I Want Duvall or Nothing at All

I’ll never understand why Adam Duvall is so cheap but one thing is for sure; he’s a must-start at this price tag. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s MLB.

Infield:

Gordon Beckham, Braves, $7,200 – Opposing starter Tyler Anderson had pitched remarkably in his first six starts this season especially considering four of those games were in Colorado. Once again, Anderson will have the tall task of toeing the mound in Coors Field, except this time he’ll take on the Braves. Overall, this is a pretty decent matchup for the pitcher because the Braves stink on paper (rank dead last in wOBA) against LHP. However, the one bat that stand out above all others on the Braves side is Gordon Beckham likely hitting leadoff. Beckham is one of just two players on the team with a wOBA greater than .336 (along with Freddie Freeman) against LHP but he is nearly $2,000 cheaper than his left-handed teammate. I’ll mention this a lot in this article but cheap hitters will be needed to fill spots on this slate and Beckham is a cheap leadoff hitter in his platoon advantage playing in Coors Field…What else could you ask for?

Kendrys Morales, Royals, $6,000 – For some reason, the pricing algorithm always overlooks the Royals regardless of matchup. In this case, the Royals draw a reasonably difficult matchup against Cole Hamels at home but the whole team is priced like they are bums. Spoiler alert: they are not. One player that stands out from the pack at the depreciated price is Kendrys Morales and his team-leading .387 wOBA against LHP. Moreover, he leads the team in ISO (.250) and is slashing .313/.364/.563 against the handedness with a 32.8-percent hard hit rate. In three career ABs versus Hamels, Morales is 2-3 (.667) with a HR. In fact, this isn’t that unsurprising when you take into account Hamels has allowed 13 HRs to RHHs this season. Targeting against an ace isn’t usually ideal in cash games but the aces are the clear priority on this slate as well as Coors Field. In order to make room to fit a combination of all of the above, Morales fills a spot while providing nice upside.

Outfield:

Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies, $10,000 – Okay so unlike the last few days, Saturday isn’t the day to overlook Coors Field bats…especially the Rockies. Vegas implies the Rockies will score 6.6 runs are they are listed as whopping -170 favorites against Matt Wisler who is amidst a meltdown since the beginning of June. After a 2.51 ERA in May, Wisler has posted a 6.59 ERA in June and 7.88 ERA in July thus far. Wisler allowed a .384 wOBA to LHHs in 2015, and while he dominated them to begin the season, he has since regressed back to the norm (.352 wOBA in 55.2 IP this year). Lefties have now hit 10 bombs of Wisler this season…and now he’ll pitch in the hitters’ haven of Coors Field. The one left-handed power threat that stands out above all others on the Rockies is none other than Carlos Gonzalez and his .402 wOBA against RHP. Even with aces on the slate, fading Gonzalez is a dangerous proposition, so you’ll want to find a way to fit him regardless.

Adam Duvall, Reds, $6,400 – Robbie Ray is an enticing pitcher for the daily fantasy game because of his ability to miss bats but RHHs are a definite weakness for him. In 76.0 IP against the handedness, righties have hit 12 HRs off of him to go along with a .285/.367/.459 slash line and .356 wOBA. Over a limited sample size (34 ABs), Duvall has slashed .294/.333/.588 at home against lefties in the hitter-friendly environment of the Great American Ballpark. Duvall’s 23 HRs are tied for eighth most in baseball so this price tag is a bit surprising outside of a matchup against Clayton Kershaw or Jose Fernandez. At this cost, I’ll literally roster him against any mid-tier pitcher in baseball, especially at home.

Pitcher:

Jose Fernandez, Marlins, $26,800 – With Max Scherzer drawing a matchup against the Padres on this slate, the decision between rostering him and Jose Fernandez is pretty difficult. Ideally, fitting both would be fantastic but that severely limits the quality of bats you can roster. Therefore, it makes sense to only roster one in order to make room for Coors bats at the very least. My preference is Fernandez because he is virtually automatic at home; he has produced at least 17.35 fantasy points in every start at home this season and at least 24.70 fantasy points in 10 of his 11 starts in Marlins Park. Oh by the way he leads the majors in K rate the Mets strike out at the eighth highest rate against RHP. The Padres have been hitting recently so that ultimately is the deciding factor for me to lean Fernandez over Scherzer although I absolutely love the spot for both.

David Price, Red Sox, $21,600 – The man tied with Scherzer as the largest favorite on the slate (-270) is none other than David Price. Each of Price’s last two starts at home have come against two formidable foes and he has struck out double-digits in each. The trend stretches beyond the last two starts as he has registered a much superior ERA at home (4.06) as opposed to on the road (4.77). His opponent, the Twins, rank in the top 10 of wOBA against LHP but strike out at a rate just outside the top 10 (21.5-percent) against the handedness. Although he isn’t nearly the stone cold lead pipe lock for 20-plus fantasy points that the two absolute studs on the slate likely are, he possesses nearly enough upside for cheaper…with enough of a salary difference to potentially fit at least a beastly bat or two alongside your SPs.

Kendall Graveman, Athletics, $15,300 – Are you feeling lucky punk? Well, are you? No team in the American League strikes out at a higher rate against RHP than the Rays (24.3-percent) and they also rank in the bottom 10 of wOBA, AVG, OBP and line drive rate. Following a rough start to the year, Kendall Graveman has begun to turn things around with a 2.08 ERA so far in July. The one noticeable change this month is the extreme drop in line drive rate from the past few months which has led to a much lower BABIP (.209). While that is probably unsustainable, Graveman greatly prefers pitching at home (2.91 ERA at home versus 5.25 on the road). The right-hander attempts to force opponents to pound the ball into the ground and he will be successful if he can force the Rays to do just that. His skill set alone deems him a risky proposition but this is the prime spot to use him (if you were ever going to).

*Stats are accurate as of Friday, July 22

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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