Jake Peavy has had all kinds of struggles with LHHs so far this season so consider Anthony Rizzo his kryptonite on Friday evening. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s MLB contests.
Anthony Rizzo, Cubs, $9,000 – Rarely is Anthony Rizzo ever not priced in the $9,900-$10,200 range, and when he is, it’s typically because he’s facing the Clayton Kershaws or Madison Bumgarners of the world. On Friday, his price has depreciated all the way down to $9,000 yet he will square off against a pitcher that has allowed a whopping .464 wOBA to LHHs this season. Four sixty four. Lefties are slashing .379/.438/.667 in 15.0 IP against the diminished version of what is left of Jake Peavy. Sure, AT&T Park has played as the fourth worst hitters’ park over the past two seasons according to ESPN Park Factors, but Wrigley Field has only ranked four spots ahead…and is there any chance in hell we’d fade him at this price versus Peavy in Wrigley? No way. Take the ballpark discount all the way to the bank and reap the benefits of Rizzo’s monster bat.
Derek Dietrich, Marlins, $6,400 – Jake Arrieta is pitching on this slate so value will be necessary in order to fit him. For the most part, Tanner Roark has pitched pretty well last season, but he did allow 1.38 HR/9 last season and is coming off his worst outing of the year. On May 14, Roark allowed seven ER and 11 baserunners in just five innings against the Marlins…and now he’ll get to face them again. His stuff certainly will not be a mystery to the Marlins because they just saw him. In that previous meeting (beatdown), Derek Dietrich managed one hit in three ABs, a walk and a RBI. While Christian Yelich leads the team in wOBA against RHP, he costs a whole lot more ($8,100) than Dietrich and his .383 tally against the handedness. He is the best combination of skills and price on the team but Yelich, Martin Prado, Justin Bour and Giancarlo Stanton are all in play.
Curtis Granderson, Mets, $8,100 – The gas can of the night is not Peavy (although he’s worth targeting against) but rather Wily Peralta. The Mets are a potent offense and were shut down last night by Stephen Strasburg so they will be out for revenge. Although Curtis Granderson has struggled against RHP so far this season, he led the team in the category last season, and it’s only a matter of time until he rebounds. Rostering him is a case of taking advantage of the hitter who theoretically will draw the most possible ABs against a horrendous pitcher. So far this season, Peralta has allowed at least a .391 wOBA to each side of the plate including a .303/.400/.521 slash line to lefties. You’ll want to roster as many Mets bats as you can fit in cash and I think they unload on Peralta (like all the offenses before).
Danny Valencia, Athletics, $7,200 – Only three players have produced a superior wOBA against LHP to Danny Valencia’s .561 total this season: Jayson Werth (.632), Jimmy Rollins (.592) and Steve Pearce (.587). Through five starts, C.C. Sabathia’s 3.81 ERA would rank as his best since 2012 if it were to hold, but there are warning signs that it will not. Sabathia’s 4.71 xFIP and 3.4-percent HR/FB ratio suggest he has enjoyed a bit of luck which should even itself out over the long run. Valencia has been hot lately but really he is just loaded with skills for this mid-tier price tag. It’s just too much value to pass on against a pitcher who hasn’t managed an ERA under 4.73 over the past three seasons. His beat-downs are coming and Valencia should help start the revolution in this one.
Jake Arrieta, Cubs, $24,900 – Okay so the Giants do not rate as a positive matchup for opposing RHPs but this matchup features arguably the best pitcher in baseball in AT&T Park. Normally Jake Arrieta will cost around $26,500 in a favorable matchup so a minor discount is built into the price. Arrieta is 7-0 in eight starts and has struck out at least five every time out. Even more impressively, he has allowed more than two ER just once and it came in a 7.0 IP victory in Arizona (three ER). The Giants do not strike out much (15.3-percent K rate) but they do rank in the bottom half of wOBA and their ISO against RHP is eighth worst. Good luck putting together a string of hits against Arrieta. Considering their low ISO mark, it’s unlikely they beat him with a 2-3 run HR. Therefore, you have to love Arrieta’s prospects yet again and need to be locking him into cash games if you know what’s good for you.
Aaron Nola, Phillies, $21,200 – According to Garion Thorne on Twitter, only two qualified starting pitchers have a K/9 above 9.00, a BB/9 under 2.00 and a GB rate over 50-percent: Noah Syndergaard and Aaron Nola. If you were wondering if he was legit, well, he is. He now draws a matchup against the Atlanta Braves who rank both dead last in wOBA versus right and left-handed pitchers. Against righties, they rank in the bottom 10 of wRC+, ISO, AVG, OBP, hard hit percentage and line drive rate as well. While they don’t strike out a lot, they do make weak contact, which is a groundball pitcher’s dream. 40 fantasy points probably isn’t a realistic ceiling in this matchup but I don’t see a whole lot of volatility. He should possess a 15 fantasy point or so floor with the most likely outcome being in the mid-20s. Do not hesitate to deploy him in any and all formats.
Jose Quintana, White Sox, $20,800 – Most of what applies to Nola also applies to Jose Quintana. Like his National League compadre, Quintana will draw a matchup against a soft-hitting team that doesn’t strike out a lot. Also similarly to Nola, Quintana’s breakout is legit as well considering his 2.18 FIP and impressive 4.27 K/BB ratio. Quintana is basically the American League version of Nola for a slightly cheaper price tag. He is more of a cash game option only due to how little the Royals K but he is a nice alternative to Arrieta or Nola if needing to fit an additional bat. Comparatively, he is the third highest priority of the trio.
*Stats are accurate as of Thursday, May 19