King of the Cahill

Trevor Cahill will face a Rangers team sans a designated hitter in his home, pitcher-friendly environment so consider him one of the best per-dollar pitching investments on the entire slate. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s MLB.

Infield:

Kris Bryant, Cubs, $10,800 – If looking purely at Antonio Senzatela’s splits so far, targeting right-handed bats against him does not seem like such an incredible idea. In 19.0 IP against righties, Senzatela has held them to a .277 wOBA and 0.47 HR/9 rate, but there are some underlying numbers that suggest regression is coming. Although Senzatela has only allowed fly balls at a 29.3-percent rate, he has not exactly pounded opponents into the ground (46.6-percent rate). In fact, opponents have produced a healthy 24.1-percent line drive rate against him so a decent amount of the contact off him has been frozen ropes. Since he rarely walks right-handers (4.0-percent BB rate) and rarely misses their bat (14.7-percent K rate), allowing laser beams in Coors Field is eventually going to weigh on him and cause a steep decrease in numbers. Kris Bryant, who is lashing .298/.380/.479 against RHP this season with a team-leading 24.3-percent line drive rate, would love to start the regression. Even at this outlandish price tag, Bryant is worthy of consideration in both cash games and tournaments.

Ben Zobrist, Cubs, $9,200 – Arguably the Cubs’ hottest hitter heading into Monday is Ben Zobrist who extended hi hit streak to 10 games on Sunday. During the streak, Zobrist is 11-38 (.289) with one home run (HR) and five RBI, plus his current season OBP sits at .375. Essentially, Zobrist is one of the safest plays on the board as-is and now he will benefit from the incredibly hitter-friendly atmosphere in Coors Field. Lefties have been the ones who have given Senzatela more trouble to this point as they have produced a fly ball rate of 36.1-percent, posted a 1.42 HR/9 rate and have produced a .309 wOBA. Although those numbers do not jump off the page, he has not missed their bats nor walked many of them either, so this story too will have a sad ending for Senzatela. Do not be shy with the amount of Cubs you start in your cash game lineups because they are being implied to score the most runs on the slate (6.1) by a large margin.

Outfield:

Charlie Blackmon, Rockies, $10,200 – Whenever Coors Field is in play, that means Charlie Blackmon is too because the man will head into tonight slashing .403/.441/.993 at home with an insane .500 ISO and .545 wOBA. Although his .530 wOBA against LHP at home is off the charts, his .557 wOBA against RHP in Coors is even more mind-numbing. The guy just flat-out rakes and fading him is always putting yourself at risk of losing out on 15-20 fantasy points. Of course, Jake Arrieta is not the most enticing pitcher to target against on the slate but he has struggled this year: his ground ball (GB) rate is down more than 11 percentage points, his HR/9 rate has ballooned to 1.54 and both his sinker and slider have let him down this year despite throwing them at a 54.1 and 15.8-percent rate respectively. Since the beginning of last season, Blackmon has rated as both the Rockies best hitter against sliders and their eighth best hitter against sinking fastballs since the start of last season. All-in-all, Blackmon rates as an excellent play despite the ace toeing the mound against him.

Brett Gardner, Yankees, $8,100 – Coors Field is filled with solid plays tonight but Brett Gardner still may rate as the top hitting play on the entire slate. Tonight, the Yankees will square off against Rookie Davis in power-friendly Great American Ballpark and this guy is just the definition of a gas can. Not only has he allowed a .415 wOBA to RHHs but lefties have smoked him to the tune of a .472 wOBA, .367/.486/.621 slash line, 27.3-percent line drive rate and 40.9-percent fly ball rate. These numbers suggest this is an elite matchup for Gardner who ranks third on the team in wOBA against RHP so far (.417). If looking for bats other than those slated to play in Denver, Colorado, Yankees bats rate as the next best alternative.

Pitcher:

Matt Moore, Giants, $15,600 – Starting road underdog pitchers is not really a forte of mine but this is a clear exception as Matt Moore draws a favorable matchup against a Mets team sans their best hitter against LHP. Only Wilmer Flores remains on the Mets as a healthy lefty killer as their numbers against the handedness without Yoenis Cespedes are not pretty: they rank 28th in both wOBA and wRC+ against LHP while also ranking in the bottom 10 of ISO, AVG, OBP, SLG, hard hit rate and line drive percentage. As a whole, they are slashing .188/.257/.327 against lefties with their remaining healthy, active players, so they are not exactly an offensive juggernaut. Meanwhile, Moore is a pure fly baller and Citi Field plays as a below average power park to righties and below average hitters’ park overall. Quietly, there is a lot to like about this matchup for Moore especially at just a mid-tier price tag.

Trevor Cahill, Padres, $15,000 – By name, the Rangers feel like a scary matchup and yet in a stadium like Petco Park sans their designated hitter, they really are not. Thus far against RHP, the Rangers have struck out at the seventh highest rate with only a 17.9-percent line drive rate and .233/.304/.447 slash line. They are mostly a fly ball hitting team but Trevor Cahill forces opponents to pound the ball on the ground and Petco Park is amongst the most forgiving power parks in the league…especially to LHHs. Inarguably, two of the most powerful hitters on the Rangers are Rougned Odor and Joey Gallo and both will have to hit one a long way against a pure ground baller for it to have a prayer of getting out. This does not feel like a recipe for success for this offense especially because his changeup and curveball have both been inducing whiff rates of around 40-percent this season. Although he does not carry the name value, Cahill has pitched exceptionally this season and he should be in line for another fantastic start on a per-dollar basis tonight.

Blake Snell, Rays, $14,700 – Notice how all these pitchers are priced around $15,000? This is by design to be able to fit the Coors Field hitters and quite honestly this tier is loaded tonight and the expensive tier, well, is not. Basically, roster construction is simply: two inexpensive pitchers and load up on bats. One reasonably cheap pitcher who will be worth pairing with upside bats is Blake Snell in just about the nuts matchup. No team has produced a lower wOBA against either handedness than the Royals have against LHP so far this year (.236) and their numbers across the board are putrid: 42 wRC+, 0.088 ISO, 7.9-percent BB rate, .180/.256/.268 slash line, 25.3-percent hard hit rate, 15.6-percent line drive rate and a 22.5-percent K rate as icing on the cake. Snell has not been incredibly sharp this year but he is coming off his best start of the season and should ride that momentum into tonight.

*Stats are accurate as of Sunday, April 7

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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