Shoemake or Break

Matt Shoemaker prefers pitching at home and there is no reason not to deploy him tonight as he will toe the mound in the friendly confines of Angel Stadium and face a miserable White Sox offense. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s MLB.


Miguel Sano, Twins, $9,600 – Basically a month and a half into the season, Miguel Sano still handily leads the MLB in average exit velocity (99.0mph). Joc Pederson, who ranks second, has posted a 94.7mph average exit velocity so Sano leads the category by more than 4.0mph. Tonight, Sano and the Twins will square off against an opposing pitcher who has only missed right-handed bats at a 16.4-percent rate this year. Furthermore, righties have managed a .343 wOBA, 1.42 HR/9 and .240/.309/.520 slash line against Marquez so it is clear power hitters have done a fair amount of the damage. Since Sano has hit the ball hardest of anyone in the league, it is encouraging to see Marquez’s 22.0-percent line drive rate, 36.6-percent hard hit rate and 41.5-percent fly ball rate allowed to RHHs. As icing on the cake, Target Field plays as one of the most favorable power parks to RHHs as well so Sano is in a prime spot to get a hold of one and hit it out.

UPDATE: If weather proves to be an issue, pivoting to Kris Bryant at a similar price point against Scott Feldman makes a ton of sense…especially if wind proves to be a factor as well.

BONUS: Kris Bryant, Cubs, $9,900 – Instead of just writing a small update, here are the reasons to play Kris Bryant tonight: opposing starter Scott Feldman has allowed a .336 wOBA and 25.4-percent line drive rate to right-handers this year so he has not exactly been unhittable. While players on both sides of the plate have struggled to produce consistent hard contact against him, the wind is expected to be blowing out at around 20mph in Wrigley Field once again tonight. Whenever that is the case, this ballpark becomes as hitter-friendly as any park in the league…including Coors Field. Due to wind, the Cubs’ implied total moved all the way up to 6.8 runs on Tuesday and the team ended up exceeding the total anyways. If Bryant can get a solid bat on the ball, he has an excellent chance for the ball to carry out of the park. Assuming the wind becomes a factor once again, the entire top of the Cubs lineup would immediately become borderline must-plays.

Rougned Odor, Rangers, $8,100 – The downside to rostering Rougned Odor is always his tendency to swing at pitches in the dirt and just genuinely terrible pitchers in general. After only striking out 4.41 batters per nine innings in 63.1 IP last year, Zach Eflin has only struck out 4.78 batters per nine this season as well. According to swinging strike rate, which is the best judge of future strikeout potential, his mark this year in the category is virtually identical to last season (5.7-percent last year versus 5.8-percent this year). Since almost no one is swinging and missing against his pitches, then it is very likely the powerful Odor actually ends up making contact. Despite only a .209 AVG against RHP this year, Odor sports a solid .217 ISO, 32.6-percent hard hit rate and 50.6-percent fly ball rate. Odor is never the safest option but he should be a safe bet to produce some hard contact in this fantastic matchup for his skill set.


Nomar Mazara, Rangers $7,600 – One Rangers hitter is not enough against Eflin and his incredibly mediocre arsenal of pitches. As a professional, two of Eflin’s four pitches have graded as below average and he have only thrown the above average pitches at a combined 12.3-percent rate. In other words, 87.7-percent of the pitches that leave his right hand are subpar. Nomar Mazara, who should hit third, homered yesterday against a superior right-hander and he owns respectable career numbers against the handedness: .276/.334/.465 slash line, .189 ISO, .340 wOBA and a 21.2-percent line drive rate. To reiterate, Eflin misses hardly any bats and he also hardly walks any (1.7-percent BB rate to the handedness so far). Therefore, he pounds the zone and the Rangers lineup possesses a few powerful lefties. All of them are viable, and Mazara has proven to be streaky in his young career, so go ahead and pair him with the aforementioned Odor in all formats. Oh by the way, it is no coincidence the Rangers are being implied to score a slate-high 5.4 runs.

Odubel Herrera, Phillies, $7,200 – Strangely, Andrew Cashner will start tonight’s game against the Phillies despite the fact Martin Perez pitched six days ago and Cashner pitched five days ago. Whatever the reasons for the shakeup, this now presents a pretty excellent matchup for Phillies LHHs against a pitcher who has struggled against them for the entirety of his career. In 352.0 career IP against LHHs, Cashner has walked them at a 10.2-percent rate and they have produced a .336 wOBA, 34.7-percent hard hit rate and 37.0-percent fly ball rate. In an extremely hitter-friendly environment, this should be an issue to Cashner over time, especially considering he has walked more lefties than he has struck out this year. After leading the Phillies in wOBA against RHP last year, Herrera’s numbers are down to begin the year. The perfect elixir should prove to be a meeting against a beatable pitcher such as Cashner such Herrera can be locked and loaded into cash games (plus there is some tournament appeal in this ballpark as well).


Michael Pineda, Yankees, $19,500 – Unlike seasons past, Michael Pineda has been able to limit the BABIP and induce a ground ball (GB) rate north of 50-percent. This has led to fewer implosions and, simply put, Pineda has pitched like a true ace to this point. Only Chris Sale, Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom has struck out hitters at a higher rate than Pineda (30.3-percent). Most importantly, this is simply an elite matchup for Pineda who relies heavily on a slider that breaks out of the zone. How come? No team swings outside the zone more often than the Royals and they also are tied for the third highest swinging strike rate in the league. As if that were not enough, the Royals rank in the bottom 10 of wOBA, wRC+, ISO, BB rate, AVG, OBP and SLG against RHP. Welcome to chalk Pineda night and it makes sense because he should possess both a high strikeout floor and substantial ceiling.

Matt Shoemaker, Angels, $17,200 – Dollar-for-dollar, the best pitcher on this entire slate is Matt Shoemaker and it is really not that close. On back-to-back days, Jesse Chavez and J.C. Ramirez have strung together quality starts against the White Sox in Angel Stadium and Shoemaker is a superior talent than either of those two. Since the beginning of last season, Shoemaker has posted some drastic home/away splits with him having pitched exponentially better in the friendly confines of home. Now, he will do battle with a White Sox team that ranks dead last in wOBA against RHP amongst American League teams and also ranks in the bottom 10 of wRC+, ISO, BB rate, AVG, OBP, SLG, hard hit rate and line drive percentage. Personally, I will be clicking the lock button on Shoemaker so expect to see him on 100-percent of my teams tonight.

Jhoulys Chacin, Padres, $14,100 – Assuming both Eric Thames (strep throat) and Travis Shaw remain out of the lineup on Wednesday, call me crazy but I am really digging Jhoulys Chacin at home versus a decimated Brewers team. In 2017 thus far, Chacin has absolutely dominated RHHs to the tune of a .276 wOBA, 24.3-percent K rate, 0.36 HR/9, .242/.301/.326 slash line and 18.6-percent hard hit rate. If both the team’s best lefties end up sitting, Jonathan Villar and Eric Sogard would be the only lefties remaining in the lineup (assuming they replicated their lineup from tonight). With this being amongst the most pitcher-friendly environments in the league, there are a ton of factors working in Chacin’s factor. Vegas happens to agree as well as he opened as a -122 favorite. If loading up on bats, or just genuinely trying to avoid Pineda, Chacin makes for an intriguing alternative.

*Stats are accurate as of Tuesday, May 16

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, 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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