Nomar Mr. Nice Guy

Nomar Mazara is priced like a scrub and yet his team is being implied to score 5.8 runs in a matchup against a pitcher allowing a 49.3-percent fly ball rate against left-handed hitters. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s MLB.

Infield:

Anthony Rizzo, Cubs, $10,000 – Undoubtedly, Anthony Rizzo and the Cubs are going to be chalky on this slate because they are facing the one and only James Shields. For a while now, Shields has been a pitcher who rarely misses bats, is reliant on fly balls and gives up all the dongs…especially to lefties. In 20.1 IP against the handedness this year, Shields has yielded a monstrous .442 wOBA, 14.2-percent BB rate, 3.98 HR/9 rate, .295/.415/.670 slash line, 30.7-percent hard hit rate and 53.3-percent fly ball rate. All the Cubs lefties are starting to heat up but Rizzo still leads the team’s LHHs in terms of both wOBA against righties this year and for his career. Therefore, he is tough to pass on with his team implied to score 5.8 runs. Stack the Cubs and enjoy the results.

Edwin Encarnacion, Indians, $9,600 – For the second consecutive day, Edwin Encarnacion’s matchup jumps off the page because he will once again do battle with a RHP with severe reverse splits. This go-around, the pitcher who will toe the mound against him will be Ricky Nolasco; the man who has surrendered the most homers of any pitcher in the league this year. All righties have done against him is roast him to the tune of a .383 wOBA, 2.60 HR/9 rate, .307/.336/.586 slash line, 40.5-percent hard hit rate and 37.4-percent fly ball rate. Momentum is certainly on Encarnacion’s side heading into this one as he hit a walk off grand slam last night off a right-hander. Oh, by the way, he is an excellent hitter in the split and Progressive Field is one of the top hitters’ parks in the league. All-in on Encarnacion yet again.

Outfield:

Hunter Renfroe, Padres, $6,900 – Most people likely do not realize how fantastic Hunter Renfroe has been in the split against left-handers this year but it is time to take notice. In 88 at-bats (ABs) against southpaws, Renfroe has posted a beastly .422 wOBA, .318 ISO, .318/.388/.636 slash line, 35.9-percent hard hit rate and a 47.9-percent fly ball rate…all while playing half his games in one of the most pitcher-friendly parks in the league (Petco Park). Probable starter Steven Matz is not generally considered a pitcher to target against but his lack of strikeouts this year are becoming concerning. After inducing a 9.8-percent swinging strike rate last year, he has only managed a 6.7-percent rate thus far in 2017. Amazingly, hitters are swinging at pitchers outside the zone at a rate three percentage points lower than last year so he legitimately is not fooling anyone. If he is not going to miss Renfroe’s bat then the Padres youngster is going to flash his impressive power. Do not be scared to target against Matz with Renfroe and even multiple other Padres bats (such as Hector Sanchez, Jabari Blash and Wil Myers). He is not the same pitcher he once was.

Nomar Mazara, Rangers, $6,000 – Oh my lord is this man mispriced tonight in a matchup against a very beatable opposing pitcher (Jose Urena). Coming off a night where he registered three hits and drove in a run, Mazara is priced like a scrub despite playing in an extremely hitter-friendly park with the team implied to score 5.8 runs. In fact, prior to Tuesday, Noma Mazara was amidst an 0-25 skid, so it was encouraging to see him break out in a big way. Now, he will square off against a right-hander tonight who has allowed a whopping 49.3-percent fly ball rate to lefties to go along with a 33.1-percent hard hit rate and 1.30 HR/9 rate. Admittedly, the .322 wOBA is not anything special, but relying on fly balls in this park is a no-no. In 2017, Urena has thrown his slider a ridiculous 26.6-percent of the time, which would rank 21st amongst qualified starters if he had the innings to qualify. Maybe most importantly, Urena has only struck out lefties at an 11.2-percent rate, meaning he very rarely misses their bats. Mazara’s Achilles heel is his tendency to swing and miss, so with that off the table, he should be primed for a big game.

Pitchers:

Mike Fiers, Astros, $19,600 – A day after spending up on Charlie Morton, it is worth paying an unusually high price tag for Mike Fiers for most of the same reasons. Like Morton, Fiers has posted some significant reverse splits this year and the Phillies lineup is loaded with left-handers near the top. Since Fiers has borderline dominated lefties this year, he should be able to mow through most of the Phillies’ best hitters: Cesar Hernandez, Freddy Galvis, Nick Williams and Odubel Herrera. Following a miserable beginning to the season, Fiers has only surrendered three homers over the course of his last 61 innings. Meanwhile, the Phillies rank in the bottom 10 of wOBA, wRC+, ISO, AVG, OBP, SLG and hard hit rate against RHP while striking out at a 22.5-percent rate. While this price tag feels expensive, Fiers is still worth every penny.

Jake Arrieta, Cubs, $18,000 – This season, Jake Arrieta’s numbers are down slightly from last year but this may be the perfect spot to deploy him. The White Sox’ current active hitters have cumulatively walked at by far the lowest rate in the league against RHP. Basically, Arrieta’s Achilles heel is his tendency to walk guys but that should not be an issue against an impatient White Sox squad. Therefore, it can reasonably be inferred that he approaches his ceiling in a matchup against a team that ranks dead last in wOBA against RHP. Despite the negative league shift (designated hitter is in play), Arrieta is one of the top plays at the starting pitcher position.

Carlos Martinez, Cardinals, $16,200 – Something has been up with Carlos Martinez as of late considering he has only struck out 15 batters over the course of his last four starts spanning 23 innings. However, only one of those starts came against a team with a K rate above 18.8-percent versus RHP this year, so they were undoubtedly difficult matchups. Tonight, the matchup will get easier against a Rockies team that ranks dead last in wRC+ on the road against RHP (76) and strikes out at a 23.1-percent rate in the split. Oppositely of the aforementioned Fiers, Martinez has produced normal splits and has absolutely dominated RHHs. Other than Charlie Blackmon, Gerardo Parra and Carlos Gonzalez, nearly the entire rest of the Rockies team is right-handed. Consequently, many of the individual matchups favor Martinez and the price tag has dropped to the lowest it will ever be. Martinez is worth a shot at this price point.

*Stats are accurate as of Tuesday, July 25

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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