Chuck Norris has Nothing on Chuck Nazty

Charlie Blackmon, aka Chuck Nazty, counted to infinity twice. He also belongs in your lineup on Friday. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster.

Infield:

Robinson Cano, Mariners, $8,000 – The Mariners will experience a rather large positive park shift when they head from Safeco Field to Fenway Park. Over the past two seasons, Fenway Park has allowed a .262 AVG to LHHs, which ranks fifth in baseball. Other than the sidelined Nelson Cruz, Robinson Cano ranks as the team’s best hitter (among qualified hitters) against fastballs this season, according to FanGraphs’ pitch type linear weights. Only seven pitchers (min. 80 IP) have thrown a greater percentage of fastballs this season than opposing starter Joe Kelly: Lance Lynn, Bartolo Colon, Mike Pelfrey, Doug Fister, Charlie Morton, Danny Salazar and John Lackey. As you can see, Kelly relies on his 95.6 mph average velocity fastball (sixth-fastest in baseball among pitchers with min. 80 IP), and Cano should be able to take advantage. Fenway Park plays favorably to LHHs except for allowing HRs. However, the park is still friendly down the right field line, and when Cano gets a hold of one, it’s usually a dead pull. For these reasons, I think he is oozing with upside in this matchup and still possesses the ability to hit one out.

Kolten Wong, Cardinals, $7,400 – Matt Carpenter and Kolten Wong are always a difficult choice when facing a RHP. Carpenter’s skills have been sharper this season, but the difference in price continues to leave Wong as the better value. Carpenter is priced as one of the game’s best hitters, and he’s having a monster season, but I do not think this continues. If Carpenter’s 13.3 percent HR/FB rate held, it would finish as his highest rate in any season by almost double (7.0 percent is his previous career high). Both his line drive percentage and SLG are reasonably in line with his career average, so I’m not sold paying for his skills consistently is a profitable move. On the other hand, Wong is priced fairly (.347 wOBA, .172 ISO and .282 AVG versus RHP), and the Cardinals draw the struggling Tom Koehler. In Koehler’s past three starts, he has pitched 16.1 IP with a 0-3 record and 7.71 ERA. Wong will likely hit second, which will offer him plenty of opportunities to take swings against a below-average opponent. You’ve got to love him in cash games.

Outfield:

Charlie Blackmon, Rockies, $9,200 – Usually I don’t choose to target hitters against Tyson Ross in cash because I respect his skills. Nevertheless, it’s hard to overlook the fact that Ross will be pitching in the polar opposite park to Petco Park: Coors Field. Many pitchers, including even Clayton Kershaw, have had a hard time maximizing their talent in this near-impossible pitching environment. A lot of Charlie Blackmon’s skills match up nicely against Tyson Ross. For one, Ross walks the most batters per nine innings of any qualified starter and Blackmon walks the second most of any regular on the Rockies. Also, Ross has allowed the second most stolen bases in baseball and Blackmon is the team’s best base stealer (29 SB). Finally, Blackmon’s .383 wOBA against RHP ranks second on the team. Ever heard the term “if you don’t use it, you lose it”? Little known fact: what that popular term was referring to was actually “if you don’t use Blackmon in this matchup, you lose the money.”

Preston Tucker, Astros, $7,900 – Ah, Preston Tucker, we meet again. I seem to recommend this guy more than most, but why not? Even as the sample size is growing, the wOBA is holding strong at .380 against RHP, which is the best tally on the team (min. 70 ABs versus RHP). More importantly, the Astros will be facing a pitcher dealing with a groin strain that has hindered his performance over the past few starts. Alfredo Simon has surrendered 10 runs over his last 12.1 IP and will be experiencing a negative park shift from Comerica Park to Minute Maid Park (meaning Minute Maid is even more hitter-friendly). The Astros possess all kinds of power, so if Simon still isn’t 100 percent, there will be baseballs launched into orbit… the question is only “who will be hitting them?” Seeing as Tucker’s skills rank atop this team full of power and his price is over $2,000 less than Carlos Correa’s, he’s my Astro of choice.

Pitcher:

David Price, Blue Jays, $23,100 – On paper, this isn’t the world’s greatest matchup, but the Yankees are ice cold and the Blue Jays are en fuego. The Blue Jays have yet to lose a game with Troy Tulowitzki in the starting lineup, so I think they are feeling just fine about that deal. In two starts with the Blue Jays, David Price sports a 2-0 record, 0.60 ERA and 0.73 WHIP. He’ll square off against Ivan Nova and his career 4.15 ERA and 1.38 WHIP. The Yankees aren’t a team I typically target, but I feel confident enough in the win potential and stability of Price where I’ll be deploying him in cash games, as well as with tournaments (which is where he’s better suited in this matchup).

Corey Kluber, Indians, $22,200 – Even with Price and Max Scherzer scheduled to pitch in the slate, I think Corey Kluber once again is the guy to target. Brian Dozier, arguably the Twins’ best hitter, owns a career .108 AVG against Kluber in 28 ABs. The Twins just blew up against gas can Nick Martinez earlier this week, but still rank in the bottom 10 of wOBA, wRC+, BB rate, AVG, OBP and hard-hit percentage against RHP. It should be noted that the cumulative statistics include pre-Miguel Sano Twins, which obviously was a very different looking/feeling offense. They’ve improved as of late, but I still trust Kluber’s skills, especially considering starter Phil Hughes has been scratched. Instead, the inferior Trevor May will toe the mound, which is an upgrade to Indians bats. Yet again, activate the Klu-bot.

Julio Teheran, Braves, $17,800 – A Tale of Two Cities (not going to lie, I’ve never read it, so I don’t even know if it’s about two cities) has nothing on “the tale of 2015 Julio Teheran home versus away. On the road this season, Teheran has allowed a .326 opponents’ AVG enroute to a 6.75 ERA. At home on the other hand, he is 5-1 with a 2.52 ERA and .206 opponents’ AVG. He’ll pitch at home on Friday evening in a rather netural matchup against the Diamondbacks. The Braves’ offense usually doesn’t help out much with runs, but they’ll be facing Robbie Ray and his 4.88 ERA over his last five outings. The Diamondbacks’ 21.00 percent K-rate against RHP ranks eighth in baseball, so Teheran boasts more K upside than usual in this one. At the price discount to the aces, he makes a lot of sense, especially in an environment where he’s clearly comfortable.

Mike Montgomery, Mariners, $15,200 – Friday’s Ray Guy is none other than Mike Montgomery. Don’t get the reference? Ray Guy is probably the NFL’s best punter of all time, so Montgomery is my pick for a salary punt pitcher (mostly because I don’t like many starters priced any lower). The over/under opened at 9.5 in this one with Boston slightly favored, so this is certainly a contrarian play. A recent surge has catapulted the Red Sox from the bottom 10 in wOBA to 12th. Jackie Bradley Jr. has had a lot to do with the spike, along with Xander Bogaerts, Rusney Castillo and David Ortiz as of late. I don’t think this is the same Red Sox team that struggled earlier in this season, but I think the lefty dominance is also a bit of a mirage. They’re more of a middle-of-the-pack kind of team, and I’m willing to put a few tourney lineups on it. Montgomery is a go-big-or-go-home kind of play to fit hitters into a lineup. I certainly wouldn’t recommend it in cash games, but if playing in the “Win or Get Your Money Back” contest, the play makes a lot of sense.

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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