Moose on the Loose

Mike Moustakas’ price tag is once again outrageously cheap so go ahead and lock him in to your lineups, regardless of format, against gas can Dylan Covey. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s MLB.

Infield:

Daniel Murphy, Nationals, $10,800 – Of course, with the Nationals playing in Coors Field tonight, all their staples are play. Go ahead and roster Bryce Harper if you would like, but he costs a whopping $12,000, so Daniel Murphy is the affordable of the two. Both Harper and Murphy are great plays against right-handed German Marquez who actually pitched reasonably well in the minors. However, in a 20.2 IP sample size with the Rockies last year, Marquez posted a 5.23 ERA, 6.53 K/9 and allowed line drives at a hefty 29.6-percent rate. To be fair, his peripherals suggested he pitched better than his ERA implied and he did a solid job of not walking guys (similarly to his minor league sample). That being said, this is still a guy who pitches to contact in a ballpark where contact very often leaves the yard. With the Nationals being implied to score a whopping 6.0 runs, fading guys like Harper and Murphy are scary propositions.

Mike Moustakas, Royals, $6,400 – The pricing algorithm is doing weird things again and Mike Moustakas is once again drastically underpriced. Sure, the Royals bats have not exactly set the world on fire as of late but arguably their best hitter deserves to be more expensive than this against a complete gas can. Through two career starts, Dylan Covey has allowed an outrageous .596 wOBA to RHHs but LHHs have still managed a respectable .280/.308/.560 slash line against him with a .367 wOBA. So far, Moustakas leads the team’s regulars in wOBA against RHP (.402) and he sports a .295 ISO and .295/.354/.591 slash line and 39.5-percent hard hit rate versus the handedness as well. If spending up for Kershaw and trying to fit expensive bats as well, Moustakas is a great “spot filler” with upside.

Outfield:

Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies, $9,600 – Joe Ross is a solid Major League starter and is not someone typically worth stacking against but he does have one glaring weakness: his inability to retire LHHs. Last year, despite holding righties to a .265 wOBA, lefties roasted Ross to the tune of a .313/.385/.439 slash line, .356 wOBA, 31.6-percent line drive rate and 33.8-percent hard hit rate. In other words, Coors Field is a dangerous atmosphere for him because the Rockies possess such powerful lefties as Charlie Blackmon and Carlos Gonzalez. Blackmon, an obvious start, posted a superior wOBA and hard hit rate than Gonzalez last year but Gonzalez’s .374 wOBA and 35.8-percent hard hit rate versus the handedness were not too shabby either. In terms of career numbers, Gonzalez leads the Rockies with a .389 wOBA, .301 AVG, .552 SLG and then his 35.7-percent hard hit rate ranks second behind only Trevor Story. All of this is long-winded way of saying Gonzalez is bordering on must-play against a pitcher susceptible to hitters from the left side of the plate.

Yasmany Tomas, Diamondbacks, $7,800 – Clayton Richard legitimately just tossed a gem against the Diamondbacks so some may look at the recent sample size and choose to fade the Diamondbacks’ offense. That would be a mistake. On paper, guys like Paul Goldschmidt, A.J. Pollock, Chris Owings and Yasmany Tomas hit the handedness incredibly well and the team just saw Richard. Yes, he keeps the ball on the ground, but the advantage goes to the offense the second go-around…especially now that this game will be played in a much more hitter-friendly environment. Whereas the last game was played in one of the best pitchers’ parks in the game, this game will be played in one of the most hitter-friendly environments: Chase Field. Oh by the way, Tomas posted monstrous numbers versus the handedness last year: .460 wOBA, .326 ISO, .364/.423/.690 slash line and a ridiculous 46.9-percent hard hit rate. As icing on the cake, Tomas is 5-10 off Richard in his career with one home run (HR) and nine batted ball events for an average exit velocity of 96.3mph. Start him.

Pitcher:

Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers, $27,600 – As always, the best in the business is a viable option as he takes the mound in pitcher-friendly AT&T Park. So far, this year, the Giants have struck out at the 12th highest rate against LHP while ranking below average in wOBA and in the bottom 10 of ISO. In five starts against the Giants last year, Kershaw went 2-1 with a 2.00 ERA, .177 AVG against and 35 strikeouts in 36.0 IP. Yet again, Kershaw is above and beyond the number one pitcher on the slate.

Michael Wacha, Cardinals, $13,600 – If one would like to fit both Coors Field and Kershaw then concessions will clearly need to be made a SP2. After Jesse Chavez strung together yet another productive outing for a right-hander against the Blue Jays last night, Michael Wacha is well worth considering. To this point, the Blue Jays surprisingly rank dead last in wOBA, wRC+ and ISO against RHP while striking out at a 24.6-percent rate and only getting on base at a .257 clip. Quite simply, they are playing like an elite matchup versus the handedness and now they will lose their designated hitter because this contest will be played in a National League park. Although Wacha’s strikeout numbers are not exactly elite, his career 7.82 K/9 is respectable enough especially when taking into account he does not walk too many guys. Facing a bottom of the barrel offense, Wacha should be able to exceed value.

Patrick Corbin, Diamondbacks, $10,000 – If really needing to fit all sorts of hitting alongside Kershaw, then Patrick Corbin stands out as the ultra-punt. Thus far, the Padres have struck out at the 10th highest percentage against LHP while ranking in the bottom 10 of wOBA, wRC+, AVG, OBP, hard hit rate and line drive rate as well. As mentioned in the Tomas tidbit, these two teams just saw each other in San Diego so that aspect is a bit concerning for Corbin’s outlook. However, beggars cannot be choosers with price tags this incredibly affordable, and despite the great hitting environment, Corbin should not be anywhere near this cheap. Take value where it is given and hope Corbin can come close to repeating his 20.50 fantasy point output from Apr. 20 against this very team.

*Stats are accurate as of Monday, April 24

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders is a fantasy sports expert with over 15 years of playing experience. After starting several freelance fantasy sports blogs, Ricky moved up in the fantasy industry when he joined Going9 Baseball. He wrote fantasy baseball content and had a weekly radio spot on the site’s SiriusXM Satellite Radio show. Shortly thereafter, in early 2013, Ricky joined RotoExperts as a three-sport fantasy contributor, eventually becoming one of the site’s lead basketball writers. While writing for RotoExperts, Ricky was introduced to daily fantasy sports and immediately fell in love. With help from some of his mentors, some of the best DFS players in the world, he honed his skills and became the daily fantasy expert he is today. When RotoExperts created a daily-focused website called DailyRoto.com, Ricky was brought on as one of the main contributors. He still makes frequent appearances on the RotoExperts SiriusXM Radio show and on the FNTSY Sports Television Network, talking daily fantasy sports. He also continues to write for a few DFS content sites: RotoCurve and The Fantasy Fix. Ricky is a proud and active member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He has agreed to be a writer and representative for the FantasyDraft brand and serves as an ambassador to the site. He has no more access to the site than the typical user. Don’t hesitate to contact Ricky with questions on Twitter @RSandersDFS.

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