The Almora of the Story

Albert Almora Jr. has produced a .400-plus wOBA against lefties this year and is priced below $6,000 on FantasyDraft. The skills are too great to pass on at this cost. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s MLB.

Infield:

Joey Votto, Reds, $10,200 – Easily the top hitting play on tonight’s slate is an en fuego Joey Votto. Heading into tonight, Votto is on an 11-game during which he is 16-33 (.484) and he has now homered in back-to-back games. This season, Jhoulys Chacin has completely shut down RHHs (lowest wOBA allowed to the handedness of anyone on the slate) but has been susceptible to LHHs. In 58.0 IP against the handedness, lefties have roasted Chacin to the tune of a .350 wOBA, 1.55 HR/9 rate, .266/.361/.467 slash line and a 35.0-percent hard hit rate while he has only struck them out at a measly 16.4-percent rate…and that is while playing half his games in pitcher-friendly Petco Park. Unfortunately for Chacin, Great American Ballpark is not nearly as forgiving, and it especially enhances the power of LHHs. Of course, Votto is one of the most powerful the league has to offer, so he should be a building block in all formats.

Anthony Rendon, Nationals, $8,700 – For a player who owns a .505 wOBA in the split this season, Anthony Rendon is drastically underpriced on Monday (as per usual). Since Rendon hits sixth, he rarely gets the love he deserves in the fantasy community and always goes under-owned. Opposing starter Chris O’Grady’s last start came against the Nationals and they absolutely lit him up: 3.0 IP, nine baserunners, two home runs (HRs) and six earned runs (ERs) and that was in Marlins Park. Now, the teams will square off in Nationals Park which is a much easier park to hit the ball out of. Additionally, righties have owned O’Grady as evident by their .425 wOBA, 2.40 HR/9 rate, .317/.403/.629 slash line, 30.0-percent line drive rate, 42.0-percent hard hit rate and 42.0-percent fly ball rate against him. Fading Rendon is simply a risky proposition.

Outfield:

Kris Bryant, Cubs, $10,400 – One offense destined to go a bit overlooked is the Cubs due to the fact they will be playing in the worst hitting environment in all of baseball: AT&T Park. Still, whatever potential they lose with a ballpark downgrade is made up for when facing a scrub like Matt Moore. The last time Moore toed the mound he was featured in this article because he was facing arguably the worst offense in the league against LHP and he took a beating. The Cubs are anything but a pushover against the handedness as their active hitters cumulatively rank fourth in wOBA against LHP. Furthermore, they have walked at the highest rate in the league, so they should be able to sustain rallies against Moore and his 8.7-percent BB rate. Although Anthony Rizzo leads the team in wOBA against LHP (he is an elite play as well), Kris Bryant is not far behind (.415-.411). Bryant has walked at an astounding 24.1-percent rate against southpaws this year so he should possess a rather high floor. Combine that with his 36.4-percent hard hit rate and the ballpark concerns fade away.

Albert Almora Jr., Cubs, $5,600 – The aforementioned Moore is so horrible that starting multiple Cubs, or even a full stack, is not a terrible idea…especially one as mispriced as Albert Almora Jr. In 70 at-bats (ABs) this season, Almora Jr. is sporting a .409 wOBA, .186 ISO, .343/.432/.529 slash line, 26.3-percent line drive rate and 36.2-percent hard hit rate against LHP. Despite the fact he is playing in the worst park in the league, it is darn near impossible to ever find a player with those sort of skills for a sub-$8,000 price tag (let alone sub-$6,000). If looking to fit a top tier pitcher or two into a lineup alongside expensive bats, Almora makes all the sense in the world.

Pitchers:

Max Scherzer, Nationals, $24,800 – Hopefully, Max Scherzer decides to take it easy at the plate this go-around so he does not have to injure his neck hitting a bomb. In his last outing, Scherzer threw one inning, hit a homer in the bottom of the first and then came out for the second but could not make it through warmups. Assuming the neck is fine, this matchup was excellent for him against the Marlins last week and nothing has changed. Scherzer is still susceptible to powerful lefties, and with Justin Bour out of the lineup, Christian Yelich is the only true threat remaining. Otherwise, Scherzer should cruise because he is legitimately the most dominant pitcher in the game against RHP (.172 wOBA, 44.9-percent K rate). Good luck, Marlins.

Jake Arrieta, Cubs, $22,400 – Playing in the most pitcher-friendly environment in all of baseball is an excellent reason to deploy Jake Arrieta but there is more to like about the matchup than just the park. Although Arrieta has posted some normal splits this season, he has struck out lefties at a 24.4-percent rate compared to just 22.3-percent of RHHs. If the Giants roll out a similar lineup to last game, it would feature a whopping seven hitters (including Matt Moore) from the left-handed side, which means he would possess a ton of upside. Lefties have averaged 1.48 homers per nine innings against Arrieta but that is with him playing half his games in hitter-friendly Wrigley Field. AT&T Park is literally the most difficult park in the league to hit a HR in so that should alleviate some of the risk. As icing on the cake, the Giants are virtually devoid of speed, and Arrieta struggles to hold runners. If they cannot take advantage of Arrieta’s weaknesses, he should spin a gem.

 Brent Suter, Brewers, $12,800 – Of all the cheap pitching options, Brent Suter stands out as the safest investment against the bunch against a Twins team very like destined to be without Miguel Sano. Over the course of the last two weeks, only the Brewers have posted a lower wOBA during that span than the Twins and now they will arguably be without their best hitter. Suter has only yielded a .307 wOBA to righties and .247 wOBA to lefties this year so he has been tough. Hell, he has also struck out both sides of the plate at a 20-plus percent rate so there is a decent amount of upside. Now, factor in the near 46-percent ground ball (GB) rate to righties and he looks like a solid option for a bargain price tag. Oh, by the way, the Twins rank in the bottom 10 of wOBA, wRC+, ISO, AVG and SLG for the season against the handedness. If needing to fit bats, Suter is your man.

*Stats are accurate as of Sunday, August 6

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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