Adam Duvall and his power bat were made for Coors Field so make sure to take advantage of this once in a long while opportunity on Monday. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s MLB
Joey Votto, Reds, $9,300 (Early) – The Reds will head to Denver, Colorado for a series that begins Monday in glorious Coors Field. Although the Reds offense ranks second to last in terms of wOBA against RHP so far this season, the thin atmosphere in the Rocky Mountains has a way of curing those who are ailing with the bat. For Joey Votto, his .332 wOBA and .229 AVG against the handedness so far this season is pretty disappointing consider his career totals sit at .414 and .313 respectively. In fact, Votto’s career wOBA against RHP ranks second best among all actives hitters, behind only David Ortiz. In other words, things are bound to improve soon and there is no more likely time than in the top hitters’ park in baseball. Opposing starter Chad Bettis has shown an ongoing trend of being able to shut down LHHs at a more efficient rate than RHHs but Votto and his elite career skills are an exception. Vegas is projecting a game with an 11 run over/under and the Rockies are listed as only slight favorites (-130). With the Reds projected to score more than five runs against a starter with a 4.90 ERA, Votto should be locked and loaded into cash games. Even if he fails, he will do so at a high ownership so you can just differentiate yourself from the pack with the rest of your roster.
Robinson Cano, Mariners, $9,200 (Early) – Well, the 2016 version of Robinson Cano very closely resembles the 2009-2013 version of himself after taking a few years off. Cano seems to have found his power stroke once again and has already homered 15 times in 48 games, leaving him on pace for 50.6 HRs. Okay so he probably will not get to 50 but 35-40 is not out of the question and he is doing so with a .300 AVG and .350 OBP. This season, the home/away splits suggest he is a much more productive hitter on the road (.343 AVG versus .240 at home) however this matchup is too juicy to pass on. Not only are the Mariners listed as -175 favorites in a game with a projected 8.0 run over/under but Cashner has allowed LHHs to produce a wOBA 30 percentage points higher than his career total allowed to RHHs. In a limited sample this season, he has kept left-handers quiet (.263 wOBA), but that trend was reversed last season over a larger sample (and for his career). A correction is on the horizon and there is no hotter hitter (Cano is hitting .352 in May) than Cano. In all likelihood, Cano should keep on rolling against a struggling pitcher (4.87 ERA) overall, so the stats are not worth overthinking. Due to the potential downside from a few of the splits totals, Cano is best left for GPP formats where he will inevitably go lower owned than he should be.
Marcell Ozuna, Marlins, $10,200 (Late) – On Memorial Day, the day slate (10 games) is the much larger slate in terms of total games, but the night slate still includes five games; four of which are listed with an 8.0 run over/under or greater. In Miami, the Pirates and Marlins will duel in a battle between two LHPs who struggle to miss bats. Pittsburgh starter Jeff Locke possesses the superior strikeout rate of the two and his only sits at 5.61 currently. Meanwhile, Marcell Ozuna is setting the world on fire against LHP this season to the tune of a .589 wOBA, .444 ISO and a whopping .472/.486/.917 slash line in 36 ABs. Giancarlo Stanton who? In 2016, Ozuna has taken over the role of the team’s most productive hitter and he continues to hit in the middle of the lineup. Considering he has only walked at a 2.7-percent rate, the odds are likely he puts the bat on the ball. Locke is a soft-tosser and rarely gets a swing and a miss, so more than likely Ozuna will make hard contact at least once. If he does, he’s an excellent bet to add to his four HRs already this season against LHP, and is a building block for cash games in the late slate (where pitching is incredibly cheap).
Adam Duvall, Reds, $9,200 (Early) – One members of the Reds offense is not enough as I expect Coors to actually play close to their projected total in this one. Sure the Rockies bats are in play as always, especially against a RHP, but the power potential of Adam Duvall is extremely enticing in Coors Field. Both he and Jay Bruce are boom-or-bust type bats but Duvall’s skill set fits best against the probable starter. Duvall leads the team in wOBA against RHP this season, and Bettis has fared as a reverse splits pitcher, meaning RHHs are the preferred play against him as opposed to lefties. When all said and done, Duvall will likely finish this season with 30-plus HRs and he has flown virtually under the radar. If I had to choose just one between Votto and Duvall, I’d choose Duvall because of the pitching splits and the fact that he has out-produced Votto this point. Typically Duvall’s skill set is best saved for tournaments but he’s cash game viable in what is a prime spot for him to go deep once again.
Jose Quintana, White Sox, $22,800 (Early) – Using a left-handed starter against the Mets requires weighing the upside and the potential downside. To be fair, the Mets rank in the top half of wOBA, wRC+, ISO, hard hit percentage and line drive rate so using a starter against them isn’t typically a slam dunk. Nevertheless, they strike out against the handedness more than any team in baseball and Jose Quintana has morphed into an ace this season. Quintana will head into this game with a 2.22 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 0.14 HR/9 rate and 8.31 K/9 and he has not allowed a wOBA greater than .271 to either side of the plate. Furthermore, the Mets have not seen him this season, so they have very little gauge on his stuff. Typically, the advantage goes to the pitcher in that scenario, especially the first time through the order. Take the pitcher with the incredibly safe strikeout floor all the way to the bank in cash games as others gamble on riskier propositions. If all goes well for Quintana, he has 30-plus fantasy point upside in this one so he is certainly a viable option in GPPs as well.
Tanner Roark, Nationals, $18,600 (Late) – As noted in the Ozuna tidbit, pitching is ugly on the late slate. The three most expensive pitchers are Justin Verlander at the Angels, Matt Andriese at Kansas City and Ian Kennedy at home against the Rays…none of which are overly enticing (although Verlander can certainly be considered for cash games by default). My preferred pitcher on the slate is Tanner Roark in Philadelphia against a futile Phillies offense. To this point, the Phillies rank second in wOBA, tied for last in wRC+, second to last in ISO, tied for last in AVG and dead last in OBP against RHP. At the end of last month, Roark managed seven strong innings against the Phillies, and he ended up with a win and 25.35 fantasy points. Now coming off back-to-back outings of at least 19.55 fantasy points, expect Roark to keep rolling in a fantastic matchup for him.
Nathan Karns, Mariners, $18,300 (Early) – Don’t look now but Nate Karns is sporting a 4-1 record with a 3.53 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 2.55 K/BB ratio and 9.00 K/9. If it wasn’t for a mediocre start last time out (5.0 IP, three ER at home versus Oakland), his numbers would look even better. Heading into Monday night, Karns has not allowed more than three ER in any start since Apr. 21 (his third start of the season). Since that date, Karns has thrown a quality start in four of six games and one of those was a five inning, one ER victory. In this one, he’ll square off against the Padres and their league-worst .283 wOBA against RHP. In fact, they also rank in the bottom 10 of wRC+, ISO, BB rate, AVG, OBP and hard hit rate while striking out at 23.4-percent. Literally the only way this matchup could get any better for Karns is if this game were being played in Petco Park with no designated hitter. In spacious Petco Park, there is no better matchup for a RHP than a date with the lowly Padres, and Karns should provide plenty of value even at a more expensive price tag than usual.
*Stats are accurate as of Sunday, May 29