It’s hard to ignore the Yankees’ leader in wOBA versus LHPs squaring off against a beatable left-hander in Coors Field. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s MLB.
UPDATE: Beltran is getting a rest day on Tuesday. Use literally any other hitter in the lineup against porous Jorge De La Rosa.
Jason Kipnis, Indians, $7,600 – Opposing starter Chris Young has been nothing short of a gas can. The weird thing about Young is his velocity is up this season to what would be a 10-year high for him. Increased velocity has led to a 9.22 K/9 but his ERA sits at 6.37 with a 7.48 FIP, 4.80 xFIP and a ridiculous 3.73 HR/9 in 41.0 IP so far this year. Yes, he allows almost four HRs per nine innings…that is not a typo. His splits are astronomically different from one hand to another; he has allowed a respectable .295 wOBA to RHHs but LHHs have roasted him for a .512 wOBA. Hell, lefties are slashing .333/.395/.870 against him with 12 HRs in just 17.1 IP. Young has fared as poorly against left-handers as I’ve ever seen a pitcher fare against any side of the plate ever. In other words, this matchup is about as good as it gets for Jason Kipnis who has been underperforming a bit to this point. Still, Kipnis owns a career .351 wOBA against RHP and is an All-Star talent hitter, so better days are on the horizon. If there were ever a time for him to get going, this would be the matchup.
Ryan Rua, Rangers, $6,800 – Last night with Adrian Beltre sitting out due to a hamstring issue, Ryan Rua started in the five hole against the left-hander. With the team’s starting third basemen expected to be out until at least Jun. 16, expect Rua to draw another start on Tuesday evening against Eric Surkamp. Assuming he does crack the lineup, and he’s been getting regular ABs so he should, lock Rua and his .427 wOBA in against one of the league’s worst pitchers. So far this season, Surkamp sports a 6.41 ERA, 6.26 FIP, 6.82 xFIP, 5.06 BB/9 and 4.73 K/9…all of which are terrible. Amazingly, both righties and lefties have managed a wOBA of at least .402 against Surkamp with right-handers slashing .312/.422/.536 against him. While the negative ballpark shift will not do Rua any favors, the matchup is simply too favorable to avoid, especially at this reasonable price point.
Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies, $10,800 – Among all active Rockies hitters, none have totaled more runs above average against fastballs for their career than Carlos Gonzalez, per pitch type linear weights. On a per-pitch basis, Nolan Arenado has actually edged him out on fastballs alone, but I still prefer Gonzalez in this matchup. The ability to hit a fastball is key when facing Nathan Eovaldi and his 96.8mph average fastball. Comparatively to the other hard throwers, Eovaldi doesn’t rely on his fastball much (only 48.9-percent of the time). In Coors Field, I think it’ll be a different story because he’ll soon learn the breaker doesn’t break as much in the thin air. Maybe more importantly, Eovaldi’s kryptonite has been LHHs this season as they’ve slashed .302/.368/.543 with a .384 wOBA against him. Coincidentally, Gonzalez’s .406 wOBA against RHPs leads the team by more than 30 percentage points, and he of course is left-handed. If you fade Gonzalez in cash games, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
Carlos Beltran, Yankees, $10,400 – It’s difficult for the Yankees’ hitters to enjoy a clear positive park shift but Coors Field certainly applies as it is unquestionably the cream of the crop. The Rockies will start Jorge De La Rosa who has been absolutely dreadful this season. In 31.2 IP, De La Rosa sports a 8.81 ERA, 1.80 WHIP, 4.26 BB/9 and 2.27 HR/9 rate. Carlos Beltran has found his power stroke in 2016 as he’s already blasted 16 HRs in 62 games…just three shy of his total last year in 133 games. Six of his 16 bombs have come off of left-handers which is a large part of his .379 wOBA and .307 ISO against the handedness. To review, De La Rosa is allowing the long ball at an insane rate against a hitter displaying the power stroke this season in an atmosphere that will cause the ball to carry. It’s not hard to see why Beltran is the top bet for a dong on the entire slate and will be a staple for me especially in GPPs.
Drew Pomeranz, Padres, $20,000 – On paper, the matchup against the Marlins isn’t a “gimme” or anything of the sort. While it’s obviously preferable to start a player against a miserable opponent, there are enough factors working in Drew Pomeranz’s favor to still deem him worthy of consideration. For one, he’ll be pitching at home in pitcher-friendly Petco Park where he owns a 1.52 ERA this season (29.1 IP). Secondly, Vegas lists him as a -131 favorite against middling talent Tom Koehler and only implies the Marlins will score 3.5 runs. Last but not least, the Marlins strike out at the 11th highest rate versus LHP and missing bats is Pomeranz’s specialty. In fact, only six pitchers have produced a superior strikeout percentage than Pomeranz’s 29.8-percent. All-in-all the Marlins rate as a neutral matchup against LHP in most categories although they do rank in the bottom 10 of ISO and BB rate. As long as Pomeranz manages to strike out hitters at his typical rate, he can allow a few runs and still prove to be productive. Due to what I believe is a reliable K floor, I have no reservations about deploying him in cash games, although he’s admittedly a better fit for GPPs.
Jacob deGrom, Mets, $19,500 – Both Madison Bumgarner and John Lackey pitch on this slate and are priced as the two most expensive pitchers but there is no reason to spend up on this slate. Using hitters in Coors Field is more important than spending up on the aces because both Pomeranz and Jacob deGrom could easily match either of them in terms of fantasy points. Although deGrom draws a difficult matchup against the Pirates, he is my absolute favorite play of the slate. deGrom’s 2016 numbers have regressed a bit since once season but he’s remained nearly untouchable in Citi Field. After posting a 1.99 ERA at home in 2015, deGrom once again has dominated to the tune of a 2.03 ERA and .250 wOBA allowed. His opponent, the Pirates, rank in the top 10 of wOBA, wRC+, AVG and OBP and strike out at a rate slightly less than average (19.3-percent). Nevertheless, deGrom is listed as a -162 favorite and the Pirates are only implied to score 3.3 runs, likely due to his track record in Citi Field. I am going to trust the splits and trust the talent of deGrom to lead me to a 20-plus fantasy point outing in all formats.
Julio Teheran, Braves, $18,400 – If needing even more salary relief than the aforementioned duo, Julio Teheran draws the best matchup statistically of the bunch. The Reds rank in the bottom 10 of wOBA, wRC+, BB rate, AVG and OBP versus RHP and strike out at a rate of 22.9-percent. Following a letdown season last year, Teheran has rebounded to ace form: 2.85 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 2.52 BB/9, 8.45 K/9 and 3.35 K/BB. Maybe most importantly, Teheran has fixed his issues against LHHs as they have merely produced a .326 wOBA this year after a disastrous .386 last year. It’s a bit worrisome that Teheran has already allowed 12 HRs including seven to left-handers especially due to the fact that two of the Reds big boppers are of the handedness (Joey Votto and Jay Bruce). However, assuming Teheran can keep those two in the ballpark, he should be able to roll and put together a quality start rather easily. If you’re willing to acknowledge the potential downside in order to fit expensive hitters, Teheran is actually a great risk/reward play in both cash games and GPPs.
*Stats are accurate as of Monday, June 13