Before we get into today's recommendations, it is important to remind everyone to understand your scoring format and the pricing of the individual players on the site you're playing. These vary from site to site and all daily sites price their players differently, which could make someone a must start on one site but not another. In the space below I will break down the best and worst plays by position and make notes as to which type of formats to utilize players. If you are new to the daily fantasy baseball scene, there are daily fantasy websites which offer one day contests. These contests are mostly salary cap games where you can take any players you want as long as you stay under the cap and meet the positional requirements and all are points-based (not roto). As a result these recommendations often focus on value. By reading the notes below you'll be able to identify not only value options but potential weak pitchers to exploit. If a player is not touched on, it doesn't mean they're not a good play. We have limited space and assessing value across all the sites is a bit subjective. Please feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com if you have any further questions regarding daily fantasy baseball.
Weather: A few games have shaky forecasts early on.
Danger Zone (60+% chance): DET-CLE (Scattered), CHC-PIT (Scattered)
Watch (30+% chance): BOS-CHW (Isolated)
Buster Posey (SF) - Even against top notch LHP, Buster Posey's career .352/.411/.645 line against lefties earns him to play status. Gio allows just a .284 wOBA to RHB's and the game is projected to be a low-scoring environment, but Posey's dominance against LHP earns him top-play honors on another tough day for catchers.
Other Top Play Considerations: Yadier Molina (STL), Wilin Rosario (COL)
Salvador Perez (KC) - We enjoy picking on Jordan Lyles who has allowed a career 1.31 HR/9. Lyles is much worse against LHB's (.352 wOBA) than he his RHB's (.331 wOBA), but the numbers against RHB's aren't overwhelming. Lyles still allows 1.15 HR/9 and his .331 wOBA allowed is actually the 4th weakest of any SP going on Wednesday. Perez is sort of like Lyles in that he's dominant against one side (LHP) but not too bad against RHP either (.323/.333/.427 this year against RHP). On sites where Perez is priced near the bare minimum, he's an attractive value play.
John Jaso (OAK) - Jaso has always been really strong against RHP (.269/.366/.411) showing great on-base skills (1.07 EYE) along with adequate power. The A's recognize his value and typically bat him at the top or near the middle of the order against RHP. On Wednesday the A's will face career minor-leaguer Ross Wolf who will be getting the spot start for Nick Tepesch. Wolf has worked primarily in relief in his minor league career and he's posted a career 4.87 xFIP in the 25 innings he has thrown at the big league level.
Alex Avila (DET) - Avila remains exceptionally cheap and his track record against RHP (career .263/.360/.445) warrants attention against Ubaldo Jimenez who has yielded a .350+ wOBA against LHB's over the last two years. Avila was bumped back down to 8th in the lineup last night which is a bit disappointing but with his price way down I'll still take the chance on his history against righties and Ubaldo's recent struggles with lefties.
Victor Martinez (DET) - On sites where Martinez qualifies as a catcher he's just too cheap for a 5th hitter in a dangerous Tigers lineup; even if Martinez is hitting just .221/.278/.307. Martinez is obviously scuffling this year but with Martinez picking up three hits on Tuesday night, perhaps he's ready to get things going again.
Paul Goldschmidt (ARZ) - Goldschmidt in Coors Field against a LHP earns top play honors on Wednesday. In his career Goldschmidt has hit .309/.392/.614 against LHP, good for a .419 wOBA. Jorge de la Rosa the Rockies starter has given up a .328 wOBA with a 9% BB Rate and 1.18 HR/9 over the last three years. Sites that price Goldschmidt for his splits he'll be tough to fit in, but he's the strongest overall play today.
Prince Fielder (DET) - There are a couple sites where Fielder is a really nice value on Wednesday. He's slumped here in May (.242/.390/.414) and as a result his price has come down to a pretty reasonable level. For his career he's posted a .412 wOBA against RHP and as we've discussed Ubaldo Jimenez has struggled against LHB's the last few years. Shop around because there are some places where you can nab a really nice value on Prince.
Adrian Gonzalez (LAD) - Basically the same thing as Yesterday, Gonzalez gets to face a RHP who allows a .345 wOBA to LHB's and perhaps most importantly a 24.5% LD Rate. Gonzalez has become more of a LD hitter since the shoulder surgery and has lost some of his raw power. On sites where AGonz is priced as a 2nd tier 1B option he's a fine value on Wednesday.
Brandon Moss (OAK) - Moss is perpetually one of our favorites against RHP. As we've noted in the past Moss has compiled wOBA's greater than .380 this year and last year against RHP. We don't know much about Ross Wolf, but all indications are he's not a major league starter as the Rangers have exhausted plans A, B, C, and D for their 6th starter role this year due to injuries. Moss should benefit from the matchup and on a number of sites is priced as an average 1B because of his struggles against LHP. When you can get him at those prices against bad RHP and in favorable hitting environments, he's a very strong value play.
Mike Napoli (BOS) - Napoli's price relative to the other top 1B continues to confound me. On most sites Napoli's PPG is commensurate with players priced 15-20% above him, but his pricing hasn't seemed to adjust. He gets to face Hector Santiago who has surrendered a .313 wOBA against RHB's in his career but a .368 wOBA when he faces them in the friendly hitting confines of US Cellular Field. At home, Santiago struggles limiting HR's to RHB's (2.2 HR/9) which makes sense because the Cell inflates HR's 37% above the league average. Napoli, to his credit, has always handled LHP well. He's hit .272/.378/.522 in his career against LHP (.385 wOBA) and gets to play in an offense that appears designed to mash LHP (Gomes, Pedroia, Victorino, Middlebrooks all way better against LHP). On sites where he's priced as a 2nd or 3rd tier 1B option, he's a nice value.
Eric Hosmer (KC) - If Hosmer is ever going to hit another home-run, Wednesday would figure to be one of the better opportunities. Jordan Lyles serves up 1.5 HR/9 and a .362 wOBA to LHB's over the last three years. Hosmer hasn't turned into the player we all hoped but he is at least competent against RHP (career .276/.336/.448, .337 wOBA). Given Lyles struggles and the fact the Royals figure to put up runs on Wednesday, Hosmer is a nice value.
On most sites Robinson Cano is so much more expensive than Pedroia that the decision for Top Play is a bit easier on Wednesday. I think they're both close in overall value, but the price difference is the reason I'm writing up Pedroia as our top play.
Dustin Pedroia (BOS) -Pedroia has always been great against lefties hitting .311/.398/.461 in his career against LHP. Over the last two years he's posted wOBA's of .366 and .436. On Wednesday he'll get to face Hector Santiago who has been pretty good overall against RHB's (.313 wOBA) but struggles against them at home where his fly-ball tendencies lead to HR's (.361 wOBA). Santiago allows a 48% FB Rate to RHB's at home which can really exaggerate power in a hurry. Our Red Sox lefty mashers didn't pay dividends for us on Tuesday, but we'll get right back up on the horse with them on Wednesday.
Ben Zobrist (TB) - Zobrist is probably my favorite play at 2B on Wednesday. He gets to face Mark Buehrle who is allowing a .376 wOBA and 2.23 HR/9 to RHB's this year. Zobrist, a switch hitter, has always been far better from the right hand side (.282/.366/.462, .360 wOBA) showing better plate discipline numbers and much better power.
Ryan Roberts (TB) - Roberts has also been stellar in his career against LHP (.347 wOBA, career .269/.345/.453) and typically hits 2nd in the Rays order against lefties. On sites that don't take into account splits in their pricing models, Roberts remains a strong value play. On sites where splits are strongly considered, Roberts isn't much more of a value than Ben Zobrist is, so I'd just pay up for the better talent.
Matt Carpenter (STL) - Carpenter remains a go-to play against RHP and on Wednesday he'll get a crack at rookie Burch Smith who has allowed a .523 wOBA to LHB's in his first two big league starts. Carpenter has been so solid in his career against righties, hitting .302/.388/.444, and he leads off against them.
I really don't like the SS position on Wednesday and if you're splitting between day and night segments for the games you're playing I think it only gets tougher. Erick Aybar also left last night's game early with more leg injuries which takes another decent value play out of the mix. Jed Lowrie also left early on Tuesday but there's some hope he can return on Thursday. Jimmy Rollins is priced all over the board and rarely is he "cheap" enough that I'd strongly consider him. Jurickson Profar has a few sites where he's priced near the minimum and could be a nice start but he's also hitting 9th and no guarantee to be in the lineup. The rest of the "good-but-not-great/potential value plays" all have splits disadvantages. Alcides Escobar hits lefties way better, as does Jed Lowrie. It's just a mess. If I was confident Lowrie and Aybar were healthy and would play on Wednesday, they'd be in this mix.
Jean Segura (MIL) - On most sites Jean Segura's incredible start to the season has him priced as a top SS option and it makes it difficult to play him when he's so close in price to Troy Tulowitzki. However, Segura is hitting an insane .367/.397/.667 against LHP this year and while I don't for a second think that's a reasonable base-line expectation for Segura's production against lefties going forward, he is hitting 2nd in a lineup that crushes LHP and the SS position is a mess today. Some sites have been slow to move Segura's price providing a nice value.
Sean Rodriguez (TB) - The non-splits pricing sites provide an opportunity to use Rodriguez on Wednesday. He's shown good plate discipline and adequate power against LHP in his career, posting a .256/.363/.397 line against lefties. I would only play him at a "punt catcher" type price though because Buehrle is a LHP who is long on command and much of Rodriguez's value against LHP is built on the walk side of the triple slash line. He's also very likely to be double switched out of the game, meaning he's only good for 2-3 AB's. Be careful when shopping around on Rodriguez and make sure you're getting a bargain basement price if you're deploying him.
Troy Tulowitzki (COL) - With the lack of viable SS options I'm considering just taking Tulowitzki even though the matchup isn't ideal against Trevor Cahill who limits RHB's to a .302 wOBA and limits their power with a 62% GB Rate. Tulowitzki's been better against FB pitchers than GB pitchers which complicates matters a bit and with it being a day game after a night game it could very well be a maintenance day for Tulo as well. If he's not in the lineup, I'll likely opt back down to Segura or perhaps Andrus/A. Escobar whose teams figure to score runs.
Other potential punt options if in the lineup: Cliff Pennington (ARZ), Jonathan Herrera (COL)
Miguel Cabrera (DET) - He almost belongs in a category of his own at this point. As always with Miggy, the only issue is price.
Evan Longoria (TB) - On sites where Longoria is a modest step down from Cabrera, I think he's your best bet for Top Play today. Longoria has hit .292/.379/.553 in his career against LHP (.391 wOBA) and we've touched on some of the struggles Mark Buehrle has had against RHB's this year in the AL. In Buehrle's lone start against the Rays this year he allowed 7 ER's in the first 3 innings. He's allowed 5 or more ER's in 6 of his 9 starts this year. Rays RHB's are a strong play on Wednesday and Longoria is the strongest of the bunch.
Best Values:Martin Prado (ARZ) - In his career Prado has hit .385/.353/.435 against LHP (.344 wOBA) and he's done it with a very solid 0.94 EYE. Against Jorge de la Rosa who walks over 9% of the RHB's he faces, Prado's EYE is an important component. It will allow him to get in good hitters counts and allows him on-base outs via the walk. On many sites Prado is priced as a below average 3B option and I think on those sites he's the best value play today. De la Rosa has given up a .340 wOBA at home to RHB's in his career.
Will Middlebrooks (BOS) - Against LHP in favorable hitting environments Middlebrooks immense power makes him a viable play. This is the scenario we're dealing with on Wednesday and it gives a chance for Middlebrooks career .291/.338/.532 line against LHP to shine through.
Mike Moustakas (KC) - Moustakas is another viable value play against a weak RHP in Jordan Lyles. We've covered Lyles struggles in depth, specifically with the long-ball. Moustakas' biggest issue is he hits too many fly balls without having enough power to hit them out of the park. His 55% FB Rate is great for a power hitter, but the fact he's translated just 7.1% of those fly-balls into HR's makes him a below average hitter. With Lyles HR issues and Moustakas fly-ball tendencies perhaps this is the matchup that Moustakas runs into one.
I'm regretting not writing up a top play yesterday as the only player I considered for the spot was my man-crush, Mike Trout. He went bonkers and was the guy to own last night if you had success and I missed on it by getting caught up on how many incredible OF values there were last night. Today is a day on many of the sites it's going to be tough to squeeze in top OF options because of how high priced the SP is, but if you have the money here are a few to consider spending on.
Ryan Braun (MIL) - Braun is super-human against LHP. In his career he's hit .347/.419/.660 against LHP (.452 wOBA) and on Wednesday he gets to face a LHP at home. Hyun Jin Ryu has been good against RHB's so far limiting them to just a .297 wOBA, but he's very fly-ball prone (40%) and in Miller Park that could quickly turn into HR's. The Brewers haven't had the benefit of seeing Ryu who relies strongly on deception which could be an impediment to success, but having watched a lot of Braun's AB's lately he looks close to ending this extended homer draught. I think it happens today against Ryu.
Carlos Gonzalez (COL) - In his career at home against RHP, CarGo has hit a ridiculous .339/.402/.631. He gets a matchup with Trevor Cahill whose power sinker actually plays pretty well at Coors Field, but CarGo's history of dominance against RHP at home earns him the nod for top plays.
Yoenis Cespedes (OAK) - Just a few days ago Cespedes was a borderline value play but he's put together a 4-game hit streak that includes 2 HR's and all of the sudden he's priced back as an elite option. We've talked about the likelihood that Ross Wolf struggles in his first big league start on Wednesday and if that's the case Cespedes will likely be in the middle of it.
Mike Trout (LAA) - Trout has actually been better against RHP (.397 wOBA) in his career than LHP (.372 wOBA) and on Wednesday he gets to face Mariners rookie Brandon Maurer who has allowed just a .315 wOBA to RHB's but has yielded 1.31 HR/9. After a slow start to the season Trout has hit .343/.434/.757 in May. His ability to hit both RHP and LHP in an elite way makes him a strong play almost any day that you can afford him.
Alex Gordon (KC) - Gordon is pretty expensive on a number of sites but there are a few locales where you can find immense value. Gordon gets that tasty matchup with Jordan Lyles who seems to inflate every LHB's power. Some small sample batting average tricks have many thinking Gordon hits LHP really well but in actuality the majority of his production comes against righties. In his career he's hit .285/.363/.462 against RHP (.359 wOBA) and with Jordan Lyles allowing a .362 wOBA to LHB's over the last three years, Gordon should be priced like a top play so if you see him discounted on a site make sure to take advantage.
Jonny Gomes (BOS) - Gomes is always one of my favorite value play options against LHP. For his career Gomes has hit .279/.380/.507 against LHP which is good for a .383 wOBA. To put some context to that number over the last three years Adrian Beltre has a .383 wOBA. On many sites Gomes is priced as a reserve which is a huge mistake.
Cody Ross (ARZ) - Cody Ross is the NL version of Jonny Gomes. Ross has hit .288/.356/.573 in his career against LHP, good for a .392 wOBA and on Wednesday he gets to face off with Jorge de la Rosa who yields a .340 wOBA to RHB's at home. In Coors Field against a lefty, Cody Ross is the type of value play we love to exploit. His history against LHP suggests he's an elite hitter, but his struggles against RHP in his career drag his price down to value level. With a likelihood of 75% of his PA's on Wednesday coming against LHP, Ross is a tremendous value.
Josh Hamilton (LAA) - All aboard the Josh Hamilton train! We probably won't have much time but as Hamilton gets into one of his hot streaks we're working off one of the lowest bases for pricing we've ever seen for him. I noted yesterday Hamilton has been making a lot more contact of late and he delivered with a 3B and a HR against Aaron Harang. On Wednesday he gets a matchup with Brandon Maurer who has allowed a .447 wOBA in his rookie season to LHB's including a 2.25 HR/9 mark. Hamilton has always done the majority of his work against RHP and with his price still suppressed due to the slow start I think Wednesday is another great day to use him as a value play.
Other Potential Value Plays: Andre Ethier (LAD), Jordan Schafer (ATL), JB Shuck (LAA), Andy Dirks (DET), Torii Hunter (DET), Carlos Quentin (SD), David Murphy (TEX), Seth Smith (OAK), Jon Jay (STL), Chris Denorfia (SD), AJ Pollock (ARZ), Brett Gardner (NYY)
Under-priced Star OF's to Target: Matt Kemp (LAD), Jay Bruce (CIN), Carlos Beltran (STL), Curtis Granderson (NYY), Dexter Fowler (COL), Shane Victorino (BOS), Desmond Jennings (TB), Jacoby Ellsbury (BOS)
Additional Stars to Spend on: Shin Soo Choo (CIN), Matt Holliday (STL), Coco Crisp (OAK)
Francisco Liriano (PIT) - Rain could be a factor but if they're able to get the game in Liriano is a very nice play against a Cubs offense that not only ranks 20th in wOBA against LHP but walks in just 5.8% of their PA's against lefties. Liriano has always had great stuff and the ability to punch-out batters but when he gets into trouble it's typically at the hands of shaky command. The Cubs will help you out by chasing plenty of pitches outside the strike zone. In a favorable pitching environment and favored in a game with a total of 7, Liriano is a really nice SP play. Just make sure you're not paying for him as an elite SP and make sure to check the weather. He's unusable for those signing up for early slates with the game uncertain.
Madison Bumgarner (SF) - Bumgarner looks like the one high-end SP today who is trading at a discount across the daily fantasy sports industry. He gets a matchup at home where he's always been better in his career (3.08 ERA, 2.81 FIP) and it comes against a Nationals offense that ranks dead last in all of baseball against LHP with a .246 wOBA. The .246 mark trails the Marlins by .032 which is equivalent to the difference between the Marlins and the Orioles against LHP. The Nationals have just been awful and Bumgarner should handle them with ease at home.
Mat Latos (CIN) - A few of the sites have priced Latos unusually low, perhaps because he has just 4 wins in his 9 starts. Latos is trucking along with his usual 3.50 xFIP and on Wednesday he faces a Mets offense that is 26th in wOBA against RHP with just a .297 mark. Latos will be locked in a pitching duel with Matt Harvey and the game has a total of 6.5. If you can find him priced below the other top SP options today, he's a tremendous start on sites that don't use the W as a heavy component of their scoring.
Additional SP Notes:
I like Jeff Samardzija a lot as well in a low-scoring environment in PIT, although weather is a concern. On most sites Samardzija is priced similarly or slightly more expensive than the trio listed above, so I chose not to write a full blurb on him. If you can find a good price on CJ Wilson I don't mind using him, but the Mariners rank 10th in wOBA against LHP and on most sites I think Wilson is a bit over-priced based on a 3.72 ERA that is accompanied by a 4.36 FIP. The battle of low-cost rookies in SD is interesting with Tyler Lyons and Burch Smith, but on a day with so much good SP, I'm trending in the direction of spending on SP than trying to get by with a couple unknowns. If I was forced to choose I'd take Lyons simply because the Cardinals offense is scarier than the Padres and the Cardinals have a seemingly never-ending supply of pitching that out-performs its minor league track record at the major league level.
James Shields (KC)/Cliff Lee (MIA) - We're used to picking on HOU and MIA with SP options but on Wednesday we get two elite ones to choose from. Shields would appear to be the better bet for the W and the strikeouts, but he's pitching in a tougher environment and he's more prone to blow-up than Cliff Lee. If they're priced the same and you're deciding between the two I'd recommend using game-format as the tie-breaker. If you're in H2H's and double-ups I think Lee is the safer option of the two and probably the better star. Shields has all the big strikeout upside and isn't particularly risky, he's just riskier than Cliff Lee. On most sites I'll let their difference in pricing make the decision for me.
The other studs:
Aces like Justin Verlander usually don't have two bad outings in a row so even though the matchup against the Indians is a tough one (they've been murdering former Cy Young winners all year), I think he pitches well. I just worry about the weather. Matt Harvey is awesome, but the Reds offense provides the stiffest test he's seen all year. He has more upside than Mat Latos but on most sites Latos is significantly cheaper and I'd prefer to use Latos. Clay Buchholz has a premier matchup against a RH-heavy White Sox lineup, but I've been skeptical all season that he deserves the current price tag (1.78 ERA, 3.10 xFIP) so I won't be paying up for him even in a good matchup.