With no expensive pitchers jumping off the page in the late slate, spending up on hitters in fantastic matchups such as Randal Grichuk (for $9,900) makes a ton of sense. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s MLB.
UPDATE: Grichuk is not in the lineup so use Stephen Piscotty instead.
David Ortiz, Red Sox, $10,800 (Late) – What really is left to say about David Oritz at this point? The guy is hitting .327 with 23 HRs and 75 RBIs at 40 years old. One noticeable trend with him this season is the fact that he’s hitting 82 points higher at home this season. In fact, Ortiz is slashing a ridiculous .363/.468/.756 at home this season with a .492 wOBA. Against righties alone in Fenway Park, Ortiz is slashing a just flat-out absurd .408/.521/.869 with a .552 wOBA. Probable starter Matt Cain has allowed a .336/.396/.515 slash line and .391 wOBA to LHHs so far this season and those numbers are mostly in the National League (and in AT&T Park). Now he’ll take the mound on the road against one of the best offenses in an American League park where they use a designated hitter. Cain should be in for an extremely rude awakening and Ortiz is on red alert for a bomb once again in the friendly confines of home.
Logan Forsythe, Rays, $10,200 (Early) – Logan Forsythe’s home park is a below average hitters’ park and he has still has produced a .417 wOBA against LHP this season. On Wednesday afternoon, the Rays will square off against Jorge De La Rosa in the thin atmosphere of Coors Field. In a limited sample size this season (19 ABs), Forsythe is hitting .421 on the road against LHP. Meanwhile, De La Rosa has allowed RHHs to hit nine bombs to go along with a .296/.383/.505 slash line and .381 wOBA. Forsythe couldn’t hit in a better spot in the order (leadoff), especially for cash games. While many will lean towards the red hot Evan Longoria as the premiere play on the Rays, I would prefer Forsythe for virtually the same price. I would be shocked if he didn’t end with double-digit fantasy points.
Randal Grichuk, Cardinals, $9,900 (Late) – Over the past few days, Randal Grichuk has moved into the leadoff spot in the lineup, which is an important development for his daily fantasy value moving forward. Instead of hitting in the bottom half of the lineup, Grichuk will now have the opportunity to potentially earn an additional AB in each game moving forward. After struggling through the first half of the season, Grichuk has rebounded in a big way in the month of July; .342 AVG with four HRs already in just 38 ABs. Probable starter Andrew Cashner will enter this game with an ERA above 5.00 (5.05 to be exact) but his splits favor opposing LHHs. Regardless, the Cardinals are implied to score five runs in this game, so I am simply targeting a hitter who is guaranteed to at least tie for drawing the most ABs against him. Hell, RHHs have still hit five HRs off him en route to a .441 SLG and .336 wOBA. Cashner’s 7.83 road ERA suggests he will be susceptible in this matchup as does his .517 wOBA allowed to RHHs on the road. Grichuk is quite expensive in this matchup, but there are no starting pitchers worth spending up for, so he is worth spending up for by default. UPDATE: Paul Clemens has been named the starter for tonight but he has allowed a career .396 wOBA to RHHs so Grichuk’s matchup is still as favorable as ever. Use him. SECOND UPDATE: Grichuk is not in the night lineup…He is easily replaced with $8,400 Stephen Piscotty.
Carlos Beltran, Yankees, $7,200 (Late) – After being priced at exactly $7,200 yesterday, Carlos Beltran remains criminally underpriced at the same exact cost yet again in this matchup against Yovani Gallardo. Last season, Gallardo did an excellent job of limiting the long ball (0.73 HR/9) but he has been more susceptible (1.12 HR/9) this year. Like 2015, Gallardo is still struggling to miss bats, but his GB rate has depreciated from 49.3-percent to 40.4-percent. In other words, Yankee Stadium is not a great atmosphere for him because it has played as a top five park in terms of allowing HRs over the past two seasons. Lefties have roasted Gallardo to the tune of five HRs, a .318/.417/.540 slash line and .409 wOBA so far this season. Beltran, a switch-hitter, will hit lefty against a RHP and leads the team in wOBA against the handedness (.347) this season. At this price tag, Beltran is a threat for a homer and/or multiple base hits. For this bargain price, Beltran is an elite play in any and all formats.
Kyle Hendricks, Cubs, $19,600 (Early) – A pitcher sporting some of the most substantial home/away splits so far this season is none other than Kyle Hendricks. While he has produced a 3.63 ERA away from home, Hendricks has absolutely dominated in Wrigley Field to the tune of a 1.50 ERA (60.0 IP). Neither handedness has managed more than a .245 wOBA against him at home…wOBA! Everything that I used to describe Jake Arrieta’s matchup yesterday applies again today; the Mets rank in the bottom 10 of wOBA, AVG and OBP while striking out at 22.0-percent against the handedness. Hendricks forces opponents to pound the ball into the ground (52.2-percent GB rate) so an opponent would need to string together hits to get to him. Considering the Mets’ AVG is one of the worst against the handedness, a negative outcome does not seem likely. I expect a solid quality start and an opportunity for a win against Bartolo Colon so he should be considered the safest pitcher on the entire early slate.
Gio Gonzalez, Nationals, $14,400 (Late) – The appeal for Gio Gonzalez is the strikeout potential because he has a tendency to allow too many runners. However, the Dodgers rank second to last in all of baseball in wOBA against RHP, and also rank in the bottom 10 of wRC+, ISO, AVG and OBP. Furthermore, Gonzalez has pitched better at home (4.56 ERA) as opposed to the road (4.85) so he will be pitching within his comfort zone. Simply put: pitching on the late slate is brutal so you may as well save some salary and roster cheaper pitchers with upside. Somehow, someway Gonzalez is my favorite pitching play of the evening (which isn’t saying much). UPDATE: While I still like Gonzalez for GPPs, I feel more comfortable building a cash lineup around either Drew Pomeranz or Michael Pineda as my SP1. I think both possess much higher floors in their respective matchups, especially with the horrendous lineup the Orioles relased against Pineda.
Wei-Yin Chen, Marlins, $13,500 (Late) – Instead of playing pitchers, I am playing opponents on the night slate, and I’ll take my chances with Wei-Yin Chen against the worst hitting team in the majors against LHP. While the Dodgers rank second to last in wOBA against LHP, the Phillies rank dead last. Additionally, they rank in the bottom 10 in wRC+ (last), ISO (last), BB rate, AVG (second to last), OBP (last), hard hit rate (last) and line drive percentage while striking out at 23.6-percent. Chen is nothing special but he very rarely blows up and this is the perfect price point for him in the best matchup he could possibly ask for. Roster him and Gonzalez and load up on any and every hitter you would like.
*Stats are accurate as of Tuesday, July 19