Bend it Like (Gordon) Beckham

Gordon Beckham should hit leadoff against a pitcher allowing a .510 wOBA to RHHs so far this season. Go ahead and start Beckham at an incredibly affordable $6,000 price tag. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s MLB.

Infield:

Ian Kinsler, Tigers, $9,900 – Opposing starter Tommy Milone will put his 5.23 ERA and 1.52 HR/9 rate on the line against the Tigers on Tuesday and this is excellent news for Ian Kinsler. The leadoff hitter has smoked LHPs so far this season to the tune of a .350/.389/.600 slash line and .415 wOBA. None of these statistics are incredibly shocking because Kinsler has always preferred the platoon split against left-handers as evident by his .308/.374/.511 career slash line against the handedness. Crazily, Milone has allowed a .365 wOBA exactly to each side of the plate this season, but RHHs have hit for more than 30 percentage points higher (.311 versus .278). Additionally, righties have also slugged at a higher rate against Milone, so they present the slightly tougher matchup to him. Considering Milone’s 6.20 ERA on the road this season, there is nothing to fear about the matchup in Detroit, and Kinsler is an elite play in all formats.

Gordon Beckham, Braves, $6,000 – Here is a name not typically mentioned in this article: Gordon Beckham. For a guy who played like a Quad-A player during his career in Chicago, he seems to have found a home in the leadoff spot against LHP for the Braves. Okay so the Braves offense is terrible (which certainly is part of it) but Beckham has held his own against the handedness; he has slashed .282/.378/.512 against southpaws this year with a .381 wOBA. By comparison, Mike Trout currently sports a .382 wOBA against LHP this season, or exactly one percentage point higher than Beckham. While Beckham certainly isn’t Trout, he is a talented hitter in the split and draws a matchup against a pitcher with a 0-4 record, 8.39 ERA: Cody Reed. Although Reed is considered one of the Reds top pitching prospects, he looks like the next Jose Berrios…aka a pitcher who needs some more time in the minors before he is ready. Until that time, he has allowed a .454 wOBA and .348/.417/.674 slash to opposing RHHs, so continue to load up on hitters in the split. All things considered, Beckham’s combination of skill set, matchup and price suggest he’s one of the best plays on the entire slate, especially for cash games.

Outfield:

Ian Desmond, Rangers, $7,800 – While Ian Desmond’s platoon advantage comes against LHPs, he is no slouch against RHPs either. First off, most of his appeal is due to the matchup against aging, depreciating Tim Lincecum. The former Cy Young Award winner currently sports a 6.85 ERA, 5.23 FIP, 4.58 xFIP, 4.18 BB/9, 1.52 HR/9 and 7.99 K/9 rate to this point…nowhere near his once-great levels in his prime. A disturbing trend for Lincecum over the past two seasons has been his susceptibility against RHHs. After allowing a .376 wOBA to the handedness last season, righties have managed a ridiculous .510 wOBA and .409/.537/.674 slash line against him this season. Furthermore, Lincecum has started five games this season, and hasn’t throw a quality start since his season debut (Jun. 18). Since that time, Lincecum has allowed at least seven hits and three ERs in each of his past four starts. The entire Rangers offense is in play but the right-handers make the most sense and Desmond is the most talented of the bunch. At a sub-$8,000 price tag, he possesses both multiple base hit and dong upside.

Ryan Raburn, Rockies, $7,200 – With a game in Coors Field, it was only a matter of time until a hitter needed to be mentioned. Two solid pitchers will go to battle in the hitters’ haven tonight so loading up entirely on the game doesn’t seem necessary. However, Ryan Raburn is always criminally underpriced at home due to the threat of being pinch-hit for. With Raburn, you have to accept the fact that you’ll likely only get three ABs unless the opposing starter pitches deep into the game. Even with that being said, Raburn possesses a career .261/.338/.487 slash line against LHPs and now plays half his games in Coors Field (including Tuesday). Most hitters see a bump in salary by default when playing in the high altitude and Raburn’s barely seems to change. He is a risky proposition because a few bad ABs lead to a zero but the upside is immense as well. Admittedly, he’s a better bet in GPPs, but he’s the best value play among all hitters in a game that many will look to target.

Pitcher:

Jake Arrieta, Cubs, $23,400 – Heading into this contest, Jake Arrieta has allowed at least four ERs in each of his last three starts. Since he was not named the starter in the All-Star Game, he elected not to pitch at all. With help from a few extra days of rest, I think Arrieta is ready to revert back to the dominant pitcher we are all used to. Squaring off against Noah Syndergaard will provide extra motivation to execute each and every pitch because one mistake could lose the game. Vegas hasn’t released a line nor over/under but I imagine the Cubs will be favored at home in a 6.5 or 7.0 run over/under. Oh by the way, the Mets rank in the bottom 10 of wOBA, AVG and OBP against RHP while striking out at 22.0-percent. The ownership percentage will be interesting to see on Arrieta because of his recent struggles but I believe he gets going in the right direction once again.

Carlos Martinez, Cardinals, $19,600 – One guy with positive recent results is Carlos Martinez so he’s the preferred option if you prefer that sort of peace of mind. Heading into Monday, the Padres had averaged the fourth most runs per game in the month of July…then Mike Leake happened. Over 6.0 IP, Leake struck out 11 Padres and allowed just one run at home. Martinez’s splits this season suggest he has preferred pitching on the road (1.71 ERA) as opposed to at home (3.75 ERA) but it’s hard to ignore the streak he is currently on. After a 5.18 ERA in May, Martinez produced a 1.31 ERA in June and has followed that up with a 3.00 ERA in two July starts. Overall, the Padres are one of the worst hitting teams against RHP as they rank in the bottom 10 of wOBA, wRC+, AVG and OBP while striking out at 23.2-percent. It’s hard to imagine a blowup in this game and Martinez also possesses double-digit K potential. If you’re worried about the Padres bats then at least consider using the rock solid Martinez in your cash games. Why? He has eclipsed 14 fantasy points in every one of his starts since May 25.

Vincent Velasquez, Phillies, $18,800 – The ultra-cheap starters on this slate do not interest me and Vincent Velasquez is about as cheap as I’m willing to dip. Giancarlo Stanton looks like he is back but he, like many of the Marlins, prefer the matchup against LHPs. As a whole, the Marlins rate as a very average team against right-handers and Aaron Nola put that very trend on display yesterday. Nola had been struggling recently but went on to allow just three baserunners in 6.0 IP while striking out five. Velasquez’s numbers are awfully impressive overall: 3.32 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and 93 Ks in 78.2 IP. Like the aforementioned Martinez, Velasquez struggled in May and has since turned things around (1.86 ERA in June and 3.00 ERA so far this month). Subpar talent Julio Urena will start for the Marlins in this one so Velasquez should have a decent shot at winning the game as well. This has all the makings of a dominant outing from a hard-throwing pitcher and I certainly want plenty of exposure to him.

*Stats are accurate as of Monday, July 18

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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