Murphy’s Law

You won’t want to miss out on rostering Daniel Murphy on Sunday against a pitcher (Jon Moscot) allowing a .478 wOBA to LHHs so far this season. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s MLB.

Infield:

Daniel Murphy, Nationals, $10,200 – Remember earlier this week when the Rockies racked up 17 runs at Coors Field? Their opponent was none other than Jon Moscot who now sports a 7.13 ERA and 9.92 FIP heading into a Sunday afternoon matchup against the Nationals. Looking deeper at the numbers, there are no saving graces whatsoever to Moscot’s numbers as he has only managed a 3.57 K/9, 4.58 BB/9, 4.08 HR/9 and 33.8-percent GB rate. Any hitter facing him is always in play as he posted mediocre numbers in the minors as well and just really does not deserve to be on the Major League roster. Until he is inevitably demoted, picking on him is an absolute must and Daniel Murphy is my preferred option from the Nationals roster. Obviously Bryce Harper is in play as well but Murphy leads the team in wOBA (.470), AVG (.400) and SLG (.676) against RHPs so far this season. The talent mismatch is too enormous to ignore and Murphy warrants consideration in all formats.

Carlos Santana, Indians, $8,000 – Speaking of talent disparities, Chris Young and his 5.94 ERA will toe the mound in Cleveland listed as an extreme underdog (the Indians and Corey Kluber are -176 favorites). Although Young’s fastball velocity this season rates higher than his 86.6mph career average, hitters are ripping Young harder than ever this season. His previous career high in hard hit percentage allowed came in 2008 (36.1-percent) prior to his ridiculous 39.3-percent mark in 2016. This recent trend has led to an insane 3.22 HR/9 rate allowed in 36.1 IP this season as Young has fared like a human pitching machine. On the other hand, Carlos Santana has been leading off for the Indians and also leads the team in both wOBA and ISO against the handedness. In other words, he is guaranteed to at least match the most ABs of any hitter on the team and is the most talented of the bunch. Against Young, this deems him an elite cash play and a guy I’ll be building most of my lineups around.

Outfield:

Odubel Herrera, Phillies, $8,100 – For as many aces as there are pitching on this slate, there are an equal amount of gas cans, and Wily Peralta certainly applies. Among all qualified pitchers, Peralta’s 6.59 ERA ranks third worst behind only Anibal Sanchez (6.67) and Ubaldo Jimenez (6.59). Like most subpar pitchers, Peralta hardly misses bats (5.88 K/9), walks too many (3.81 BB/9) and allows a healthy amount of HRs (1.43 HR/9). The Phillies’ leadoff hitter, Odubel Herrera, leads the team in wOBA and BB rate against RHPs and ranks second in HRs (five) against the handedness behind only Maikel Franco. The difficult part on this slate isn’t finding potential start-able hitters but rather prioritizing all of the enticing options. In this elite matchup, Herrera’s likely floor rates as high as any hitter’s and he only costs $8,100. Value like this is too juicy to pass on especially in cash game formats although I wouldn’t be opposed to him in GPPs either.

Ben Revere, Nationals, $7,600 – One National simply isn’t enough against Jon Moscot as I actually like him as the top pitcher to target against even over the likes of Wily Peralta and Chris Young. Therefore, leadoff hitter Ben Revere makes a ton of sense due to his multitude of ways to reach 15-20 fantasy points beginning with his speed. Reds starting catcher Tucker Barnhart rates below average in terms of throwing out runners according to FanGraphs’ stolen base runs above average statistic so this is a prime opportunity to swipe a base. Revere has stolen 142 bases versus RHPs in his career versus only 36 off of left-handers. While Revere is only hitting .107 against RHP so far this season, his .282 career AVG versus the handedness suggests that number should rise quickly in the near future. Presumably hitting in a premiere lineup spot (leadoff), Revere will have plenty of opportunities to get on base, get moved over and inevitably score. When all said and done, I would be shocked if Revere didn’t register double-digit fantasy points (with the potential for a monster game), so act accordingly.

Pitcher:

Jose Fernandez, Marlins, $26,000 – Any time the MLB leader in K-percentage draws a start, fantasy owners must take notice. Marlins’ ace Jose Fernandez will draw an increasingly favorable matchup against the Mets on this slate and the first number that stands out is the team’s 23.5-percent K rate against RHP this season. Immediately the presence of a high K floor emerges but that’s only the first tantalizing aspect of the matchup; the Mets rank in the bottom half of wOBA, AVG, OBP and line drive rate against the handedness and arguably their best hitter, Michael Conforto (one for his last 19), is ice cold. Considering he is allowing a .197/.279/.296 slash line at home, the Mets should struggle to produce against a pitcher of this ilk. I like him for six-plus innings with eight or more strikeouts so he needs to simply be locked into cash game lineups.

Scott Kazmir, Dodgers, $20,700 – The Braves own a wOBA against LHP (.265) that rates lower than any other team’s wOBA against either handedness. In essence, a lefty matching up against the Atlanta Braves is the most favorable matchup a pitcher could possibly draw. The Braves rank dead last in ISO, AVG and OBP as well while striking out at a hefty 23-percent versus the handedness as well. After beginning the season with a 5.23 ERA through his first nine starts, Scott Kazmir has settled down with one ER in his past two starts (12.0 IP). If last year is any indication, Kazmir’s ERA should be on a steep decline in the near future and his best days are ahead. In a matchup this golden, expect the recent hot streak to continue…hell, just look at Clayton Kershaw’s outing last night (although I wouldn’t expect quite the same results as Kazmir is a tick down in terms of talent). At a price significantly more affordable than the aces, Kazmir possesses a similar amount of upside in this matchup.

Lance McCullers, Astros, $18,300 – In my opinion, it’s only a matter of time until Lance McCullers’ price tag catches up to the aces. Last season’s 3.22 ERA and 1.19 WHIP were no fluke as McCullers is one of the game’s best and brightest young pitchers. Though McCullers allowed five ERs in his first start off the disabled list, he has allowed just seven ERs in his last 17.0 IP (3.71 ERA) since. Despite the 4.79 ERA for the season, he owns an encouraging 3.37 FIP and 3.52 xFIP…almost identical totals to his numbers last season. Oh by the way, he has struck out 12.19 batters per nine innings and is forcing opposing hitters to pound the ball into the ground (57.1-percent). In terms of bang for your buck, he is the best combination of talent on a per-dollar basis for this slate. As icing on the cake, he’ll face an Athletics team that ranks fourth worst in wOBA against RHP and ranks in the bottom 10 of wOBA, ISO, BB rate, OBP and hard hit percentage. Considering walks have been McCullers’ biggest issue this season, and his opponent barely walks, McCullers looks primed for a vintage 2015 dominant performance.

*Stats are accurate as of Saturday, June 4

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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