Ashes to Asches, Dust to Dust

Cody Asche is drastically underpriced in a matchup against an opposing starter who has been bombed by LHHs over the course of his career. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s MLB.

Infield:

Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks, $10,500 – Literally every time Paul Goldschmidt squares off against a left-hander he is a worthwhile play. Among all hitters with at least 50 career ABs versus a LHP, Goldschmidt’s .435 wOBA ranks first and his 46.6-percent hard hit rate ranks second behind only Miguel Sano. After a brilliant start to opposing pitcher Christian Friedrich’s 2016 campaign (1.65 ERA in May), he came crashing back down to Earth with a subpar June (5.08 ERA in 33.2 IP). He didn’t allow a HR in May and then allowed five in June to go along with a .270/.351/.426 slash line allowed and .336 wOBA (compared to .272 in May). Friedrich’s career numbers (5.38 ERA) suggest the recent performance is more of the norm for him so there should be more cloudy skies ahead. As icing on the cake, Goldschmidt is 2-6 (.333) in his career off Friedrich with a double, so he has clearly been up to the task in the past. Despite not having homered off him in a small sample size in the past, Goldschmidt is my favorite bet for a HR on Tuesday evening.

Danny Valencia, Athletics, $7,500 – One player whose price refuses to budge is Danny Valencia although he has fared as an absolute monster against LHP this season. In 60 ABS versus lefties, Valencia is slashing .350/.409/.667 with a ridiculous .451 wOBA and .317 ISO. By comparison, all his numbers are roughly on par with Goldschmidt’s this season (.371/.516/.586 with .462 wOBA and .214 ISO) yet Goldschmidt is priced exactly $3,000 more. Somehow Valencia’s matchup isn’t even more challenging as he’ll enjoy a positive park shift heading to Minnesota to square off against Tommy Milone. In 23.2 IP against RHHs this season, Milone has allowed a whopping 16 HRs (compared to 21 total) and has allowed them to slash .330/.389/.520 with a 3.86 wOBA. As icing on the cake, Milone has allowed a .357 AVG and .409 wOBA overall at home so Valencia and the Athletics usuals (Marcus Semien and Khris Davis) should feast on him.

Outfield:

Robbie Grossman, Twins, $6,400 – Partially due to the return of Miguel Sano, as well as the resurgence of Brian Dozier, has led to the Twins shooting up the statistical charts against southpaws in recent weeks. Most of the staples in the lineup (Sano, Dozier and even Eduardo Nunez) have seen step price increases when facing the handedness as they’re all priced $9,200-plus on this upcoming slate. However, one man has been left behind in terms of pricing: Robbie Grossman. For the season, Grossman’s .452 wOBA against LHP ranks second on the team yet he is priced at around 65-percent of the “big bats”…and the numbers suggest he is every bit as talented as they are. If rostering the aces, Grossman is a perfect way to add bats with a huge amount of upside for cheap.

Cody Asche, Phillies, $6,000 – The theme of the outfield tonight is going to be value in order to fit two aces in cash games and Cody Asche is oozing with it. Admittedly, Asche isn’t quite the slam dunk in terms of overall numbers that Grossman is against the respective handedness. Nevertheless, Asche is no slouch; he has produced a .282/.329/.500 slash line against RHP this season with a .351 wOBA. Instead, the real allure of Asche lies within the matchup because he’ll face a pitcher who has been lit up by lefties his entire career. Probable starter Mike Foltynewicz has allowed a .318/.371/.618 slash line and .416 wOBA to LHHs for his career and is allowing a .298/.365/.696 slash line to them this season with a .433 wOBA. In other words, Foltynewicz is one of the best matchups a LHH could possibly ask for. Recently, Asche has moved into the three spot in the order so he’s hitting in a premium lineup spot. All-in-all, you couldn’t really ask for much more out of a $6,000 hitter.

Pitcher:

Madison Bumgarner, Giants, $22,800 – On paper, the Rockies look like a formidable foe because their overall numbers include their dominance in Coors Field. When only looking at their splits on the road, they are a way less formidable force; they rank 22nd in wOBA while also ranking in the bottom 10 of wRC+, AVG and OBP. Meanwhile, Madison Bumgarner at home has become one of the safest bets in daily fantasy baseball. In 61.2 IP at AT&T Park, Bumgarner is 4-2 with a 2.04 ERA and has allowed a miniscule .193/.255/.295 slash line in the friendly confines of home. Unsurprisingly, this has led to the Giants being listed as -220 favorites in a game projected at a 6.5 run over/under. Typically the top ace on the slate is priced around $25,000 so Bumgarner is reasonably cheap for the distinction. Do not hesitate to start Bumgarner in any and all formats.

Carlos Carrasco, Indians, $22,200 – Over the past two starts, Carlos Carrasco has produced a combined 83.75 fantasy points, which includes a 40.25 fantasy point start against his upcoming opponent (Tigers). Now, instead of pitching on the road, he will face those Tigers at home which theoretically is a knock to the matchup. Carrasco has allowed a 3.80 ERA to opponents at home compared to just 1.82 on the road…and it makes sense because Progressive Field has ranked as a top five hitters’ park over the past two seasons, per ESPN Park Factors. Still, the Tigers offense is significantly weakened without J.D. Martinez, and obviously are not invincible (as evident by Carrasco’s start a week and a half ago against them). While the matchup overall isn’t incredibly favorable, Carrasco is on quite the roll right now (as are the Indians). He probably won’t throw a CGSO once again but a quality start with a significant chance for a win (against Anibal Sanchez) is enough to deem him viable in cash games especially on a slate lacking a second enticing option.

Carlos Rodon, White Sox, $15,200 – If needing additional salary to fit some of the top bats, spending down on Carlos Rodon is the preferred strategy. No American League team has produced a lower wOBA against LHP than the Yankees as they literally rank last in mostly every sabermetric category against the handedness. The one issue is their K rate (only 17.9-percent) but Rodon’s stuff is so nasty that he will find a way to produce a solid K floor (five or so). Even if he is unable to rack up the upper-echelon K totals we are used to with Rodon, the weak statistics suggest he should be able to pitch deeper into the game than per usual. Facing Masahiro Tanaka, Rodon naturally is listed as the underdog, but I like this contest to finish lower scoring than Vegas would suggest (8.5 run over/under). While he’s better served for tournaments, there is no offense in the league who should put up less resistance overall than the Yankees. When laid out like that, it becomes harder and harder to pass on the discount for Rodon anywhere.

*Stats are accurate as of Monday, July 4

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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