Look Over Yonder

Yonder Alonso and the Mariners look primed for a productive outing in a matchup against Chris Tillman in hitter-friendly Camden Yards. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s MLB contests.

Infield:

Robinson Cano, Mariners, $8,800 – Tonight, while most people are focused on stacking the Rockies, the Mariners are going to go drastically under-owned in a matchup against gas can Chris Tillman. All lefties have done against Tillman this year is crush him to the tune of a .440 wOBA, 21.1-percent BB rate (!), 1.23 HR/9 rate, .346/.484/.535 slash line and 31.5-percent hard hit rate. While Tillman’s fly ball numbers do not jump off the page this season, his career numbers suggest he is more of a pure fly baller in the split. Of course, fly balls should only lead to home runs (HRs) in a power-friendly park like Camden Yards. This year, Cano’s numbers against righties are down a bit and yet he is still slashing .297/.358/.511 in the split. Cumulatively, the Mariners rank third in wOBA against RHP and sixth in SLG so they should be primed to explode against a subpar opponent like Tillman.

Yonder Alonso, Mariners, $8,800 – Although Cano may be destined for the Hall of Fame, Yonder Alonso actually sports a superior wOBA against RHP this season. In fact, Alonso basically tops him in every major statistical category this year other than batting average. Most importantly, Alonso has hit the ball in the air at a 43.8-percent rate so it is no wonder he has hit five more bombs than Cano in the split against RHP. Since the total opened, the Mariners have already risen 0.1 runs and now projected at 5.4 runs on the road. While the Mariners’ starter is not exactly an ace (Marco Gonzales), this game is by no means a “gimme” for the Orioles. Other than the game in Coors Field, this game possesses the highest over/under of the slate and most will lean toward rostering bats on the favored Orioles. It is always nice to zig when others are zagging especially when the contrarian route features targeting against one of the worst pitchers in the league. All aboard the Mariners stack.

Outfield:

Charlie Blackmon, Rockies, $10,800 – On this slate, there is no reason to consider fading Charlie Blackmon. None. At home against righties this year, Blackmon has been unstoppable: .390/.473/.830 slash line, .440 ISO, .520 wOBA, 208 wRC+, 26.9-percent hard hit rate and a 47.0-percent hard hit rate. He is playable against any right-hander in the friendly confines of home but he is unfadeable against a pitcher who has yielded a .382 wOBA, 1.97 HR/9 rate, .317/.367/.554 slash line, 41.6-percent hard hit rate and a whopping 43.2-percent fly ball rate. Probable starter Jordan Zimmermann has stunk all season long and he has not yet experienced the treacherous pitching environment that is Coors Field. Vegas has reacted to his presence in the thin Denver air by implying the Rockies for a ridiculous 7.1 runs tonight (and that may not be high enough). The Rockies will be popular, and going contrarian is always viable in tournaments, but fading Blackmon is just plain stupid (especially in cash games).

Andrew McCutchen, Pirates, $7,200 – Opposing starter Mike Montgomery is not necessarily a pitcher to actively target hitters against but the price discount on Andrew McCutchen is just absurd. For a player who owns a .456 wOBA to this point, McCutchen is priced like a mid-tier hitter. In the matchup against LHP, McCutchen is one of the best hitters in the league. Hell, the man has produced a .402 ISO (!), .304/.423/.706 slash line, 43.5-percent hard hit rate and 52.9-percent fly ball rate against southpaws. Strangely, Montgomery has held righties to a .300 wOBA but they have hit the ball hard 33.2-percent of the time against him. Sometimes great hitters are worth starting even if not in an ideal matchup and this is one of those cases. McCutchen is a pure price play and is the nuts on this slate in terms of talent-per-dollar.

Pitchers:

Max Scherzer, Nationals, $27,300 – The top tier of pitching is loaded tonight but Max Scherzer draws an elite matchup as long as he can just remain healthy. In the last few weeks, Scherzer has left a start in the first inning due to a neck injury and then was scratched from another due to the same issue. Since the team has wanted to be conservative with their superstar righty, it only makes sense that they would not activate him until he was 100-percent. The matchup against the Marlins is a favorable one as Scherzer is susceptible to left-handed power and neither Christian Yelich nor Derek Dietrich are true power threats. Therefore, expect Scherzer and his ridiculous 44.6-percent strikeout rate against righties to dominate as per usual and compete for the positional lead in fantasy points.

Aaron Nola, Phillies, $19,800 – Admittedly, Aaron Nola’s last two games have been ugly but nothing about the matchup against the Braves stands out as overly worrisome. The Braves rank 18th in wOBA against RHP and in the bottom 10 of both ISO and BB rate. Heading into tonight, Nola has allowed 12 earned runs (ERs) in his last two starts but he had allowed two or less in 10 consecutive starts prior to the recent struggles. Like the aforementioned Scherzer, Nola has kept righties quiet this year, so Freddie Freeman is really the bat who should cause him a fair degree of annoyance. Assuming Nola can keep the rest of the bats quiet, he should bounce back in a big way.

Mike Montgomery, Cubs, $14,100 – Mike Montgomery is a tough one to get a gauge on in this spot because he is clearly the safest cheap option (-164 favorite) and yet there is still some downside. First, let’s start with the upside, and discuss the fact the Pirates have hit the ball on the ground at the seventh highest rate versus LHP. Meanwhile, Montgomery has induced a 57.8-percent ground ball (GB) rate to RHHs and has struck them out at a 20.8-percent rate. Even when Montgomery gets hit, the ball rarely leaves the yard, so he can sustain a few hits in an inning and still escape reasonably unscathed. However, the Pirates feature a trio of hitters (Andrew McCutchen, Sean Rodriguez and Josh Harrison) who have posted a .370-plus wOBA against LHP and all of them sport fly ball rates over 40-percent. With the odds-makers implying a solid run total from the offense, Montgomery just needs to string together a quality start to be valuable at this cost. There is some downside but Montgomery seems worth the risk.

*Statistics are accurate as of Sunday, August 27

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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