Mr. Jones and Me

Adam Jones leads the team in wOBA against LHP this season so don’t even dream of fading him. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster.

Infield:

Joey Votto, Reds $8,800 – Strangely enough (even pitching in a pitcher’s ballpark), Ian Kennedy has been getting roasted at home. His ERA in Petco Park sits at 5.26 while his ERA on the road sits at 3.81. The HR ball has hurt him everywhere but he’s allowed 14 in 10 home starts compared to 10 allowed in 10 starts on the road. On a team full of sluggers, Joey Votto leads the Reds in both wOBA and ISO against RHP. His 16 HR against RHP are tied for the team lead with Todd Frazier who has been ice cold since the All-Star Break. Votto walks at a ridiculous 18.40 percent rate and hits the ball hard 40.90 percent of the time against righties. Hell, he’s even stolen six bases against RHP so there’s just so many ways he can contribute/score fantasy points. The safety dictates he’s a viable cash option. However, the fact that he possesses serious power against a starter struggling with the long ball means he’s worthy of tournament consideration as well. With no clear cut expensive SP2 on the slate, Votto belongs in all lineups.

Ryan Howard, Phillies, $7,600 – Speaking of power hitters, the man who once hit 198 HRs in a four year span is worth rostering on Monday. Rubby De La Rosa has fared quite well against RHHs this season: .207/.263/.318 slash line allowed with .257 wOBA, 3.24 FIP, 2.91 xFIP and 8.32 K/9. On the other hand, lefties have crushed him to the tune of a .303/.360/.571 slash line with .399 wOBA, 6.38 FIP, 4.59 xFIP and 6.49 K/9. Ryan Howard is by far the Phillies’ most dangerous left-handed threat as his ISO ranks behind only Jeff Franceour’s this season. Howard’s .351 wOBA ranks third on the team but his 16 HR versus RHP doubles the output of the next best (Franceour and Maikel Franco both have eight). Not only would I roster Howard due to the matchup but I would bet his home run prop because he probably has the best chance of anyone on the slate to leave the yard.

Outfield:

Adam Jones, Orioles, $8,100 – The transition from reliever to starter did not go so smoothly in try number one for Vidal Nuno. On Aug. 4 at Coors Field, Nuno lasted only 3.2 IP (62 pitches) with seven baserunners (including two HRs) and three ER. Odds are he’ll be stretched out slightly longer in his second spot start in place of the traded J.A. Happ but reaching the 100 pitch plateau remains unlikely. In Nuno’s short career (58 games), he sports an ERA 80 points higher as a starter (4.15 in 32 starts) than as a reliever (3.35 in 26 appearances). Adam Jones leads the Orioles with a .373 wOBA and .313 AVG against LHP. The only downside to the matchup is the fact that he may only face Nuno once or twice before he is pulled and the game will be played in Safeco Field. Still I think Jones is solid enough to hold his own against the bullpen as well and manages a few frozen ropes regardless of who is pitching. Therefore, he rates as one of the safest hitters of the night.

David Peralta, Diamondbacks, $8,000 – Not mentioned in the Howard tidbit is the fact that the Phillies/Diamondbacks game opened as the largest over/under of the slate. Both De La Rosa and Aaron Harang’s ERAs sit above 4.10 and Chase Field has played as an above average hitters’ park this season so the line makes sense. Much like De La Rosa, Harang was struggled against LHHs although not quite to the same degree. Harang is “only” allowing a .343 wOBA to lefties but most notably a .360 OBP. David Peralta is coming off a game where he went 5-5 all against RHPs. With Paul Goldschmidt struggling, he’s the team’s best bet against righties on a night-to-night basis due to his upper-echelon skills (.373 wOBA and team leading .230 ISO versus RHP). The matchup with Harang should scare you about as much as this kid scares the baby (not at all).

Pitcher:

Chris Sale, White Sox, $23,400 – Since Chris Sale’s streak of at least 10-plus strikeouts in nine of 10 games ended, he has struck out double digit hitters in just one of his last six games. If you were feeling optimistic Sale was about to start a new streak in this one, it won’t be an easy task. The Angels strike out at the fifth lowest rate against LHP (18.50 percent). Fortunately, that’s the extent of the bad news in terms of the matchup. The Angels rank 21st in wOBA and in the lower half of wRC+, ISO, BB rate, AVG, OBP, hard hit percentage and line drive percentage against lefties. Mike Trout and Albert Pujols are obviously very dangerous hitters but it just feels like Sale has struggled for too long. A top notch start is on the horizon, and while it may not be this start, I feel very confident he strikes out enough hitters to be relevant. He’ll likely be heavily owned in cash so it’s probably the smart move just to use him to not fall behind the pack in case he goes off. If he gets hammered, well, at least he got hammered in everybody’s lineup.

Brett Anderson, Dodgers, $14,100 – Brett Anderson hasn’t allowed an ERA greater than 3.14 in any month since April. The problem is he’s only thrown 100 pitches five times in 21 starts and the last one came on Jun. 26. That leaves his upside at seven innings and he’ll only get there if he keeps an efficient pitch count. Still the ERA (3.06) and WHIP (1.28) are respectable and he draws a matchup against the Nationals in pitcher friendly Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers opened as -127 favorites against Gio Gonzalez in a game with an over/under of seven. The Nationals rank in the lower half of just about every statistical category. Anderson should be expected to throw a solid game; I’m just not sure that outing will last very long or include very many strikeouts. For that reason, he’s a cash game option only.

Jonathon Niese, Mets, $13,500 – The name that stands out to me as a SP2 tomorrow is Jonathon Niese at home against the Colorado Rockies. Although the Rockies rank first in wOBA against RHP, they rank dead last in wOBA against LHP. Pretty crazy huh? Citi Field is arguably baseball’s most pitcher friendly stadium and the Mets will square off against a rookie who only lasted four IP in his debut (Jon Gray). Niese suffered through a poor May but has since pitched two straight months with 3.00 ERAs or less…and he began August with seven IP, five baserunners, one ER and a win. He has as many things going for him as anyone and also saves a whole bundle of salary. Why not?

David Holmberg, Reds, $9,300 – Trying to go for the gold and get really risky? Look no further than David Holmberg and his minor league career 3.68 ERA and 1.33 WHIP. Here are the positives in his matchup:

  1. He pitches in Petco Park
  2. He faces the Padres who rank in the bottom 10 of wOBA, wRC+, ISO, AVG and OBP
  3. The Padres strike out the second most of any team against LHP
  4. Vegas lists the over/under at seven which is tied for the lowest of the night

He’s not incredibly talented but if those facts are enough for you to take the chance then go get ‘em killer! I’ll probably have a share or two just in case he is the fantasy baseball equivalent of a winning lottery ticket.

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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