MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Thursday 6/20/13
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
Fan Duel, Draft Kings, and Fantasy Feud Optimized Rosters
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The Three Top Pitchers
Lance Lynn - It really seems like we're promoting Cardinals pitchers every single day, doesn't it? But if the shoe fits, I'm not going to turn away. Of course, it may just be that the Cubs are in the bottom seven of all MLB teams in OBP (.298) and walk rate (6.8 percent) while being right around league average in strikeout rate and slugging. It could also be that Lance Lynn is one of the few guys who lives up to a 9-1 record, striking out 24.7 percent of batters he faces and still managing a 1.186 WHIP while giving up a league-average .297 batting average on balls in play (BABIP). Either way, with few late game pitchers, he's clearly a standout.
Chad Gaudin - Chad Gaudin isn't exactly a strikeout master, sitting at just 17.9 percent of opposing plate appearances for his career. Chad Gaudin also has a 10.2 percent career walk rate, which isn't great. Chad Gaudin also only has three starts this season. Got all that out of your system? Good. Because for his low cost, Gaudin is also a top play against the last in slugging and OBP and walk rate Marlins with 0.36 projected wins and 4.73 projected strikeouts. I don't care if it's Rick Ankiel returning to the mound: a general rule of thumb right now is that if a low cost pitcher is facing Miami, you take his value.
Jose Alvarez - Quick trivia: who is the starting pitcher with the most projected wins today? It's not Lynn (0.46). It's not King Felix (0.42). It's not even Mike Minor against the Mets (0.45). No, it's a tie at 0.47 between Homer Bailey (who has an early game and thus isn't on our optimized rosters) and this guy, the rookie replacement for Anibal Sanchez in the Tigers rotation. Boston's .343 OBP and .441 slugging represents one of the toughest matchups Alvarez could possibly face, but Boston's high 21.4 percent strikeout rate also matches up nicely with Alvarez's own high strikeout style. He's for the risk takers, but he could pay off huge.
Top High-Priced Hitters
Buster Posey - I've picked on Tom Koehler of the Marlins before - look, his 1.226 WHIP, 7.4 percent walk rate, and especially .266 BABIP really isn't that bad. It's just that his 15.3 percent strikeout rate and 3.1 percent homerun rate is. And when you've got a player like Posey who usually dominates the catcher projections normally anyway with his 2.9 percent homerun rate and his .337 BABIP, facing a pitcher with those two specific weaknesses is just too juicy to pass up.
David Wright - Mike Minor and his 0.971 WHIP is obviously a good one; you're not going to call this a good matchup for David Wright. But is it a matchup that he can exploit? You tell me: does Mike Minor's 5.9 percent walk rate leave enough wiggle room for Wright's own 11.7 percent walk rate to earn a free pass or two? Our projections say yes: Wright's 0.57 projected walks lead all third basemen, and his 0.72 projected runs are only second to Adrian Beltre.
Mid-Range Cost-Effective Hitters
Desmond Jennings - He has worked his way back to the top of the Tampa lineup once again, hitting either first or second for the Rays each of the past three days. And just as was the case when he was there about two weeks ago, we're going to ride him until he loses that extra at-bat per game. Andy Pettitte and his 18.0 percent strikeout rate and 1.302 WHIP isn't the pitcher he used to be; he has allowed a .309 BABIP this season. Jennings' league-average .291 BABIP isn't spectacular, but his 3.1 percent homerun rate in the two hole is.
Hanley Ramirez - It seems weird to call Hanley Ramirez a mid-range option, but if anything, he's on the low end of the cost totem pole right now. That's a side effect of being gone most of the season and still being hampered by a bad hamstring. But he has now started at shortstop or DH (thanks, interleague play!) in four of the Dodgers' past five games and hit fourth every time, so we feel somewhat confident placing him here. And if he plays, a .381 OBP and 34 percent line drive rate sure doesn't look like he's hurt. We love him for the cost if he plays, but make sure to keep an eye on that Dodgers lineup (especially as a late game) right until your roster locks.