Feel like a Million Bux

Byron Buxton has been en fuego in the second half and he will face a struggling Travis Wood in power-friendly Target Field tonight. Do not even think of fading him. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s MLB contests.

Infield:

Daniel Murphy, Nationals, $9,300 – All season long, Julio Teheran has been giving up bombs to lefties as they have already launched 17 off him this year (versus 13 to righties). Amazingly, LHHs have hit the ball hard 37.2-percent of the time against him and has hit the ball in the air at a whopping 40.6-percent rate, so the inflated home run (HR) rate is not surprising. While Daniel Murphy is not typically thought of as a pure power hitter, he sports an impressive .385 wOBA, .229 ISO, .323/.385/.552 slash line and 39.9-percent fly ball rate this year. Fortunately for Murphy, Teheran relies heavily on both his fastball (64.0-percent) and his slider (19.6-percent). Amongst all active LHHs for the Nationals, Murphy rates as the team’s best hitter against each pitch, and rates well over average (in general) against both, per FanGraphs’ pitch type linear weights. With the Nationals not listed as one of the highest totals on the slate, Murphy, who finds himself in an excellent spot, may go overlooked.

Elvis Andrus, Rangers, $8,000 – Another night, another fantastic matchup for the Rangers right-handers against a beatable lefty. Following a matchup against Ariel Miranda last night, who has allowed the most homers to RHHs this season, Marco Gonzales will now toe the mound against them tonight. All righties have done against Gonzales this year is post a .423 wOBA, 2.01 HR/9 rate, .365/.402/.604 slash line, 24.1-percent line drive rate, 32.5-percent hard hit rate and 31.3-percent fly ball rate. Although his 7.25 ERA against righties leaves much to be desired, at least Gonzales has pitched slightly better than his surface numbers show (5.70 FIP). Still, in hitter-friendly Globe Life Park in Arlington, Gonzales is in a world of trouble and Elvis Andrus is the likeliest candidate to inflict damage. Against southpaws this year, Andrus has posted a .350 wOBA, .234 ISO and .289/.333/.523 slash line. Exposure to this game is of the utmost importance considering this game opened with an 11.0 run over/under. Start with Rangers righties but feel free to stack both offenses.

Outfield:

Austin Jackson, Indians, $7,600 – This Indians team is simply incredibly. After last night’s victory over the Targets, the team has now won 19 in a row heading into Tuesday night and their ace will be on the mound. Furthermore, the team will square off against Matt Boyd who has yielded a .294/.366/.507 slash line and .368 wOBA since the All-Star Break alone. Over the course of the first half of the season, Boyd limited fly balls (33.0-percent rate), but he has been unable to do so in the second half (44.8-percent rate). The uptick in fly balls has led to an increase HR/9 rate from 1.14 in the first half to 1.33 in the second half. Quietly, Austin Jackson continues to lead an upper-echelon Indians offense in wOBA against lefties and he is slashing a healthy .339/.419/.578 in the split. For what it is worth, Jackson is 1-2 in his career against Boyd with a 103.7mph hit. All-in on Jackson.

Byron Buxton, Twins, $8,400 – A beast has awoken in Minnesota and it appears Byron Buxton is finally scratching the surface of his potential. Since the All-Star Break, Buxton has slashed .312/.357/.603 with a .291 ISO, .394 wOBA, 145 wRC+ and 39.6-percent hard hit rate. Most importantly, Buxton, who pulled the ball at the highest rate in the league (54.7-percent) in the first half, has shrunk that number to 39.8-percent in the second half thus far. Despite playing half his games in hitter-friend Petco Park, Travis Wood has been brutal. Dating back to Aug. 4, Wood has allowed at least four runs in four of his last seven starts including seven runs in 2.0 IP his last time out. The top of the Twins lineup is loaded with power against LHP and this game will be played in extremely power-friendly Target Field (especially for RHHs). Advantage: Buxton and the Twins.

Pitcher:

Corey Kluber, Indians, $25,800 – Holy moly, Corey Kluber is listed as a -480 favorite! Seriously, that is the highest number I have ever seen and Vegas is really buying this 19-game win streak will continue against the lowly Tigers. Dealing Justin Upton and J.D. Martinez certainly hurt the offense’s potential and the remaining hitters cumulatively rank in the bottom 10 of wOBA, wRC+, ISO, BB rate, AVG, OBP and SLG against RHP. In fact, the Tigers’ .303 wOBA cumulatively against righties ranks dead last amongst American League (A.L.) teams so it is no wonder Kluber is listed as such a heavy favorite. What really is there to say? Kluber is one of the best pitchers in the game and this is one of the easiest possible opponents for him to face on paper. Fading him is a scary proposition.

Jose Quintana, Cubs, $21,200 – Rostering the duo of Clayton Kershaw and Kluber is virtually impossible if trying to fit any bats so Jose Quintana rates as the logical pivot. Looking at a Mets lineup with Wilmer Flores and Yoenis Cespedes, it is hard not to love the matchup. The best hitters against southpaws in the lineup are guys like Travis d’Arnaud, Jose Reyes, Juan Lagares, Travis Taijeron and Amed Rosarionone of which really strike fear in the heart of opposing pitchers. No line has been released for this game yet but the wind is expected to be blowing in at 10-plus mph in Wrigley Field. With the weather only aiding Quintana’s cause against a decimated Mets lineup, he should cruise to a victory. Feel free to roster him in both cash games and tournaments.

Dillon Peters, Marlins, $12,800 – Finally, Dillon Peters rounds out today’s article because he has been impressive in a short Major League stint to this point. Peters is a lefty and he has held RHHs to a .291 wOBA, 19.2-percent hard hit rate and 15.4-percent fly ball rate. Additionally, lefties have not even registered a base hit against him (although it is only a 0.2 IP sample size). In the minors, Peters flashed solid potential and has registered a FIP over 3.33 just once at any level (6.2 IP sample size in rookie ball this year). Otherwise, Peters’ peripherals have complemented his dominant surface numbers and those have translated to success in the pros. The top of the Phillies lineup is loaded with switch-hitters (Cesar Hernandez, Freddy Galvis) and righties (Rhys Hoskins, Tommy Joseph and Maikel Franco) and Peters just does not allow fly balls to righties; he did not in the minors either. At an incredibly reasonable $12,800 cost, Peters should push 15-20 fantasy points and prove to be one of the best per-dollar investments of the night.

*Statistics are accurate as of Monday, September 11

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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