All I Do is Twin

Adalberto Mejia is cheap and will face an Angels team almost completely devoid of power. For that reason alone, he is well worth considering. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s MLB.

Infield:

Josh Donaldson, Blue Jays, $9,200 – Guess who’s back in town. Yes, Josh Donaldson the lefty masher is fresh off the disabled list which means it is time to start deploying him in just about every single matchup against a southpaw. Tonight, Donaldson will square off against C.C. Sabathia and his .323 wOBA, 9.6-percent BB rate, 1.49 HR/9 rate, .251/.327/.412 slash like, 38.8-percent hard hit rate and 34.0-percent fly ball rate against RHHs this year. While most of those numbers are not great, the 38.8-percent hard hit rate jumps off the page especially considering Donaldson owns a 36.8-percent career hard hit rate against LHP. Since the beginning of last year, Donaldson is slashing .292/.408/.580 at home with a .288 ISO and .414 wOBA. Just about all factors are working in his favor so go ahead and lock him in at a cheaper price tag than Paul Goldschmidt (but a similar skill set and a more favorable hitting environment).

Martin Maldonado, Angels, $5,600 – Catchers are not a requirement on FantasyDraft and yet this price tag is very difficult to overlook for a player who sports a .511 wOBA against LHP. To reiterate, he has produced a wOBA greater than .500 against the handedness and yet he is priced at a sub-$6,000 cost. On Wednesday evening, with Mike Trout injured and out of the lineup, Martin Maldonado hit fifth in the lineup against a left-hander and the team will square off against another (Adalberto Mejia) on Thursday evening as well. There is no better investment on a per-skills basis than Maldonado who packs an incredible amount of bang for his buck. If spending up on two pitchers, or just looking to fit literally every other optimal hitter, punting a spot on Maldonado makes all the sense in the world.

Outfield:

Yasmany Tomas, Diamondbacks, $7,600 – Whereas rostering Goldschmidt will cost an arm and a leg, Yasmany Tomas possesses at least a reasonably similar skill set at a drastically cheaper price tag. Coming off a season where Tomas posted a .364/.423/.690 slash line and .424 wOBA against lefties, he has struggled a bit but surprisingly has been more effective against the handedness on the road. Away from Chase Field against left-handers, Tomas is slashing .240/.296/.400 with a .302 wOBA. However, if there were ever a day for his bat to revert to the 2016 version, it would be tonight against gas can Jeff Locke. All he did last year was yield a .299/.368/.508 slash line, .372 wOBA and 34.9-percent hard hit rate to righties so look for Tomas to break out of his slump in a big way.

Joey Rickard, Orioles, $6,400 – The individual matchup against Eduardo Rodriguez is not exactly easy, as he has taken his game to new levels this year, but Joey Rickard is still very playable at this bargain price tag. Assuming he draws a start in the leadoff spot, Rickard sports a .322 wOBA against LHP this year and is slashing .286/.333/.405…and those are actually worse than his career numbers. For his career, Rickard owns a .354 wOBA, .304/.356/.464 slash line and 24.2-percent line drive rate against lefties. If there is one aspect where Rodriguez struggles, it is his propensity to allow fly balls, especially to RHHs. In 2017, righties have hit the ball in the air a whopping 48.2-percent of the time and have hit line drives at a 20.0-percent rate against Rodriguez. In other words, the downside may be low for hitters against him, but the upside is there as well (especially for a hitter with such a substantial career line drive rate against the handedness). If attempting to fit two expensive hitters, Rickard is a nice mix of skills and affordable cost.

Pitchers:

Zack Greinke, Diamondbacks, $24,600 – On a talent basis, it does not get any better than Zack Greinke and his 14.3-percent swinging strike rate. In fact, Greinke leads all of baseball in swing rate outside the zone so it is no wonder people swing and miss so much; the man’s pitches drop off the table. The 3.9 implied runs for the Marlins seems a bit optimistic considering their top four hitters against the handedness all strike out at a 19.5-percent or higher. Greinke’s Achilles heel this year has been his tendency to allow the long ball (1.43 HR/9 rate) and this is one of the most difficult parks to hit the ball out of. Additionally, the Marlins rank 24th in ISO against the handedness so this is shaping up as an excellent spot for the Diamondbacks ace. He is clearly usable in all formats especially when considering the lack of alternative options.

Marco Estrada, Blue Jays, $18,600 – On paper, this is an incredibly difficult matchup for Marco Estrada against a team that ranks first in wOBA against RHP this year. Somehow, someway though, Estrada continues to get it done, especially at home. Since 2015, only 17 active pitchers have posted a lower ERA at home than Estrada and only 15 have allowed a lower wOBA (min. 150 IP at home during that span). Estrada is missing bats at the highest rate of his career this season as he has struck out 27.1-percent of right-handers and 28.8-percent of right-handers. Furthermore, the man just does not allow hard contact despite the fact he allows a healthy amount of fly balls. The Yankees are a powerful team but if they do not create hard contact then they will not be able to dominate. Typically, Estrada is a guaranteed quality start at home. Even in a difficult matchup, Estrada is just so good that he is still worth starting.

Adalberto Mejia, Twins, $13,200 – If looking for money to spend on hitters, saving money at the pitcher position and pivoting to Adalberto Mejia makes a ton of sense. The current constitution of the Angels is just pathetic against left-handers as no Trout leaves them almost fully devoid of weapons. Other than the aforementioned Maldonado, here are their top hitters in terms of wOBA against LHP this year (assuming Cameron Maybin is still hurt): Jefry Marte (.301), Albert Pujols (.261), Luis Valbuena (.252) and do we even need to go on? This team is horrendous and Mejia is coming off arguably his two best starts as a Major Leaguer so he is starting to figure out the whole “pitching at the big league level” thing. On a per-dollar basis, Mejia is amongst the best investments at the starting pitcher position tonight.

*Stats are accurate as of Wednesday, May 31

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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