The Marlins have scored five runs against right-handed starters over their list five games and Jerad Eickhoff is cheap ($14,400). Therefore, there is very little risk to using him as a SP2 in any and all formats. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s MLB.
David Ortiz, Red Sox, $10,800 – Today’s article is going to heavily resemble yesterday’s article because the same principles are in play: spend up on hitting and fire up a bargain SP2. Another concept resembling yesterday is the fact that I’m going to recommend you need to start David Ortiz. With affordable pitching, there is no reason not to roster arguably the best hitter on the planet right now. Among all hitters with at least 10 ABs versus RHP, Ortiz ranks first in wOBA with a .479 tally. To echo yesterday’s sentiments, Ortiz has somehow fared even better at home; in Fenway this season, he is slashing .406/.518/.880 against RHP. His opponent, Tyler Duffey, has allowed four HRs to LHP even though he possesses reverse splits. Nevertheless, Boston is easily implied to score the most runs on the entire slate (6.1) so Vegas believes the Red Sox will get to him. Sometimes the skill of the hitter is just superior to the skill set of the pitcher and cancels out their strengths. In this case, I trust Ortiz more than Duffey’s ability to shut down lefties, and I’ll roster him even at this outrageous price tag.
Evan Longoria, Rays, $9,000 – Somehow, after a monster series in Coors Field, Evan Longoria is likely going to be a contrarian option on Thursday evening. Why? He’ll be experiencing an extreme negative ballpark shift heading from the high altitude of Denver to the spacious Oakland Coliseum. Over the past few seasons, Oakland has played as a below average hitters’ park, per ESPN Park Factors. Furthermore, Longoria will square off against Sonny Gray, and he will not be one of the first names people aim to target against. However, the statistics suggest opposing RHPs draw a favorable matchup against him; he has allowed 10 HRs to the handedness with a .277/.359/.526 slash line and .374 wOBA. Pitching at home has not been kind to Gray in 2016 as he’s allowed a 5.37 ERA including a .284/.358/.505 slash line and .369 wOBA to RHHs. Meanwhile, Longoria is amidst a monster season that includes a substantial improvement against right-handers. If this is zigging while everyone else is zagging then there is plenty of potential upside to make rostering him worthwhile.
Randal Grichuk, Cardinals, $8,700 – Note: Andrew Cashner was pushed back from yesterday to today and Grichuk wasn’t in the lineup…In other words, this is a repeat from yesterday because literally all of the facts still apply. 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 that cost more than $20,000 on the slate, so he is worth spending up for by default.
Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies, $10,400 – The Rockies are listed as -163 favorites in a game with a 12 run over/under in Coors Field so all of their hitters are firmly in play. If there is a group of hitters to focus on, it’s Colorado’s pack of left-handed hitters because Mike Foltynewicz has been lit up by lefties his entire career. Okay so Foltynewicz now has struck out double-digit hitters in consecutive games but he has still allowed a .573 SLG and .359 wOBA to LHHs overall this year. In fact, those numbers are only slightly better than his career averages of .591 SLG and .396 wOBA to the handedness. Guys throwing hard in Coors are susceptible to power and Carlos Gonzalez is the prime suspect to potentially take him yard. Gonzalez easily leads all regulars with a .402 wOBA against RHP (Nolan Arenado ranks second with a .384 tally) to complement his .224 ISO, .336/.394/.560 slash line and 12 HRs. It would be a shocker if Gonzalez didn’t manage an extra-base hit in this contest and therefore he should be a building block for any and all formats.
Adam Wainwright, Cardinals, $20,000 – Last night, Jaime Garcia quieted the recently hot Padres bats and Adam Wainwright will look to continue that trend for the second straight game. On paper, San Diego presents a much more favorable matchup for opposing RHPs than LHPs and Wainwright is coming off a three hit shutout. Not only do the Padres rank in the bottom two of wOBA and wRC+ against RHP but they also rank in the bottom 10 of BB rate, AVG, OBP and hard hit rate. As icing on the cake, the Padres have struck out at the fourth highest rate (23.4-percent) against the handedness including second highest in the National League (behind only the Brewers). The only starter without substantial downside is Wainwright so he is clearly the top starting pitcher to build around…at least in cash games.
Steven Wright, Red Sox, $18,000 – Starting a pitcher in a game with an over/under of 10 runs is never settling but Steven Wright is listed as a gigantic favorite (-225). Even so, Vegas still implies the Twins are going to score 4.1 runs. Typically, you would like your ace to be listed as a big favorite and implied to allow 3.3 runs or so. Batter versus pitcher (BvP) data is only relevant in terms of knuckleballers and those are the numbers that are encouraging if considering Wright; Twins’ active hitters have slashed .264/.304/.283 against Wright with zero HRs and two RBIs (53 ABs). Essentially, they haven’t been able to figure him out in the past, but all it takes is one swing to change the course of history. Still, if weather conditions hold up (warm and humid) and Wright can continue to limit the Twins’ power, he has a shot to put together a monster outing (as evident by his 2.78 ERA and 1.18 WHIP). With the lack of surety surrounding this start, Wright is best left for GPPs but can be deployed in cash games if you have the guts.
Jerad Eickhoff, Phillies, $14,400 – Suddenly the Marlins bats have gone cold and RHPs have strung together dominant outings against them over the past week or so. Over the last five games, the Marlins have faced five right-handed starters and have only scored five runs off of the starters during that span. This stretch has depreciated the Marlins to ranking just outside the bottom 10 in wOBA and they have actually fallen into that range in the wRC+, ISO, BB rate and hard hit percentage statistics. Like most right-handers, Eickhoff has produced normal splits with LHHs faring better against him. Other than Derek Dietrich, the Marlins currently do not really possess any legitimate lefty threats in the lineup (with Justin Bour on the disabled list). Therefore, it can reasonably be inferred that Eickhoff will once again put together a solid outing against a team not putting up much of a fight these days. Using him as a SP2 in all formats allows you to fit any bats of your choosing.
*Stats are accurate as of Wednesday, July 20