Last Man Stanton

In a matchup against Martin Perez, who literally induced the lowest swinging strike rate of any qualified starting pitcher last year, it could be blast off for Giancarlo Stanton and the Marlins offense. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s MLB.

Infield:

Corey Seager, Dodgers, $9,900 – Whenever Bartolo Colon toes the mound at this point in his career, he is worth targeting against. Apparently, Colon is considering retirement and one more bad start could put him over the edge. Unfortunately for the 44-year old right-hander, this start could be the end of the road for him because the Dodgers rank fifth in wOBA against RHP this season and rank in the top 10 of just about every major offensive statistical category. The team is led by Cody Bellinger in wOBA against the handedness, and while he is firmly in play, he has struggled since participating in the Home Run Derby (.281 wOBA and .250/.375/.250 slash line over the last seven days). Meanwhile, Corey Seager has come out of the break en fuego as evident by his .304/.360/.652 slash line, .417 wOBA, 162 wRC+ and ridiculous 58.8-percent hard hit rate over the course of the last week. For the season, Seager owns a .372 wOBA, .197 ISO and team-leading 49.1-percent hard hit rate against righties…and a majority of the hard contact Colon has allowed this year has come off the bats of LHHs. This is a match made in heaven for Seager, and really the entire Dodgers offense, so feel free to deploy the stack with confidence.

Mike Napoli, Rangers, $7,800 – Another intriguing spot for offense on Monday is the Ballpark in Arlington because the game features a matchup of two lefties who rarely ever miss bats. The Marlins will deploy the left-handed Adam Conley who has only struck out righties at a 15.0-percent rate despite a decent 10.2-percent swinging strike rate overall. Since he has not missed right-handed bats, they have blasted him to the tune of a 37.2-percent hard hit rate, 41.0-percent fly ball rate and .346 wOBA. In fact, Conley’s ERA against righties specifically currently sits at 7.18 through 26.1 IP. As if that were not enough, Conley has walked righties at a 12.5-percent rate which is the fourth highest rate of any pitcher on the slate, behind only Blake Snell, Francisco Liriano and Brad Peacock. Amongst all active Rangers, Mike Napoli’s career .387 wOBA and 14.4-percent BB rate leads the bunch. Essentially, Napoli rates favorably in all the statistical areas where Conley struggles, so this is a fantastic correlation play.

Outfield:

Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins, $10,800 – Speaking of hitters from this game, how can you pass on Giancarlo Stanton versus a southpaw who literally induced swinging strikes at the lowest rate of any qualified pitcher last season? Seriously, Martin Perez hardly ever misses bats and Stanton makes some of the most substantial contact in the league. After ranking dead last in the category last year, Perez has induced a 7.5-percent swinging strike rate this year, which is tied for fifth lowest amongst qualified starters. His lack of strikeout ability has led to righties posting a .364 wOBA, .309/.376/.480 slash line, 24.8-percent line drive rate and 31.7-percent hard hit rate against him. Maybe most importantly, righties have managed fly balls at a much higher rate (31.7-percent) than lefties (17.5-percent) against Perez. If Perez is unable to miss Stanton’s bat then it could be bombs away for one of the game’s best hitters against the handedness (.411 career wOBA versus LHP).

Nelson Cruz, Mariners, $8,400 – The aforementioned Stanton only barely edges out Nelson Cruz in terms of career wOBA against lefties as Cruz has produced an impressive .394 tally versus southpaws. Opposing starter Eduardo Rodriguez is not one typically worth stacking against as he possesses excellent stuff and normally shuts down left-handers. However, his one glaring weakness is the fact that he relies so heavily on fly ball outs, which would explain why he has allowed 1.46 HR/9 despite pitching in a park that has yielded the fewest homers in the American League (AL). Additionally, righties have produced a 22.1-percent line drive against him for his career so he yields a decent amount of significant contact. Assuming Cruz draws three-ish at-bats (ABs) against the pure fly baller, and Rodriguez induces fly balls in multiple ABs, one of them has the chance of going for extra bases. If all goes right for Cruz, one of them could even potentially leave the yard.

Pitchers:

Jacob deGrom, Mets, $26,100 – Jacob deGrom is easily above and beyond the best starting pitcher on tonight’s slate in terms of talent, matchup and projection. Sure, he will cost nearly $3,000 more than the next pitcher but he also draws arguably the best possible matchup for a RHP in one of the handful of most pitcher-friendly parks. His opponent, the Padres, rank in the bottom 10 of wOBA, wRC+, AVG, OBP, SLG and line drive percentage while striking out at the highest rate in the league against the handedness. Both Jabari Blash and Hector Sanchez have been noteworthy additions to the lineup but the advantage still goes to deGrom in both matchups. Start him with confidence in both cash games and tournaments if able to make bats fit alongside him.

Gerrit Cole, Pirates, $19,200 – The strikeout upside of Brad Peacock is intriguing at a slightly more expensive price point but it is difficult to pay up for a pitcher with a 13.2-percent BB rate. Instead, it makes more sense to roster Gerrit Cole at a reasonable $19,200 cost in the most pitcher-friendly park in all of baseball: AT&T Park. Not only have the fewest homers been launched out of this park but the Giants are also totally devoid of power. Thus far, the Giants rank in the bottom 10 of wOBA, wRC+, ISO, hard hit rate and SLG. As icing on the cake, the Giants are mostly devoid of speed other than Eduardo Nunez and Denard Span (getting old), and Cole struggles to hold runners. If he can keep those two off base, then singles should remain singles as opposed to turning into doubles or triples when a base stealer is able to swipe a bag with ease. Expect Cole to cruise in this matchup and he should compete for the fantasy-point-per-dollar lead amongst the top tier of pitchers due to his slightly more affordable price tag.

Francisco Liriano, Blue Jays, $11,400 – If looking for the definition of a risk/reward option, Francisco Liriano certainly fits the bill. Of course, Liriano has been rather mediocre this year, as he heads into Monday sporting a 6.15 ERA, 4.91 FIP, 5.16 xFIP, 1.73 WHIP and 5.14 SIERA. However, Liriano has pitched much better at home this season (.305 wOBA allowed) compared to on the road (.462). Interestingly, Liriano has struck out opposing hitters at a 23.5-percent rate at home and has only walked them at a 9.6-percent rate this season (compared to a 14.4-percent K rate, 15.1-percent BB rate on road). Strangely, Liriano has posted a 2.96 FIP at home which suggests he has actually pitched pretty well in the friendly confines of the Rogers Centre. On the other hand, the Athletics rank dead last in all of baseball in wOBA against LHP and have struck out at a whopping 25.7-percent rate. If there ever were a spot for Liriano to bust out for 20-plus fantasy points, tonight would be the night.

*Stats are accurate as of Monday, July 24

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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