The Grandy Man Can

Curtis Granderson and the entire Mets’ offense should inspire optimism on Wednesday against Eddie Butler at home. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster.

Infield:

Adrian Gonzalez, Dodgers, $9,600 (Night) – Keyvius Sampson has impressed in three major league starts thus far. In 12.0 IP at the big-league level, Sampson has produced a 1-1 record with a 3.00 ERA and 12 Ks. In my opinion, this will not continue, considering he owns a career 4.17 ERA and 1.34 WHIP in the minors. He produced a 5.08 ERA in 39.0 IP in AAA this season and 6.40 overall in his AAA career (168.2 IP). The FIP and xFIP are solid to this point, but I think the wheels are about ready to fall off. Facing the Dodgers should help prompt a quick regression, because they’re baseball’s third-ranked wOBA team versus RHP. With Justin Turner DL’d, Adrian Gonzalez’s .393 wOBA leads the team against RHP and his .252 ISO ranks second to just Alex Guerrero. He’ll be a staple in my cash games, but contains the upside necessary for tournament play as well.

Prince Fielder, Rangers, $8,700 (Day) – Those who have ever watched baseball before realize Prince Fielder’s ability as a hitter… specifically against RHP. He’s one of the best hitters of the recent era against RHP (and overall). Of all hitters with at least 100 career ABs against RHP, Fielder’s .404 wOBA ranks behind only David Ortiz, Joey Votto, Mike Trout and Albert Pujols. Opposing starter Ervin Santana is the personification of inconsistency. Take his last three starts for instance: 5.2 IP with eight runs, six IP with three runs and 2.1 IP with eight runs. For the season, he owns a 5.40 ERA and 1.44 WHIP, which signifies how vulnerable he should be to a dangerous, left-handed Rangers lineup. None of them have a better chance to take advantage than the savvy veteran Fielder.

Outfield:

Curtis Granderson, Mets, $8,400 (Day) – Guess who I am picking on once again? Eddie Butler is literally my favorite player to target hitters against because of his giving nature. Butler walked four in his last outing to go with his usual array of hits allowed (eight in six IP). His BB-rate is up to 4.90 per nine innings to pair with his miserable 4.78 K/9. LHHs are slashing .333/.452/.582 against him, which is where Curtis Granderson comes into play. Granderson leads off, so he’ll theoretically have the most opportunities against Butler. He leads the team in wOBA against RHP this season (.370), including the new acquisitions to the offense. Last but not least, he is left-handed, which is Butler’s weakness (if you can call allowing righties to hit .290 his “strength”). This matchup is an absolute slam dunk and Granderson is my number-one rated hitter on the slate, despite battling pitcher-friendly Citi Field.

Kole Calhoun, Angels, $8,000 (Night) – Among qualified pitchers, Jeremy Guthrie’s 5.84 ERA ranks third-worst in baseball and worst in the American League. He is allowing 1.44 HR/9 with a meager 4.55 K/9. Pitching to contact is a decent idea when you have serious sink on your pitches and you force hitters to pound the ball into the ground in a way similar to Dallas Keuchel. It is not a good idea if you’re allowing hard contact; Guthrie’s 26.8 line drive percentage allowed ranks dead last in baseball and proves his .328 BABIP allowed is no joke. The reason I think Kole Calhoun is the play at his price, even over Mike Trout (in terms of value), is because he leads the Angels in line drive percentage against RHP (24.20 percent). If Guthrie has a propensity to allow laser beams and Calhoun is the one most likely to provide it, then I like the odds of Calhoun smoking the ball all over the field.

Pitcher:

Noah Syndergaard, Mets, $21,600 (Day) – Hopefully the recency bias comes into play in this one. What is the recency bias? It’s when people remember being burned by a recent occurrence and let it cloud their thoughts. Noah Syndergaard got lit up by the Rays in his last outing, which is surprising the say the least. The Rays are one of the best possible matchups for opposing RHP, so I can understand why people would be upset with him. However, it’s time to take him off double secret probation and insert him back into your lineup against a struggling Rockies team. The team ranks as the number one wOBA team against RHP this season, but that’s not so scary when you take a deeper look. The team has hit .303 at home this season versus .239 on the road. Citi Field is one of the worst handful of hitters’ parks in baseball. In the first two games of the series, the Rockies have scored just two runs, so they are finding out just how difficult the negative park shift can be. Syndergaard is oozing with talent, including great strikeout potential, so he can be utilized in all formats despite the elevated price.

Francisco Liriano, Pirates, $21,300 (Night) – The Cardinals have sat atop ESPN’s Power Rankings for 11 consecutive weeks. Facing off against them is never totally ideal, but if you’re going to use a pitcher against them, lefties are always preferable. You cannot really quantify “the will to win,” but the Cardinals dependably find ways to come out on top. With that being said, the Cardinals rank in the bottom 10 of wOBA, wRC+, AVG and line drive percentage against LHP, while striking out at the third-highest percentage (23.80 percent). Francisco Liriano has relied heavily on the strikeout this season (highest K-rate in any season as a starting pitcher as opposed to reliever), so facing K-prone teams are key when considering him. He also is producing the lowest BB-rate he has generated since 2010. On a short slate without many elite options to choose from, look no further than Liriano in an important divisional matchup.

Jon Lester, Cubs, $20,800 (Day) – Similar to Tyson Ross a few weeks ago, the Brewers present a favorable matchup for Jon Lester because they hardly run. Lester and Ross rank first and second in stolen bases allowed, but the Brewers only have two real speed threats: Jean Segura and Ryan Braun. Beyond the two of them, they literally have nothing. The Brewers also sport the third-lowest wOBA against LHP and rank in the bottom 10 of wRC+, BB rate, AVG, OBP and line drive percentage. You couldn’t ask for a better possible matchup if rostering the Cubs’ ace, so make sure to take advantage while you can.

Trevor Bauer, Indians, $18,900 (Night) – “Bauer power” will toe the mound against the New York Yankees. Just hearing the term “New York Yankees” may scare one away from the matchup, but they are absolutely ice cold right now. The Yankees were amidst a streak of five consecutive games with two runs scored or less (including two shutouts and two games of one run) when they headed to Cleveland on Tuesday. On Tuesday evening, they lost a heartbreaking game 5-4 in the 16th inning and then returned to their recent woeful ways offensively on Wednesday (lost 2-1 to Danny Salazar). If you believe in streaks whatsoever, you’ll want to take advantage of this offense while they’re down. It’s a leap of faith, but I think Trevor Bauer has a decent shot to extend the Yankees recent offensive drought and produce value at his price.

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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