MLB Analytical Angles 9/30/16
Tonight’s slate includes 15 games total headlined by a very tempting game in Coors Field. In tournaments, a partial fade of the game is the preferred play, but you will at least want to include a few Rockies hitters against Zach Davies. Beyond the obvious, the Orioles are all underpriced and there are a ton of other hitters in can’t miss spots (such as a certain Cubs hitter named later in this article). Therefore, both cash games and tournaments are enticing propositions on this slate, so you may as well go hard on the final Friday of the 2016 MLB regular season.
Without further ado, here are some individual hitters worth rostering tonight:
Note: All prices are based on FantasyDraft salaries with “Premium” starting at $8,000 and higher.
Charlie Blackmon, Rockies, $10,400 – Obviously Rockies hitters are in play in Coors Field but especially against Zach Davies. On the road this season, Davies has allowed a 4.39 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, has only struck out 6.51 batters per nine innings and is allowing a whopping 24.0-percent line drive rate. Overall, he has allowed a wOBA 27 percentage points higher and an opponents’ AVG nearly 40 points higher on the road. Since Davies is uncomfortable pitching in any road park, he’s guaranteed to not enjoy his stay in the most hitter-friendly atmosphere in the game. Meanwhile, Blackmon is slashing .325/.389/.521 at home with a .196 ISO and .387 wOBA. This isn’t one of the days you’ll want to get cute and fade the Rockies’ bats, especially lefties (Davies has allowed a .330 wOBA to LHH this year), in cash games.
David Dahl, Rockies, $9,900 – One Rockies lefty simply isn’t enough against a pitcher who has allowed a .271/.323/.445 slash line to lefties overall and 10 HRs (out of 20 total). Although Dahl has only posted a .321 wOBA against LHP, he has lit up right-handers at the Major League level to the tune of a .317/.360/.540 slash line and .382 wOBA. At home specifically, those numbers are even better as he has slashed .358/.395/.580 against RHPs at home. Additionally, Davies relies mostly on his two seam fastball and Dahl has rated as one of the Rockies better hitters against the pitch, per FanGraphs pitch type linear weights. Add him into your lineup with Blackmon and reap the benefits.
David Ortiz, Red Sox, $10,200 – The legend of David Ortiz is almost over but he still has a few games to go. If hoping for one more Papi dong before it’s all said and done, matching up against a pitcher allowing a 33.1-percent ground ball (GB) rate is certainly an excellent spot. Not only has Marco Estrada allowed a 1.21 HR/9 rate this season but Ortiz has also crushed the ball in his career off of Estrada (with mediocre results). In 19 ABs, Ortiz has put 12 balls in play for an average exit velocity of 91.3 mph, homered twice and is still only hitting .158 off the Blue Jays righty. At home against RHP in his final season, Ortiz has slashed .340/.442/.752 to go along with a ridiculous .475 wOBA and 20.9-percent HR/FB rate. Considering Estrada’s propensity to allow fly balls combined with Ortiz’s past hard contact against him, this feels like the perfect game for one of the final bombs of Ortiz’s illustrious career.
Jake Lamb, $9,000 – Similarly to Ortiz, Jake Lamb has much preferred hitting in his hitter-friendly home park. While he has only managed a .355 wOBA versus RHPs on the road, he has produced a hefty .390 tally at home. For the year, he is slashing .270/.342/.557 against RHP with a .373 wOBA. He hasn’t cracked a .200 AVG over the course of the last two months but Edwin Jackson is a perfect elixir for that. First and foremost, Jackson has been absolutely lit up on the road to the tune of a 9.12 ERA, .339/.432/.594 slash line and .431 wOBA. Furthermore, Jackson has allowed a .266/.375/.433 slash line and .350 wOBA to LHHs this season and rarely ever miss their bats (6.08 K/9). Chase Field is one of the best hitters’ environments in the game so even an ice cold Lamb should be able to make the most of this opportunity.
Matt Carpenter, $8,100 – Tyler Glasnow is a solid pitching prospect but Matt Carpenter should never be this cheap against an opposing righty…especially one walking 4.42 batters per nine innings. At worst, Carpenter should possess a high floor in this matchup due to his excellent batting eye. At best, he should be able to exploit his .272/.385/.538 slash line, .266 ISO and .386 wOBA against right-handers. Even though Carpenter has only hit .207 so far this month, he has posted a 29.7-percent line drive rate and 38.5-percent hard hit rate. Basically, BABIP has gotten the best of him, and that is unlikely to consider in the near future. Carpenter scored the winning run last night so expect him to carry over that momentum into Friday.
Anthony Rizzo, Cubs, $9,000 – In Josh Smith’s limited career, lefties have beaten the living hell out of him: .322/.433/.570 slash line, .425 wOBA, 21.9-percent line drive rate and 33.3-percent hard hit rate. Oof. What more needs to be said about NL MVP candidate Anthony Rizzo? He’s left-handed, incredibly powerful (.407) and should be able to do his thing in one of the best matchups he could possibly ask for. Start him in any and all formats.
Ryan Schimpf, Padres, $8,100 – Probable starter Braden Shipley relies on fly ball outs (43.6-percent GB rate) in an extremely hitter-friendly park. Combined with his weak 5.54 K/9, this has led to a 1.80 HR/9 rate, 18.1-percent HR/FB and 5.26 ERA this season. Through 269 ABs this season, Ryan Schimpf amazingly has registered a 64.9-percent fly ball (FB) rate. In a favorable HR environment against a pitcher susceptible to the long ball, Schimpf actually enters the cash game consideration (despite his GPP skill set). As icing on the cake, Schimpf has posted a .374 wOBA against RHP. He’s one of the top bets on the slate to go deep.
Manny Machado, Orioles, $7,800 – Fantasy owners who have been waiting for significant positive regression from Michael Pineda have now been waiting nearly two full seasons. At this point in the season, Pineda is who he is, and that’s a guy whose ERA does not match up with his peripherals. Despite striking out 10.61 batters per nine innings, Pineda has allowed 1.31 HR/9 and has been hit hard at a 32.4-percent rate. Lefties have posted a higher wOBA against him this season but RHHs have launched 16 of the 25 total HRs Pineda has surrendered in 2016. Manny Machado has posted some of the more extreme reverse splits as he’s hit for a wOBA 27 percentage points higher against RHP. Oh by the way, Machado is 6-15 off Pineda in his career with a .400/.438/.467 slash line. He is way too cheap for a battle against a middling opponent in Yankee Stadium although his price tag may be the second most enticing on his own team…
Adam Jones, Orioles, $6,800 – Leading off against Pineda, why would Adam Jones be priced at a sub-$7,000 price tag? It just doesn’t make sense. Like Machado, Jones sports some extreme reverse splits except his are even more extreme. Although he has only managed a .251 wOBA against LHP, that number rises to a healthy .347 against RHP. With a .289/.333/.486 slash line against the handedness, Jones is worthy of a start before looking at the career numbers. Add in his 10-29 (.345) career off Pineda including a HR and he should be considered an absolutely elite value.
Travis Jankowski, Padres, $7,200 – Only seven players have stolen more bases than Travis Jankowski this year. All the hitters in the top seven have racked up at least 393 ABs while Jankowski currently sits at 331. Although his OBP only sits at .333 right now, he has posted a respectable 25.9-percent line drive rate. This coincides nicely with Shipley’s 22.3-percent line drive and 37.2-percent hard hit rate allowed. Surprisingly, the Padres are implied to score 4.9 runs, which is a huge total for them. Friday is one of the few days a Padres stack could actually pay off for daily fantasy owners. If so, Jankowski will be the one setting the table. At this price tag, there is very little downside to rostering him in cash game formats.
Yuli Gurriel, Astros, $5,200 – Almost assuredly, Yuli Gurriel is going to draw the start in the six hole against one of the worst starting pitchers in baseball. Through 20.0 IP against RHP in his young career, Daniel Wright has allowed a .338/.402/.590 slash line and .418 wOBA. Gurriel hasn’t managed much power against RHP to this point (.395 SLG) but he should have plenty of opportunities to both score and drive in runs…enough to justify the price tag alone. If he can add in an extra base hit or two, he should crush this price tag in terms of value.