Drew Pomeranz draws a start agaisnt a dreadful Yankees team against LHP and he has started to find his rhythym in the American League. Start him with confidence. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s MLB.
David Ortiz, Red Sox, $10,200 – David Ortiz at home against a RHP is always a rock solid option for cash games but the matchup against Nathan Eovaldi even takes it to another level. While Ortiz is only 4-12 (.333) off Eovaldi in his career with zero XBH, all phony trends must come to an end. Although I probably sound like a broken record if you read this article religiously, Ortiz has produced a mind-numbingly awesome .369/.447/.809 slash line against righties at home to go along with a .439 ISO and .513 wOBA. Meanwhile Eovaldi, while pitching better of late, has already allowed 12 HRs to LHHs to complement a hefty .267/.345/.526 slash line and .367 wOBA. Okay so he has allowed 11 HRs to RHHs as well, so Mookie Betts is obviously in play as well, but why not use the beast with all splits in his favor? Considering two bad pitchers will toe the mound in Texas with a 10 run over/under, Ortiz has the possibility to go drastically under-owned.
Adrian Beltre, Rangers, $8,300 – Did I mention the dueling scrubs in The Lone Star State? Somehow, someway borderline gas can Jorge De La Rosa has managed a superior ERA at home (5.06) compared to on the road (6.10)…and this will not be played in Coors Field. So far this season, De La Rosa has produced an ERA of 4.21 or above in three of the months (not including his one start in August) and at least an 11-plus ERA twice (which is a little misleading because he only made one start in May). Still, RHHs have walloped nine of the 12 total HRs he has allowed and sport a .289/.379/.468 slash line (.367 wOBA) against him. Apparently .367 wOBA allowed is the theme of the article because that’s the same exact total as Eovaldi has allowed except De La Rosa will pitch in a friendlier game environment for offense (according to Vegas). In fact, the Rangers are implied to outscore the Red Sox 5.6 to 5.5 and their top hitters are significantly cheaper than Ortiz. The first bat to look at is Adrian Beltre and his .380 wOBA, .323/.385/.515 slash line against lefties this year. While we will get to a better value in the same game, multiple bats from the Rangers are necessary in cash games, so start with the aging veteran.
Ian Desmond, Rangers, $8,700 – This season, Ian Desmond has been such a monster at home that his numbers against lefties in Arlington actually exceed Ortiz’s in Fenway Park against righties! I didn’t think it was possible but somehow it is true. At home in the split, he has slashed an insane .468/.479/.807 against LHP with a .539 wOBA! Just to give perspective, he has only slashed .317/.362/.514 with a .344 wOBA against LHP on the road. They say everything is bigger in Texas and apparently that includes Desmond’s ISO numbers because his .340 tally at home kicks the hell out of his .121 road total vs LHP. The Rangers ballpark plays favorable to RHHs in every single category other than doubles so it’s no wonder Desmond enjoys hitting there. If you fade Desmond on this slate, you are straight up asking for trouble.
Alex Dickerson, Padres, $7,600 – Here is one of my favorites who has popped up a lot lately because I think he is a rising star and should be priced in the mid-$8,000s…especially on the road. Until he gets there, starting him against mediocre RHPs on the road should continue to be a profitable proposition. Quietly, Dickerson is slashing .294/.333/.578 with seven HRs and three steals (STL) in just over 100 (102) ABs. While the sample size is small, Alex Dickerson possesses some intense home/road splits that actually make a lot of sense. Petco Park is one of the two least hitter-friendly parks in the National League over the past two seasons (per ESPN Park Factors) so why wouldn’t he see a boast in more conducive environments. Away from home, he is slashing .311/.340/.667 with a .356 ISO and .420 wOBA against RHP, while those totals drop to .268/.333/.463 at home with a .195 ISO and .328 wOBA. It’s clear this kid is viable regardless of atmosphere but why not take advantage of the positive park uptick in a matchup against Ryan Vogelsong? The guy was allowing a .388 wOBA to lefties prior to injury this year and owns a .344 tally against the handedness. He is nothing special, and Dickerson is, so start the youngster with confidence in any and all formats.
Justin Verlander, Tigers, $25,200 – Although Justin Verlander is the most expensive pitcher on the slate, his recent results are off the chart. Over the course of his last seven starts, he hasn’t sunk below 26 fantasy points in any of them, and only dipped below 42 fantasy points that one time. Now, he’ll head to the most pitcher-friendly stadium in the American League (AL) for a date with the Mariners. While their bats are respectable, he recently tossed excellent games in Boston, Toronto and Tampa Bay. When a pitcher is on this kind of roll, it’s probably worth it to just take the plunge and spend up for him…oh, and 80-percent of the public betting money is already on the Tigers.
Drew Pomeranz, Red Sox, $17,600 – The Yankees are so horrendous against LHP that they actually rank dead last in the AL in wOBA against the handedness. Furthermore, they rank in the bottom 10 of wRC+, ISO, AVG, OBP and hard hit rate. Carlos Beltran was recently traded so their offense’s best weapon has abandoned ship. They basically are a helpless squad against the handedness and Pomeranz should get plenty of run support at home. Like Verlander, Pomeranz has thrown some monster games in two of his last three, so he seems to be getting reunited with the AL formatting and designated hitter. He’s the safe SP2 play in all formats or even SP1 if you find a bargain bin guy you’re comfortable with in GPPs.
Ian Kennedy, Padres, $17,200 – If Verlander proves to be too rich for your blood, starting pitchers against the White Sox are virtually always a solid investment these days. Other than Adam Eaton and Melky Cabrera, the White Sox rely on the occasional bomb from Todd Frazier…and that’s really all their offense. The bottom of the order is putrid, Jose Abreu is amidst a terrible season and dreams of Avisail Garcia developing into a stud are nothing but pipe dreams at this point. Overall, the White Sox rank in the bottom 10 of wOBA, wRC+, ISO, BB rate, OBP, hard hit rate and line drive percentage versus RHP, and those all play well to Kennedy’s skill set. Why? Kennedy struggles when he allows hard contact, mostly of the HR variety (already allowed 26 this year), but this opponent does not score favorably in any of the power-signifying categories. Therefore, Kennedy can be locked and loaded wherever you see fit, although he’s probably a better cash game fit alongside Pomeranz, in order to roster expensive bats.
*Stats are accurate as of Tuesday, August 9