You Dropped deGrom on Me Baby

As usual, Jacob deGrom stands out as the top pitching option on a night where he toes the mound. Even the Gap Band agrees. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster.

Infield:

Eric Hosmer, Royals, $8,800 – In 26 career ABs, Eric Hosmer has gone 9-26 off Ubaldo Jimenez with two HR and six walks. Hosmer, who owns a BB rate over 10 percent against RHP this year, should have a safe floor in a matchup against a pitcher who allows a career BB rate over 10 percent as well (10.6 percent). Hosmer easily owns the team lead in wOBA against RHP with a .403 tally and has hit 11 of his 14 HRs against the handedness. There’s something about Kaufmann Stadium that just tickles Hosmer’s fancy, considering he is hitting .330 at home with nine HRs versus five on the road in essentially the same number of ABs.

Eugenio Suarez, Reds, $7,600 – Buck Farmer has yet to string together a productive start this season. In three attempts, Farmer hasn’t lasted longer than 5.1 IP, nor has he allowed any less than four ER. Overall, his numbers currently sit at an unimpressive 8.39 ERA and 1.86 WHIP in 24.2 IP. Eugenio Suarez has been consistently underpriced for his solid skills against RHP. Clearly Joey Votto is always the play against bad RHPs, but Suarez’s .331 wOBA, .155 ISO and .293 AVG are more valuable than his price… especially in a matchup against the “struggling” Farmer. Facing maybe the worst pitcher on the slate, Suarez makes a lot of sense as a punt.

Bonus: Miguel Cabrera and his .446 wOBA will face Keyvius Sampson in one of the most HR-friendly parks in the majors. He makes a lot of sense to spend up for.

Outfield:

Nelson Cruz, Mariners, $10,200 – The Mariners’ monster reigns supreme against LHP in the majors this season. Among all hitters with at least 90 ABs against the handedness, Cruz’s .479 wOBA ranks first by 13 percentage points over second-place Josh Donaldson. Cruz is simply a titan among men when a southpaw toes the mound against him. Well, that titan will face mere mortal Felix Doubront and his career 4.71 ERA, 1.47 WHIP and 9.3 hits per nine innings. Slashing .370/.444/.709 against LHPs in 2015, the advantage goes handily to Cruz. Even at home in spacious Safeco Field, Cruz has the ability to hit one out, which equips him with the necessary upside to justify the price.

Adam Eaton, White Sox, $8,100 – Due to a rough start to the 2015 campaign, Adam Eaton’s overall numbers seem rather pedestrian: .265 AVG, .342 OBP and .409 SLG with 10 HR, 33 RBI and 12 SB. All of these numbers are given a little more context when you realize he hit .192 in April with zero HR and zero RBI. Now Eaton leads the team in AVG (.321) and OBP (.407) over the past 30 days, compiling 20 runs and seven SB during that stretch. According to FanGraphs’ pitch type linear weights, Eaton ranks second to only Jose Abreu on the team at hitting fastballs. Only Lance Lynn, Bartolo Colon, Mike Pelfrey, Danny Salazar, John Lackey and Shelby Miller have thrown a higher percentage of fastballs this season than Kelly, so Eaton should see plenty. I think he’s a safe bet to reach base multiple times with the possibility of an SB or even an HR. That should build a solid base for a fantasy-point floor, making him one of the best cash options of the day.

Pitcher:

Jacob deGrom, Mets, $23,200 – Seven is tied for the lowest total (over/under) of the day, which is unsurprising in a game with deGrom on the mound. He has been nothing short of fantastic this season, and his 1.98 would lead the league in ERA if it wasn’t for Zack Greinke’s off-the-charts ridiculousness. In 23 starts this season, deGrom has allowed more than two ERs four times and more than three ERs twice. He’ll square off against a Phillies team that ranks in the bottom 10 of wOBA, wRC+, BB rate, AVG, OBP and hard-hit percentage, while striking out at the 10th-highest percentage. With power threat Maikel Franco on the disabled list, the matchup becomes even more watered down. It’s hard not to trust deGrom in any start at this point, so just continue to deploy a pitcher amidst a monster season.

Dallas Keuchel, Astros, $21,600 – The matchup in Yankee Stadium against the Yankees is not ideal but do not fade Dallas Keuchel on those premises alone. The Yankees rank in the top 10 of wOBA, wRC+, ISO, BB rate, AVG and OBP while striking out at the fourth-lowest percentage. A lot of factors are working against Keuchel, but many of those can be overlooked because of the fact that he’s such an extreme groundball pitcher. Also, he’ll be squaring off against struggling Nathan Eovaldi, so the win potential is there. Why am I so enthusiastic about a pitcher in a horrible matchup? It’s partially because in their previous meeting, Keuchel threw a complete game shutout while striking out 12. The Yankees are tough, but not nearly as much so if they can’t lift the ball in the air. Keuchel could simply be their kryptonite. UPDATE: Scott Feldman will start Monday’s game instead. I like his prospects a whole hell of a lot less than Keuchel’s. Yankees stack could be in order.

Hisashi Iwakuma, Mariners, $19,800 – Looking at Hisashi Iwakuma’s 2015 splits may lead you astray, as his ERA at home (4.30) ranks almost a run and a half higher than on the road (2.97). Over time this will not continue, because the ballpark is huge and Iwakuma is just starting to get healthy. All four of his August starts have been quality, so hopefully we’re seeing him creep closer to his career 3.16 ERA. Despite his struggles this season, his WHIP still sits at 1.00, so he’s clearly still possesses some skills, even at age 34. Coming to town are the ice cold Athletics, who have scored the least amount of runs in the past 30 days of any team. They’ve fallen down the ranks against RHP and now rank in the bottom 10 of wOBA, wRC+, ISO, BB rate and OBP. The matchup is a plus for a surging pitcher, so I think he makes all the sense in the world in all formats.

Jorge De La Rosa, Rockies, $14,000 – As usual, Jorge De La Rosa will be happy to leave Coors Field, regardless of where it’s for. He sports a home ERA of 5.91 with a 3.17 ERA on the road. The Braves rank in the bottom two of ISO against LHP, so the 13 HRs De La Rosa has surrendered this season should not continue to be an issue in this contest. The Braves also rank in the bottom six of wOBA, wRC+, AVG, OBP and hard-hit percentage against LHP. Working against De La Rosa is the fact that he possesses reverse splits and has an easier time retiring RHHs than LHHs, as a few of the Braves’ best hitters being left-handed (Freddie Freeman and Nick Markakis). All-in-all, if saving money to get some bats in is the goal, De La Rosa is a prime target to fit the strategy.

Bonus: Lance Lynn makes for a risky SP2 option in Chase Field. The Diamondbacks rank top-nine in wOBA but strike out a decent rate. I think the best two cash options are deGrom/Iwakuma, with Lynn being more of a tournament option. Robbie Ray makes for an interesting play in that game as well against a Cardinals’ team that struggles to hit lefties.

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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