Wilmer.i.am

Wilmer Flores has posted a .408 wOBA against lefties this year and yet he is priced like a scrub on tonight’s slate. In order to fit both some expensive pitchers and some upside bats, rostering Flores makes all the sense in the world. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s MLB.

Infield:

Miguel Cabrera, Tigers, $6,800 – Admittedly, this is purely a price play because a certain expensive pitcher is a virtual must on this slate. If building around said starter, concessions will need to be made on offense. It is always nice when one of the “concessions” is rostering one of the better hitters in the history of the MLB for an affordable cost. Sure, Miguel Cabrera’s numbers are down so far this season, but the guy is too good of a hitter to be held down for long. In case anyone has forgotten, Cabrera owns a career .400 wOBA, .239 ISO, .320/.388/.560 slash line and 39.1-percent hard hit rate to RHP for his career. This evening, Cabrera and company will square off against Alex Cobb who has struggled against RHHs this year. In 43.1 IP against the handedness, Cobb has yielded a .342 wOBA, 1.25 HR/9 rate, .292/.333/.471 slash line and 35.5-percent hard hit rate while only striking them out at a 16.6-percent rate. Strangely, all the Tigers bats are priced about $500-1000 cheaper than they should be but no one’s price tag is more enticing than Cabrera’s. Start him.

Wilmer Flores, Mets, $5,600 – This entire week, Wilmer Flores has gone drastically underpriced and his cost depreciated once again on Thursday. After being priced at just $6,000 last night, Flores’ price tag is down to an incredibly affordable $5,600 despite the fact he will be facing a lefty. Amazingly, Flores is one of the better hitters in the league versus the handedness as he sports a .408 wOBA, .216 ISO, .378/.385/.595 slash line and 36.4-percent hard hit rate against the handedness heading into tonight. Hell, his career numbers are pretty impressive as well as he owns a higher career wOBA against southpaws than even his teammate Yoenis Cespedes. There is no reason why Flores should be this cheap so lock him in and move on.

Outfield:

Mookie Betts, Red Sox, $10,200 – Following a night where Mookie Betts racked up four base hits, including two bombs, en route to 42 fantasy points, the Red Sox star has now produced multiple hits in four of his last six games. Prior to last night, one could have said “Betts was heating up” but now he is officially “hot.” Opposing starter Nick Pivetta is the perfect pitcher to him for face while en fuego because Pivetta has been smoked by righties to the tune of a .428 wOBA, 2.70 HR/9 rate, .314/.390/.638 slash line, 26.4-percent line drive rate and 38.9-percent hard hit rate this year. As icing on the cake, Pivetta has only managed a measly 7.0-percent swinging strike rate this season while Betts sports the 11th lowest swinging strike rate amongst qualified hitters. All of this is a long-winded way of saying Betts is likely to create some contact again so continue to roll him out there.

Corey Dickerson, Rays, $8,800 – Do not fear Justin Verlander because he has looked like a shell of his former self in 2017. Not only has Verlander walked opposing hitters at an ugly 11.1-percent rate but he has only struck them out at a 20.7-percent rate. By comparison, Verlander struck out 28.1-percent of the hitters he faced just a season ago. Something is wrong with him because the hard hit rate allowed is the highest of his career and his swinging strike rate would be his lowest in three seasons and only the second time he has dropped below a 10.0-percent swinging strike rate over a seven-year span. If not missing bats, then Corey Dickerson is going to make him pay. The aspect I really like about this matchup for Dickerson is he is the team’s best hitter against both sliders and curveballs according to FanGraphs’ pitch type linear weights. Meanwhile, Verlander is throwing his slider at the highest rate of his career and his curveball at the highest rate he has thrown it at since 2011. His fastball has not lost any velocity but it is simply not as effective of a pitch as it used to be so he has had to rely on others. Therefore, Dickerson should be ready to rip against the breaking balls headed his way.

Pitchers:

Chris Sale, Red Sox, $27,200 – The expensive starting pitcher eluded to earlier in the article is, of course, none other than Chris Sale in a matchup on the road against the lowly Phillies. No team owns a worse winning percentage this year than the Phillies (.328) and they have now lost eight consecutive games heading into this tilt versus arguably the game’s best pitcher. Oh by the way, the Phillies rank in the bottom 10 in wRC+, ISO, AVG and SLG against LHP while also posting the 13th lowest wOBA. Sale is quite clearly above and beyond the number one starting pitcher on the slate.

Jordan Montgomery, Yankees, $16,800 – Finally, tonight looks like it should be Jordan Montgomery’s breakout spot as he is coming off a 28.15 fantasy point performance against the Orioles and looking to build on that success. Judging by Montgomery’s numbers, he possesses near-elite swing-and-miss type stuff and he will now face an Athletics team that has struck out at the third highest rate against LHP. When Montgomery struggles, it is due to lack of control, but the Athletics also only walk at a 7.8-percent rate against the handedness. Furthermore, the Athletics rank in the bottom 10 of wOBA and OBP against LHP so Montgomery should cruise, especially when taking into consideration the positive park shift. Assuming value emerges, Sale/Montgomery stands out as by far the safest pitching duo possible.

Michael Wacha, Cardinals, $12,400 – If looking for a cheap SP2 to pair with Sale in order to fit bats, Michael Wacha fits the bill. The matchup is not incredibly easy against the Brewers as the team possesses a lot of power and is a scary matchup for a variety of reasons. Wacha has struggled against left-handers this year (.356 wOBA allowed) and the Brewers very likely will roll out three in the top four of their lineup (Eric Sogard, Eric Thames and Travis Shaw). However, Wacha has pitched substantially better at home this year: .228/.299/.380 slash line, .289 wOBA, 20.7-percent line drive rate and 22.8-percent hard hit rate. This success has led to Wacha eclipsing double-digit fantasy points in all but one start at home so far this year. So, are you feeling lucky punk? Well, are you?

*Stats are accurate as of Wednesday, June 14

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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