Gallo-p Poll

Joey Gallo has now homered nine times in the last two weeks and faces a pitcher totally reliant on fly ball outs. Clearly, he has a great shot to go deep yet again on Wednesday. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s MLB.

Infield:

Didi Gregorius, Yankees, $8,400 – Welcome back to the big leagues, Robert Gsellman, now try to quiet the Yankees bats. Gsellman, who had yielded exactly a .370 wOBA to both sides of the plate prior to his injury, has allowed significantly more hard contact to lefties this year. In 32.2 IP against lefties, Gsellman has been roasted to the tune of a 1.93 HR/9 rate, .287/.366/.515 slash line, 21.0-percent line drive rate and 37.4-percent hard hit rate. While Gsellman at least induces a healthy amount of ground balls, Didi Gregorius swings with an uppercut and leads the team in fly ball rate (41.0-percent) against RHP. Since Gsellman only misses bats at about an average rate (19.0-percent K rate versus LHHs), Gregorius is very likely to make contact. With the short porch in right field in Yankee Stadium, Gregorius usually has a chance to hit one out when playing at home. Although Citi Field is a clear ballpark downgrade, it still plays as an above-average home run (HR) park to LHHs. Since he is the most affordable of the middle of the Yankees lineup, he is the one to target.

Miguel Cabrera, Tigers, $6,400 – Speaking of affordable, what in the world is this price tag for Miguel Cabrera? Sure, Cole Hamels is a talented pitcher, but he still allows hard contact at a considerable rate to RHHs (38.0-percent). Although Cabrera is not the hitter he once was, he still sports a .366 wOBA, .316/.422/.408 slash line, 31.6-percent line drive rate and 43.0-percent hard hit rate against LHP thus far in 2017. There is no real reason why his power in this split specifically should have evaporated and playing at Globe Life Park in Arlington should only help accentuate his power. Looking at Cabrera’s career numbers against the handedness, they are otherworldly: .412 wOBA, .235 ISO, .317/.428/.552 slash line, 40.3-percent hard hit rate and 35.8-percent fly ball rate. While his struggles this year are partially due to aging, there is also an inherent level of small sample size in the numbers. At this price tag, Cabrera is playable against any pitcher. Considering Hamels has allowed eight homers to RHHs this season, Cabrera rates as one of the best per-dollar hitting investments of the slate.

Outfield:

Joey Gallo, Rangers, $9,000 – Opposing starter Anibal Sanchez relies heavily on fly ball outs and that is a scary proposition against Joey Gallo. Heading into tonight, Gallo has already launched 27 homers off RHP and his .368 wOBA in the split ranks second amongst Rangers regulars. Clearly, his Achilles heel is his propensity to strikeout at an abnormally high rate (34.9-percent K rate) but Sanchez has only struck out lefties at a 16.4-percent rate this year. When lefties have made contact against Sanchez, they have inflicted a significant amount of damage: .364 wOBA, 2.11 HR/9 rate, .289/.341/.529 slash line and a 42.9-percent fly ball rate. With the Rangers being implied to score 6.1 runs, Vegas is clearly confident in their ability to hit the ball out of the park against Sanchez. The likeliest candidate on the team to launch one is Gallo and he is appropriately priced for the matchup. Feel free to use him in all formats.

Billy Hamilton, Reds, $8,400 – Rostering Billy Hamilton is always a fun experience in a matchup where he can put his speed on display. Wednesday’s matchup against John Lackey certain qualifies. Since the start of the 2013 season, only Jon Lester, Ubaldo Jimenez, Cole Hamels and Jake Arrieta have allowed more steals to opposing baserunners than Lackey (85). Not only is Lackey’s velocity down this season but he has been crushed by LHHs: .381 wOBA, 2.57 HR/9 rate, 33.7-percent hard hit rate, 38.2-percent fly ball rate and, most importantly, a .360 OBP. Assuming Hamilton is able to reach base, he has the potential to not only steal second but steal third as well. Willson Contreras is the Cubs’ best throwing catcher and he is currently on the disabled list. Essentially, the Cubs and Lackey will be defenseless to his speed. Build around Hamilton in both cash games and tournaments.

Pitchers:

Yu Darvish, Dodgers, $26,400 – Could the matchup get any better for Yu Darvish? Probably not. Seriously, Darvish will square off against the lowly White Sox at home and he opened as a -318 favorite. Since being told he was tipping his pitches, Darvish has struck out exactly 10 hitters in back-to-back starts and appears to be back to the dominant pitcher we all know and love. Fortunately for Darvish, the White Sox rank in the bottom 10 of wOBA, wRC+, ISO, BB rate, AVG, OBP, SLG, hard hit rate and line drive percentage while striking out at the 10th highest rate versus RHP. Assuming value hitters emerge, there is almost no downside to rostering Darvish (other than the insanely expensive price tag).

Marcus Stroman, Blue Jays, $22,400 – If looking for a safe option, look no further than Marcus Stroman against the ice-cold Rays. Okay, so they showed signs of life against Marco Estrada on Tuesday, but Estrada fails to induce swinging strikes or even strikes outside the zone at even a respectable rate. On the other hand, Stroman sports a career-high swinging strike rate this year and forces opponents to pound the ball into the ground. Prior to Tuesday, the Rays’ .254 wOBA over the last 14 days rated as by far the worst in the league and they had struck out at a 27.4-percent rate during that span. While Stroman’s upside may not be as high as Darvish’s, he is significantly cheaper. If looking for a cash game pitcher whose salary still allows expensive hitters to be rostered alongside him, Stroman is your guy.

Charlie Morton, Astros, $16,000 – Facing Paul Goldschmidt is a scary proposition for Charlie Morton but the rest of the matchup is not overly imposing. The projected Diamondbacks lineup features four LHHs and Morton has absolutely shut them down this year: .248 wOBA, 29.5-percent K rate, .161/.272/.277, 28.6-percent hard hit rate and 31.0-percent fly ball rate. Additionally, Morton has only allowed a .298 wOBA at home compared to .317 on the road. Away from Chase Field against RHP this year, the Diamondbacks have struck out at a 22.8-percent rate to go along with a subpar 88 wRC+, .312 wOBA and .246 AVG. Targeting against the Diamondbacks feels wrong but Morton should hold his own on Wednesday and finish with a healthy amount of strikeouts/fantasy points.

*Stats are accurate as of Tuesday, August 15

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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