Let Bumgarner Lead You to Kershaw

Allow one lefty ace propel you and one guest to Los Angeles by guiding you to victory in the Clayton Kershaw Experience contest. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster.

Infield:

Jose Altuve, Astros, $8,900 – Jose Altuve’s 45 hits in the month tied a franchise record for the month of August. He’s blazing hot right now, and the Astros will square off against a pitcher who has allowed at least three ER in four of his past five starts. In eight career ABs against Roenis Elias, Altuve has produced two hits with one of them leaving the yard. Overall, Altuve sports a .400 wOBA, .134 ISO and .373/.434/.507 slash line against LHP. The matchup is elite in a top hitters’ park, so the $8,900 price tag is extremely reasonable (especially compared to the Coors Field prices on the slate).

Prince Fielder, Rangers, $7,300 – Speaking of reasonable and affordable prices, when have you ever seen Prince Fielder listed at $7,300? This is usually a hitter flirting with the $9,000 mark. Over the past seven days, Fielder is 6-25 (.240) with six singles and a .240/.240/.240 slash line. He only hit .277 in the month of August with two HR, but the skills suggest this just will not continue. At this bargain price, I am willing to take a risk on a hitter with a season .382 wOBA and career .402 wOBA against RHP. Furthermore, Andrew Cashner throws the fastballs at the eighth-greatest rate among qualified pitchers (67.9 percent) and Fielder leads the Rangers’ regulars in effectiveness at ripping fastballs, according to pitch type linear weights. Even in spacious Petco Park, Fielder’s value is difficult to pass on.

Outfield:

Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies, $9,900 – Arizona and Colorado will play a double-header today, but this content is focused on the second game that will count in the Clayton Kershaw Experience contest. Coors Field is the absolute worst location for a pitcher who’s allowed 27 HR in 26 starts, but that’s where Rubby De La Rosa’s fate has led him Tuesday. Even worse for his outlook is the fact he has been absolutely dominated by LHHs this season to the tune of a .315/.375/.576 slash line and 18 HR allowed. Unfortunately for him, the Rockies possess a pair of excellent ones in Charlie Blackmon and Carlos Gonzalez. Not only does Gonzalez possess the most power of the two, but his .259 ISO against RHP ranks first on the team overall. When Gonzalez gets hold of one, he hits them with an exit speed as quick as anyone in the game can produce. If there has ever been such a thing as a lock for an extra base hit, CarGo is the personification in this matchup.

David Peralta, Diamondbacks, $9,500 – Not just the Rockies’ offense is giving me a fuzzy feeling inside in this Coors matchup, especially bearing in mind the road Diamondbacks are favored (-123). In a game with a projected 11 over/under, De La Rosa’s 4.46 season ERA doesn’t look so bad compared to Kyle Kendrick’s 6.43. This will be his first start since returning from the disabled list, so he should be rusty… which means an offensive explosion could be in store for the Diamondbacks, considering Kendrick’s 7.27 home ERA. Against an RHP, I want shares of David Peralta, Ender Inciarte, A.J. Pollock, Paul Goldschmidt and Wellington Castillo. Hell, Jake Lamb and Aaron Hill could even warrant consideration. They are a lock for some sort of production and a solid bet for five-plus runs. I want a lot of exposure to hitters from this game in all formats and I’m willing to sacrifice my SP2 in order to do so.

Pitcher:

Madison Bumgarner, Giants, $24,000 – In a battle of the aces, Madison Bumgarner will square off against Zack Greinke in Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers opened up as -130 favorites, but my allegiance is with the Giants’ righty in this one. Jake Arrieta just no-hit the Dodgers, which signifies just how cold they have been recently. Only the Braves, Reds and Angels have scored less runs than the Dodgers over the past 30 days, and their platoon advantage as a team comes against RHP. Bumgarner will be pitching to their weakness, especially with Yasiel Puig DL’d, so let him lead the way for your fantasy team on Tuesday night.

Zack Greinke, Dodgers, $23,900 – After choosing his adversary, why would Zack Greinke be worth consideration as well? With the scoring format, a win is only worth four points, which is not a major percentage of overall points (especially if a pitcher puts in a solid 20-25 fantasy-point outing). Suggesting I know who is going to win this one would be false, because either pitcher could easily throw a complete game shutout in any given start. With that being said, the Giants are a tougher matchup as they’ve hit .298 the past 30 days. They rank in the top 10 of wOBA and wRC+ and they don’t strike out much. Still, with a 1.61 ERA and 0.85 WHIP overall and 1.42 ERA at home, it’s hard to ever not feel comfortable with Greinke in your lineup.

Gerrit Cole, Pirates, $20,300 – August has not been kind to Gerrit Cole, at least in terms of his standards. He hadn’t registered an ERA above 2.43 in any previous month before the 3.13 tally he produced last month. It’s lucky that this start will take place in September, because he could use the fresh start. Cole hasn’t surpassed the 30-fantasy-point plateau since Jul. 26, but will head to Miller Park to face the Brewers’ 26th-ranked wOBA against RHP. They also strike out at the ninth-highest percentage against the handedness, so the upside should be there for Cole. Maybe I oversold his cold streak, because he’s produced at least 23.50 fantasy points in back-to-back starts. He should reach that number once again in this one.

Chris Tillman, Orioles, $14,200 – The recency bias may cause one to veer away from Chris Tillman as a value pitching option, but I think that’s a mistake. Since it’s September 1, the Rays will call up hitters like Mikie Mahtook and Richie Shaffer, but I don’t think either will drastically change the landscape of the offense… an offense that now ranks second-to-the-last in the majors in wOBA to only the National League Marlins. They also rank in the bottom 10 of wOBA, wRC+, BB rate, AVG, OBP and hard-hit percentage while striking out at a top-10 rate. No other team in baseball fits those qualifications, suggesting the Rays are in fact the best possible matchup a RHP can face. For that reason, I feel alright deploying Tillman, who produced at least 17.40 fantasy points in the two starts prior to his last one.

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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