I Love It When You Call Me Big Papi

Big Papi

Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ picks for June 13th to help you fill out your roster.

Infield:

David Ortiz, Red Sox, $7,900  – Batter versus pitcher data is usually useless. Unless the sample size is large enough or there is some sort of outlier in the situation, batter versus pitcher data is just a collection of misleading numbers showing a random sample of results. In the case of a knuckleballer, that certainly qualifies as an “outlier” situation and is one of the main times I pay attention to the data. Ortiz, in 23 previous at-bats against starter R.A. Dickey, has homered twice with a slash line of .348/.423/.696. Despite a down year for the 39 year old Ortiz (hitting just .220), he still leads the Red Sox in wOBA, wRC+ and ISO against RHP this season. Looking at his career numbers, he’s always been an absolute monster against righties and obviously can adjust to the knuckle ball. Speaking of “monster,” there’s a green one in Fenway and I think Ortiz parks one at home on Saturday.

Albert Pujols, Angels, $9,000 – Having been so brutal earlier in the season, Kendall Graveman was sent down to get things figured out. Since being recalled for a start on May 23, he has been a different pitcher. In four starts since the call up, he has cut his ERA nearly in half, from 8.27 to 4.83.  According to FanGraphs, his only above average pitch at the major league level this season has been the slider. Albert Pujols mashes just about every pitch but he is above and beyond the best slider hitter on the Angels according to pitch type linear weights (only Mike Trout and Erick Aybar also have positive ratings against the pitch and they are barely positive). Graveman’s ace in his pocket will not phase Pujols. Considering Pujols’ career .407 wOBA against RHP, Graveman is going to be like David facing off against Goliath without a weapon. Pujols should own him.

Outfield:

Ben Paulsen, Rockies, $6,200 – Mat Latos has been absolutely lit up by left-handers this season. For a guy who was supposed to have borderline ace talents, Latos sports a 6.12 ERA, 1.59 WHIP and career high 3.39 BB/9. In a nutshell, it seems like a good time to buy on Latos’ long-term value because a lot of his numbers look poised to revert back to the norm. His peripherals (FIP and xFIP) suggest he has been getting rather unlucky and a .358 BABIP against (career .308) proves that theory. A career low strand rate of 59.6 percent should rise at any moment now. All this being said, he will continue to struggle as long as lefties register a .415 wOBA against him. They are producing a slash line of .384/.430/.528 against Latos this season. Carlos Gonzalez would be the obvious option of all the Rockies lefties due to his dominance in the middle of that lineup for a long time. However, no player on the Rockies roster has produced a greater wOBA, wRC+ or ISO against RHP this season than Ben Paulsen and it isn’t close. Since he is producing elite numbers across the board against righties, he will be my Rockies lefty of choice though both Gonzalez and Charlie Blackmon are certainly in play.

Brett Gardner, Yankees, $8,700 – Remember in the Paulsen blurb when I mentioned Latos has been torn apart by lefties? They have just gently grazed him compared to the beating Bud Norris has endured against them this season. Latos’ .415 wOBA against versus left-handed hitters ranks 11th among pitchers with at least 20 IP against them whereas only Sean O’Sullivan‘s .486 mark ranks higher than Norris (.459). Without Jacoby Ellsbury, Gardner leads off for the Yankees so he should draw at least four plate appearances against Norris. Gardner possesses speed along with some pop (.353 wOBA, .202 ISO this year against RHP) so the upside is there. Over the past two seasons, Camden Yards has played as the number one home run park for left-handed hitters. He’s as safe as they’ll ever come cash play with the upside to make a big impact in tournaments as well.

Pitcher:

Chris Archer, Rays, $22,900 – There are many reasons to like Archer at home in this one despite the fact that Vegas lists this game as a “pick’em.” For all of you who do not know what that means, it means there really is no favorite because the teams are so evenly matched. Number one: Jeff Samardzija, Archer’s opponent in this one, has the worst road ERA amongst all SP with at least 40 IP. He’s so bad he even edges out Kyle Kendrick. The White Sox are actually a difficult team to strikeout (19.20 percent K rate vs RHP) but rank in the bottom ten amongst wOBA, wRC+ and ISO against righties. Also, there will be no weather risks with this game being played in the dome which is always nice for peace of mind. Due to White Sox low K rate, Archer is best suited for cash but is a rock solid option.

Gerrit Cole, Pirates, $21,000 – One of the lowest over/unders of the night is a game that features Sean O’Sullivan on the mound. In a previous blurb I mentioned just how poor he has pitched this season especially against lefties. Games featuring a low over/under featuring a poor starting pitcher means they think awfully highly of the other starting pitcher…and why wouldn’t they? Cole has stepped up his game this season and transformed from a good pitcher to an ace. He has a 9-2 record with a 1.73 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and career high 9.9 K/9. The Phillies are a dream matchup for RHP because they’re just plain awful. You name the statistic and they rank near the bottom. This one likely will not be a pitcher’s duel and the opposing offense shouldn’t present much resistance so Cole is the definition of an elite play.

Zack Greinke, Dodgers, $20,400 – Aces in Petco Park: an ongoing daily fantasy baseball theme. Clayton Kershaw was discussed in yesterday’s content as a preferred play and the Padres hit left-handers harder than they hit righties. Derek Norris’ splits severely favor facing lefties and the same holds true for many hitters on the Padres. Three Padres possess a career wOBA over .380 whereas not a single player has a career wOBA greater than .350 against righties (Justin Upton). Greinke’s away ERA sits at 1.63 for the season and only slightly ranks below his season ERA of 1.92. In other words, he has been absolutely lights out and there’s no reason to believe that won’t continue in Petco paradise.

C.J. Wilson, Angels, $15,900 – Everything written in the blurb yesterday pertaining to Hector Santiago applies to C.J. Wilson on Saturday…except he has more talent. I am more confident using a fireballer like Wilson as opposed to a fastball-change type pitcher in Santiago. The A’s still don’t hit left-handed pitching well and this game will still take place in a pitchers’ park. The thing for Wilson as a fly-baller is he has the benefit of Mike Trout patrolling center field. If looking for a lower-tier pitcher in order to save money compared to one of the previously mentioned studs, look no further than str8edgeracer.

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders is a fantasy sports expert with over 15 years of playing experience. After starting several freelance fantasy sports blogs, Ricky moved up in the fantasy industry when he joined Going9 Baseball. He wrote fantasy baseball content and had a weekly radio spot on the site’s SiriusXM Satellite Radio show. Shortly thereafter, in early 2013, Ricky joined RotoExperts as a three-sport fantasy contributor, eventually becoming one of the site’s lead basketball writers. While writing for RotoExperts, Ricky was introduced to daily fantasy sports and immediately fell in love. With help from some of his mentors, some of the best DFS players in the world, he honed his skills and became the daily fantasy expert he is today. When RotoExperts created a daily-focused website called DailyRoto.com, Ricky was brought on as one of the main contributors. He still makes frequent appearances on the RotoExperts SiriusXM Radio show and on the FNTSY Sports Television Network, talking daily fantasy sports. He also continues to write for a few DFS content sites: RotoCurve and The Fantasy Fix. Ricky is a proud and active member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He has agreed to be a writer and representative for the FantasyDraft brand and serves as an ambassador to the site. He has no more access to the site than the typical user. Don’t hesitate to contact Ricky with questions on Twitter @RSandersDFS.

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