Knocking on Heaven’s Lindor

Francisco Lindor not only faces a pitcher who has struggled against lefties but one who surrenders an insane amount of steals. Look for Lindor to potentially put all of his skills on display in this matchup. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s MLB.

Infield:

Justin Turner, Dodgers, $9,300 – Justin Turner was the cover boy in this article yesterday and it is worth going right back to the well with the right-hander who is hitting nearly .400 with the All-Star Game just about two weeks away. Just like last night, Turner is set to square off with a reverse splits righty except this one has been absolutely putrid away from home: Jesse Chavez. In 41.1 IP away from Angels Stadium this season, opponents have slashed .304/.368/.575 against Chavez with a .392 wOBA, 23.0-percent line drive rate and 43.9-percent hard hit rate. Righties fare better against Chavez regardless of location but they have especially roasted him on the road: .337/.388/.628 slash line, .421 wOBA, 25.0-percent HR/FB rate and a 49.4-percent hard hit rate. On the other hand, if Turner qualified, his .444 wOBA against RHP would rank fourth behind only the likes of Paul Goldschmidt, Aaron Judge and Alex Avila. Once again, Turner is an elite play.

Francisco Lindor, Indians, $8,100 – My favorite hitting play on this entire slate is none other than Francisco Lindor who is priced about $1,000-1,500 too cheap in a matchup where he should be able to put all his skills on display. What does that mean? Ross has not only been susceptible to left-handed bats throughout the course of his career but he has also proven to be one of the easier pitchers in the league to run on. Since the start of the 2013 season, only Jon Lester, Ubaldo Jimenez, Cole Hamels, Jake Arrieta, John Lackey and Gerrit Cole have allowed more stolen bases than Ross…and Ross has thrown 14 total innings since the start of the 2016 season. Additionally, lefties have posted a .322 wOBA off Ross over the course of his career and have walked at an 11.0-percent rate. Thus far, Ross does not appear to be anywhere near the same sort of pitcher he was in his prime as he has only struck out 18.0-percent of hitters and has walked 10.3-percent of them (compared to a 22.4-percent career K rate and 9.6-percent career BB rate). In other words, Lindor should be able to hit his way on, but he also could reach via the walk. When he is on base, he should be able to swipe a bag, and the Indians are being implied to score 5.7 runs after scoring 15 runs last night (so he could potentially score multiple runs as well). Combine all these factors and Lindor equates to one of the best per-dollar investments of the night.

Outfield:

J.D. Martinez, Tigers, $8,700 – Opposing starter Matt Strahm has pitched reasonably well in his short time as a starter this year after struggling in a relief role. In his two starts, opponents have slashed .303/.343/.394 off Strahm despite the fact they have only posted a .320 wOBA and 30.8-percent hard hit rate. To be fair, the hard hit rate does not do the overall contact numbers justice because opponents have hit lit drives at a whopping 26.9-percent rate. Strahm has actually managed worse numbers against left-handed hitters (LHHs) this year but he has struck out righties at a significantly lower rate (22.8-percent compared to 32.4) and he has walked way too many hitters on both sides of the plate (15.5-percent BB rate overall). His last time out, the pesky Red Sox dropped five runs on him in just 3.0 IP and now he will do battle with a Tigers team loaded with powerful RHHs…beginning with J.D. Martinez. Similarly to the aforementioned Turner, Martinez does not quite qualify yet, but if he did, he would lead all hitters in wOBA against LHP (.662). Hell, Martinez is slashing .519/.606/1.074 against lefties with a .556 ISO and 50.0-percent hard hit rate. Martinez should be started just about every time out against a southpaw and Strahm is certainly not an exception.

Chris Young, Red Sox, $6,800 – In preparation for tonight’s game, the Twins will activate probable starter Hector Santiago who pitched just 3.0 total innings in his one rehab start. In the majors this year, Santiago has been nothing short of a gas can as he has yielded a 1.94 HR/9 rate, 36.7-percent fly ball rate and 49.8-percent fly ball rate while posting a subpar 5.47 SIERA and 1.68 K/BB ratio. Meanwhile, with Hanley Ramirez dealing a sore left knee, Chris Young will be needed more than ever as a lefty specialist in the lineup. For his career, Young owns a .267/.364/.475 slash line, .187 ISO, .364 wOBA and 33.0-percent hard hit rate against lefties so his struggles this season are likely due to it being a small sample size. If Young were to face dong givers such as Santiago on a nightly basis, those numbers would likely a lot more impressive. For a guy slated to hit in the top five or six on an offense projected to score 6.2 runs in Fenway Park (which has a wall just 310 feet away in left field), this price tag is way too inexpensive. Take this bargain all the way to the bank.

Pitchers:

Max Scherzer, Nationals, $25,200 – Looking down the pricing list at pitcher, it is tempting to pivot to Luis Severino against the White Sox for a significantly cheaper price tag. However, the Vegas lines suggest the two pitchers should not be priced similarly as the Cubs are only being implied to score 3.3 runs while the White Sox are being implied to score 4.1 runs. Furthermore, Max Scherzer is treated like a true ace by his manager and is consistently allowed to pitch well beyond 100 pitches. This creates serious upside for a pitcher and it is not like the matchup is overly difficult. Sure, the Cubs are the reigning champs, but they rank in the bottom 10 of wOBA, wRC+, AVG, OBP, SLG, hard hit rate and line drive percentage against RHP while striking out at a 23.7-percent rate. With Jason Heyward on the disabled list and Kyle Schwarber sent to the minors, they are missing two of their top left-handed power threats as well, which is notable because Scherzer has allowed the second most homers to lefties since the start of last year. All signs point to a dominant outing from Scherzer so lock him in as SP1 in all formats.

Jeff Hoffman, Rockies, $15,600 – Okay, so German Marquez did not pan out yesterday, but if watching the game it was easy to see why. Even in the first inning, Marquez had absolutely zero control of any of his pitches beginning with his breaking ball. After throwing about seven that were not close to the plate, he just stopped throwing them altogether and became incredibly predictable. The result inevitably was not good but Jeff Hoffman is a better pitcher with superior velocity and some serious swing-and-miss type stuff. The Giants are a difficult team to whiff but Hoffman has struck out 27.0-percent of righties and 24.3-percent of lefties right here. The real reason to like this matchup is because Hoffman is pure fly ball pitcher and the fewest home runs (HRs) have been hit at AT&T Park this year by a large margin (44 compared to 60 in Fenway Park). Since balls will not fly out of here, Hoffman should be able to cruise to a quality start assuming his 97mph fastball is working and he is able to spot it.

Sean Newcomb, Braves, $13,200 – If there were ever a spot to start Sean Newcomb, this would be it. Not only will Newcomb toe the mound against the worst hitting team in all of baseball against LHP but he will do so in arguably the most pitcher-friendly stadium: Petco Park. Newcomb possesses the ability to miss bats but has faced two straight reasonably difficult matchups. Now, he will do battle with an offense that has struck out over 27-percent of the time so he should be able to produce an outlier K total. At only $13,200, all the potential downside of his spotty control is already factored into the price. While he is a better tournament play than cash play, he could conceivably compete for the per-dollar lead at the position if all goes well.

*Stats are accurate as of Monday, June 26

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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