MLB Daily Fantasy
Jon Lester (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Welcome to another edition of Def Pen Sports MLB Daily Fantasy breakdown series. Today we will break down the top 3 pitcher plays in our opinion as well as give the best hitting stacks of the night. We will be using FanDuel’s pricing and scoring system as that is our personal preference.

NOTE: If you don’t already have a FanDuel account and would like to try it out, use this referral link and after you deposit $20 and play you will get a free $10 from FanDuel.


*Important Note: When playing FanDuel daily fantasy baseball it has become evident that having a strong starting pitcher is an integral part of the success of a lineup. Strikeouts are weighted heavily in FanDuel’s scoring system thus making guys with a high strikeout upside very appealing. The SIERA stat (Skill Interactive ERA) has become very popular amongst sabermetrics crowds of baseball and helps understand just how good the pitcher is. These two aspects of strikeout percentages and SIERA combined with ballpark factors as well as weather factors are all taken into consideration when analyzing the best fantasy pitcher of the night.

  1. Jon Lester, Chicago Cubs, $9.9K – Lester comes into this generous matchup sporting a brilliant K/9inn of 11.02. Additionally, given that his matchup is against the San Diego Padres who have a maligned offensive attack and poor strikeout rate, he measures well in our K-Matchup statistic which correlates with higher Fanduel projections, scoring a 2.28 (where 1.8 is roughly the average value of starting pitchers). There’s also a substantial win probability to consider here, in favor of Lester. All signs are pointing to a brilliant performance in tonight’s slate.
  2. Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers, $12.5K – It’s nearly impossible to pass up on the ever-consistent Clayton Kershaw. Despite the fact that the Mets are very competent against left-handed pitching (competitive strikeout rate and 6th in wRC+ vs LHP), we are relying upon Kershaw’s high swinging strike rates, proficient K/9, and elite SIERA (11th among starters) to thwart a potential letdown tonight.
  3. Corey Kluber, Cleveland Indians, $10.3K – The former Cy Young winner is holding onto an impressive K/9 of 11.02 which yields a K-Matchup value of 2.49. The sole red flag during this matchup projection would be the increased productivity among batters as humidity has risen in Baltimore’s summer months. Baltimore’s recent weather provides a little extra volatility to Kluber’s matchup. However, there is still considerable room for upside.


*Important Note: While often times you can get lucky by selecting individual players off of different teams, the best strategy for MLB Daily Fantasy is to stack hitters in a lineup as to rack up runs/RBIs if a guy scores another guy in your lineup. Think of it as similar to a QB/WR stack in football, where both get the points for a touchdown connection so by starting both and in the case that they score a touchdown you are getting seemingly double the points. This works in the same way, wherein if you stack a lineup you are maximizing your potential points.

MLB Daily Fantasy
Astros celebrate after runs scored (Bob Levey/Getty Images)
  1. Houston Astros – Despite not having the best park factor of the night, the Astros are the best team in the  MLB currently and face an abysmal rookie pitcher Monday night. Daniel Gossett got absolutely shelled in his major league debut giving up 6 ER in a span of 3 innings, do not expect this to improve much as he faces one of the most potent offenses in the majors tonight.
  2. Cleveland Indians – The Indians are hitting their stride offensively with an average of 8 runs per game over their last 5 games played. Guys like Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Ramirez have been seeing the ball extremely well and face a guy in Dylan Bundy who has been very susceptible to giving up the long ball this season. Not to mention the fact that they are playing in Camden Yards which has had an average (!!!!!!!) of 16 runs scored per game over the last 3 games played there.
  3. Seattle Mariners – The Mariners face a guy in Anibal Sanchez who owns a 9.00 ERA and has solely pitched out of the bullpen thus far this season. He has given up 9 home runs in 11 relief appearances and will most likely have quite a short leash tonight against a team that has shown the ability to bust out for huge offensive performances. This could be an added bonus for Mariners hitters as the Tigers bullpen has been sub-par all season. Expect the Mariners hitters to leave the ballpark a few times at least tonight.

All stats and data courtesy of Baseball-Reference and Fangraphs.

Contributed to by Josiah Brady, @steadylosing on Twitter.

As always with MLB Daily Fantasy make sure you check the weather as well as the starting lineups before lineups lock. If you have any questions comments concerns or would like advice, feel free to contact me or Josiah via Twitter.


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