Chad Bettis has consistently fared worse against RHHs than LHHs over the course of his career and Turner has always hit RHPs better as well. This is a match made in heaven. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s MLB.
Justin Turner, Dodgers (Late) – As a right-hander, people automatically think to target LHHs against Chad Bettis, but he has posted substantial splits in every single season so far of his young career. Since joining the league in 2013, Bettis has thrown 273.2 IP overall, and righties have managed a wOBA (.381) nearly 50 percentage points higher than lefties (.333) against him…with exactly double the HRs (22-11)! To me, this suggests that Justin Turner is a superior play to the likes of Corey Seager and/or Adrian Gonzalez because he is a right-hander who possesses reverse splits of his own as a hitter. Not only has Turner hit for an AVG 33 points higher against RHHs for his career but he has slashed a respectable .290/.355/.441 against the handedness with a .349 wOBA. With the Dodgers listed as -175 favorites, more than just Turner is playable, but he is clearly the best option on the team.
Miguel Sano, Twins (Early) –Like Turner, Sano is a RHH who has enjoyed success against RHPs in his young career; 23 of the 29 HRs he has hit as a Major Leaguer have been served up by RHPs. Unlike the aforementioned Bettis, opposing starter Chi Chi Gonzalez has allowed some pretty normal split statistics with left-handers out-producing right-handers. Still, five of the six homers he has allowed as a pro have been to RHHs so Miguel Sano stands out as a premiere GPP target. This will only be Sano’s second game removed from an extended stint on the disabled list with a hamstring injury but the team is going to have him serve as the designated for the foreseeable future. Essentially, there is no reason he should get tired and/or have any form in setback in that sort of role. Hell, it feels like David Ortiz has been doing it for 87 years at this point. When healthy, and I believe Sano finally is, he is an elite power source against any and all pitchers. Admittedly Gonzalez isn’t the worst pitcher in the world but the Twins are listed as -102 favorites in game with a projected 9.5 run over/under. Simply put: you want exposure to bats in this game…lots of it.
Nelson Cruz, Mariners (Late) – Probable starter Tyler Wilson is a strange case where he has actually allowed the identical wOBA (.323) to both sides of the plate this season. By diving deeper into the numbers, it becomes evident a majority of the power has come via right-handed bats. Guess what: Nelson Cruz is an elite right-handed power hitter. In other words, he should be the one to give Wilson fits in this matchup. Although generally thought of as a lefty killer, Cruz has still mashed nine HRs (out of 20 total) off RHPs this season. Over the course of his career, he has hit 190 off of right-handers versus 71 off of lefties. Sure his wOBA and ISO numbers are superior against lefties but Cruz is no schlub against any opponent he is facing. While Cruz is a better fit for tournaments, I think he has an excellent chance for a bomb in this matchup, and could do so for your team at a tiny ownership percentage.
Adam Eaton, White Sox (Early) – One hot start I do not buy even a little bit is Doug Fister. Similarly to Colby Lewis a few starts ago, I just look at these numbers and cannot imagine the luck continuing the way it has. Currently, Fister’s ERA sits at 3.36 but with a 4.80 FIP, 4.55 xFIP, 29.8-percent hard hit rate and 81.8-percent strand rate (compared to 74.1-percent for his career). Eventually these numbers are going to come crashing back down to Earth, and while he may not get annihilated this start, I expect the left-handed White Sox bats to produce. The two who fit the bill are Adam Eaton and Melky Cabrera but my preference is definitely Eaton. First off, Fister has already allowed 11 HRs, a .282/.343/.536 slash line and .373 wOBA to LHHs this season…that’s why I prefer the lefties. Furthermore, Eaton has hit 23 of his 24 career HRs over RHPs and has stolen six of his eight bases this season off of the handedness. The allure of Eaton would be rostering him for his multi-hit and multi-run upside along with the stolen base potential and longshot probability for a HR. Combine all of the factors and he rates as a safe play in any and all formats because he’s likely to finish with double-digit fantasy points.
Jose Fernandez, Marlins (Early) – On the early slate, the decision to pay up for a pitcher comes down to either Jose Fernandez or Chris Sale. For me, the answer is Fernandez against the worst offense in baseball in terms of runs per game. Beyond just the lack of runs, the Braves have produced the second lowest wOBA against RHP (.289) while also ranking in the bottom 10 of wRC+, ISO, AVG, OBP and hard hit percentage. The last time Fernandez squared off against them (Jun. 21), he allowed three baserunners in seven innings while striking out seven en route to 27.35 fantasy points. Despite the game being played in Atlanta this time around, a similar outcome can be expected against the same helpless opponent. To me, Fernandez is the clear top option on the early slate with Sale a rung or two below.
Drew Pomeranz, Padres (Late) – Aces are not aplenty on the late slate so you’re going to have to get a little creative in the pitching department. Luckily, Drew Pomeranz will draw a matchup against a Yankees squad that struggles to hit against southpaws. For the season, the Yankees literally rank dead last in wOBA among American League teams along with last place rankings in the wRC+, ISO, AVG and OBP categories as well. Moving from Yankee Stadium to Petco Park is a serious negative ballpark shift for all New York hitters. Now factor in the strikeout potential of Pomeranz (10.43 K/9) and the fact that the Yankees’ best hitter against the handedness is 40 years old. All-in-all, Pomeranz is my favorite pitching value of the entire day.
Scott Kazmir, Dodgers (Late) – On paper, the Rockies look like a scary team overall, but they are a very different ball club on the road. Overall, they rank 18th in wOBA on the road with a .316 wOBA and 95 wRC+. Additionally, the Rockies strike out at a whopping 23.8-percent versus lefties. This is a big deal for Scott Kazmir because he is a striking batters out at his highest rate since 2008 this season despite his struggles (4.67 ERA, 1.32 WHIP). His biggest problem has been with the HR ball (1.42 HR/9) but Dodgers Stadium should limit the damage over the long run. According to RotoGrinders Park Factors, Kazmir’s home park has ranked as a below average HR park over the past two seasons (and a bottom eight hitters’ park overall). At this reasonable price tag, 6-9 Ks can reasonably be expected, so the high floor is the reason for rostering him. If he can come away from the start having allowed only one or fewer HRs, he will have been well worth the cost.
*Stats are accurate as of Friday, July 1