Adam Morgan draws a date with the Twins on Wednesday evening, so all of Minnesota’s right-handed bats are in play… None come at a better value than Robbie Grossman. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s MLB.
Josh Donaldson, Blue Jays, $10,800 (Early) – Death, taxes and Josh Donaldson against a LHP are the three surest things in life and you’d have to be a fool to fade him on the early slate. If there was one hitter I would choose for the entire day, it would be Donaldson against a mediocre lefty (Robbie Ray). Through 75.0 IP this season, Ray sports a 4.44 ERA and 1.57 WHIP, partially due to his 3.96 BB/9 and 1.20 HR/9 rate. Against left-handers, Donaldson leads the team the team in walk rate this season and has managed a .395 wOBA, which is actually a bit disappointing for him. Considering his career wOBA against the handedness is 15 percentage points higher, it’s likely we haven’t seen the best of him yet this season. At home against a HR-prone lefty sounds like the perfect time to start the trend so roster him and all the Blue Jays bats in what should be an offensive explosion.
Eduardo Nunez, Twins, $8,400 (Late) – On the night slate, the Twins offense is in a favorable spot and is simply underpriced. Opposing starter Adam Morgan is 1-6 with a 6.49 ERA and his numbers show no signs of improvement in the near future. Not only has his horrendous 35.3-percent GB rate led to a 2.05 HR/9 rate but both sides of the plate have managed at least a .374 wOBA against him. The number that jumps off the page is the fact that RHHs have hit 10 of the 12 HRs he has allowed this season and they are slashing .297/.339/.564 against him. Two Twins hitters have produced a wOBA over .420 against RHPs this season and they are both listed in this article because the matchup is fantastic. Eduardo Nunez has led the way with a .429 wOBA, and he’ll be leading off, so there’s no reason not to use him at this crazy affordable price tag.
Chris Davis, Orioles, $10,000 (Late) – Bats for the late slate feel simple on Wednesday because, aside from the Twins, one offense is in a notably fantastic spot: the Orioles. I know this is not a real phrase but Erik Johnson is the gassiest of cans; he has allowed a wOBA of at least .392 to each side of the plate including a ridiculous .526 to RHHs. Now I know Davis isn’t right-handed but it’s not like the .646 SLG he has allowed to left-handers is anything to sneeze at either. I’m writing up Davis but really any of their hitters near the top of the lineup are in play and I am going to do my damndest to fit their entire top four into my cash lineup. Without a starting pitcher listed for the Orioles, there is no Vegas line available, but I would be shocked if the Orioles weren’t implied to score around 6.0 runs. Since I like being my own odds-maker, that’s where I’m setting the line and I’m taking the over. Johnson and his 7.66 ERA, 1.79 WHIP are toast in Camden Yards so don’t get caught being an innocent bystander. Invest heavily in this offense in any and all formats. UPDATE: The Orioles will start Ubaldo Jimenez. I will update this one final time when a line and implied run totals are released.
Robbie Grossman, Twins, $6,900 (Late) – In the Nunez tidbit, I eluded to multiple Twins hitters sporting wOBAs of .420 or greater against LHP, and Robbie Grossman is the other one who fits the bill. In fact, Brian Dozier isn’t far behind as his tally sits at .410. Even though Grossman wasn’t acquired and in the majors until May 20, he only has accumulated five less ABs against LHPs than Dozier. In other words, the sample size is large enough at this point to make an accurate assessment on. Only the Rangers and Red Sox are implied to score more runs (prior to the Orioles line being released) and Morgan is clearly a pitcher to target bats against. Considering Grossman is exactly $1,500 cheaper than either Nunez or Dozier, he’s by far the best value of the three.
Cole Hamels, Rangers, $20,000 (Late) – Pitching on the early slate and night slate are polar opposites because early is loaded with talented pitchers in great spots and late, well, isn’t. The most expensive pitcher on the slate is Trevor Bauer which pretty much tells you all you need to know. Earlier in the year, Reds bats were mashing lefties, but they have since regressed to a manageable level where starting Cole Hamels still makes sense. The Reds rank at about the league average in both wOBA and wRC+, above average in K rate and in the bottom 10 of BB rate and hard hit percentage. Their two worrisome statistical categories are ISO and AVG, both of which they rank in the top 10. On one hand, Hamels has struggled with the long ball (1.49 HR/9) so facing a team with power is a bit of a scary proposition. On the other hand, Hamels’ 18.2-percent line drive rate is a five year low and his 1.77 GB/FB rate would be a career best. Without many other options on the slate, Hamels feels safest, especially when you factor in he’s listed as a -203 favorite.
Matt Shoemaker, Angels, $20,100 (Early) – Since returning from being sent down, Matt Shoemaker has been nothing short of amazing. It took him two starts to regain his form but Shoemaker has strung together five quality starts in his last six games, and the one exception came in the form of three ERs in 7.2 IP. During that stretch, Shoemaker has produced a 1.88 ERA and 55:2 K/BB ratio, and this is simply a different pitcher than the one we saw the beginning of the season. In June alone, Shoemaker sports a 2.20 ERA and has struck out 32 batters in just 28.2 IP. Now, he’ll square off against an Astros team that strikes out at the second highest percentage against RHP, behind only the Rays. While they rank in the top 10 of most offensive categories, Shoemaker is limiting hard contact and missing bats recently. He is simply pitching like an ace and comes at a significant discount to the likes of Noah Syndergaard (also in an unfavorable matchup) and Jake Arrieta. With a safe K floor, I have no problem deploying Shoemaker in both cash games and GPPs as he just dominated the same Astros team for 36.55 fantasy points on May 27.
Michael Fulmer, Tigers, $18,800 (Late) – Another stud who has flown a bit under the radar is Michael Fulmer yet his numbers are off the charts. In 59.1 IP, Fulmer has produced a 2.43 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 2.48 K/BB and 8.65 K/9. Amazingly, Fulmer has allowed two just two ERs in his last 40 IP! For the month of June, Fulmer currently owns a 0.36 ERA and has only allowed opposing hitters to slash .129/.247/.214. The craziest part of this entire streak is he is doing this against solid opponents (in chronological order): Rays, at Athletics, at Angels, Blue Jays, at Yankees and at Royals. The matchup on Wednesday evening is difficult against the Mariners but it almost doesn’t even matter. Fulmer is listed as a -122 favorite and it’s hard to doubt a pitcher on this sort of roll. If you’re a believer in hot streaks, Fulmer is your guy.
*Stats are accurate as of Tuesday, June 21