An Un-Godley Bargain

While most sacrifice hitting in order to fit the ultra-expensive Max Scherzer, Zack Godley quietly stands out as a similarly appealing option at a significantly more affordable price point. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s MLB contests.

Infield:

Freddie Freeman, Braves, $7,800 – Tonight, Freddie Freeman and the Braves will square off against one of the few aces on the slate (Max Scherzer) so why would one want to roster him? There are a plethora of reasons beginning with the fact Freeman is priced nearly $3,000 cheaper than usual. Next, Max Scherzer has been susceptible to the long ball, especially from LHHs, for quite some time now. Since the beginning of last year, only Ian Kennedy and James Shields have surrendered more home runs (HRs) to lefties than Scherzer. To this point in 2017, LHHs have blasted 15 of the 21 total homers he has allowed, so powerful lefties can clearly get the best of him. For what it is worth, Freeman has hit two career bombs off Scherzer in 18 at-bats (ABs) and he is slashing .222/.391/.611 against the Nationals ace. Amongst qualified hitters this season, only Mike Trout has bested Freeman’s .438 wOBA against RHP. If Freeman can make contact in this matchup, it has an excellent chance to go for extra-bases considering how hard Scherzer throws (94.4mph average fastball velocity). With Scherzer’s history of giving up the longball, Freeman is worth the shot at around five-percent ownership in tournaments.

Marcus Semien, Athletics, $7,800 – Probable starter Chad Bell has yielded a higher wOBA to RHHs than any other starter on the slate. In 35.2 IP versus righties, Bell has been roasted for a .403 wOBA, 2.02 HR/9 rate, .333/.408/.547 slash line, 42.0-percent hard hit rate and a 34.4-percent fly ball rate. Marcus Semien, who is projected to leadoff for the Athletics, will at least tie for the most plate appearances against this gas can. Although Semien’s numbers are down a bit against lefties this year, he owns a career .342 wOBA against the handedness to go along with a .188 ISO, .279/.327/.467 slash line and a 39.8-percent fly ball rate. Vegas is implying a whopping 5.5 runs for the Athletics on the road partially because of Bell’s subpar skill set and partially because he has not lasted more than 4.0 IP in any start since the All-Star Break. In other words, this should be a bullpen game in no time, and the Tigers’ bullpen has allowed the worst wOBA in the league (.365) in the second half. All aboard the Athletics stack.

Outfield:

Jayson Werth, Nationals, $6,600 – Jayson Werth’s price tag tonight is just absurd considering he leads a team full of talented hitters in career wOBA against LHP. Despite playing on the same team with Ryan Zimmerman, Anthony Rendon, Wilmer Difo, Ryan Raburn and Matt Wieters, Werth’s career .397 wOBA reigns supreme as does his .243 ISO and .536 SLG. Judging by his Minor League numbers, Luiz Gohara possesses a fair amount of strikeout upside, but he has also struggled to retire RHHs since his call-up to the “big show.” All righties have done against Gohara to this point is smoke him to the tune of a .389 wOBA, 1.17 HR/9 rate, .300/.375/.552 slash line, 38.1-percent hard hit rate and a 55.0-percent fly ball rate. If Gohara fails to miss a bat then it quite often ends up a hard hit fly ball. In the individual matchup against one of the game’s better lefty-mashers, the advantage goes to the hitter.

Josh Reddick, Astros, $8,400 – One day, Lucas Giolito will probably develop into an upper-echelon pitcher in this league. However, he still has a long way to go in the development process to get there. At this point, Giolito is still a liability against lefties, especially in the power department. In 16.2 IP in the split against LHHs, Giolito has allowed a 2.70 HR/9 rate and 41.3-percent fly ball rate. Meanwhile, Josh Reddick, who plays in a home park that plays as one of the most power-friendly to RHHs, has not minded the shape of the ballpark. Whereas he has posted a .336 wOBA on the road this year, he owns a healthy .380 wOBA in Minute Maid Park this season. Against RHP specifically, Reddick has hit the ball in the air 43.2-percent of the time, so the correlation here is unmistakable. If looking for dong upside at a reasonable price, Reddick fits the bill.

Pitcher:

Zack Godley, Diamondbacks, $21,600 – In each of his matchups against the Padres this year, Zack Godley has pitched at least 5.0 IP, struck out at least six and allowed two earned runs or less. Tuesday’s game will be played in the pitcher-friendly atmosphere of Petco Park and the Padres are a beatable offense on paper. Only the Giants, Mets and Tigers’ active hitters have cumulatively posted a lower wOBA against RHP than the Padres and they rank in the bottom 10 of wOBA, wRC+, ISO, BB rate, AVG, OBP, SLG and hard hit rate. As icing on the cake, the team strikes out 22.8-percent of the time against righties and Godley hardly ever allows fly balls. It is hard to imagine the Padres sustaining a rally against an ace like Godley so he is arguably the top play at the position (even over Scherzer).

Drew Pomeranz, Red Sox, $15,600 – On a per-dollar basis, Drew Pomeranz stands out as an elite value in a matchup against the ice-cold Orioles. Over the course of the last two weeks, no team has posted a lower wOBA than the Orioles. Furthermore, other than Welington Castillo and Jonathan Schoop, most of the players on the Orioles team hit righties harder than they hit lefties. For a game between two solid offenses in a hitter-friendly park (Camden Yards), Vegas is projecting a mediocre 8.5 run total (with the Red Sox listed as -108 favorites). Mother Nature should help as well because the wind looks like it will be blowing in at about 10mph. Combine all these factors, and Pomeranz’s affordable price, and it is easy to see why he is an enticing option in all formats.

Collin McHugh, Astros, $15,600 – Other than Yoan Moncada, Jose Abreu, Nicky Delmonico and an occasional Matt Davidson sighting, this White Sox offense is toast against RHP. In fact, the team ranks in the bottom 10 of wOBA, wRC+, BB rate, AVG, OBP, hard hit rate and line drive percentage while striking out at a hefty 24.4-percent rate. McHugh has struck out righties at a 25.2-percent rate this year and he excels when he is able to reach his K ceiling. Well, the White Sox present a perfect opportunity for him to rack up the whiffs, so this volatile asset should show the Dr. Jekyll side of himself compared to Hr. Hyde. He is clearly a superior investment in tournaments but I would not hate you for playing him in cash games either.

*Statistics are accurate as of Monday, September 18

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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