At just $6,400, Yangervis Solarte and his hot bat are awfully enticing in the team’s third consecutive start against a mediocre LHP. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s MLB.
Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox, $10,200 – Heading into Friday’s game, Xander Bogaerts has produced a hit in 26 consecutive games but that’s not the only reason I think he is worth using in DFS. Sure he is seeing the ball well, and that certainly does not hurt, but he draws a matchup against a pitcher he has owned: R.A. Dickey. Now assuming you’ve read my stuff before, you know I mostly do not believe in relying on batter versus pitcher (BvP) data, but knuckleballers are the exception. As a whole the Red Sox team has hit Dickey very well and they should once again be considered the top stack on the slate. However, Bogaerts’ numbers have been so excellent that they even stand out from the pack; he is 13-36 (.361) off Dickey with five extra-base hits including one HR and seven RBIs. Small sample sizes can be overlooked but a total approaching 40 ABs against a knuckleball specialist cannot be ignored. Combine all the aforementioned positive to the matchup with the fact that he is surrounded in the lineup by great hitters and it’s easy to see why Bogaerts is a building block for cash games.
Yangervis Solarte, Padres, $6,400 – After being called out by the team’s owner (Ron Fowler) for being “embarrassing” and “pathetic,” the Padres have gone on to score 27 runs over the past two games. During that span, Yangervis Solarte is 5-9 (.556) with two RBIs out of the cleanup spot in the lineup. Though it is a limited sample size (14 ABs), Solarte is leading the team in wOBA against LHP this season with a .665 tally, though his .335 career wOBA probably tells closer the real story. As long as this offense is on fire and drawing its third straight matchup against a LHP (Chris Rusin), it makes a ton of sense to me to ride out Solarte’s streak, especially at this price. While the other staples in the lineup against LHP are listed at full price (Matt Kemp is priced at $9,000 and Wil Myers is $9,900), Solarte can be rostered for approximately $3,000 less and possesses similar upside. With multiple aces throwing on the slate, value will be necessary, and Solarte presents the best overall value in the infield.
Jayson Werth, Nationals, $8,100 – As a whole, the Nationals offense ranks second in the majors in terms of wOBA against LHP, and no one is a more important contributor to that total than Jayson Werth. Even though Ben Revere technically leads the team in wOBA versus the handedness, he has done so in only 13 ABs versus approximately 35 ABs for all the regulars. In 40 ABs this season, Werth has produced a .460 wOBA, .353 ISO and .350/.395/.700 slash line…all of which aren’t that far off from his excellent career totals. On Friday, the Nationals will square off against Brandon Finnegan and let’s just say there is nothing overly concerning with the matchup against him. Through 11 starts, Finnegan owns a 4.14 ERA but a 5.15 FIP, 5.00 xFIP, 4.43 BB/9 rate and 39.8-percent GB rate. Furthermore, Finnegan does not miss many bats (6.29 K/9) and hitters tend to smoke the ball against him (25.1-percent line drive percentage). If he’s going to pitch to contact and rely on fly ball outs against Werth, I think we have to consider Werth one of the likeliest players of the night to hit a bomb.
Robbie Grossman, Twins, $4,800 – At just $4,800, this is actually the most expensive price tag Robbie Grossman has reached over the last five days or so. Since his call up, Grossman has been priced at or around the bare minimum each and every night, and all he has done is produce. Since being called up on May 20, Grossman has gone 16-44 (.364) with a .451 OBP, two HR and nine RBIs. Miguel Sano was placed on the disabled list Wednesday afternoon with a hamstring strain and his departure from the lineup has led to Grossman being pushed up to the five spot. A player hitting fifth in the order is always punt-worthy at $4,800 but especially considering he leads the team in wOBA against RHP. The matchup on Friday isn’t an easy one against Jake Odorizzi but Grossman is slashing .304/.448/.565 versus the handedness so far this season and sports a .261 ISO. As long as he isn’t facing Jake Arrieta or one of the absolute GOATs, deploying him at this price tag makes all the sense in the world in order to fit everything else.
Noah Syndergaard, Mets, $23,600 – Noah Syndergaard’s upcoming opponent (the Marlins) ranks in the top 13 of wOBA, rarely strikes out (19.2-percent K rate) and ranks in the top 10 of both AVG and OBP versus RHP, yet fading him is still a bad idea. Why? Syndergaard is amidst a magical season whereby he currently sits third in ERA (behind only Clayton Kershaw and Jake Arrieta), second in both FIP and xFIP (behind Kershaw) and second in K/9 (behind Jose Fernandez). This is one of the scenarios where I say the Marlins aren’t a difficult matchup for Syndergaard but rather Syndergaard is a difficult matchup for the Marlins. Despite pitching on the road, Syndergaard is listed as a -176 favorite in a game with a projected 7.0 run over/under, and it makes sense considering the matchup against middling righty Tom Koehler. As a few saving graces for the matchup, the Marlins rank in the bottom 10 of ISO and rarely walk (7.8-percent BB rate) against the handedness. In other words, the Marlins probably will not earn baserunners via a free pass and are unlikely to hit a ball out. Instead, they’ll have to rely on a string of hits against one of the game’s best in order to score. Good luck, Marlins.
Drew Pomeranz, Padres, $17,200 – There are a few similarities between Syndergaard’s and Drew Pomeranz’s matchup because both opponents look reasonably formidable on paper. The Rockies rank in the top 10 in wOBA, ISO, BB rate and hard hit percentage against LHP. By those statistics alone, this seems like a matchup to avoid. Nevertheless, a closer look paints a different picture; not only do the Rockies strike out at 23.7-percent versus the handedness and rank in the bottom 10 of wRC+, they are one of the worst hitting teams on the road. As a whole away from Coors Field, the Rockies rank in the bottom 10 of wOBA, wRC+, BB rate and OBP when factoring in their numbers against each handedness (and they fare better as a team against RHP). Pomeranz, who quietly sports a 2.48 ERA and 10.71 K/9, should have a much easier time with the Rockies this go-around than he did facing them in Coors Field on Apr. 9…and he only allowed two ERs in 5.0 IP with seven Ks in that start. Toeing the mound in an extremely pitcher-friendly environment known as Petco Park, I would be shocked if Pomeranz didn’t manage a quality start with a healthy numbers of strikeouts.
Danny Salazar, Indians, $16,800 – As was the case with Carlos Carrasco yesterday, Danny Salazar projects as a solid cash game option only against the Royals. First of all, the Indians are listed as -168 favorites against Edinson Volquez with a projected 7.5 run over/under. Most importantly in the matchup with the Royals, they do not strike out much (18.4-percent) versus RHP but they also rank dead last in BB rate (5.3-percent) by one whole percentage point. The allure of using a pitcher against them is their ability to pitch deeper into a game than usual and Salazar flashed that ability in his previous meeting against Kansas City. On May 6, Salazar went 7.2 IP with five baserunners, zero runs and nine Ks and now nearly half of the Royals starters (Alex Gordon, Mike Moustakas, Salvador Perez and now even Brett Eibner) are sidelined due to injury. This is a very beatable offense and Salazar’s watered down price fairly depicts the lack of K potential in the matchup. If attempting to fit 4-5 expensive bats into a single lineup, dropping down to Salazar at SP2 is an easy way to make it all work.
*Stats are accurate as of Thursday, June 2