Though he’s not an evil character from the Austin Powers franchise, Paul Goldschmidt is worthy of rostering in all formats on Tuesday against a LHP who has allowed 10 HRs to RHHs already. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s MLB.
Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks, $9,900 – Paul Goldschmidt, who ranks second among all active players in terms of wOBA against LHP (min. 150 ABs versus the handedness), is automatically worthy of consideration any time he faces a southpaw. When at home squaring off against a lefty who has already allowed 10 HRs to RHHs, Goldschmidt is a must-play. Even though Matt Moore was once a top pitching prospect, he has struggled mightily this season, as he sports a 5.46 ERA, 4.80 FIP and 4.23 xFIP. Coincidentally, those are almost all identical to his numbers from 2015: 5.43 ERA, 4.82 FIP and 4.81 xFIP. Moore apologists who may have thought he only struggled last season because he was fresh off Tommy John surgery now have zero excuses. Opposing hitters have hit the ball hard 36.9-percent of the time which is above and beyond the highest rate Moore has ever allowed in any season. Consequently, each side of the plate is hitting at least .284 against him and righties sport a wOBA of .361.
Josh Donaldson, Blue Jays, $9,600 – While on the topic of lefty-killers, Josh Donaldson certainly applies, and he’ll square off against a LHP with a career 6.75 ERA and 1.49 WHIP on Tuesday. Donaldson’s .414 career wOBA against the handedness only ranks slightly behind Goldschmidt’s but Donaldson has actually hit seven more HRs against the handedness in only four more career ABs. Opposing starter Matt Boyd has allowed a .324 wOBA to RHHs in just 13.2 IP this season but that’s likely due to a small sample size. In 54.2 career IP versus RHHs, the .371 wOBA and 13 HRs allowed probably more accurately portrays how he’ll fare over a longer sample. Although the Blue Jays’ offense isn’t quite the same as it was last season, Donaldson still sports a .432 wOBA, or a tally greater than his career mark. With a .315/.448/.574 slash line against the handedness so far this season, there’s no reason to shy away from rostering Donaldson when his team is listed as a -131 road favorite in a game with a projected nine run over/under.
Jon Jay, Padres, $7,800 – Who leads the National League in doubles? You guessed it: Jon Jay. After last night’s game, he is hitting .300 overall for the season and continues to leadoff against right-handers. The Padres are on fire (by their standards) as they have scored 17 first inning runs over the last week and it’s been Jay leading the charge. Now, he’ll draw a matchup against Aaron Blair, who is sort of a similar story to the aforementioned Matt Moore. He’s generally considered a top prospect but he has yet to pitch like it this season and his numbers allowed to lefties jump off the page. Left-handers are slashing .312/.444/.517 with a .415 wOBA and two HRs in 16.0 IP so far at the Major League level. As mentioned in yesterday’s Today’s Plays article, the Braves catchers are awful in terms of throwing out opposing base-stealers. Yet again, there are many ways Jay could potentially reach double-digit fantasy points. With the Padres listed as -145 favorites and are implied to score 4.4 runs (a high total for their team), Jay is a prime cash game option once again.
Trayce Thompson, Dodgers, $7,200 – Finally, Manager Dave Roberts has figured out that Trayce Thompson is worthy of hitting in the middle of the lineup as opposed to the tail end. Over the last two games, Thompson has been moved into the three spot and has gone 2-6 (.333) since the move. Probable starter Eddie Butler has fallen victim to pitching half his games in Coors Field so far this season and has actually pitched pretty well on the road. Butler’s home/road splits are the quite the contrast; he owns a 9.37 ERA and .458 wOBA allowed at home compared to a 2.66 ERA and .265 wOBA allowed on the road. Still, righties have fared awfully well against him as they have slashed .279/.295/.541 against him and hit four of the six HRs he has allowed to the handedness. This season is no fluke either as those numbers fall almost exactly in line with his .283/.339/.484 slash line allowed and .352 wOBA. Considering Thompson leads the team with a .399 wOBA and .288 ISO against left-handers in 2016, I’m expecting a big day from him, and will be comfortable rostering him in any and all formats.
Zack Greinke, Diamondbacks, $23,200 – Chase Field has not been kind to Zack Greinke so far this season. Just how awful has he pitched in Arizona? In seven starts at home, Greinke has allowed less than three ERs just once and less than four ERs just twice! The fact that he struggled last time out at home against the Padres will likely deter many from rostering him but I’m willing to take the plunge. First, let’s focus solely on the matchup; the Rays rank in the bottom 10 of wOBA, AVG, OBP and hard hit rate versus RHP and have struck out at a higher percentage than any other team versus the handedness. From that perspective, Greinke should possess a nice high K floor especially considering he struck out 11 Astros (third in K rate versus RHP) in his last start. Furthermore, Greinke’s 3.34 FIP and 3.37 xFIP suggest he has been unlucky overall and his 4.29 ERA should be on the decline. His 70.7-percent strand rate and .319 BABIP would both rate as the worst of his career if they did not improve but usually those statistics regress to the norm over the long haul. He certainly does carry more risk than I’m usually comfortable with when rostering a starter this expensive but the matchup is just too juicy. I have no issues deploying him in cash games despite the risk and certainly endorse throwing him out there in GPPs as well.
Kyle Hendricks, Cubs, $20,800 – Only four qualified pitchers own a higher GB rate than Kyle Hendricks’ 57.6-percent tally and only allow have produced a superior FIP to his 2.93. Through 63.1 IP, Hendricks owns a 2.84 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 1.85 BB/9 and 7.25 K/9…in other words, he’s absolutely legit. Keeping that in mind, he’ll draw a matchup with a Phillies team that ranks in the bottom 10 of wOBA, wRC+, BB rate, OBP and line drive percentage versus the handedness. Although the Phillies do not K quite as much against RHPs as they do LHPs, high strikeout outputs aren’t really Hendricks’ forte. He would rather force opponents to pound the ball into the ground and induce overall weak contact (oh by the way the Phillies rank 11th worst in terms of hard hit rate). With the high-powered Cubs offense behind him and the team listed as -235 favorites, I expect a quality start with a high probability for a win.
Julio Urias, Dodgers, $11,700 – Do you have the cojones to roster this future star? None of the Major League data for Julius Urias so far suggests he is worthy of DFS consideration but this is the game’s number two overall prospect. After lasting just 2.2 IP in his debut, he pitched 5.0 IP against a loaded Cubs team his last time out and surrendered five ER. With an ERA of 9.39 and WHIP of 2.35, it’s clear there is a possibility that we are simply looking at Jose Berrios part two (aka a pitcher who just is not ready). However, there is also the possibility that Urias is too talented to be held down and inevitably will begin to put it all together. Pitching at home against Eddie Butler and the Rockies, Urias is actually favored rather heavily (-160). Vegas believes he’s going to pull out the victory and why not against a team that ranks in the bottom half of wOBA, wRC+, ISO, BB rate, AVG, OBP and hard hit percentage on the road. Away from Coors the Rockies are nowhere near as scary of a team and their Achilles Heel against left-handers is their 24.3-percent K rate. If Urias is able to pony up his best stuff, he possesses the ability to crush value at this miniscule price tag. It’s the classic case of risk versus reward but the potential reward is just too substantial for me to pass on in tournaments.
*Stats are accurate as of Monday, June 6