Good Luck Grichuk

Take Cardinals’ hitters such as Randal Grichuk all the way to the bank against White Sox starter John Danks. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster.

Infield:

Michael McKenry/Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies (Day) – Look at the track record of Matt Moore since returning from Tommy John surgery. In four starts, he has yet to pitch into the sixth inning and has allowed at least three ER in each. As of now, he is nowhere near the pitcher he once was, likely due to the long lay-off and the need to rebuild his arm strength. I think we are looking at something similar with Martin Perez, who will be going through game two of this phase in Coors Field. It pretty much goes without saying at this point, but targeting hitters in Coors is a very good idea. The best hitters the Rockies have to offer against LHP this season are Michael McKenry (.495 wOBA) and Troy Tulowitzki (.432 wOBA). Both players are hitting over .310 against lefties with an ISO of .220-plus. I made sure to incorporate Tulowitzki into this tidbit as well in case McKenry ends up out of the lineup because, you know, he’s a catcher. If I had to choose one, McKenry is a much better value as he is only priced at $5,400. That price is highway robbery.

Brian Dozier, Twins, $8,800 (Night) – Speaking of hitters who make a living demolishing lefties, Brian Dozier is the Twins’ wOBA carrer-leader against southpaws. The Twins will take on the Angels and C.J. Wilson for second game of the series in Angel Stadium. Vegas had the Angels open as -175 favorites in an eight-run game, but that is mostly because career gas can Mike Pelfrey will oppose them. Dozier leads off and therefore has the best shot to accumulate five ABs. Although the sample size is limited, Dozier is 3-5 with two RBI in prior meetings against Wilson, which basically confirms what we already know. All lefties are a great matchup for Dozier and he possesses both power and speed upside so the floor is there in cash games. He’ll likely end up as a contrarian option due to the Vegas line but that doesn’t bother me one bit. I’ll still be using him.

Outfield:

Michael Brantley, Indians, $9,300 (Day) – If just checking box scores from last night, you may glance over Michael Brantley’s 1-3 and think nothing of it. If you were watching the game however, you would have noticed Brantley hit a rope every time up. This is not surprising considering only Norichika Aoki has a lower career strikeout rate against RHP among hitters (min. 50 AB) than Brantley in all of baseball. He actually rates as the toughest hitter for RHP to strike out this season with a 5.70 K percentage. So the fact that he was putting balls in play and hitting them hard was nothing new. On Wednesday he’ll face off against Kyle Lohse and his career 5.8 K/9 and 4.31 FIP. Essentially Lohse has pitched to contact all of his career and the results have been consistently sub-par. It’s the perfect matchup for a contact hitter such as Brantley, and one that almost assuredly will lead to double-digit fantasy points. He should be a building block for daytime and all-day cash lineups.

Randal Grichuk, Cardinals, $8,100 (Night) – Every single time John Danks pitches there will be hitters I look to target against him. Leading the Cardinals in both wOBA and AVG against LHP this season is none other than the 23 year-old sensation, Randal Grichuk. Guys like Matt Holliday and Jhonny Peralta are certainly in play as well, but neither of them have registered a SLG over .500 like Grichuk has. Factor in the .242 ISO and this is an elite hitter against LHP facing one of the worst left-handed starters in baseball. Oh, by the way, the Cardinals opened as -137 favorites in an eight-run ballgame. St. Louis managed eight runs off the superior talent Carlos Rodon, so one can only fathom what they’ll do to Danks.

Pitcher:

Lance Lynn, Cardinals, $19,200 (Night) – On Tuesday night, the White Sox managed five runs off of Michael Wacha in a losing effort. The five runs ballooned Wacha’s ERA up to 3.20. Lance Lynn will head into Wednesday night’s game with a lower ERA and FIP than Wacha had prior to Tuesday, as well as a much higher K rate. In fact, Lynn strikes out 2.5 more batters per nine innings than Wacha (9.7 versus 7.2). This is important against a team that ranks in the top ten of line-drive percentage against RHP. Wacha was pitching more to contact, whereas Lynn will be looking to strike batters out and the White Sox K rate at the 14th highest versus righties. The Sox also rank in the bottom ten of wOBA, wRC+, ISO, BB rate, AVG, OBP and hard hit percentage, so hopefully the five runs were a mirage. Strikeout pitchers match up better against the White Sox than those who pitch to contact, so I like Lynn’s prospects Wednesday more than I liked Wacha’s heading into last night.

Jose Fernandez, Marlins, $19,200 (Night) – The way Jose Fernandez has looked since returning from the disabled list, I would start him against the 1927 Yankees. He is simply one of the nastiest pitchers in the game. Unlike the aforementioned Matt Moore and Martin Perez, Fernandez is a freak and apparently does not need an extended period to once again perfect his craft post-injury. No, the craft is simply second nature and it has shown in his 2.37 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 21 Ks in 19.0 IP. The Diamondbacks rank 15th in wOBA versus RHP, so they’re a neutral matchup. The great news for Fernandez is that they strike out at the 10th-highest percentage (20.20) and rank in the bottom ten of wRC+ and ISO. Ender Inciarte’s recent activation from the disabled list will not help Fernandez’s cause, but he’s so good it’s not even worth over-analyzing the matchup.

Jordan Zimmermann, Nationals, $16,800 (Day) – Sign me up for most pitchers against the Mets, so when it’s a former All-Star, just “set it and forget it.” Jordan Zimmermann has only averaged 15.07 fantasy points per game this season after averaging 16.34, 18.60 and 19.71 in his past three seasons respectively. He’s struggling due to an inflated hit rate (9.6 H/9) and slightly depressed K rate (6.5 K/9). Either he has experienced a decline in skills, he’s hurting or he just needs the right matchup to rectify the season numbers. Considering he is only 29 years old, I am betting on the last and what better elixir than the lowly Mets. They’ve been the worst offense over the past 30 days and for the season and rank second-to-last in wOBA against RHP behind the Phillies. What more needs to be said?

Jake Odorizzi, Rays, $16,000 (Day) – Remember when I said the Phillies ranked dead-last in wOBA to RHP? That was awesome. Even more awesome is the fact that we’re able to roster a pitcher like Jake Odorizzi against this bottom-feeding offense. Odorizzi spots a sub-3.00 ERA, sub 1.10 WHIP and has struck out 69 batters in 86.2 IP. The Rays offense feasts on LHP and they’ll face young left-hander Adam Morgan. All the ducks are in a row for Tampa Bay to come away with the victory on the road, as they have opened as the largest favorite of the day slate and third highest of the day despite being on the road. There’s simply no reason to consider fading him especially in cash games.

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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