Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard

You may never find a better strikeout-per-dollar value than the K potential of Julio Urias for just $14,800. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s MLB.

Infield:

Chris Davis, Orioles, $9,600 – In 26.1 IP this season, Erik Johnson has taken a beating en route to a 8.54 ERA, 1.90 WHIP, 8.86 FIP, 5.23 xFIP, 4.10 HR/9 and 3.76 BB/9 rate. The major reason for the incredibly inflated HR rate is due to a miniscule 40.0-percent GB rate. One guy who hits it in the air a lot is Chris Davis and a lot of the time they leave the park. Davis’ 13 HRs against RHP this season is tied for 18th with the likes of Mike Trout and Mookie Betts. Despite a .237 AVG versus the handedness, Davis leads the team with a 40.7-percent hard hit rate and a 15.9-percent BB rate. Literally the entire offense is in play as Manny Machado, Mark Trumbo, Hyun Soo Kim and Matt Wieters all possess wOBAs over .375 against the handedness but Davis’ team-leading 46.4-percent fly ball (FB) rate against a pure fly baller is just too juicy to pass on.

Ian Kinsler, Tigers, $8,100 – Opposing starter Adam Conley is admittedly pitching much better in June than he did in May but there still plenty of aspects to like about the matchup. For one, all six of the homers Conley has allowed this season have come off the bats of RHHs. Furthermore, Conley’s ERA on the road (3.83) is more than a half a run worse than at home (3.29), and he’ll have to deal with a potent Tigers offense in an American League ballpark (so with a designated hitter). Meanwhile, Ian Kinsler is hitting nearly 100 points higher against LHP (.361) than RHP (.268) this season. Hell, he has also produced a .393 OBP, .566 SLG, .205 ISO, .406 wOBA and 156 wRC+ in the split. All factors combined, $8,100 just is too cheap for a talented leadoff hitter in a prime spot to produce.

Outfield:

Christian Yelich, Marlins, $9,200 – Everyone’s favorite stack target, Mike Pelfrey, will toe the mound once again on Tuesday. Pelfrey, who will be making his first start after temporarily being demoted to the bullpen, has nearly walked as many hitters this season (3.46 BB/9) as he has struck out (4.46 K/9). Therefore, it isn’t too difficult to comprehend why he sports less than mediocre tallies in the ERA (4.91), FIP (5.34) and xFIP (5.06) categories. Christian Yelich is one of the toughest outs in baseball especially for RHPs; he has walked at a team-high 12.4-percent while leading the team in wOBA (.389) and slashing .317/.406/.500 against the handedness with a 40.9-percent hard hit rate. As icing on the cake, Pelfrey has allowed a .343/.402/.526 slash line to LHHs with a .394 wOBA. If Yelich doesn’t manage multiple hits in this game it would be a total letdown.

Ryan Raburn, Rockies, $7,200 – The price is always reduced for Ryan Raburn compared to other hitters in Coors Field due to the threat of being pinch hit for. With Raburn, you get an elite skill set for three or so ABs and then all bets are off when the opponent brings in a right-handed reliever. In this case, he is the worth the risk because the Blue Jays probable starter has already allowed 11 HRs to RHHs (out of 12 total). Additionally, righties are slugging 110 percentage points higher against J.A. Happ than lefties. Only Nolan Arenado and Carlos Gonzalez possess higher ISOs against LHP this season among Rockies than Raburn’s .241 and most of his numbers are slightly lower than his career norms to this point. In other words, better days are ahead for Raburn, especially hitting in Coors Field, and I think it begins with a big day against a dong-prone opponent tonight.

Pitcher:

Corey Kluber, Indians, $26,000 – Before you go crazy looking for him, Lucas Giolito is not available on this slate. This changes things because he was going to be my primary SP2 in all formats in order to fit bats if he were available in the player pool. Since he is not, paying up for Corey Kluber’s safety feels a lot more enticing. He’ll square off against a Braves team that averages the fewest runs per game (3.33) in baseball which partially explains why he’s listed as a -177 favorite on the road. Only the Padres have produced a wOBA lower than the Braves’ .289 tally so far this season and Atlanta also ranks in the bottom 10 of wRC+, ISO, AVG, OBP and hard hit percentage. Though the Braves don’t strike out much, this has all the makings of a throwback Kluber dominant performance where he pitches deep into the game. He can safely be considered in all formats but will just limit exposure to Coors Field and/or expensive bats of any sort.

Jose Quintana, White Sox, $20,000 – When analyzing the matchup between Jose Quintana and the Twins, it should be noted his history against them isn’t great. Active Twins hitters have slashed .234/.300/.323 against Quintana, which isn’t great, but isn’t dominating either. While career numbers as a whole don’t mean much, he has only produced a 3.83 ERA and 1.31 WHIP against the Twins in 15 career starts against them. With that being said, the 2016 Twins present a favorable matchup on paper. Amazingly, only the Yankees own a lower wOBA against LHP among American League teams. The Twins also rank in the bottom 10 of wRC+, BB rate, AVG, OBP and line drive rate while striking out at a whopping 24.3-percent versus the handedness. Inarguably, 2016 has been the best season of Quintana’s young career, so it’s time to just trust the numbers. Among all the studs (pitchers priced at $20,000-plus), Quintana rates as the best per-dollar value of them all.

Julio Urias, Dodgers, $14,800 – The best strikeout per-dollar pitcher on the entire slate is clearly Julio Urias and his 11.67 K/9 at just $14,800. A sample size is already available against the Brewers as Urias squared off against them and finished with 23.65 fantasy points in just five innings. Severely limiting the upside of Urias has been the Dodgers’ pitch count; they have only allowed him to throw 90-plus pitches once this season. Fortunately, the 90-plus pitches, 94 to be exact, came in his last outing versus Washington so maybe they are loosening the reins a bit. Considering Urias has struck out at least six batters in each of his last four starts, the K floor solidifies him as a rock solid cash option. If all things break his way, he could fare as an elite tournament play as well, especially if he is finally pushed beyond the 100 pitch plateau (which he has been approaching recently).

*Stats are accurate as of Monday, June 27

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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