Brandon Moss and his .400-plus wOBA against RHP is a must-play in a game where he’ll experience a positive ballpark shift and square off against Wily Peralta. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s MLB.
Miguel Cabrera, Tigers, $10,400 – After a disappointing performance last night, it’s time to immediately go back to the well with Miguel Cabrera. Okay so he flopped in a matchup with James Shields but he’ll no draw a matchup against Anthony Ranaudo and his .402 wOBA allowed to RHHs this season. For his career, Ranaudo has surrendered eight HRs to RHHs (out of 18 total) to go along with a .254/.347/.527 slash line and .373 wOBA. Heading into Monday’s tilt, Cabrera was red hot to the tune of a .348/.406/.598 slash line so far in August with five HRs and 13 RBI. Saying Ranaudo “struggles” to throw strikes is being generous considering his absurd 6.86 BB/9 so far this year. If nothing else, Cabrera should be able to reach multiple times in this game, but Ranaudo’s 2.75 HR/9 suggests Cabrera could have double dong upside as well.
Brandon Moss, Cardinals, $8,800 – Probably my favorite play of the entire slate is the ultra-powerful Brandon Moss against gas can Wily Peralta in Miller Park. Amazingly, Peralta has managed to allow two or less ERs in three of his last four starts but his splits are hard to deny. In 43.1 IP versus LHHs this year, Peralta has allowed six HRs (out of 15 total), a .310/.392/.539 slash line and .393 wOBA. Looking at the splits, Peralta only strikes out lefties at an 11.5-percent rate compared to 17.5-percent against righties. If you prefer K/9, those numbers equate to 4.57 against lefties and 7.29 against righties. Moss’ Achilles Heel for both his career and this season (29.3-percent K rate) continues to be his propensity to swing and miss but Peralta hardly ever induces whiffs from LHHs. Therefore, we can reasonably infer Moss will make some contact and when he does it is formidable: .408 wOBA, .375 ISO, .273/.350/.648 slash line and a ridiculous 44.2-percent hard hit rate against RHP this year. With the positive ballpark shift as icing on the cake, Moss is an elite play in all formats (as is Matt Carpenter). UPDATE: Brandon Moss is not in the lineup. Use Matt Carpenter instead.
Rajai Davis, Indians, $8,700 – Opposing starter Andrew Albers has only made 10 total big league starts since first entering the league in 2013. With 71.0 IP under his belt, his 46.9-percent hard hit rate allowed, 4.32 ERA, 5.12 FIP, 2.16 HR/9 and 6.48 K/9 are all concerning tallies…unless you are considering deploying hitters against him. This season alone, opposing hitters have produced a .316 AVG against him and that is excellent news for Indians leadoff hitter Rajai Davis. Hitting in the first spot in the order, Davis is guaranteed to at least tie for the most plate appearances against Albers and he’s an awfully talented hitter. He owns a career .344 wOBA and .291/.347/.440 slash line against lefties and has even stolen 125 total bases against them. The Indians opened as whopping -217 favorites in a game with a projected 9.5 run over/under so Vegas loves their offense’s prospects in this matchup. While the usuals are in play as well (Francisco Lindor, Mike Napoli and Carlos Santana), Davis is the safest of the bunch.
Kole Calhoun, Angels, $6,300 – Despite the fact Tim Adelman currently owns a 3.68 ERA, he has pitched far worse than that. The 5.88 FIP, 5.45 xFIP, 1.33 WHIP, 32.6-percent hard hit rate, 1.84 HR/9, 3.38 BB/9 and 6.14 K/9 rate tell the story of a mediocre pitcher at best. Of all the damage that has been inflicted on Adelman, a majority of it has come off the bats of LHHs: five HRs (out of six total), .304/.400/.607 and .424 wOBA. Mike Trout is the first name that jumps out against Adelman but he has almost completely shut down RHHs (.257 wOBA). Consequently, left-handed Kole Calhoun stands out ahead of the pack for Angels hitters especially due to this recent promotion to the leadoff role. While Calhoun isn’t exactly an elite bat against righties, he does own a career .267/.328/.436 slash line against the handedness. He is priced like a bum and he draws one of the better matchups he could ever ask for. You would be hard-pressed to find a better value on the slate tonight. UPDATE: Kole Calhoun homered last night so hopefully he can turn this into a monster home stand.
Max Scherzer, Nationals, $26,400 – Paying up for pitching is difficult to stomach sometimes because a starter at this price tag would have to produce 30-plus fantasy points to compete for the top fantasy-point-per-dollar producer of the night. On this slate, the safety is worth paying for because Max Scherzer may just have a 20 fantasy point floor against the lowly Phillies. Coming off a 40.80 fantasy point dominance of the Orioles, Scherzer will square off against a Phillies offense that ranks in the bottom 10 of wOBA, wRC+, BB rate, AVG, OBP, hard hit rate and line drive percentage versus RHP. Oh and they strike out at a rate of 22.5-percent which coincides nicely with Scherzer’s 11.23 K/9 rate. Scherzer opened as a -215 favorite so he’s one of the likeliest of candidates to finish with a win as well. All-in-all, there isn’t much of a case to be made for fading Scherzer, and he can be confidently deployed as a SP1 in all formats.
Collin McHugh, Astros, $12,000 – For a pitcher who strongly prefers pitching at home, Collin McHugh sure has been pitching on the road a lot as of late. Five of McHugh’s last six starts have come on the road and McHugh was absolutely lit up (for negative fantasy points) in two of those games. What will probably fly under the radar is the fact that four of McHugh’s past five home starts have resulted in at least 19.55 fantasy points (and his outlier performance still resulted in positive points). Now McHugh will square off against an Athletics squad that ranks in the bottom 10 of wOBA, wRC+, ISO, BB rate, AVG, OBP and hard hit rate. Although they do not strike out very much, McHugh is listed as a -164 favorite. In order to fit bats alongside Scherzer, concessions will need to be made. For my money, I’d rather punt SP2 for a guy with upside such as a heavily favored McHugh as opposed to punting multiple hitting spots. Scherzer/McHugh is the preferred starting pitching duo in cash games.
Tyler Anderson, Rockies, $10,800 – …unless the weather in Coors Field is poor once again. Assuming the weather is anything like last night (rainy and cold), Tyler Anderson could actually factor into cash game consideration. Amazingly, Anderson has both forced opponents to pound the ball on the ground at a higher percentage in Coors Field and managed a superior home ERA (3.45) to on the road (4.21). He’s one of the few pitchers I’ve ever thought could consistently handle the high altitude because he’s able to keep the ball on the ground. On the other hand, the Dodgers recently acquired the guy (Carlos Ruiz) who now leads their team in wOBA against LHP this season. Otherwise, the team only has two non-catchers sporting .350-plus wOBAs against the handedness which explains why they rank in the bottom 10 of wOBA overall. Additionally, the Dodgers rank in the bottom 10 of wRC+, ISO, AVG, OBP and line drive rate. The price is right here and the only question is “do you have the cojones?”
*Stats are accurate as of Monday, August 29