MLB Daily Fantasy Helper: Wednesday 7/24/13
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.
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The Top Three Pitchers
Anibal Sanchez - Among tonight's late game pitchers, there really aren't any far-and-away top win candidates. There's Anibal Sanchez, and... really, it's just Anibal Sanchez. He holds 0.50 projected wins and 0.20 projected losses tonight according to our metrics, and no other late game starter holds more than a 0.15 difference in those categories (Jacob Turner). But it's not just the wins that has me excited; there's also that 28.2 percent Sanchez strikeout rate going against the White Sox's above-average K lineup, and Chicago's fourth-worst .301 OBP this season doesn't hurt, either.
Chad Gaudin - He's starting this year for the first time since 2009, but that really doesn't seem to have slowed down Chad Gaudin. Through four starts (seven appearances), the Giants pitcher holds a 1.080 WHIP, 22.1 percent strikeout rate, and, most notably, a .255 batting average on balls in play (BABIP) against. I know the Reds represent a tough matchup, but that lineup does have strikeout problems of its own (an above-average 20.1 percent K rate). If Gaudin can be anywhere near his season averages tonight, then his low cost makes him a perfect boom-or-bust mid-level pitching candidate.
Jeff Samardzija - So the projected losses may be high - he is a Cubs pitcher, after all - but the other metrics more than make up for an almost even win-loss projection for Samardzija. That 24.4 percent strikeout rate is one of the most sustainable high rates I've seen in a while given his past ratios, so it's no surprise he's second among late game starters (behind Strasburg's tough matchup) with 5.62 projected strikeouts. Given Arizona's fourth-to-last 2.1 percent homerun rate, it's also not a surprise to see him with the fourth-lowest projected HR total (0.58) among starting pitchers today.
Top High-Priced Hitters
David Ortiz - Could it be that... David Price really isn't that good? Well, no. Don't get ahead of yourself. That 4-5 record is deceptive, and he still holds a 1.218 WHIP and insanely low 4.2 percent walk rate. But that 3.4 percent homerun rate allowed this season is a bit scary, especially when you're facing a guy like David Ortiz. I don't think it shocks anybody that Ortiz holds 0.31 projected HR tonight, and going against Price's .312 BABIP allowed this season gives him a .344 projected average that is only topped by Buster Posey. Whether power or average, we think Ortiz will give it all tonight.
Adam Jones - Really, I'm just cycling through the Baltimore outfielders in this spot. Yesterday it was Nate McLouth, and honestly, I could have put him here again today. But instead, I turn back to his outfield running mate going against that poor Royals pitching. This time, it could actually be worse for Kansas City - Ervin Santana does hold a 1.074 WHIP and low 5.4 percent walk rate, after all. But he also has allowed homeruns on 3.1 percent of opposing plate appearances (3.2 percent for his career), allowing Jones and his own 4.6 percent homerun rate to be first among late-game outfielders with 0.29 projected HR tonight.
Mid-Range Cost-Effective Hitters
Andrelton Simmons - Simmons may be known for his glove, but it may surprise you that he's the second-highest projected FP producing shortstop in most formats tonight behind the much higher-priced Hanley Ramirez. And why do we like him so much? Just look at the matchup - Jeremy Hefner allows a 3.2 percent homerun rate while striking out a below-average 18.5 percent of opposing batters. Even ignoring for a second Simmons' own 0.19 projected HR tonight, hitting ahead of the big sluggers in Atlanta's lineup gives him 0.75 projected runs tonight, 0.08 more than even Hanley.
Luis Valbuena - The Cubs love batting lefty Luis Valbuena in the leadoff spot against righthanded pitchers, and the more hittable the pitcher, the better. So who are the Arizona Diamondbacks trotting out against the Cubs tonight after Chicago has faced lefties in two straight games? Why, that would be Ian Kennedy, the righty with a 1.395 WHIP and 26 percent line drive rate. When Kennedy's high solid-contact rate is mixed with Valbuena's own ability to draw tons of walks (13.1 percent walk rate), it means a ton of potential on-base and run-scoring opportunities for the Cubs tonight.