With no real pitchers worth spending up for on the slate, rostering David Oritz at home against Mike Pelfrey is an absolute must. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s MLB.
David Ortiz, Red Sox, $11,100 – This is the most expensive I’ve ever seen a hitter priced on FantasyDraft as I was led to believe $10,800 was the price ceiling…apparently not. However, the extra $300 does not dissuade me from rostering arguably the American League MVP to this point at home against a subpar opponent (Mike Pelfrey). The Red Sox are implied to score a slate-leading 6.5 runs at home against a RHP with a career 4.54 ERA, 1.50 WHIP and 5.03 K/9. If you’ve read this article before, you’ve heard me harp on just how dominant Ortiz has been specifically at home but let’s review; he is slashing .369/.467/.759 at home overall but that ticks up to .393/.503/.848 at home against right-handers only. Those are video game numbers so start a video game-esque hitter in a dream matchup and enjoy reaping the benefits.
Manny Machado, Orioles, $7,800 – None of the top tier starting pitchers are slated to start on Tuesday so spending up on bats isn’t an issue…yet all the Orioles bats are drastically underpriced. Still, the RHHs especially are in an intriguing spot against Chad Bettis and his extreme reverse splits. In 60.2 IP against righties, Bettis has allowed 10 HRs to go along with a .303/.346/.496 slash line and .359 wOBA (compared to just four HRs, a .279/.343/.402 slash line and .323 wOBA against lefties). Multiple RHHs on the Orioles offense possess reverse splits themselves including, of course, Manny Machado. Only Mark Trumbo has produced a superior wOBA against RHP on the team this season but Machado’s numbers aren’t too shabby. Hell, Machado is slashing .314/.368/.564 against the handedness with a solid .250 ISO. Realistically, Machado is a $10,000 hitter in this matchup, so the value is too substantial to pass on.
Rajai Davis, Indians, $7,500 – Many of the top offensive plays on the slate come with price tags that do not match their potential and Rajai Davis certainly applies. Rostering the suggested plays in this article together will mean you can literally roster any other hitter you want alongside them but so be it. For his career, Davis is slashing .293/.348/.44 against LHP with a .346 wOBA and 120 stolen bases (SBs). This year, Davis has stolen seven of his 24 total bases against LHPs despite more than 100 less ABs against the handedness. Opposing starter Gio Gonzalez has struggled on the road this season to the tune of a 4.85 ERA and 1.33 WHIP while only striking out 7.79 batters per nine innings (compared to 10.20 K/9 at home). Furthermore, Gonzalez will experience a negative league shift and will now have to face a designated hitter in an extreme hitters’ park. Watch out for this Indians offense as an under-the-radar stack option but make sure Davis makes it into cash lineups because he possesses the ability to contribute in a multitude of ways.
Adam Jones, Orioles, $7,200 – One member from the Orioles is simply not enough as I expect an offensive explosion from this squad. The aforementioned Machado is the best combination of price and skill set but Adam Jones is quite the steal considering his elite spot in the order (leadoff). Jones ain’t too shabby either from a skill set perspective as he has managed a .340 wOBA, .198 ISO and .279/.322/.477 slash line against RHP. The great part about Jones is the guarantee to at least tie for the most plate appearances on the team while hitting first. Also, all the big boppers including Jonathan Schoop, Manny Machado and Mark Trumbo hit directly behind him, so he has an excellent chance to score multiple runs. Jones came through at this price tag last night against a left-hander (his less favorable side of the platoon split) so you better be deploying him against a pitcher who plays to his strengths.
Danny Salazar, Indians, $18,300 – Unless the wind is blowing out in Boston (to help the knuckleballer Steven Wright), only one starting pitcher makes sense to spend up for: Danny Salazar. Listed as a -140 favorite, already 70-plus percent of the public betting money is coming in for the Indians. Part of the equation are Gonzalez’s previously mentioned struggles on the road but Salazar is easily the top strikeout talent taking the mound tonight. Even though the Nationals only strike out at 19.1-percent versus RHP, Salazar’s 10.10 K/9 ranks 11th among qualified starters. Washington rates as a neutral matchup in most categories but rank in the bottom 10 of AVG. The price discount for Salazar accurately reflects the difficulty of the matchup so he still possesses plenty of upside at this price tag. He’ll probably end up the heaviest-owned player in cash games and for good reason.
Chris Tillman, Orioles, $15,900 – If looking for a starter to pair with Salazar, do not simply spend up on a player for perceived safety because Chris Tillman could produce as many fantasy points as anyone on the slate. Away from Coors Field, the Rockies have only hit for a .239 AVG, or the fourth worst AVG on the road in all of baseball. Additionally, their .295 team wOBA on the road ranks exactly fourth worst as well. Even though Baltimore is a hitters’ park, it is nothing like the outlier atmosphere in the high altitude of the Rocky Mountains. Therefore, the Rockies should more closely resemble their road splits in this matchup than their overall splits against RHP (second in wOBA, third in ISO). Tillman quietly has been on quite a roll as of late by stringing together four consecutive starts with at least 17.55 fantasy points. Look for him to make it four in a row against a team that only managed two runs last night against Yovani Gallardo.
Bud Norris, Dodgers, $12,600 – Similarly to Tillman, Bud Norris has been on quite a roll for a pitcher whose price rarely surpasses the level it is currently at. Since Jun. 10, Norris has produced at least 10.45 fantasy points in every non-rain shortened start. That level of consistency is good enough at this price tag especially when factoring in the matchup at home against the Rays. Tampa Bay owns the third highest K rate in baseball against RHP and the highest of any team in the American League. On Tuesday, they’ll venture to Dodgers Stadium and lose their designated hitter. The Rays already rank in the bottom 10 of wOBA, BB rate, AVG, OBP and line drive rate…and that’s with their designated hitter. Without one, their lineup rates as one of the most favorable matchups in all of baseball for an opposing right-hander. In other words, you could do worse than spending down for a recently consistent Norris.
*Stats are accurate as of Monday, July 25