MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Monday 7/1/13

There aren't exactly a plethora of top pitching options today, which makes Jordan Zimmermann even more valuable.

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
Jose FernandezSP18.48$25,1000.74
Wade MileySP16.44$23,3000.71
Buster PoseyC14.19$7,4001.92
Shin-Soo ChooCF14.21$6,9002.06
David Wright3B12.43$6,4001.94
Robinson Cano2B13.56$6,1002.22
Jay BruceRF12.71$6,0002.12
Aaron Hill2B12.2$5,5002.22
Justin RuggianoCF12.33$5,0002.47
James Loney1B12.42$4,6002.70
Pedro CiriacoSS11.1$3,3003.36

Fan Duel, Draft Kings, and Fantasy Feud Optimized Rosters

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The Three Top Pitchers

Jordan Zimmermann - And as today's high cost pitcher, you have... Jordan Zimmermann. That's it. Really. That will happen on a day with only six late games, although in some formats, Matt Moore or Jose Fernandez could be up in price as well. All daily fantasy players with at least a Wonderlic score of 5 will be selecting Zimmermann though, and I wouldn't be left out in the cold. His 4.95 projected strikeouts aren't getting you anywhere, but his leading 0.44 projected wins and low 1.18 projected WHIP (next closest starter is Wade Miley at 1.29) means he's far and away the best option tonight.

Wade Miley - In speaking of Miley, you didn't exactly have to go too far down to find him. Wade Miley isn't exactly a shining beacon of hope as a pitcher; his 17.0 percent strikeout rate, 3.2 percent homerun rate, and .316 batting average on balls in play (BABIP) allowed reveals him to be an average pitcher. Thankfully, though, his universal cost reflects his averageness, which is nice when the team he's facing isn't even close to mediocre. The Mets' third-lowest OBP, second-lowest slugging, and third-highest strikeout rate can make any pitcher seem like a minor deity, and that's what we expect from Miley tonight with his mentioned-above low WHIP.

Jose Fernandez - Padres starter Jason Marquis is 9-3, but his 1.437 WHIP and 12.9 percent walk rate say he's a pitcher I wouldn't even want to touch with gloves on. Jose Fernandez, meanwhile, only holds a 4-4 record, but his 1.122 WHIP and 24.2 percent strikeout rate are extraordinary. Once again, win-loss records don't mean a single thing, folks. I'll take a chance with Fernandez against San Diego's ninth-highest strikeout rate and below-average OBP and slugging any day (as long as you're not playing FanThrowdown where Fernandez is the highest cost pitcher).

Top High-Priced Hitters

Shin-Soo Choo - Forget cost for a second. I know it goes against everything I preach, but just look at Choo's raw projections. 0.97 projected RBIs? 0.24 projected homeruns? A .292 projected average? There isn't really a single category in which Choo is lacking tonight. I know that might not be entirely surprising considering Michael Kickham's laughable over-two WHIP, but even without taking cost into account, Choo's .418 OBP and .458 slugging have him as easily the best fantasy batter overall. That his cost is not even top five among outfielders in some fantasy formats is just icing on the cake.

Buster Posey - Bronson Arroyo is clearly a statistically stronger pitcher than his Giants counterpart, although to be fair, Mets catcher Anthony Recker might have better stats than Kickham at this point. Still, that doesn't mean he's immune to giving up runs. Arroyo may have only given up a .277 BABIP so far this year, but that seems poised to rise considering the hard contact against him. 26 percent of his allowed balls in play have been line drives this season; the MLB average is down at 21 percent. That makes Buster Posey, he of the 23 percent line drive rate and .332 BABIP himself, infinitely valuable.

Mid-Range Cost-Effective Hitters

James Loney - Here's where I feel that some sort of asterisk is absolutely necessary. Yes, James Loney of the Rays is the featured first baseman on three of our optimized rosters. However, his projection is based off of yesterday's lineup, and I wouldn't feel assured that lineup's going to happen again. Loney has hit fourth each of the past two days, but both times, Tampa has faced righties. Today, the Astros trot out lefty Dallas Keuchel and his sad 1.450 WHIP. I absolutely love the matchup for Loney, but do beware that his OBP drops 40 points against lefties this season, and last time Tampa faced a lefty, he batted seventh.

Justin Ruggiano - I mentioned above how Jason Marquis isn't everything that his record makes him seem, but it's worth going a bit deeper down the rabbit hole. Marquis may have only allowed 7.9 hits per nine innings so far this year - the lowest mark of his career - but we view that as unsustainable. A .247 BABIP when he hasn't been below .289 since 2007? I'm just a tiny bit skeptical. His high 3.9 percent homerun rate and 12.9 percent walk rate match up perfectly with Ruggiano anyway, just imagine what could happen if the balls in play bust open as well.