .279 batting average on balls in play (BABIP) and fifth-worst 6.8 percent walk rate. If you're going to use Westbrook, tonight's the night.

Justin Grimm - Similar to Westbrook, Grimm's 1.567 WHIP brings me some sharp side pain when I try and recommend him. But unlike Westbrook, at least he holds an average strikeout and walk rate. Grimm's problem all season has been allowing hits on balls in play; a .347 BABIP and a 23 percent line drive rate does nothing to ease my pain. However, Oakland's below-average .288 BABIP provides a solid counter, and low-walk Grimm won't provide as many opportunities for Oakland's second-best 9.8 percent walk rate to expand. For that low a cost, I'll take 0.41 projected wins, please.

Chris Sale - Maybe you're one of those people who doesn't like to live on the wild side and instead wants one of those high-priced pitching options. Congratulations: Chris Sale isn't a half bad option tonight. I don't even really need to explain this one that much - a pitcher with a 26.0 percent strikeout rate, 5.7 percent walk rate, and 0.902 WHIP is going against a team with a higher-than-average strikeout rate and lower-than-average homerun rate. Minnesota does have a solid walk rate, but Sale should be able to keep that down.

Top High-Priced Hitters

Albert Pujols - I know he's supposed to have turned into the fantasy baseball player from hell, or something. But look at his numbers in a vacuum without remembering his past stats: an 11.6 percent strikeout rate, 9.4 percent walk rate, 3.9 percent homerun rate, and a 24 percent line drive rate that indicates a higher BABIP than his current .261. Sure, it's not MVP-level numbers, but for a medium-high price across most formats, it's doable with a solid matchup. And Joe Saunders' low 12.4 percent strikeout rate, 10.0 hits allowed per nine innings, and 44 percent of hits allowed going for extra-bases indeed makes this a solid matchup.

David Ortiz - A 5.67 ERA. A 3.7 percent homerun rate. A league-average strikeout rate, BABIP, and line drive rate allowed. I don't even care if Jeremy Hellickson has a halfway decent WHIP because he doesn't walk guys; this seems close to an ideal matchup for David Ortiz. Given Ortiz's own surprisingly low 12.5 percent strikeout rate and unsurprisingly high 6.0 percent homerun rate, it doesn't shock me at all to see Ortiz projected with 0.84 RBIs tonight, fourth-most among late-game hitters.

Mid-Range Cost-Effective Hitters

Michael Cuddyer - If Mark Buerhle was pitching in Coors Field, I would just start laughing at the opportunities. But alas, the game is in Toronto, and I'm... well, still excited about the Rockies sluggers. We like CarGo a lot as well tonight, but it's Cuddyer who gets the spotlight thanks to his lower cost, low 16.8 percent strikeout rate against a pitcher who doesn't strike out a league-average number of guys anyway, and Cuddyer's .375 BABIP against Buerhle's high percentage of balls in play allowed.

Howie Kendrick - Wait, from what I got in the Pujols blurb, Joe Saunders allows a lot of balls in play? And he has a 23 percent line drive rate allowed, to boot? You know that benefits somebody like Kendrick, whose .381 BABIP is ninth-best among qualified major league hitters and whose 29 percent line drive rate is also ninth-best. It's no wonder Kendrick has a projected .309 average and 0.73 runs scored tonight.