Straw-Berrios Fields Forever

Jose Berrios will draw an elite matchup against the Padres tonight and will enjoy both a positive park and league shift in the process. At a depreciated price tag, there is no reason to fade the stud right-hander. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s MLB.

Infield:

Nolan Arenado, Rockies, $10,500 – If only able to spend up for one hitter on this slate, make sure Nolan Arenado is that guy. On Tuesday, Arenado and the Rockies will square off against Steven Matz who has turned into a total gas can…and this game will be played in Coors Field. After inducing a 9.8-percent swinging strike rate in 2016, Matz has only forced swinging strikes at a measly 6.9-percent rate this season. In tune, Matz’s SIERA has ballooned from 3.51 last season to 4.61 so far in 2017. Righties have done a majority of the damage against Matz this season as evident by the .373 wOBA, 2.19 HR/9 rate, .319/.346/.556 slash line, 34.1-percent hard hit rate and 39.1-percent fly ball rate they have produced against the southpaw. If not going to miss Arenado’s bat in Coors Field, Matz is in a world of trouble, because Arenado is one of the game’s best hitters. At home against lefties specifically, Arenado is slashing a whopping .442/.463/.885 with a .442 ISO, .553 wOBA and outrageous 33.3-percent line drive rate. Fading Arenado is simply a dangerous proposition tonight.

Robinson Cano, Mariners, $7,200 – In a matchup against a subpar right-hander, it does not make sense that Robinson Cano only costs $7,200. Probable starter Nick Martinez has induced the fourth lowest swinging strike rate of any starting pitcher who has thrown at least 60 innings this year and his 12.6-percent K rate is the third lowest of the bunch. Even more so than the aforementioned Matz, Martinez relies on contact to create outs, and Cano is amongst the most talented hitters in the game against RHP. In fact, amongst all active hitters (min. 200 at-bats in the split), Cano ranks 20th in career wOBA against righties (.377) behind the likes of Carlos Gonzalez, Kris Bryant and Joe Mauer. Oh, by the way, Martinez has yielded a .383 wOBA, 1.98 HR/9 rate, .296/.365/.544 slash line and 40.8-percent fly ball rate to LHHs this year. As icing on the cake, Cano and company will enjoy a positive ballpark shift by heading from Safeco Park to Globe Life Park in Arlington. At this price tag, Cano is a rock-solid investment in all formats.

Outfield:

Aaron Judge, Yankees, $9,600 – Following a solid month of June, Anibal Sanchez reverted to the “Mr. Hyde” version of himself in July that had reared its ugly face earlier in the season. Sanchez seemed to recover from his 41.5-percent hard hit rate allowed in April and 52.6-percent hard hit rate allowed in May by limiting opponents to a 19.4-percent hard hit rate in June. However, the success did not last very long because opponents have once again ripped him for a 37.5-percent hard hit rate in July. On the other hand, not very many hitters hit the ball hard at a comparable rate to the likes of Aaron Judge, who currently ranks fifth in the league in hard hit rate (45.8-percent). All righties have done against Sanchez this year is posted a .393 wOBA, 2.51 HR/9 rate and a monstrous 45.6-percent hard hit rate. With Sanchez destined to cede some smokes off the bat of the Yankees, Judge finds himself in an absolutely elite spot tonight.

Kris Bryant, Cubs, $8,700 – Speaking of hard contact, Patrick Corbin’s 33.0-percent hard contact rate ranks 28th highest amongst qualified pitchers. Although Corbin has whiffed lefties at a healthy 28.6-percent rate, he has only struck out righties at a mediocre 18.7-percent rate. This has led to righties posting respectable numbers against Corbin: .367 wOBA, 1.50 HR/9 rate, .309/.362/.510 slash line and a 34.0-percent hard hit rate. While Kris Bryant is amidst a disappointing season overall, he is still crushing lefties at his normal rate. In 80 at-bats (ABs) against the handedness this year, Bryant owns a .423 wOBA, .275 ISO, .275/.478/.550 slash line, 39.3-percent hard hit rate and 44.3-percent fly ball rate. Corbin is averaging a career-best 93.0mph average velocity for his fastball so the velocity in should lead to a substantial velocity out if Bryant can make contact. Despite disappointing those who have rostered him many times this year, it is unlikely he disappoints tonight.

Pitchers:

Max Scherzer, Nationals, $25,500 – Even with Chris Sale available to roster for cheaper, Max Scherzer still stands out as the pitcher worth splurging on. No pitcher is more dominant against RHHs than Scherzer this season and the bottom of the Marlins lineup is now loaded with terrible righties due to the injuries to Justin Bour and J.T. Riddle. Really, the only lefties Scherzer will have to deal with are Dee Gordon, Christian Yelich and Derek Dietrich; none of which are true power threats which is Scherzer’s Achilles heel. Since the beginning of 2016, lefties have launched 29 home runs (HRs) off Scherzer, which is the most in the league during that span. Nevertheless, this ballpark is not conducive to power, and the Marlins’ healthy lefties are not pure power hitters, so Scherzer should cruise tonight. Expect 7.0-plus innings and at least 10 Ks from the Nationals ace.

Sean Manaea, Athletics, $15,300 – The expensive tier of pitching is loaded tonight so but so is the mid-tier so spending up for an ace is not totally necessary. Finally, Sean Manaea will draw a matchup against one of the worst teams against his handedness because he has battled through one of the most difficult schedules for any starting pitcher this year. Since the start of June, Manaea has faced the Astros (twice), Yankees, Mariners, Indians, Mets and Blue Jays (twice). Other than the Mariners, all those teams rank in the top 10 of wOBA against LHP. Fortunately for Manaea, the Giants literally rank dead last in wOBA against LHP amongst all National League teams. Manaea, who is one of the more talented pitchers in the league (as evident by his 12.7-percent swinging strike rate), should be able to mow down this power-devoid ball club. On a per-dollar basis, he is my second favorite pitcher on this slate.

Jose Berrios, Twins, $15,200 – By far, Jose Berrios is the best pitching play on the entire slate…seriously, it is not close. The only reason Berrios’ price has seen a steep decline recently is because he has struggled in some of the most daunting matchups possible for a RHP. Here are his last four starts: versus Orioles, at Astros, versus Yankees and at Dodgers. Any pitcher could potentially scuffle during that stretch so his recent sample size is inconsequential. Instead, focus more on the matchup against the lowly Padres in the pitcher-friendly atmosphere of Petco Park. Thankfully, the Padres rank in the bottom 10 of wOBA, wRC+, BB rate, AVG, OBP, SLG, hard hit rate and line drive rate against righties while also striking out at a hefty 24.4-percent rate. All-in on Berrios.

*Stats are accurate as of Monday, July 31

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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