Little Nicky

Nicky Delmonico homered twice yesterday and now has registered a hit in all but one of his Major League games to this point. On Thursday, he will face a beatable pitcher (Tyson Ross) in a hitter-friendly environment so be sure to roster him at just $4,800. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s MLB.


Mark Reynolds, Rockies, $9,200 (Early) – With the Rockies set to square off against a RHP in Coors Field, most will (rightfully) gravitate towards rostering Charlie Blackmon. As per usual, the Rockies leadoff hitter is one of the best overall plays on the slate, but others besides the lefties are viable against Lucas Sims. In a small sample size thus far, Sims has been roasted by RHHs to the tune of a .412 wOBA, 2.38 HR/9 rate, .326/.370/.614 slash line, 26.3-percent line drive rate, 36.6-percent hard hit rate and 36.8-percent fly ball rate (in 11.1 IP). While Mark Reynolds has been downright awful against southpaws this year, he has torn up RHP (especially at home). In the split against righties at home, Reynolds is slashing .333/.413/.653 slash line, .320 ISO, .443 wOBA, 157 wRC+, 24.0-percent line drive rate and a whopping 40.0-percent hard hit rate. One day, Sims will probably be a sold Major League hitter, but that trend is unlikely to start against a great hitting team in the thin Denver air. With those sentiments in mind, go ahead and load up on Rockies hitters, including the powerful first baseman.

Josh Bell, Pirates, $8,800 (Late) – Speaking of powerful first baseman, Josh Bell finds himself in a sneaky good spot at home against Adam Wainwright. Although Wainwright has held opponents to a .291 wOBA in Busch Stadium, the results have been drastically different on the road: .308/.378/.529 slash line, .380 wOBA, 23.6-percent line drive rate, 34.2-percent hard hit rate and a 7.00 ERA. For a long time, Wainwright has relied heavily on his curveball, and this season has been no different (26.5-percent). Coincidentally, Bell ranks as the team’s second-best curveball hitter (according to FanGraphs’ pitch type linear weights) behind only Andrew McCutchen. The reason to like Bell slightly more than McCutchen is the fact he will hit from the left side of the plate (he is a switch-hitter) in this matchup. To this point, lefties have produced a wOBA 21 percentage points higher than righties against Wainwright, so lefties are definitely the preferred play. Go ahead and roster Bell in all formats.


George Springer, Astros, $9,600 (Early) – Earlier in the year, Patrick Corbin was amongst the league leaders (in a bad way) in hard hit rate allowed but he has managed to right the ship a bit. Still, Corbin has yielded the third highest hard hit rate amongst qualified pitchers including a 33.5-percent rate away from home. Whereas lefties have only produced a .294 wOBA against Corbin, righties have posted a .369 wOBA against him. Of the 22 bombs Corbin has allowed in 2017, righties have smashed 16 of them. Furthermore, Corbin has struggled on the road as evident by his whopping .406 wOBA allowed and 6.79 ERA. In hitter-friendly Minute Maid Park, this means Corbin is in a world of trouble against arguably the best offense in the league. With the short porch in left field, a RHH could accidentally hit the ball out if he manages to hit the ball remotely hard. George Springer, on the other hand, leads the elite Astros offense in wOBA and hard hit rate against LHP. Unquestionably, Springer is on red-alert to go deep, and is one of the safest plays of the afternoon.

Nicky Delmonico, White Sox, $4,800 (Late) – Heading into Wednesday, Nicky Delmonico was quietly amidst a 10-game hit streak. In fact, Delmonico had hit safely in 10 of his first 11 games as a professional. At some point, the game will become more difficult to him, but right now Delmonico is raking. On Thursday, Delmonico and the White Sox will head to Globe Life Park in Arlington and face Tyson Ross. Throughout the course of his career, Ross has fared worse against lefties than righties and he also has been susceptible to speed. Unfortunately, Delmonico is not the fastest of fellows, but he currently is the team’s top hitting lefty. Strangely, Ross has posted reverse splits this season but it is likely just the result of a small sample size. Ross is not a special talent by any means and his 6.4-percent swinging strike rate would rank as the second lowest in the league if he qualified. Therefore, Delmonico should produce at least one hit in this game at his basement price tag. Rostering him allows for fantasy owners to spend up at pitching.


Aaron Nola, Phillies, $23,200 (Late) – Over the course of the last month, only 11 pitchers sport a lower xFIP than Aaron Nola and only eight own a lower SIERA. Simply put: Nola has been pitching like an elite pitcher for an extended stretch prior to tonight. Now, Nola will enjoy an extreme positive park shift as he heads to AT&T Park and will be tasked with shutting down a subpar Giants offense. No park has surrendered fewer home runs (HRs) per game this year than AT&T Park and only the Phillies and Padres have averaged fewer runs per game than the Giants. As a whole, the Giants rank dead last in wOBA against RHP this season and rate in the bottom 10 of wRC+, ISO, BB rate, AVG, OBP, SLG and hard hit rate. All signs point to another excellent outing from the young right-hander.

Mike Clevinger, Indians, $15,200 (Early) – Regardless of who starts against the Twins on Thursday afternoon, they are playable. It is unclear whether Mike Clevinger or Carlos Carrasco will toe the mound but both possess serious strikeout stuff and dominate RHHs. Assuming it is Clevinger, he is about $3,000 underpriced for the matchup. Consequently, if Carrasco takes the mound, he is the best option on a bad pitching slate and he is coming off a game where he struck out 10 Rays. Either way, the Indians starter is a worthwhile investment in both cash games and tournaments.

Jeff Samardzija, Giants, $18,000 (Late) – All season long, Jeff Samardzija’s Achilles heel has been his ineffectiveness against LHP. Luckily, he may get a break because Odubel Herrera is dealing with an injury and is questionable to play. If so, the Phillies will only run out three lefties in their lineup and Samardzija already has spacious AT&T Park to worth with. Oh, by the way, the Phillies rank second to last in wOBA against RHP this season and sit in the bottom 10 of wOBA, wRC+, ISO, BB rate, AVG, OBP, SLG and hard hit rate. As icing on the cake, they have struck out at a 22.9-percent rate against the handedness and Samardzija has whiffed righties at a respectable 23.0-percent rate this year. If looking for an affordable pitching option just oozing with potential, Samardzija is your man.

*Stats are accurate as of Wednesday, August 16

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, 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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