The Cozart of the Deal

Zack Cozart hit two bombs yesterday but he should have more production in store today for Mike Bolsinger and his .500-plus wOBA allowed to right-handed hitters this season. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s MLB.

Infield:

Daniel Murphy, Nationals, $8,400 – After multiple base hits off Jeff Samardzija yesterday, Daniel Murphy will enjoy a matchup against a similarly terrible pitcher against LHHs on Wednesday. Whereas Samardzija had yielded a .384 wOBA to LHHs heading into Tuesday night, Matt Cain has allowed a .299/.385/.477 slash line and .370 wOBA to lefties since the beginning of last season, so one cannot argue the sample size is not extensive. Although Cain has been inarguably better at home this season, Murphy is simply a professional hitter and can easily get the best of Cain regardless of game location. So far this season, Murphy owns a .375 wOBA, .257 ISO and .286/.359/.543 slash line against righties after slashing .354/.396/.614 against them in 2016. This is the perfect combination of a pitcher who struggles to retire lefties against one of the best hitters from the left side of the plate so start Murphy with confidence.

Zack Cozart, Reds, $8,000 – Speaking of players who had a big day yesterday, Zack Cozart went deep twice and now he will square off against a pitcher who has allowed a .533 wOBA to RHHs thus far in 2017. Additionally, righties have only struck out at a 6.0-percent rate against Bolsinger and yet they have walked at a 20.0-percent rate, slashed .447/.580/.703 and hit 2.35 home runs (HRs) per nine innings. Essentially, this is an elite matchup again for Cozart who is slashing a more than respectable .323/.417/.543 against right-handers this year. At just $8,000, Cozart is too cheap to overlook for this incredible matchup.

Outfield:

Aaron Judge, Yankees, $10,400 – Sure the price tag is steep here but how can you overlook Aaron Judge in a hitter-friendly park against the lousy Kevin Gausman? Although he was touted as being a future ace, the right-hander has been roasted to the tune of a .417 wOBA, 1.74 HR/9 rate, .367/.413/.565 slash line, 24.8-percent line drive rate and 32.7-percent hard hit rate. Over the course of the last week, only Miguel Sano has averaged a higher average exit velocity than Judge. The Yankees rank first in wOBA against RHP this season and Judge leads the team in wOBA (.461), ISO (.383), AVG (.328), SLG (.711) and hard hit rate against the handedness to personify just what sort of monster he has been this season. Start him versus every righty but especially tonight against a very beatable one in a solid hitting environment.

Andrew Benintendi, Red Sox, $7,600 – Despite his decent numbers to this point, Mike Pelfrey has proven time and time again in past seasons that he is nothing more than a gas can. Still this year, he has only missed right-handed bats at a 13.9-percent rate and left-handed bats at a 15.6-percent rate. While LHHs have hit the ball hard at a 36.4-percent rate, they only sport a .210 BABIP against him which is well below his .309 career tally. In other words, regression is on the horizon for Pelfrey, as even his miniscule K rate this year is well above his career average of 12.2-percent to lefties. Meanwhile, Andrew Benintendi has hit the ball hard 36.8-percent of the time against righties this year although his .326 wOBA leaves a bit to be desired. Since he rarely strikes out to begin with, he is likely going to make contact multiple times against Benintendi, and his team is being implied to score a healthy 5.4 runs. If he can keep hitting the ball hard, eventually the hits will fall, and his positive regression should begin right here on Wednesday evening.

Pitchers:

Jacob deGrom, Mets, $23,200 – Two top tier aces will toe the mound on the night slate: Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom. While Scherzer is the slightly safer investment because he will enjoy a positive park shift and a face a power devoid Giants squad, deGrom is the upside play of the two. deGrom’s opponent, the Brewers, have struck out at the third highest rate in the league against RHP and will be without the team’s big bopper: Ryan Braun. The remainder of the team cumulatively ranks in the middle of the road in just about every other statistical category against the handedness other than ISO (ninth highest in the league). On the other hand, deGrom owns the second lowest home ERA since the start of the 2015 season (2.06) behind only Clayton Kershaw. If that does not personify how dominant he has been in Citi Field, then nothing will. At this point, it is impossible to doubt the home/road splits’ viability because the sample size is so extensive. With double-digit strikeout upside in the friendly confines of home, deGrom is worth building around in all formats.

Jaime Garcia, Braves, $15,200 – Sans Mike Trout in the lineup, the Angels are virtually a minor league team. Since Cameron Maybin is hurting as well and doubtful to make the lineup on Wednesday, the team currently possesses one active hitter with a wOBA greater than .323 against LHP: Martin Maldonado (.511). Other than their catcher, who will probably hit eighth or ninth, the team has zero weapons whatsoever against the handedness and Jaime Garcia will be enjoying a solid positive ballpark shift. Unsurprisingly, the current constitution of the Angels ranks in the bottom 10 of wOBA, wRC+, ISO, AVG, OBP and SLG against southpaws while striking out at a 20.3-percent rate (or about league average). Garcia is worth playing for matchup alone because it is difficult to see how this team gets to him. At a reasonable price tag, deploy Garcia in cash games for sure and he even can be considered in GPPs if need be.

Zack Godley, Diamondbacks, $16,800 (Early) – Pitching on the early slate is not as plentiful but Zack Godley stands out as the best per-dollar investment on the slate. Not only has Godley not allowed a bomb to a RHH this season but he has also just flat-out dominated them: .249 wOBA, 23.0-percent K rate, .232/.295/.268 slash line, 12.5-percent line drive rate, 28.6-percent hard hit rate and 62.5-percent ground ball (GB) rate. Most of the Pirates’ best hitters are of the right-handed variety (Andrew McCutchen, Josh Harrison, David Freese, Francisco Cervelli, etc.) and arguably their best left-hander (Gregory Polanco) had to be carted off just two nights ago so it is unlikely he plays. After factoring in the positive park shift, it is difficult to nitpick negative aspects of this matchup. Therefore, Godley should be locked and loaded into all lineups.

*Stats are accurate as of Tuesday, May 30

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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