Send a Tex Message (But Not While Driving)

Switch-hitting Mark Teixeira favors hitting left-handed and will have a chance to do so on Wednesday night against Colby Lewis. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster

Infield:
Jason Kipnis, Indians (Day) – Jason Kipnis
is amidst an All-Star season, so the arguments to start him are always stronger the arguments to fade him. Taking a closer look at the numbers, Kipnis has enjoyed substantially more success against RHP than LHP this season; he’s hitting 111 points higher against righties. He also sports a .455 OBP and .564 SLG against RHP with eight of his 11 SB. Jeremy Guthrie’s 5.35 ERA ranks sixth-worst in baseball among qualified starters and the 4.72 FIP ranks eighth-worst. In other words, he hasn’t been pitching well and it cannot be blamed on bad luck. Guthrie’s 4.68 K/9 suggests he pitches toward contact. If that’s how he is attempting to get Kipnis out, he’ll likely fail, because Kipnis’ 27.60 line-drive percentage leads the team. You’d be hard-pressed to find a safer bet for a cash option during the daytime.

Mark Teixeira, Yankees (Night) – Call NASA’s mission control because this feels like blast off for Mark Teixeira. The Yankees draw a matchup against Colby Lewis in the third game of the series in the Great American Ballpark. Here is a situation where you can completely throw out previous batter-versus-pitcher (BvP) data; Teixeira is a career 0-5 against Lewis. For one, Lewis’ season ERA at home sits at 4.95 as opposed to 4.11 on the road. Secondly, he has been blown up on a few occasions in July enroute to a 5.88 ERA for the month. The Yankees rank sixth-overall in wOBA against RHP, and no regular sports a higher wOBA against the handedness than Teixeira’s .400 mark… in fact nobody comes close (Alex Rodriguez is second: .375). Facing a soft-tossing righty on his more comfortable side of the plate, do not be surprised if Tex sends a message to Timbuktu. UPDATE: Teixeira was 50/50 to return to the lineup after being hit in the foot but will not start tonight. Therefore, Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury and Brian McCann make for the best plays along with A-Rod.

Outfield:

Chris Coghlan, Cubs (Day) – There’s seemingly an endless supply of opposing pitchers to stack against on this day. Eddie Butler is a favorite target of mine because he pitches to contact, walks too many hitters and allows the long ball… three very appealing aspects if rostering opposing hitters. The road has been much kinder to Butler than home: 5.96 in Coors versus 3.89 away from hitters’ heaven. Wrigley Field still ranks as a top-five hitters’ park, and the Cubs struggle with strikeout pitchers. If the opposing pitcher is allowing their big bats to put the ball in play, well, we’ve all seen what Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant can do. But don’t forget about Chris Coghlan. His .346 wOBA ranks third among regulars with at least 20 AB versus RHP this season. He’s significantly cheaper than the other two, but you can consider the Cubs’ offense a top-stack option. I wouldn’t mind starting any or all of them in a game against a guy they should smack around.

Randal Grichuk, Cardinals (Night) – Note: Randal Grichuk has sat out the last few games with a sore groin, but I think there’s a chance he’s back for Wednesday’s game. St. Louis opened this contest as a -168 favorite at home in a game with an over/under of 7.5. John Lackey’s ERA sits at an impressive 2.88, so it’s pretty clear Vegas envisions the Cardinals scoring most of the runs. Anthony DeSclafani has been susceptible to lefties this season (.341 wOBA) and has held righties mostly in check (.290 wOBA). I know Grichuk is an RHH, and the team possesses rock-solid lefties in Matt Carpenter/Kolten Wong (both in play), but I like Grichuk for a few reasons. Like the Cubs, Grichuk struggles with strikeout pitchers, as he’s struck out 31.10 percent of the time against RHP. DeSclafani has only K’d 42 righties in 53.1 IP, which equates to a 7.09 K/9. If a RHP isn’t going to strike out Grichuk, then he’s likely to inflict some damage. He leads the team in wOBA (.379) and ISO (.289) against RHP, so he possesses the necessary upside for tournaments. At his price, he’ll be worth rostering even in his first game returning from an injury. If he’s out of the lineup, go with Matt Holliday and/or the previously mentioned left-handed infielders. UPDATE: Grichuk is in the lineup and hitting seventh.

Pitcher:
Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers (Night) –
Even with the season Chris Sale has had thus far, Clayton Kershaw still leads all of baseball in strikeouts. He also leads baseball in K/9 and FIP, but I mean c’mon, we all know he is the GOAT. The dilemma here isn’t deciding whether he is talented enough to start, but rather whether he is worth the $24,600 price tag. As always, Kershaw sits as a heavy favorite (-280), and the game is projected as the lowest scoring of the day (over/under of six). The Athletics rank 19th in wOBA against LHP for the season and their .127 ISO ranks in the bottom ten of all teams. They don’t strike out very often (second lowest against LHP), but they also don’t face Kershaw very often. I think he’s as safe as it comes in cash games, but isn’t the ideal tournament option in theory. If the Athletics aren’t striking out, he doesn’t possess the upside to support the cost, but I have an inkling the dominant pitcher will win out in this game. No one will criticize you for using him because he’s the best and virtually matchup proof. UPDATE: Clayton Kershaw has been scratched. Eliminate him from contention in your daily lineup.

Felix Hernandez (Day) – Death, taxes, Bob Uecker telling funny stories and Felix Hernandez during the daytime. During the daytime this season, Hernandez’s ERA sits at 1.72. He’s been virtually unhittable when the sun’s out and his splits also favor pitching at home. This game fits both of those qualifications, and he’ll square off against the virtually neutral Diamondbacks. Against RHP, they rank just about average in every single category across the board, including K-rate. Hernandez just morphs into a different beast during the day and will not allow anything/anyone to faze him. He’s the best play of the day if playing the all-day slate.

Jon Lester (Day) – Not holding runners is frustrating, and Charlie Blackmon will not hesitate to run if he gets on base, but it’s wise to still strongly consider rostering Jon Lester. While the Rockies rank as baseball’s top wOBA versus RHP, they rank in the bottom 10 against LHP. They also rank bottom-10 in wRC+ and ISO while striking out at the fourth-highest percentage. I can’t imagine losing Troy Tulowitzki will help their wOBA or ISO in the long run, so the matchup actually has probably become slightly more favorable. Lester has slightly preferred pitching on the road this season, but he also has preferred pitching during the daytime. In other words, the split stats are a wash. Therefore, feel confident starting Lester against a bad offense versus southpaws, but just root hard for him to retire Blackmon and Jose Reyes every time up. If they reach base on a single or a walk, they’ll likely end up on second very shortly thereafter.

Jose Quintana (Night) – Yes, both Chicago starters are in play on Wednesday, partially due to the recently awakened White Sox offense. Wade Miley, who was absolutely roasted by the White Sox on Tuesday night, possessed the lowest ERA of any starter the White Sox will face in the series (4.33). Rick Porcello will take the mound opposite of Jose Quintana, and he currently sports a 5.51 ERA. The White Sox favor hitting RHP, so they’ll likely produce a fair amount of run support yet again. Furthermore, the Red Sox rank in the bottom 10 of wOBA, wRC+, AVG and OBP versus LHP, and Quintana is fresh off throwing a gem. Ride both his and the offense’s momentum into hopefully another White Sox victory.

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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