Parra-don My Interruption

By now, most realize they should be starting Charlie Blackmon at home against righties, but Gerardo Parra has raked in Coors Field as well. Deploy him in all formats with Matt Garza toeing the mound against him. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s MLB.

Infield:

Joey Gallo, Rangers, $10,200 – The price tag on Joey Gallo has gotten out of hand but how can you fade him against James Shields in the friendly confines of home? Whenever his price tag rises above $9,000 or so, it is implied that a home run (HR) will be needed for rostering him to have been worth it. Well, amongst all pitchers with at least 40 IP in the split, James Shields’ .444 wOBA against LHHs ranks second worst (behind only Matt Moore). Amazingly, lefties have crushed Shields to the tune of a 12.0-percent BB rate, 3.82 HR/rate (!), .321/.415/.672 slash line, 36.6-percent hard hit rate and a whopping 49.1-percent fly ball rate. In other words, Shields presents one of the most favorable possible matchups for an opposing lefty, if not the single most favorable matchup in all of baseball. Now, factor in the negative park shift, and Shields is in a world of trouble against a powerful Rangers team filled with powerful lefties. As icing on the cake, Shields has only struck out left-handers at a 15.7-percent rate this year so he is unlikely to induce many swings-and-misses. Honestly, it would be shocking if Gallo did not leave the yard.

Justin Turner, Dodgers, $9,600 – On paper, left-handers have hit Jordan Zimmermann slightly harder than righties but the Tigers’ starting pitcher has not exactly silenced RHHs either. In 68.0 IP against righties, Zimmermann has yielded a .346 wOBA, 1.59 HR/9 rate, .268/.332/.485, 21.6-percent line drive rate, 36.2-percent hard hit rate and 41.9-percent hard hit rate. If looking for an even stronger correlation, look no further than the pitch data. Thus far, Zimmermann has thrown his fastball 54.4-percent of the time and his slider 23.7-percent of the time. Coincidentally, Turner rates as both the team’s best fastball and slider hitter according to FanGraphs’ pitch type linear weights. Oh, by the way, Turner owns a .372 wOBA, .151 ISO, .316/.404/.467 slash line and 35.1-percent hard hit rate against RHP this year. Combine all the factors and it is easy to see why Turner is an elite play in all formats on this slate.

Outfield:

Gerardo Parra, Rockies, $10,000 – With the Rockies squaring off against a RHP in Coors Field, most recognize by now that Charlie Blackmon is a lock. However, far less people choose to roster Gerardo Parra who has not exactly been a slouch in the thin Denver air either. At home this year, Parra owns a .409/.438/.613 slash line, .204 ISO, .444 wOBA, 141 wRC+ and a ridiculous 30.3-percent line drive rate. While those seem like Blackmon’s home numbers, they are not, and other hitters besides Blackmon deserve to be rostered in Friday’s fantastic matchup against Matt Garza. All opposing lefties have done is roast Garza for a .346 wOBA, 1.33 HR/9 rate, .266/.348/.456 slash line, 35.4-percent hard hit rate and 44.2-percent fly ball rate…and now he will be forced to pitch in the worst pitching environment in baseball. Good luck.

Yoenis Cespedes, Mets, $9,000 – Justin Nicolino’s 5.4-percent swinging strike rate is lower than that of the worst qualified starting pitcher (Ty Blach) so far this season. Essentially, Nicolino hardly ever misses bats and that is bad news when facing a slugger like Yoenis Cespedes. Although Cespedes is amidst a bit of a down year against lefties, he has at least managed a healthy .270 ISO in the split, so the power potential is still evident. Citi Field is not exactly a hitter-friendly environment but at least it plays at about league average in terms of power allowed. If Cespedes is going to be relied upon to hit himself out each time at the plate, at least of the at-bats (ABs) should result in an extra-base hit (XBH). If things break right, there may be multiples.

Pitchers:

Max Scherzer, Nationals, $27,200 – When one of the league’s top pitchers heads to one of the most pitcher-friendly parks to face one of the worst offenses, fantasy owners must take notice. Tonight, Max Scherzer finds himself in a can’t-miss spot but his price tag is a bit out of control. Luckily, secondary options are a bit underpriced so the price of the combination should still be affordable. Scherzer is susceptible to powerful lefties and the only healthy only on the Padres right now is Cory Spangenberg. As a whole, the Padres 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 a 25.1-percent rate. There is almost no downside here and Scherzer is one of the few starters on the slate with complete game upside. Fading Scherzer is asking for trouble.

Dallas Keuchel, Astros, $20,100 – Targeting lefties against the Athletics is typically a smart strategy and the same is certainly true for Dallas Keuchel this evening. In back-to-back games, Keuchel has induced a double-digit swinging strike rate and the Athletics have swung and missed at the fifth highest rate in baseball. Additionally, the Athletics basically only have one hitter to fear against LHP (Ryon Healy) and they rank in the bottom 10 of wOBA, wRC+, AVG, OBP and SLG against the handedness. Furthermore, they have struck out at a healthy 24.8-percent rate against lefties and Keuchel is coming off a throwback game where he induced a 41.8-percent swing rate outside the zone. Throughout the course of his career, Keuchel has pitched much better at home. If Keuchel has anywhere near his best stuff tonight, he should dominate yet again.

Matt Moore, Giants, $9,900 – Okay, so this one is risky, but Matt Moore has struck out 16 hitters over the course of his last two starts (13.0IP) heading into tonight. Hell, Moore will be pitching in the most pitcher-friendly park in all of baseball against the lowly Phillies…that has to account for something! This season, Moore has posted some reverse splits, and the Phillies may be without Odubel Herrera. If that proves to be the case, the Phillies will roll out a lineup with just three lefties and two of them are virtually devoid of power. Essentially, Moore should prove to be a solid investment by default as he is the cheapest pitching option on the entire slate. At this price point, the man cannot be overlooked.

*Stats are accurate as of Thursday, August 17

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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