Enjoy this evening after rostering Matt Shoemaker in a fantastic matchup at home against a Josh Reddick-less Athletics team. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s MLB.
Trea Turner, Nationals, $6,600 – The pricing algorithm just doesn’t seem to recognize the talent level of Trea Turner. Not only is Trea Turner MLB.com’s 11th ranked prospect at the moment but he is slashing .317/.359/.467 through 60 ABs this season. As if his talent level and production weren’t enough, he has been leading off for the Nationals as well, so he hits in the premier spot in the order. Tuesday’s slate features one ace that stands out above the others and a game in Coors Field so bargains are going to be necessary. There is too much upside packed into this scrub price tag to pass on. Period, end of story.
John Jaso, Pirates, $4,800 – Speaking of absurd prices, John Jaso and Pirates lefties are primed for a big performance against one of the worst pitchers against LHP…yet Jaso costs a measly $4,800. Now, the Pirates have been messing with their lineup lately as both David Freese and Adam Frazier have led off at times, but Jaso will be hitting first in all likelihood. Opposing pitcher Mike Foltynewicz has already allowed seven HRs to LHHs in just 28.0 IP against them this season to along with a .262/.325/.562 slash line and .366 wOBA. After a 3.51 ERA in May, Foltynewicz has regressed with a 6.00 ERA in June and 4.99 ERA so far in July. Jaso has struggled a bit compared to what we’re used to with him this year but still sports a .318 wOBA and .266/.341/.381 slash line against RHP this year. While those numbers aren’t great, they will be enhanced by a matchup against a susceptible pitcher and a ballpark that rates much more favorably for LHHs (Turner Field) than his home park (PNC Park), per RotoGrinders Park Factors. If leading off, plug him in and move on. Note: Adam Frazier would still be worthy of a roster spot if he were to lead off instead. If David Freese draws the start in the one hole, he can safely be avoided.
Gregory Polanco, Pirates, $9,900 – One Pirate simply isn’t enough in this matchup as the team is implied to score 4.7 runs. While seven teams are implied to score more runs, the Pirates feel like the safest bet outside of Coors to finish with five runs. Why? Over the last week, the Pirates have begun to hit as they rank 12th in wOBA during that span, and they simply are a better hitting team than they have shown over the last month. In July, no regular produced a greater SLG than Gregory Polanco’s .500 tally. Furthermore, Polanco sports a .375 wOBA, .224 ISO and .297/.397./.521 against RHP this season. Essentially, he has both been the one leading the charge recently and the likeliest of candidates to lead the offense tonight. In a perfect matchup for a skilled hitter of his handedness, Polanco legitimately makes a case for being a superior play to the likes of both Carlos Gonzalez and Charlie Blackmon (who play in Coors Field).
Guillermo Heredia, Mariners, $4,400 – This is a name you probably hadn’t heard of until yesterday evening when Guillermo Heredia was called up by the Mariners and immediately inserted into the leadoff spot. Heredia, a Cuban defector, is better known for his glove than his bat as he won two gold gloves in the Cuban League. However, his numbers weren’t even all that impressive in Cuba other than his OBP which continually hovered around .380. Heredia doesn’t hit many HRs or steal many bases but he gets on base which can lead to runs scored. At this price tag, all you need is him getting on base once or twice and scoring a run. This is purely a price play because the skill set isn’t great but I almost never overlook sub-$5,000 leadoff hitters in cash games…especially when pitching is worth paying up for. David Price quietly owns an ERA greater than 4.00 on the road (4.16) so he isn’t exactly among the ultra-elite tier. My rule is to start leadoff hitters at this cost unless they are facing absolute dominant starters and Price does not apply. Therefore, rostering Heredia and Jaso should open up plenty of salary to fit bats with upside alongside them.
Madison Bumgarner, Giants, $25,200 – Cheap bats are listed in this article because Madison Bumgarner will toe the mound in Citizens Bank Park against the lowly Phillies…and that is hard to overlook. When Bumgarner faced Philadelphia at home earlier this season (Jun. 25), he lasted 6.1 IP with seven Ks en route to 18.65 fantasy points. Fast forward to a month later and the Phillies have regressed all the way to dead last in wOBA against LHP. Although they ranked in the bottom five for a long time, they have bottomed out due to their struggles in July. Bumgarner catches them at their lowest which is excellent news for him. Cumulatively, the Phillies rank in the bottom 10 of wOBA, wRC+, ISO, BB rate, AVG, OBP, hard hit rate and line drive percentage while striking out at a rate of 22.8-percent against the handedness. They are the best matchup Bumgarner could possibly ask for, and while he’ll experience a bit of a negative park shift, the opponent more than makes up for it. This is a fantastic matchup for a true ace so you will not want to miss out.
Jacob deGrom, Mets, $22,200 – Jacob deGrom is Tuesday’s version of Kyle Hendricks in the sense that he has absolutely dominated at home and faces a favorable opponent in the friendly confines of his home park. Heading into Monday afternoon, the Yankees leader in wOBA against RHP this season was none other than Carlos Beltran. By the early evening, Beltran had been traded to the Rangers for a Minor League pitcher. In other words, a Yankees lineup that already ranked dead last in the American League in terms of wOBA only got worse at the deadline. Now they will square off against a pitcher with a 2.18 ERA at home without the luxury of the designated hitter. Pairing deGrom with Bumgarner in cash games provides an incredibly safe floor but deGrom can be deployed as a SP1 if extra salary is necessary for formidable bats.
Matt Shoemaker, Angels, $16,400 – Ownership levels are going to be interesting for the mid-tier of pitchers on Tuesday and I’m curious to see where Matt Shoemaker falls. Although there is nothing scary about the matchup and multiple factors working in Shoemaker’s favor, I expect the masses to gravitate towards the likes of Carlos Carrasco, Gerrit Cole and Lance McCullers over him. Hell, people may even decide to spend down on Dylan Bundy. Let others go those routes because Shoemaker’s floor is as high if not higher than any of theirs in a matchup at home against the Athletics. First of all, Shoemaker’s ERA at home (3.23) is vastly superior to the tally he has produced on the road (5.00). Additionally, the Athletics traded their best weapon against RHP at the deadline and already ranked in the bottom 10 of wOBA against the handedness. For the remainder of the season, they’ll likely give the Yankees a run for their money as the worst hitting team against right-handers. So, to review, a talented RHP will square off against a weak opponent at home (where he has pitched significantly better). Hard to ask for a better situation from a pitcher in this price range. Oh by the way, Shoemaker threw a six hit shutout in his last home start to go along with 13 Ks.
*Stats are accurate as of Monday, August 1