MLB Punt Plays: July 12th

P: Jameson Taillon ($10,900)- If you simply looked at Taillon’s numbers, you would think he is an ace but that’s not the case quite yet. He is on this way to becoming the Pirates ace in place of Gerrit Cole, but his inability to figure out left-handed batters is holding him back once again this season. Taillon has the fifth highest average fastball velocity on a loaded pitching slate (95.2) which shows how good his stuff is. He doesn’t strike out a ton of batters (22.2% K%), but he gets a boost in that department against the Brewers who come in fifth in strikeout rate as a team against right-handed pitching. As I said earlier, Taillon’s achilles heel is left-handed hitters. This season, Taillon has pitched to a dominant 2.82 xFIP against RHH compared to a 4.62 xFIP against lefties. There’s a good chance that he sees a righty-heavy lineup tonight outside of Christian Yelich, Eric Thames and Travis Shaw. Monitor the lineup, because if he sees six righties he becomes a fantastic value on a slate where we absolutely want to pay up for at least one SP.

INF: Joey Wendle ($6,900)- I feel like I say this every time I write up a Rays player, but while they aren’t enticing they are often viable value plays on days when you want to spend up at pitching. Wendle doesn’t offer huge power, but he is a much better contact hitter against lefties with 10% less strikeouts against righties. Kyle Gibson has made improvements this season, but he is still giving up 38% hard hits to left-handed batters. If he’s near the top of the order I think he is viable in all formats tonight.

OF: Andrew Toles ($7,200)- This is less about Toles ability, and more about if he finds his way into the lineup against Tyson Ross. Toles does own a career .362 wOBA against righties, so there is hope, but I want as many Dodger lefties as I can get into my lineups tonight. Ross loses strikeout ability against left-handed batters, and his hard contact nears 40%. This lineup has enough capable lefties to turn this into a nightmare for him, and if there is a way to get some cheap exposure I will certainly take advantage in tournaments.

UTIL: David Freese ($6,300)- Mr. Freese is a peculiar case on Thursday night. For the last few seasons, Freese has always been a value option against left-handed pitching, but things have changed this season. His numbers against southpaws will make you cringe this season, but they come with 41% hard contact and I trust his career numbers enough to write this off as result of a smaller sample size. He owns a career .357 wOBA against LHP and matches up with Wade Miley tonight. He often will bat cleanup against lefties and if that holds true tonight I expect him to be a pretty chalky cheap option.

Ben Hossler; DFS Karma

Ben Hossler; DFS Karma

Ben can be found on FantasyDraft by his username “oatw” standing for “Ohio against the world”. He is a college student and the lead DFS analyst for dfskarma.com. He is a sports nerd who can often be found studying numbers late into the night. Mainly a cash game player, you can find him in the H2H lobby and in your 50/50s across the industry. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @BenHossler where he loves to talk sports, TV or music with his followers!

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