He’s not just good for making shoes! Matt Shoemaker has been making batters look silly. His swinging strike % is at an all-time high of 13.6%, well above the league average of 10%. This could be because he has be getting batters to chase his pitches out of the strike zone 33% of time, where they only are making contact 51% of the time. Now, in stroll the Indians, who have a strikeout rate of 21.3%. He’s found more velocity, reaching nearly 93 with his fastball and 84 with his slider, which have been helping out his splitter. His last outing at Yankee Stadium was spoiled by his bullpen, resulting in 4 earned runs. The good news is he hasn’t allowed a walk in his last 4 starts and has struck out 37! A season ERA of 5.40 doesn’t look very good, but the 2.37 ERA in his last 4 starts looks more similar to his 3.16 ERA at home in his career, where he gets the start today. Shoemaker throws his splitter over 30% of the time, which sits a top of the league, and is generating 22% swings and misses. In addition, his it’s also creating nearly 50% ground balls. Shoemaker is also producing 15.6% pop-ups, good for 10th highest among qualified pitchers. Yan Gomes and Carlos Santana have each seen him 6 times and have only combined for one hit. No other player on the team has faced him more than that. The Indians inexperience against Shoemaker and his increased velocity may help him maintain his newfound strikeout rate. He has averaged 25.6 points in his last 5 starts. For the price of $7,600, I’ll even take 20 points! There’s a lot to like here with Matty K’maker, but let’s get on to the rest of my superb Saturday selections.
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Jake Arrieta, SP: $13,500 – The other pitcher with a price tag over $13,000 is Jose Fernandez. Jose has been pitching out of this world the past month, but I lean toward Jake. Let me tell you why to go with Jake over Jose. The most obvious reason being, Jake is facing the AAA Gwinnett Braves. Meanwhile, Jo-Fer has to pitch in Coors South. Atlanta has a league worst .337 slugging against RHP sinkers, which Jake throws 57% of the time. Not to mention the Braves have a 72 wRC+ vs RHP. Vegas likes Arrieta and the Cubs too, putting them a -300 favorite.
James Paxton, SP: $7,400 – Paxton has been melting the radar gun since being recalled from AAA. His average fastball velocity is nearly 99 mph! The Rangers have been league average vs LHP this season with a wRC+ of 100, but it’s not very often you face a starting pitcher who can touch 99. Although on a limited sample size, Paxton has found confidence in his fastball and has been pounding the strike zone 55% of the time. Batters are only managing to make contact 73.5% of the time, and have swung a missed 14.3%. If there is one thing we love in our DFS pitchers, it’s strikeouts, and Paxton has 17 of them in 9.2 innings.
Logan Verrett, SP: $5,100 – He’s only had 3 starts this season, totaling 14.2 innings and only 10 K’s. However, today he get the Brewers, who have a league high 26% K rate vs RHP. Verrett’s best pitch is his slider, which batters are only managing a .167 slugging off it and is generating 18% whiffs. The Brewers have struggled vs sliders from RHP this season, batting only .194. Vegas is also giving Mets the advantage at -130. With the Brewers strikeout tendencies, Verrett could easily generate the points the make him valuable option at his cheap price.
Nick Hundley, C: $3,700 – Erik Johnson is pitching in Coors tonight. With heavy 14 mph winds blowing out to left field….start everyone! If you were planning on starting Johnson tonight, you would be better off starting Brandon Morrow to avoid negative points. I’ll limit my Rockies selection, but pretty much everyone is in play. Hundley has been better vs RHP in his career. 81% of his homers and come off RHP, and since 2013 has a .359 wOBA.
Steve Clevenger, C: $2,500 – If Chris Iannetta is on the bench today, Clevenger will find his way into my lineups. I have always been a fan of punting the catcher position. He’s absolutely unusable against LHP, but lucky for him, today he will face off against Colby Lewis. Lewis has experienced struggles against lefties throughout his career. Opposing LHB have an .811 OPS and a .353 wOBA.
Brandon Belt, 1B: $3,700 – People may be avoiding this lefty-lefty matchup, but wait just one minute. In two starts against the Giants this season, Kazmir gave up 8 runs on 14 hits and 5 walks in 8 IP. Kazmir has had a higher OPS vs lefties compared to righties in his previous two seasons. Belt has a respectable .806 OPS vs LHP in his career.
James Loney, 1B: $3,600 – Opposing pitcher, Wily Peralta has the 6th lowest swinging strike rate in the MLB at 6.4%. Hitters are also making contact on 94.4% of pitches in the zone (2nd highest). Meanwhile, Loney has only swung and missed 8% and makes contact 92.9% of the pitches swung at in the zone. He’s a career .295 batter vs RHP in his career. This appears to be a matchup where Loney will able to make contact and get on base.
Travis Shaw, 1B/3B: $3,600 – This lefty is batting .301 with an .871 OPS vs RHP this season. Gibson may be on a short leash in his first game back, which would give way to the Twins bullpen, who own a 4.34 ERA and an .808 OPS against.
Robinson Cano, 2B: $5,100 – Remember last year at the end of June, when Cano was batting .238 and fantasy owns were trading him for peanuts. Well that time has since passed. From July 1 last season, Cano is batting .319 with a .930 OPS, 35 HR, a .243 ISO, and .395 wOBA. He’s seemed to have bounced back from his slump. Today, he gets to tee off against Colby Lewis, who has been dominated by LHB throughout his career. Lewis is good for at least a homer per game, and I give Robby the best chance of doing so.
Brian Dozier, 2B: $4,000 – He has been attempting to arise from the darkness. He’s had a base hit in 8 of his last 9 games. His season statistics may not be what fantasy owners have hoped for, but he has still be crushing LHP. He’s batting .324 with a .999 OPS vs LHP this season. Playing for the Twins his entire career, Dozier has an .872 OPS vs LHP at home. Dozier’s exit velocity is down 1.1 mph from last season, which may account for the decrease in HR/FB ratio. In only 2 starts this season, Rodriguez has an average exit velocity of 91 mph. Dozier should be able to square up a few balls against the struggling Rodriguez.
Danny Valencia, 3B: $4,400 – He’s back in the lineup after being sidelined with a tummy ache. Cincinnati has been a hot bed for runs this season, mostly due to the Reds pathetic pitching. Known mostly as a lefty smasher, Valencia has found success off RHP in the last 2 seasons. In his last 250 PA against RHP, he has .371 wOBA.
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS: $4,100 – Similar to Loney, Cabrera has been making solid contact when swinging at pitches in the zone. He’s connected on 90% of pitches thrown in the strike zone. In his career he has been slightly above league average from both sides of the plate. This game has an O/U of 9.5 and should see plenty of runs from Mets.
Jhonny Peralta, SS: $3,400 – He has returned from the DL and has not forgotten how to hit. His first 4 games back he had 6 hits, 5 RBI, and one donger. In his career against lefties he has tallied almost 2000 PA and has a .790 OPS. If we limit that to a more recent sample size of 460 PA against LHP, dating back to 2013, he owns a .849 OPS. Going even smaller, at 65 PA against Liriano, Peralta has is batting .340 with a 1.046 OPS.
Carlos Gonzalez, OF: $5,500 – Like Jessie J says “forget about the price tag.” If you want to make the world dance, you gotta get CarGo in your lineup. Since 2013 he has a .940 OPS and a .401 wOBA vs RHP, both good for 5th highest among qualified hitters. His 0.401 wOBA matches up perfectly with Erik Johnson’s career .401 wOBA vs LHB.
Christian Yelich, OF: $5,000 – This 24 may look 14, but has the patience of a seasoned vet. If I didn’t know any better I’d say Barry Bonds found a way to give Yelich his vision. He league low out of zone swing rate of 16.2%. That’s 12.5% lower than league average! When he does swing, it’s not often he misses. He has a swinging strike rate of 6.3%. Not to mention a .906 OPS on the season. Yelich is breaking out, but not the way most 14 year olds do.
Tyler Holt, OF: $3,100 – With a little help from the Coors effect, the Reds have been one of the hottest hitting teams in the past 14 days with a .385 wOBA. Holt has been all over the Reds lineup. He’s batting nearly .300 on the season and facing off against Graveman in Great American Ball Park. If he finds himself at the top of the lineup today, I love his value at only $3,100 in a game with a 9.5 total.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
Only a few games have wet weather issues. There’s danger at the Royals and the White Sox game. U.S. Cellular field has 40% of thunderstorms throughout. The first half of the Tigers and Yankees game also has chance of thunderstoms, around 45-50%. However, if the game does get the green light, there are 11 mph winds blowing to straight away center. Many others games have homer winds today as well. If you are playing cash, you are going to want to stack players in Coors. There is 14 mph winds blowing out to left field in Colorado. There are also 10 mph winds to left in Cincy, 15 mph winds to center in SF, and 11 mph winds to left in the city of angels.
Doing Lines In Vegas
A bit of shocker, but SD/COL has a total of 12 in Coors. Play the Rockies bats, as they are -230. Several games have totals of 9.5, which are NYM/MIL, BAL/TOR, BOS/MIN, and OAK/CIN. Yet another bold prediction, but Vegas predicts that Arrieta and the Cubs to bounce back with a win over the Braves. Cubs are a -300 favorite. Vegas also expects Quintana to end his 5 game losing streak, as White Sox are a -165 favorite over the Royals. Roark and the Nationals get the edge at -155 over Nola and Phillies. Samardzija may be a good play, as the Giants are a -130 favorite with a low total of 7.5.