The Yelich-y and Scratchy Show

Lefties feast off of Chad Billingsley, so expect Christian Yelich to participate in some eating of his own. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster.

Infield:

Matt Carpenter, Cardinals, $8,100 – The reason Bartolo Colon is still able to pitch at a reasonably high level in the major leagues is because of his ability to pound the strike zone with his fastball. This season, only Max Scherzer (71.1 percent) and Phil Hughes (70.9 percent) have thrown a higher percentage of strikes than Colon (70.0 percent). If he’s going to be throwing fastballs for strikes, Matt Carpenter’s eyes are going to light up. Of all qualified Cardinals hitters this season, none have fared better against fastballs than Carpenter according to FanGraphs pitch type linear weights. Oh by the way, Carpenter holds a .389 wOBA, .296 AVG and .414 OBP against RHP this year and is 4-12 off Colon in his career with a bomb. Colon is simply the ideal matchup for a contact hitter such as Carpenter, and Kolten Wong warrants consideration as well.

Asdrubal Cabrera, Rays, $5,400 – My views on batter versus pitcher (BvP) data are that they are only helpful to confirm what we already know, but the exception is against knuckleballers. The pitch is seen so rarely that I believe it takes a specific skill, or even patience, to be able to hit the pitch. In 16 career ABs versus Saturday’s probable R.A. Dickey, Asdrubal Cabrera has managed six hits (.375 AVG), including four extra base hits… two of which left the park. He also has walked three times and only struck out once, which tells me he sees the ball well against Dickey. He’s not a great option on most nights, but he clearly has found his power stroke in this matchup before, so use him as a punt. UPDATE: I must have missed the Asdrubal Cabrera DL news a few days back, so please do not use him. Evan Longoria and Logan Forsythe become the preferred plays against Dickey if you are looking for a Rays hitter.

Outfield:

Charlie Blackmon, Rockies, – The Rockies rank as the number-one wOBA average team versus RHP this season and Charlie Blackmon is a big part of the reason why. Only Nolan Arenado’s .403 wOBA versus righties ranks higher and only Nick Hundley has a higher AVG. Blackmon possesses a skill that neither of the other two mentioned do: the ability to steal bases. In a matchup against Tyson Ross, who has allowed the most stolen bases of any starting pitcher, it is quite an important asset. With 20 SB against RHP (and 23 overall), he’s the greatest threat to run the Rockies have. With all kinds of categorical upside, he warrants cash consideration even against a solid opposing starter… even outside of Coors Field.

Christian Yelich, Marlins, $7,200 – Among all qualified starting pitchers, the greatest opposing wOBA to left-handed hitters being allowed is Sean O’Sullivan’s .485 mark. Although he has only thrown 11.2 innings against lefties, O’Sullivan’s teammate Chad Billingsley actually has pitched worse. The .492 wOBA allowed would lead the major leagues, but the .429/.463/.683 slash line is just absurd. Start any and every left-handed hitter against Billingsley that you can find. Christian Yelich will likely hit third like he did on Friday and therefore should be in the middle of all the offense produced. He also possesses some speed which would be a factor if Carlos Ruiz were to catch over the much superior defensive catcher Cameron Rupp. Look for Yelich to shoot laser beams off his bat against Billingsley, who will be lucky to last long in this game, even against the lowly Marlins.

Pitcher:

Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers, $23,900 – Since Clayton Kershaw was supposed to pitch yesterday and did not, I am just going to copy and paste yesterday’s tidbit since it still applies: “He’s simply worth consideration every time out. The Nationals are a middle-of-the-road team versus lefties, but it doesn’t even matter. Kershaw’s stuff is so nasty that he has the upside of the top starting pitcher on any given night, as evident by leading the majors in strikeouts. If the bats fit, use Kershaw plain and simple, especially in cash formats.”

Michael Pineda, Yankees, $20,100 – Yankee Stadium is a difficult place to pitch (ranks inside the top-nine hitters parks over the past two seasons) but Michael Pineda has made himself at home. Last season, Pineda posted a 1.59 ERA at home in six starts (compared to 2.21 on the road) and he has continued that trend this season: 3.21 ERA at home as opposed to 4.11 on the road. Allowing a .300-plus AVG on the road, Pineda has buckled down at home and held opponents to .249. The Mariners ranks as a bottom-nine wOBA team versus RHP and also strike out at the fifth-highest percentage. Pineda relies on the strike out, as evident by his 111 Ks in 106.1 IP. If Pineda can avoid the long ball (Mariners’ .159 ISO ranks seventh), he should be able to put together another solid effort in the Bronx.

Francisco Liriano, Pirates, $19,800 – Only the Chicago White Sox own a lower wOBA versus LHP than the Milwaukee Brewers. Francisco Liriano has struck out the seventh-most batters in baseball with the ninth-highest K/9. In one previous start against Milwaukee, Liriano allowed six baserunners in eight innings with six Ks. He did allow three earned runs and ended up with the loss. Even on the road, Liriano and the Pirates are favored over Jimmy Nelson, which signifies how much faith Vegas has in the left-hander. If looking for an excellent complement to Kershaw in all-day slates, or even cheaper alternative, Liriano is your man. He’s the best pitcher of the night in terms of value.

John Lackey, Cardinals, $16,800 – The New York Mets are not an especially offensively-savvy ball club. Against RHP, they rank second-to-last in wOBA, rank bottom-10 of wRC+, ISO, AVG, OBP and strike out 20.50 percent of the time (eighth most). Lance Lynn threw a solid game against them yesterday and the offense will have the benefit of facing Bartolo Colon instead of one of the young studs. The over/under in this ballgame is seven and the Cardinals opened as -145 favorites. Lackey is a bit of a revelation this season, as this would be his lowest ERA since 2007 if it held. I’ve never “met” a solid right-handed pitcher I wouldn’t consider against New York’s National League team (see what I did there?).

Garrett Richards, Angels, $16,000 – Sometimes you need to take a risk in order to win. There is no doubt the Boston Red Sox are a formidable foe as they rank in the top 10 of WOBA, wRC+, BB rate, AVG and OBP against RHP. David Oritz has made a career out of mashing righties. However, Garrett Richards has a few things going for him in this matchup that I feel outweigh the negatives. For one, Richards will square off against a pitcher (Rick Porcello) suffering through a miserable season. Porcello’s 5.90 ERA would easily be a career worst, and the Angels big bats should be able to produce some runs against him at home. Secondly, Richards’ ERA at home is more than two runs less (2.25 at home versus 4.73 on the road). When the line comes out, the Angels will likely open as pretty decent favorites. The start may not come stress-free, but I think he pulls out the victory. He is best suited for tournaments.

 

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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