Twinvincible

Kyle Gibson has averaged over 19 fantasy points per start in the month of September and will face a decimated Tigers offense tonight. He is not a household name but he is a fantastic play on Friday. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s MLB contests.

Infield:

Nolan Arenado, Rockies, $10,800 – The theme of this article today is to not get too cute on the final weekday left in the MLB regular season. All playoff spots have been clinched so no teams really have much to play for. This could lead to some strange lineups but some teams have been out of the race for a while and still have played their starters. One team, for instance, that has habitually played their starters is the Rockies and they will face a lefty in the hitters’ haven of Coors Field tonight. While others spend up on starting pitchers, which is a foolish strategy considering many will be on pitch counts, the sharp play is to spend on the safe hitters…and who is safer than Nolan Arenado at home against a lefty? In 68 at-bats (ABs) at home versus LHP this year, Arenado has posted some bonkers numbers: .412/.452/.853 slash line, 441 ISO, .530 wOBA, 218 wRC+, 35.7-percent line drive rate (!) and a 42.9-percent hard hit rate. With numbers like these, Arenado should have an excellent chance to end his regular season with a bang (literally).

Trevor Story, Rockies, $8,700 – What in the world is this price tag for Trevor Story? Sure, the guy strikes out a lot, but he is also a fantasy monster against southpaws. In total, Story has posted a .432 wOBA against lefties this year, but that number balloons to .479 at home. To round out his stat line in Coors Field versus left-handers, Story has posted a .321/.400/.811 slash line, .491 ISO, 184 wRC+, 55.3-percent fly ball rate and an unbelievable 52.6-percent hard hit rate. The Rockies this season have produced a .375 wOBA at home against lefties which edges out the Tigers (.373) for first in all of baseball. As a team, the Rockies have slashed .303/.369/.528 against the handedness at home…as a team! In other words, Hyun-Jin Ryu is in a world of trouble tonight.

Outfield:

Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins, $10,800 – Speaking of pitchers who are in trouble, those facing Giancarlo Stanton should always be shaking in their boots (just an expression, I know they are not actually wearing boots). Last night, Stanton launched his 58th home run (HR) of the season and he is now just three behind Roger Maris’ non-steroid-aided record. Of course, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds all hit more but then were accused of taking banned substances. While this is nothing more than a narrative, Stanton no doubt would like to reach this milestone out of pride alone. Over the course of his career, he has fared better in the split against left-handers and he will take on lefty Luiz Gohara this evening. Gohara throws reasonably hard and has swing-and-miss type stuff but he is still learning the big league game and has allowed at least one HR in three of his five starts. In his last two starts alone, Gohara has yielded 18 baserunners in just 13.1 IP as well. Although Stanton is expensive, he is worth every penny for his multiple HR upside.

Khris Davis, Athletics, $7,500 – Whenever an opposing pitcher is unable to miss bats with any degree of consistency, well, the Athletics present a bad matchup for them. Athletics’ active hitters have struck out at the highest rate in the league against LHP but they have also hit the ball in the air at the highest rate. With the team on the road in power-friendly Globe Life Park in Arlington, fly balls can leave the yard by accident. Khris Davis is amidst a down season against LHP and yet he still owns a .224 ISO in the split. Thus far in the month of September, Davis owns a .390 wOBA and .293/.365/.573 slash line and .280 ISO. Davis is one of those streaky players who is unstoppable when he is hot and this appears to be one of those streaks. Facing a starting pitcher who somehow managed the lowest swinging strike rate in the league last year (Martin Perez), Davis should be a lock in all formats.

Pitcher:

Trevor Bauer, Indians, $18,400 – The Indians are in the playoffs and Trevor Bauer is a lock to make their playoff rotation so the team is unlikely to push him in this start. However, he will still be facing a porous White Sox offense with the wind expected to be blowing in at around 17-20mph. Cumulatively, the White Sox’ active hitters have walked at the lowest rate in the league against RHP (so Bauer’s wildness should not be an issue) and they have struck out at the fourth highest rate. As icing on the cake, the team ranks in the bottom 10 of wOBA, wRC+, AVG, OBP, SLG, hard hit percentage and line drive rate. At just $18,400, Bauer still possesses a fair amount of upside even if his ceiling is 6.0 IP.

Kyle Gibson, Twins, $16,800 – Heading into tonight, Kyle Gibson has strung together three consecutive starts of 18.7-plus fantasy points. In the month of September alone, Gibson has tossed three quality starts and has struck out five-plus in a game four times (out of five games). Amazingly, he has averaged 19.52 fantasy points in his starts this month and he will square off against a watered-down Tigers lineup tonight that ranks dead last in the American League (AL) in terms of wOBA against RHP. It would be shocking if the red-hot Gibson did not compete for positional lead in terms of fantasy-points-per-dollar tonight (which is something that has never been said before in this article).

Chris Stratton, Giants, $14,400 – On a slate where selecting a pitcher is sort of like Russian roulette, Chris Stratton is the lucky starter to face the Padres in AT&T Park tonight. The Giants have nothing to play for so Stratton should remain in the game for as long as he can handle. The Padres are being implied to score 4.0 runs but they rank 29th in wOBA against RHP and have struck out at a 24.2-percent rate. With no safe options to choose from, why not take a shot in a value with all these factors going for him?

*Statistics are accurate as of Thursday, September 28

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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