The Golden Boy

Paul Goldschmidt finds himself in Coors Field matched up against a pitcher who rarely misses bats so do not even think of fading him. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s MLB.

Infield:

Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks, $11,200 – Although this is not exactly an outside the box play, fading Paul Goldschmidt in Coors Field against a starting pitcher who surrendered a fair amount of hard contact seems like a bad idea. Opposing starter German Marquez has only struck out 19.0-percent of RHHs this year but that number drops to just 13.1-percent specifically at home versus righties. Furthermore, righties at home have slashed .232/.300/.545 against Marquez with a .350 wOBA and a whopping 39.6-percent hard hit rate. All these numbers should be music to Paul Goldschmidt’s ears as he has hit the ball hard 48.0-percent of the time against righties which has led to some big numbers: .457 wOBA, .314 ISO and .340/.447/.654 slash line. Sure Goldschmidt is by far the most expensive player on the slate but that is because this situation clearly warrants that sort of price tag. Do not think twice about rostering Goldschmidt; just got ahead and lock him in.

Jason Kipnis, Indians, $7,800 – Speaking of elite matchups, Tuesday’s tilt against Chris Tillman sets up nicely for Jason Kipnis in many ways. First of all, Tillman is amidst his worst season as a professional as he owns an 8.07 ERA, 6.27 FIP, 5.55 xFIP and 2.10 WHIP overall heading into tonight. As if those numbers were not bad enough on the surface, his numbers against lefties get even worse: .451 wOBA, 18.5-percent BB rate, 1.84 HR/9 rate and .364/.481/.576 slash line while only striking them out at a measly 9.9-percent rate. Between Tillman’s fastball and his cutter, he throws some variation of his fastball more than 73-percent of the time and Kipnis has rated as above and beyond the team’s best fastball hitter since the start of last season (per FanGraphs’ pitch type linear weights). All-in-all, this $7,800 price tag is simply too cheap for a hitter of Kipnis’ ilk in an incredibly favorable spot.

Outfield:

Mitch Haniger, Mariners, $8,100 – Last night, the Mariners “punk’d” us when the lineup came out and Mitch Haniger was not included against an awful pitcher like Anibal Sanchez. Tonight, Haniger and company will square off a similarly subpar talent: Jordan Zimmermann. At one point in his career, Zimmermann was an upper-echelon pitcher, but these days he struggles to miss bats and in tune allows a ton of hard contact. This year, RHHs have roasted Zimmermann to the tune of a .349 wOBA, 1.90 HR/9 rate, .267/.330/.497 slash line, 35.3-percent hard hit rate and 43.1-percent fly ball rate while only striking them out 14.4-percent of the time. As noted in yesterday’s article, Haniger leads all Mariners in wOBA against RHP (.412) so once again Haniger should be in an excellent situation to succeed.

Miguel Sano, Twins, $8,000 – One stack that should go overlooked tonight is the Twins despite the fact Derek Holland will toe the mound against them. For some reason, Holland seems to have the reputation of a solid Major League pitcher and yet his numbers to righties are amongst the worst of any pitcher on the slate. Prior to Holland’s shutdown of the Orioles his last time out, he had been shelled for 14 runs over the course of his previous two starts, spanning just 7.0 IP total. The reason for his struggles has been due to his inability to retire RHHs as they have lit him up for a .378 wOBA, 10.3-percent BB rate, 2.04 HR/9 rate, .278/.363/.534 slash line, 42.1-percent hard hit rate and 44.1-percent fly ball rate. The hard hit rate is most intriguing here because Miguel Sano leads the league in hard hit rate at a whopping 51.9-percent (with the aforementioned Goldschmidt on his tail at 49.2-percent). Holland is in deep trouble in this matchup and Sano is on red alert to go deep. Start him in both cash games and tournaments.

Pitchers:

Chris Sale, Red Sox, $25,600 – As was the case with Clayton Kershaw yesterday, the spot for Chris Sale today theoretically could not get much better. Only the Rangers and Angels have posted lower wOBAs against LHP amongst American League teams than the Royals. Additionally, no team has swung at pitches outside the zone more than Royals and they currently own the second highest swinging strike rate in the league as well. Against a pitcher with elite swing-and-miss stuff like Sale (leads all qualified pitchers in swinging strike rate), this offense should not really stand a chance. Spend whatever it takes to roster Sale because he is going to be worth every penny.

Ervin Santana, Twins, $20,000 – Strangely, Ervin Santana has posted some vastly different numbers this season depending on who is catching for him. On days where Jason Castro has caught for him, Santana has pitched 57 innings en route to a 0.47 ERA. On the other hand, with Chris Gimenez behind the plate, Santana has been drastically worse: 33 IP, 5.18 ERA. In other words, the starting catcher continues to be a big determining factor as to whether to roster Santana or not. Assuming Castro starts, the matchup here is somewhat enticing although the White Sox have hit for the fifth highest AVG (.287) of any team over the last two weeks. Still, the team has had their issues against RHP as they rank in the bottom 10 of wOBA, wRC+, ISO, BB rate, OBP and SLG versus the handedness. At home with the Twins listed as -159 favorites, going back to the Santana well here should be a reasonably safe proposition despite the White Sox’ recent success.

Francis Martes, Astros, $11,400 – If attempting to fit both Sale and some expensive hitters, punting at SP2 with Francis Martes is the key to making roster construction work. Martes, one of the game’s top prospects, dominated the Rangers last time out in what was his first career start. In that game, Martes went 5.0 innings, gave up five baserunners, one earned run (ER) and struck out seven. Judging by his minor league numbers, Martes possesses swing-and-miss stuff, he just struggles his control on occasion. Over the course of the last month, no team has struck out at a higher rate than the Athletics so Martes should at least be able to miss bats and that should create a high floor. To me, he seems like the second coming of a cheap Brad Peacock in a fantastic matchup for his skill set. Of course, the Athletics are a powerful bunch but Martes should strike out enough to prove to be usable even if he allows a bomb or two. He should compete for the per-dollar lead at the position.

*Stats are accurate as of Sunday, June 18

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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