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White Sox Bats Lost in Minnesota. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster.

Infield:

Mark Teixeira, Yankees, $9,500 – Kevin Correia is 0-1 this season with a 1.69 ERA in 10.2 IP, but is this the real Kevin Correia? History would tend to suggest no. Over a 1416.0 IP, 12 year career, Correia sports a 4.57 ERA and 1.42 WHIP. He has not registered an ERA below 4.18 since 2009. His ERAs from the past two seasons: 4.94 and 5.44 respectively. Essentially this sub-2.00 ERA mirage is bound to come to a crushing hault, and Yankee Stadium seems like a probable destination. Mark Teixeira is the likeliest of candidates to make the Phillies’ veteran pay. The switch-hitting Teixeira’s career wOBA sits at .370 and he actually produces a slightly higher career ISO number from the left-handed side of the plate. Of all Yankees with at least 15 AB versus RHP this season, Teixeira leads the team with a .604 SLG. Yankee Stadium has allowed the second highest AVG to left-handed hitters over the past two seasons and ranks top eight in OBP, SLG, and OPS to lefties during that span as well. In an incredibly friendly hitting environment against a weak starting pitcher, most Yankees are in play, but Teixeira is the one I am making room for no matter what.

UPDATE: Teixeira is not in the Yankees lineup on Monday. Target hitters like Chase Headley and Garrett Jones who have made their way into the lineup instead.

Brian Dozier, Twins, $9,600 – In a matchup versus Jon Lester a few days ago, I recommended Brian Dozier and he rewarded the confidence with a big “zero.” Maybe I undersold Lester’s ability to get batters out. Facing a tough pitcher is never a sure thing by any means. Luckily for Dozier and the lefty-crushing Twins, John Danks is nowhere near the same tier as Lester. Among all qualified starting pitchers in 2015, Danks’ 5.04 ERA ranks 17th worst. It’s not like he has been getting unlucky either, as his FIP and xFIP both rank in the bottom 20 among qualified SP as well. With a career slash line of .283/.351/.518 against LHP, Dozier is licking his chops to face the White Sox fifth starter.

Outfield:

Torii Hunter, Twins, $7,600 – Similarly to Dozier, Torii Hunter‘s splits favor facing LHP, and he comes with past results against Danks. To emphasize, I never recommend solely relying on batter versus pitcher (BvP) data. Sometimes there are outliers when the sample size is large enough and typically it coincides with what we already know. This is one of those cases. In 52 career ABs squaring off against Danks, Hunter has registered 17 hits (.327 AVG) with a .397 OBP and four HRs. Over a substantial sample size, there’s reason to believe Hunter just feels comfortable hitting against Danks, especially because we already know he’s second on the Twins in career wOBA against lefties (.363). Saving money in the outfield will allow you to roster one of the expensive arms on Monday, who will be crucial for competing in cash games.

Joey Butler, Rays, $7,600 – After recommending Drew Hutchison last time out, the tables have turned and it’s time to target hitters against him. Hutchison has been dreadful, and I mean absolutely dreadful, on the road this season. In seven starts away from the Rogers Centre (32.1 IP), Hutchison has been beaten to a pulp to the tune of a 9.46 ERA, which is by far the worst in baseball. Opponents have an OBP over .400, so he is giving himself zero chance to succeed. The problem is that the Rays do not exactly rake against righties. Their season leader (and career leader due to the small sample size) in wOBA against RHP is none other than rookie Joey Butler. June has been kind to him because he has hit .378 and has registered a hit in all but four June games including Sunday’s 1-0 loss to the Indians. The consistency, in addition to facing a pitcher in an uncomfortable situation, makes Butler another excellent mid-tier salary option.

Pitcher: 

Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers, $24,600 – Surprisingly, Clayton Kershaw is not above and beyond the best pitcher in baseball, according to the statistics so far. Max Scherzer and Chris Sale have produced numbers head and shoulders above those of the Dodgers ace. That being said, we all know the skill set is elite, making it hard not to at least consider him every time out, so let’s look at this objectively. Here are the facts:

  • The Cubs’ wOBA ranks third in all of baseball against LHP
  • Although the Cubs strike out at a rate above 25 percent against RHP (ranks second in baseball), their strikeout rate is only 21.70 percent against LHP
  • Cubs rank in the top ten of wRC+, BB rate, AVG, OBP, hard hit percentage, and line drive percentage versus LHP
  • Wrigley Field has played as the number two hitters’ ballpark over the past two seasons, behind only Coors Field

With all of this information, this means the Cubs make for a below average matchup for lefties overall. All that being said, this is still one of the best three pitchers in baseball at worst. He has the stuff to dominate any team on any given night, so if he’s on, you can essentially throw the matchup out the window. Just know if you are rostering Kershaw, and you definitely still should be, that it’s a slightly more volatile situation than usual.

Felix Hernandez, Mariners, $21,300 – A lot of the same ideologies mentioned in the Kershaw tidbit apply to Felix Hernandez in this slate as well. The Royals make analyzing an opposing pitcher against them difficult. “Upside” is not a term that can be thrown around for an opponent of theirs, considering they have by far the lowest strike out rate against RHP (15.90 percent). They also own the third highest AVG against RHP of any team: .272. The weird part is they do not walk (5.50 BB percentage) and rank in the bottom ten of hard hit percentage. Everywhere else (all other statistical categories), they rank in the middle third of the league. This game probably will not be a double digit strikeout game for Hernandez, but he likely won’t walk anyone either. The good news is he’ll be pitching at home in pitcher-friendly Safeco Field, where he has produced a 2.59 ERA and allowed .169 opponents’ AVG in 2015. He’s a fine cash option, but probably will not be worth the price tag unless he goes at least eight innings (which is obviously a possibility every time out for “the King”).

Michael Pineda, Yankees, $19,100 – The upper echelon starting pitcher that comes equipped with the best matchup on Monday is Michael Pineda. Coming off of a 6.2 IP, one ER gem, Pineda is likely to be nearly 100 percent owned in cash games, so it actually could be a night that using Kershaw and/or Hernandez is actually contrarian. Pineda faces the Phillies and their doormat offense against righties. Playing devil’s advocate, they are coming off of a season high nine runs against the Cardinals, and four were off of starter Michael Wacha. Yankee Stadium is not exactly a pitching-friendly venue, so there is risk of a routine fly ball leaving the yard. With Pineda’s filthy stuff, I would just go ahead an use him anyways, because the Phillies nine run outburst is more an outlier than a trend. They should be back to struggling to score runs in no time… like this game for instance.

Tommy Milone, Twins, $12,000 – Amazingly, as bad as the Phillies rate against RHP, the White Sox are far worse against LHP. I didn’t think it was possible, but they’re literally a whole tier worse. In essence, there is absolutely no better matchup a pitcher can face than a lefty against the Sox. While the Phillies rank dead last in wOBA against RHP with a .273 tally, the White Sox against LHP only own a .233 wOBA. The Phillies hit .230 off of RHP, while the White Sox hit .202 against LHP. As a team, the White Sox OBP is lower than 19 teams’ AVG against LHP. Milone is no great pitcher by any means, but he shouldn’t face much of a fight in this one and should throw a solid game almost by default.

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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