Zach Davies will square off against a Reds team that recently lost their best hitter via trade (Jay Bruce) and the guy loves pitching at home. Therefore, there should be no hesitation in regards to starting him. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s MLB.
Jake Lamb, Diamondbacks – On Saturday, Clay Buchholz is scheduled to slide back into the rotation after not having thrown more than three innings in an outing since Jul. 2. Overall, Buchholz has allowed a 5.64 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 1.68 HR/9 and 5.74 K/9 over the course of 91.0 IP. Tonight’s game will be played in Fenway Park where Boston is listed as heavy -175 favorites in a game with a projected 10.0 run over/under. No doubt David Ortiz will be a popular play against Archie Bradley but Jake Lamb is a great play as well. Not only does he lead the Diamondbacks with a .421 wOBA and .329 ISO against RHP but Buchholz has allowed a .306/.402/.503 slash line to left-handers with a .387 wOBA. Full on stacking this game in tournaments is a smart play on this slate because both pitchers are brutal and this should easily prove to be the highest scoring game of the day. Look for some hard contact from Lamb with the possibility to sneak one around the pesky pole in right field for a homer.
Ian Desmond, Rangers – Ian Desmond feasts at home especially against LHP. Probable starter Matt Boyd has pitched admirably at home, but unfortunately for him, this game will take place in the Ballpark in Arlington. On the road, Boyd’s ERA more than doubles as he has produced a 6.94 ERA away from Comerica Park compared to 3.06 at home. Looking at Desmond’s splits, he is slashing an absolutely ridiculous .460/.462/.780 at home against LHP with a .320 ISO and .514 wOBA! The man has been simply amazing at home overall but the numbers against lefties are out of this world. Considering Boyd has allowed a .303/.349/.561 slash line on the road, Desmond is in a prime spot to go absolutely nuts.
Christian Yelich, Marlins – After a short-lived span of respectability, James Shields is back to being the gas can he has been for a majority of the season. His ERA now sits at 5.43 but his career-low K/9, 34.3-percent hard hit rate, 21.2-percent line drive rate, 1.55 WHIP, 3.90 BB/9, 1.67 HR/9 and 5.58 FIP all suggest he has actually pitched worse than ever his poor ERA would suggest. The guy is flat-out terrible these days and needs to be taken advantage of any time he toes the mound. All bats are in play against him, and while his splits tilt in a reverse manner this season, his career suggest he fares nearly the same against both sides of the plate. Essentially you can just start the opposing team’s best bats against him and they should come through. Christian Yelich leads the Marlins in wOBA handily against RHP this year (.409) to complement a .216 ISO and .333/.412/.550 slash line (43.7-percent hard hit rate) against the handedness. In other words, he’s their best hitter so he’s the one you want to roster against Shields. Period, end of story.
David Dahl, Rockies – To begin his career, David Dahl has hit safely in a record 17 consecutive games (and counting). Lefties, righties, it just hasn’t mattered what handedness his opponent is because he keeps on chugging along. Now, he’ll square off against Jerad Eickhoff, who has struggled to retire LHHs this season. In 71.1 IP against lefties, Eickhoff has allowed 10 HRs (out of 17 total), a .263/.321/.457 slash line and .331 wOBA. Meanwhile in a limited sample size, Dahl is slashing .340/.389/.620 against RHP with a .280 ISO and .424 wOBA. You can think of Eickhoff as just another “Average Joe” and Dahl has made mincemeat of those so far. There is no reason to think he shouldn’t keep it rolling in another above-average matchup.
Jacob deGrom, Mets – Even though I really like some of the Padres young hitters, they face an awfully difficult task against Jacob deGrom in the friendly confines of Citi Field. At home this year, deGrom has been borderline untouchable: 1.96 ERA, .196/.264/.310 slash line and .255 wOBA allowed. Greater teams have stepped into the ring against him and failed so the odds of the Padres defying the odds are quite low. San Diego will head into the game ranking in the bottom 10 of wOBA, wRC+, OBP, hard hit rate and line drive percentage while having struck out at a 23.6-percent rate versus RHP. Considering deGrom sports a phenomenal 28.7-percent K rate at home, the Padres should be in for a long day. While Madison Bumgarner draws an excellent matchup at home himself, I see no need to spend up with deGrom coming at a more affordable price.
Zach Davies, Brewers – Spending up on both deGrom/Bumgarner would only make sense in cash if bargain bats were aplenty, but they are not, so a bargain SP2 is going to be necessary. Like deGrom, Zach Davies has preferred pitching at home this year as he owns both a superior ERA (3.53) and wOBA allowed (.299) at home compared to on the road (3.69 ERA, .310 wOBA). Davies relies on all sorts of movement from his pitches ranging from a nasty two-seamer to a curve that breaks the other way on a hitter. While his velocity rarely touches the mid-90s, his ability to work both sides of the plate with movement proves very effective…especially at home. In a game with an 8.5 over/under, Vegas initially lists the Brewers as -120 favorites against a pitcher (Dan Straily) sporting a 1.93 ERA since the All-Star Break. Why? The Reds rank in the bottom 10 of wOBA, wRC+, ISO, BB rate, AVG, OBP and hard hit rate versus RHP. To me, Davies is a rock solid SP2 option, and I have no issues with using him in any format.
Tyler Anderson, Rockies – For a guy spending half his time in Coors Field this season, Tyler Anderson has pitched masterfully. By forcing opponents to pound the ball into the ground (55.3-percent GB rate), he has avoided an inflated HR rate (0.79 HR/9) and managed to produce a 3.04 ERA and 1.21 WHIP overall. Now, he’ll face literally the worst hitting team against LHP (Phillies) on the road. What more needs to be said? Roster him and reap the benefits because a gem (especially in respect to the price tag) should be on the horizon.
*Stats are accurate as of Thursday, August 11