Avisails to the Wind

Avisail Garcia and his 44.1-percent hard hit rate against left-handed pitching will square off against a starting pitcher, Patrick Corbin, who has allowed a .360 wOBA and 34.1-percent hard hit rate to hitters of the right-handed variety this season. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s MLB.

Infield:

Jose Abreu, White Sox, $9,200 – Not that Guaranteed Rate Field is a poor hitting environment or anything but the White Sox hitters as a whole will enjoy a substantial positive ballpark shift in Chase Field. In the second most hitter-friendly environment in the league, even these lowly White Sox should have a chance to go off, especially against a left-hander. Although the team gets a bad rap as a whole, they had produced the eighth highest wOBA over the course of the last week heading into Monday night and they have teed off on left-handers for the second consecutive season. Thus far, the White Sox rank fifth in wOBA, second in wRC+ (first in the American League), third in AVG, fourth in OBP, ninth in SLG and 10th in line drive rate against LHP so they are a force to be reckoned with. One of their best hitters, Jose Abreu, leads all their regulars (min. 30 at-bats (ABs) versus the handedness) in ISO versus the handedness to go along with his .470 wOBA, .395/.452/.658 slash line and 41.9-percent hard hit rate. While most flock to hitters against Dylan Covey, who is coming off back-to-back solid outings, the White Sox actually stand out as the superior values in this game.

Robinson Cano, Mariners, $8,700 – According to Mariners’ General Manager Jerry Dipoto, “the plan” is for Robinson Cano to back in the lineup on Tuesday. Assuming that is the case, he will walk right into an excellent matchup against Joe Ross in an above average power park for LHHs. While Ross is a talented pitcher, he continues to struggle against LHHs in his young career and his struggles against them have actually reached new heights this year: .450 wOBA (worst of any starter on the slate), 3.52 HR/9, .343/.395/.686 slash line and 24.0-percent line drive rate. To be fair, his career numbers are not that much better: .353 wOBA, 1.14 HR/9, .301/.374/.469 slash line, 26.9-percent line drive rate and 35.6-percent hard hit rate. Amongst all active hitters with at least 200 ABs versus RHP, Cano’s career .380wOBA ranks 13th best. Even in his first game off the shelf, Cano is worthy is starting in all formats.

Outfield:

Avisail Garcia, White Sox, $9,300 – Did you see those White Sox numbers mentioned in the Abreu tidbit? One member of the team is not enough here despite their price tag increases because the matchup as a whole is so incredibly juicy. The White Sox mash against LHP and Avisail Garcia leads all the regulars in both wOBA (.471) and hard hit rate (44.1-percent) against the handedness. This season, Corbin has only struck out right-handers at a 16.3-percent rate (well below league average) and both Garcia and Abreu have only struck out at exactly 16.7-percent rates versus lefties. This means the chances of him missing their bats, at least consistently, is very unlikely so hard contact should be produced by the middle of the White Sox order. Especially in this ballpark, hard contact should only lead to positive outcomes so this team quietly rates as top two stack on the slate. Start with Abreu and Garcia in cash games minimum and roll out the entire stack in tournaments.

Josh Reddick, Astros, $7,200 – It feels like I write this guy up every single day but he is such a professional hitter; he does not strike out much and he produces a ton of hard contact. Tonight, the team will square off against a pitcher whose talent has fallen off the face of the Earth this season: Jordan Zimmermann. In 2017, Zimmermann is striking out batters at a career-low rate (14.0-percent), allowing a career worst 2.82 HR/9 rate and forcing opponents on the ground at a career low 25.7-percent rate. He is the absolute definition of a gas can in his current form and his numbers against lefties are just a microcosm of his overall numbers: .396 wOBA, 14.4-percent K rate, 2.25 HR/9, .333/.378/.566 slash line, 31.9-percent line drive rate, 49.3-percent hard hit rate and 44.9-percent fly ball rate. These numbers make him one of the best possible matchups in the league for LHHs so Reddick, a hitter currently sporting a .353 wOBA against the handedness, should eat. Insert him into cash games and sleep like a baby.

Pitchers:

Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers, $26,000 – Do not look now but Clayton Kershaw has not been quite as dominant this year as he usually is. So far this year, Kershaw only ranks sixth in FIP, eighth in xFIP and 19th in K rate (26.1-percent) whereas he typically is pushing the top spot in all three categories. As a whole, this is a troubling sign that he could be on a slight decline but for tonight’s purposes only it does not matter much. Instead of worrying about the past, realize Kershaw draws one of the best possible matchups for a left-hander and at home no less. Only three teams have produced a lower wOBA against LHP this year than the Cardinals and the team also ranks in the bottom 10 of wRC+, ISO, AVG, OBP and SLG plus they strike out at a hefty 22.3-percent rate. To make matters worse, they will toss Lance Lynn; a right-hander who throws a high percentage of fastballs and struggles against lefties in a matchup against a team that crushes fastballs and is filled with powerful left-handers. All signs point to a dominant start from one of the game’s best pitchers.

Alex Cobb, Rays, $15,300 – In order to fit bats alongside Kershaw, a cheaper second pitching option will be necessary. Last night, Jake Odorizzi dominated this Angels squad for six innings and struck out eight of them. If it were not for a ball hitting the cat walk, he would have had a shot at a win as well (but weird stuff always happens in Tropicana Field). Other than Mike Trout, the Angels’ top hitter against RHP currently sports a .320 wOBA (Andrelton Simmons). Alex Cobb has dominated RHHs this year (.276 wOBA) but has struggled a bit against hitters of the left-handed variety (.356 wOBA). Luckily for Cobb, the only real left-handed threat in the Angels lineup is Luis Valbuena and he is hitting a measly .176 this year. Of all the lower priced pitchers, Cobb has the highest floor of the bunch, and actually is my favorite play of the grouping.

Jordan Montgomery, Yankees, $13,500 – If feeling a bit riskier, and looking for more salary than Cobb allows, then feel free to pivot to Jordan Montgomery in Yankee Stadium. To this point, the Royals rank dead last in the American League in terms of wOBA against LHP and they also rank in the bottom 10 of wRC+, ISO, BB rate, AVG, OBP, SLG, hard hit rate and line drive rate. The activation of Jorge Soler has helped a bit but not enough to put them over the top as a good offense or even anything close. When Montgomery faced this Royals team last week, the wind was howling out of Kauffman Stadium with gusts up to 30mph and he still only allowed five earned runs (ERs) in 5.0 IP. Not that this environment is so pitcher-friendly but it is still a bit of an upgrade to a damn tornado. Sporting a respectable 12.4-percent swinging strike rate, Montgomery is worth a shot in this game.

*Stats are accurate as of Monday, May 22

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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