They call Alex Dickerson “Grandpa” but him providing value at a bargain price tag never gets old. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s MLB.
Nolan Arenado, Rockies, $10,400 – With Vegas projecting a typical 11.5 run over/under in Coors Field despite the Rockies sending out their ace (Jon Gray), it’s clear the odds-makers expect a big game from the Colorado bats…and why not? Opposing starter Adam Conley’s ERA is more than a run higher on the road (3.92) as opposed to at home and he sports a dangerous 37.8-percent GB rate for those pitching in the high altitude. As if that weren’t enough, all 10 HRs he has allowed have come off the bats of RHHs despite the reverse splits he has produced (.336 wOBA allowed to LHHs versus .301 to RHHs). Of course, this atmosphere isn’t just an average road game so knock his projection down a standard deviation or so compared to literally any other ballpark. Meanwhile, Arenado is slashing .345/.446/.600 against LHP at home this season with a ridiculous .432 wOBA. Fading this game completely is not an option on this slate and Arenado (as per usual) stands out as above and beyond the best play.
Scooter Gennett, Brewers, $7,500 – Similarly to yesterday, the game in Chase Field projects as close second in terms of stack-ability, behind only Coors. For tournament purposes, using multiple players from the game made all the sense in the world because their salaries were similarly juiced to those playing in Denver. On Sunday, Scooter Gennett’s price wall by the wayside a little bit, especially in an elite matchup against probable starter Archie Bradley. In 40.0 IP at home this season, Bradley sports an ugly 6.30 ERA and 1.55 WHIP. Furthermore, Bradley has allowed a .397 wOBA to LHHs, or more than 100 percentage points higher than RHHs (.287). Consequently, left-handed Scooter Gennett makes the most sense among Brewers hitters due to his .337 career wOBA against RHP (second on the team, behind only Ryan Braun). Kirk Nieuwenhuis actually owns a superior wOBA against RHP this year, and hits left-handed, except he has hit .126 on the road this season (compared to .304 at home). Expect Gennett to get the offense going out of the two spot, reach base multiple times and potentially score some runs en route to justifying the price tag.
Chris Davis, Orioles, $8,400 – After a brutal month of July (.153 AVG), Chris Davis has started the month 2-15 (.133) with two singles. Until he busts out of it, his ownership percentage is going to keep sinking and sinking until it hovers around zero-percent in tournaments in tournaments. When analyzing a player who has hit 33-plus HRs in three of his last four seasons, the end just has to be in site. Pedro Alvarez is the en fuego lefty on the Orioles so many will likely go that route but Davis is well worth rostering in tournaments. Why? Even though James Shields just snapped out of a streak that earned him a 1.78 ERA in July, glaring signs have been there all along suggesting regression. The K rate for Shields was down to 4.08 K/9 along with a 100-percent LOB rate, 5.00 FIP, 5.32 xFIP and 21.6-percent line drive rate. He basically cheated fate for an entire month and the results came crashing back to Earth in his last start versus the Tigers. Vegas lists the Orioles as a -125 favorite in Chicago in a game with a 9.5 over/under so the Orioles are implied to score one of the top run totals on the slate. Considering left-handers have managed a .345 wOBA and eight HRs off Shields this year, Davis is in a fantastic spot to break out of this slump at an extremely limited ownership percentage.
Alex Dickerson, Padres, $6,400 – Five of the six HRs Alex Dickerson has mashed this year have come off of RHPs and he’s slashing .282/.337/.538 against this handedness with a .365 wOBA. My focus in recent weeks amongst the Padres lefties has been Ryan Schimpf, who certainly is in play, but Dickerson possesses the higher floor (because Schimpf is only hitting .225 versus the handedness). Since Matt Kemp was recently traded to the Braves, Alex Dickerson has taken over the cleanup role in the order and went 1-4 against Jake Thompson on Saturday evening. The matchup doesn’t get much more difficult on Sunday as Jerad Eickhoff and his 4.57 road ERA will toe the mound in Petco Park. July turned out to be Eickhoff’s worst month yet as he registered a season-worst 4.50 ERA and 4.38 xFIP. Also, Eickhoff has allowed a .328 wOBA to LHHs this season including eight of the 15 HRs he has allowed overall. All of the Padres left-handers are in play, but with Dickerson’s price listed as $800 cheaper than Schimpf, he’s clearly the best bargain on the team (and arguably on the slate).
Gerrit Cole, Pirates, $17,600 – Not only is Gerrit Cole listed as the second heaviest favorite on the slate (-182) but the 3.2 implied runs he is projected to allow are tied for the least of any starter. Early on, 80-percent of the public betting money has come in on the Pirates so the consensus is Cole should emerge victorious against the Reds. Statistics back up the favorability of the matchup as the Reds ranks in the bottom 10 of wOBA, wRC+, ISO, BB rate, AVG, OBP and hard hit rate against RHP. Additionally, Cole’s home ERA (2.53) is superior to his tally on the road (2.93) so he’ll be pitching within his comfort zone. Although he’s not priced like an ace, he should fare like one, and therefore he can/should be locked and loaded as a SP1 in all formats.
Carlos Carrasco, Indians, $15,900 – Heading into Carlos Carrasco’s last start (Aug. 2), he had strung together three consecutive quality starts including seven quality starts in his last eight…then he imploded against a red-hot Twins offense (3.2 IP, eight ER). His upcoming matchup against the Yankees in Yankee Stadium isn’t as difficult as it’s perceived to be…especially after the Carlos Beltran trade. New York ranks in the bottom 10 of wOBA, wRC+, ISO, AVG, OBP, hard hit rate and line drive percentage against RHP this season. As icing on the cake, Carrasco sports a 1.72 ERA and .230 wOBA allowed away from Progressive Field this year. After taking a beating his last time out, his ownership may take a hit, but this is a crazy price tag for a guy with ace-caliber skills.
Adam Wainwright, Cardinals, $15,600 – Speaking of aces with crazy price tags, Adam Wainwright is listed as about $4,000 to cheap. Why spend up on Yu Darvish or Madison Bumgarner with multiple talented guys listed at sub-$16,000 prices? They possess similar upside and allow a multitude of bats to be rostered alongside them. Like Cole, Wainwright is tied for the least implied runs projected to be allowed on the slate (3.2) except Wainwright is a whopping -224 favorite (highest on the slate). Wainwright’s 2.58 home ERA and .264 wOBA allowed are impressive tallies but really the allure of this matchup is in his opponent. The Braves rank dead last in wOBA and wRC+ against RHP while also ranking in the bottom 10 of ISO, AVG, OBP and hard hit rate against the handedness. While the Braves do not strike out much, there are too many factors working in Wainwright’s favor to completely overlook. He’s a prime SP2 option in cash games.
*Stats are accurate as of Saturday, August 6