Wood-a, Coulda, Shoulda

Alex Wood has pitched as a true ace and is not priced as such go ahead and roster him in tonight’s $20,000 Home Run Contest! Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s MLB.

Infield:

Jake Lamb, Diamondbacks, $10,000 – Anytime Jake Lamb is playing at home and squaring off against a right-hander, he is immediately worthy of consideration. Last season, Lamb slashed .282/.354/.592 with a .390 wOBA against RHP in Chase Field and he has followed those numbers up with a .302/.396/.615 slash line and .413 wOBA in the split so far this season. Not much is known about opposing starter Mark Leiter except for the fact he has posted some mediocre strikeout numbers in the minors and has followed that up with some questionable numbers as a bullpen arm for the Phillies this year. In 19.0 IP in the pros this year, Leiter has struck out 14.5-percent of hitters while walking 16.9-percent of them and currently owns a 5.45 FIP and 5.40 xFIP. In other words, Lamb should do work as per usual in a game where the Diamondbacks will no doubt open with a 5.0-plus run implied total (there is no line up for this game yet).

Travis Shaw, Brewers, $8,100 – All Travis Shaw does is hit. While most rush to roster Eric Thames, Shaw has quietly been the much better hitter over the last month. During that span, Shaw is slashing .290/.371/.484 with a .360 wOBA whereas Thames has slashed .179/.322/.463 during that span with a .332 wOBA. Somehow, someway, probable starter Mike Foltynewicz has averaged 94.5mph on his fastball this year and yet he has induced the 22nd lowest swinging strike rate (8.3-percent) of any qualified pitcher. His home stadium, SunTrust Park, is proving to be incredibly hitter-friendly and is not doing him any favors either. Beyond his inability to miss bats, his Achilles heel since entering the league has been his inability to slow down LHHs against him. In 2017, lefties have smoked Foltynewicz to the tune of a .402 wOBA, 9.2-percent BB rate, 1.74 HR/9 rate, .348/.412/.529 slash line, 26.1-percent line drive rate, 34.8-percent hard hit rate and 38.3-percent fly ball rate. Shaw homered yesterday and hit another one off the top of the wall so he clearly has the power to hit one out of this park. It would not be surprising for him to follow up his solid outing yesterday with another monstrous performance tonight.

Outfield:

Corey Dickerson, Rays, $9,200 – The Rays stack is looking as juicy as ever tonight as they will take on a righty who rarely misses bats, struggles mightily against LHHs and rarely slows down runners on the base paths. While Mallex Smith is a solid option for cash games because of his speed upside in this matchup, Corey Dickerson is an all-around elite play for a plethora of reasons. He is the more likely of the two lefties to hit the ball out of the yard and Ubaldo Jimenez has been smoked around by lefties this year: .415 wOBA, 13.8-percent BB rate, 3.46 HR/9 rate, .274/.377/.635 slash line, 32.5-percent hit rate and a 36.8-percent fly ball rate. Meanwhile, Dickerson has produced a .389 wOBA, .273 ISO, .314/.354/.588 slash line and has even stole two bases off RHP this season. Dickerson has a little Vladimir Guerrero in him as he routinely ropes pitches in the dirt and outside the zone for base hits. All of this is a long-winded way of saying Dickerson should crush a pitcher of Jimenez’s skill set (or lack thereof).

Aaron Altherr, Phillies, $7,200 – Not only will Aaron Altherr and the Phillies hitters enjoy a positive ballpark shift but they will face a pitcher in Patrick Corbin who has allowed hard contact at the 16th highest rate of any qualified starter this season. By comparison, Josh Tomlin, Martin Perez and Jesse Chavez are some of the names right near Corbin in the category. Righties specifically have teed off on Corbin: .377 wOBA, 1.80 HR/9 rate, .314/.367/.529 slash line, 37.9-percent hard hit rate and 31.9-percent fly ball rate. Of all the Phillies bats, Altherr has hit ball hard at the highest rate against LHP (41.1-percent) plus he currently sports a .376 wOBA, .353 ISO (!) and .250/.311/.603 slash line against the handedness as well. If rostering him, fantasy owners are looking for an extra-base hit, and what better scenario for that to happen than in Chase Field against a susceptible left-hander? This price tag is simply too cheap for his potential upside.

Pitchers:

Chris Archer, Rays, $24,400 – If spending up at pitcher, there is no doubting Chris Archer is above and beyond the top option on the slate. Even though the Orioles have some pop, they have struck out at the 13th highest rate versus RHP and their current active hitters cumulatively rank in the bottom 10 of BB rate, OBP, hard hit rate and line drive rate against the handedness this year. The reason to love the matchup for Archer is because he has been so incredibly dominant against RHHs this year. In total, Archer has yielded just a .249 wOBA to righties this season while striking them out at a whopping 30.5-percent rate. Considering the Orioles are loaded with right-handers (Manny Machado, Jonathan Schoop, Adam Jones and Wellington Castillo to name a few), it is easy to see why Archer should be able to cruise here. If feeling comfortable with some value bats, paying up for Archer makes a ton of sense.

Alex Wood, Dodgers, $18,400 – There is no reason why there should be a $6,000 price gap between Archer and Wood because Wood may actually be the better pitcher of the two this season. How many pitchers can say they have induced a 12.0-percent swinging strike rate while forcing opponents into ground balls at a 66.9-percent rate? The answer: zero other pitchers have accomplished both this year as Dallas Keuchel, the only other pitcher with a 66-plus percent ground ball (GB) rate, has only induced a 10.5-percent swinging strike rate. In other words, Wood simply looks like an elite pitcher this year and his price tag is not giving him the proper amount of credit. As icing on the cake, the Rockies have fared much worse on the road this year and have struck out over 26-percent of the time against LHP away from Coors Field. Wood is the best per-dollar investment of any pitcher tonight. Period.

Luis Perdomo, Padres, $11,100 – Finally, Luis Perdomo, whose spot in the rotation was swapped with Dinelson Lamet’s, is the final worth pitcher worth discussing on tonight’s slate. Like the Orioles, the Tigers are a rather right-handed offense (other than Alex Avila) and Perdomo has induced ground balls at a ridiculous 70.0-percent rate. Furthermore, Perdomo has limited the quality of the contact against him: 11.8-percent line drive rate and 27.3-percent hard hit rate. The ballpark is about as pitcher-friendly as it gets and the Tigers will lose their designated hitter. The implied risk of facing a decent offense has already been working into the price tag and rostering him allows a roster to fit a healthy amount of bats (regardless of the SP1 alongside him). For that reason, Perdomo is an excellent play in both cash games and tournaments.

*Stats are accurate as of Thursday, June 22

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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