Go Mig or Go Home

Miguel Cabrera will take on the starting pitcher who has allowed the most home runs of any pitcher in the league this afternoon in a power-friendly environment so lock and load him into all lineups. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s MLB.

Infield:

Miguel Cabrera, Tigers, $8,800 (Late) – Today’s slate features a five-game early slate and five game late slate but the early slate is going to take more skill. At night, the pitching duo for cash games is pretty straightforward and selecting the hitters feels way too simple as well. Of course, players like Jake Lamb, Ryan Braun and Michael Conforto are in play but Miguel Cabrera, who has only posted a .321 wOBA against RHP this year, may be the best play of the slate. While the numbers do not reflect it this season, Cabrera sports the fifth highest career wOBA against right-handers (min. 200 at-bats) and he is still one of the best hitters in the league. Meanwhile, this game will be held in a ballpark, Minute Maid Park, with a short porch in left field so hard contact could leave the yard by accident. No pitcher in baseball has allowed more home runs (HRs) than opposing starter Mike Fiers and zero pitchers slated to start today have allowed a higher wOBA to RHHs than his .468. Since he is yielding hard contact to righties at a 40.0-percent rate and fly balls at a 50.0-percent rate, it is difficult to imagine a more favorable spot for Cabrera and the Tigers.

Logan Morrison, Rays, $8,700 (Early) – Probable starter Daniel Wright has only thrown 13 total innings this year so analyzing the matchup accurately will require looking at his career numbers. In 30.2 career IP against LHHs, Wright has allowed a .389 wOBA, 1.47 HR/9, .322/.382/.529 slash line, 26.0-percent line drive rate, 33.3-percent hard hit rate and 37.5-percent fly ball rate while only striking them out at a measly 12.1-percent rate. The way Logan Morrison is swinging the bat right now, the best chance an opposing pitcher has to retire him is by simply missing his bat. Since Wright has not missed many left-handed bats over the course of his career, he is in trouble against a powerful Rays squad. Currently, only Corey Dickerson has posted a superior wOBA (amongst regulars) than Logan Morrison on the Rays so far this year and their ISO is nearly identical (.328-.325). Both are beasts and can be started in a quietly excellent spot for both mashers.

Outfield:

Mike Trout, Angels, $10,800 (Early) – In the same contest as the aforementioned Morrison, Mike Trout stands out as the hitter worth paying up on both the all-day slate and also just the early one. Simply put: Trout is the best player in baseball and he is usable whenever he draws a beatable matchup (and many times in difficult matchups as well). Judging by the numbers, Matt Andriese certainly qualifies as beatable as he has been lit up by RHHs to the tune of a .389 wOBA, 8.2-percent BB rate, 2.30 HR/9 rate, .291/.361/.560 slash line, 22.7-percent line drive rate and 45.5-percent fly ball rate this year. Trout leads all qualified in wOBA against RHP and he has done so with a healthy 40.7-percent fly ball rate. As per usual, Trout is a prime suspect to go deep, and it would be surprising if he did not finish with at least an extra-base hit.

Adam Frazier, Pirates, $7,600 (Early) – After being written up in this article yesterday, all Adam Frazier did was hit a bomb, swipe a base and finish with 34 fantasy points in his elite matchup against Julio Teheran and the Braves in hitter-friendly SunTrust Park. Heading into last night, Frazier had already been en fuego over the last 14 days: .415./.489/.463 slash line, .423 wOBA and one stolen base during that span. This afternoon, Frazier will face another subpar pitcher, Bartolo Colon, who has struggled against LHHs this year on the heels of allowing way too much hard contact (38.6-percent) and way too many fly balls (48.1-percent). Since Colon pounds the zone, he is the furthest thing as an uncomfortable at-bat (AB) even if he ends up retiring the hitter. Since baseballs must look like beach balls to a red-hot Frazier right now, he should be expected to succeed in a matchup where he will surely see fastballs in the strike zone in every single plate appearance.

Pitchers:

Jacob deGrom, Mets, $23,600 (Late) – Paying this much for a pitcher suffering through a blister is a bit scary but this is the nuts matchup for Jacob deGrom at home against the lowly Padres. Since the beginning of the 2015 season, deGrom has dominated at home: .201/.266/.283 slash line, .245 wOBA and just 12 homers allowed in 200.2 IP. In 2017, the Padres rank in the bottom 10 of wOBA, wRC+, BB rate, AVG, OBP, SLG and hard hit rate against RHP while striking out at the second highest rate against the handedness. What more is there to say? If willing to risk the recurrence of the blister, deGrom possesses above and beyond the highest ceiling of any pitcher on the slate.

Jeff Samardzija, Giants, $18,900 (Early) – Pitching on the day slate is interesting to say the least as there are no starting pitchers who do not possess a fair degree of downside. Jeff Samardzija, for instance, will square off against the World Series Champion Chicago Cubs on the road and he is probably the best/safest play on the slate. Strangely, he is listed as a slight favorite (-102), but that is most likely because Eddie Butler will toe the mound the Cubs coming off a game he was blasted for eight baserunners in 3.0 innings (though he allowed just two earned runs). This year, Samardzija has mowed down RHHs at an efficient rate as evident by his 29.3-percent K rate against them and .238 wOBA allowed. Lefties have done the damage, so Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber are scary prospects, but he has still struck them out at a 27.8-percent rate. Strikeouts are heavily weighted in daily fantasy baseball so, if using him, just hope for a solid amount of Ks against a strikeout-prone Cubs team (21.6-percent K rate versus RHP) and a victory. If so, he should prove viable at this reasonable price tag.

Masahiro Tanaka, Yankees, $17,200 (Early) – Did you see what Luis Severino did to this Royals offense yesterday? Other than a flash of power here and there, the Royals offense is simply dead this season even against RHP; they rank in the bottom 10 of wOBA, wRC+, BB rate and OBP against the handedness while striking out at a 20.5-percent rate. Tanaka has struggled this year, and this is an unfavorable hitting environment, but the Royals present a great matchup for him to get right. Vegas is only implying the Royals will score 3.6 runs in one of the most hitter-friendly parks in the American League so clearly they believe a solid start is coming. Due to a lack of other options, I am inclined to agree, so go ahead and spend up for the two most expensive pitchers on the day slate.

*Stats are accurate as of Wednesday, May 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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