Travis d'Arnaud, C ($4600)
vs. LHP: .211/.273/.344 in 139 PA
vs. RHP: .251/.314/.420 in 457 PA
At $4600, d'Arnaud is the most expensive catcher available today, having not skipped a beat despite his time missed, with three extra-base hits in his first four games back in the Mets' lineup. He's mostly avoided lefties this season with just five plate appearances against southpaws, and the boldness of his 2015 breakout is likely tainting the overall numbers, but one would expect the right-handed bat of d'Arnaud to come around with the platoon advantage. Splits won't be on his mind against Toronto starter Scott Copeland, who is starting just the second game of his career at the highest level and whose K-to-walk ratio in the minors has been just 1.76-to-one, heavy on the free passes and light on the punchouts.
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Nori Aoki, OF ($3600)
vs. LHP: .324/.379/.404 with 27-of-39 SB in 608 PA
vs. RHP: .278/.350/.382 with 52-of-73 SB in 1475 PA
The outfielder has had reverse platoon splits both at the plate and on the bases in his career. The left-handed batter has not only hit better against southpaws, but his Takeoff rate is higher against them as well, bucking all trends with increased propensity to run with a lefty on the mound. The trend has been even stronger this season, as Aoki has hit .361 with a .443 OBP against southpaws in 2015, with as many successful steals (six swipes in eight attempts) against lefties as he does righties, despite his facing right-handers more than twice as often. When looking at the stats for the past three seasons, Aoki shines as one of the most consistent players in the game. Check out his career slashes:
Aside from the power spike in 2012, Aoki has posted virtually the same numbers year in and year out, but this season he's screwing up the plan with a .324/.391/.398. There's still plenty of season left for his numbers to come back to earth, but he's got a head start with an extra 40 points of batting average (and hence OBP). And he'll have the reverse platoon advantage today against J.A. Happ and the Mariners.
Charlie Morton, PIT vs. CHW ($7900)
The 2.05 ERA and shiny 4-0 record are obscuring the reality that not much has changed with Morton from what we've come to expect over the past eight seasons. He has struck out just a dozen hitters through his first 26.7 innings, though he has counterbalanced the lack of wipeout stuff with better pitch command than in the past, a factor which is backed up by his lowered walk rate and the fact that he hasn't hit a batter yet this season (after leading the NL in HBP's in each of the last two campaigns). He gets a start against a soft opponent with the White Sox coming to town, so the mirage may continue to baffle the shallow diggers, but expect Morton's performance to catch up with reality in the very near future.
Jeremy Hellickson, ARI at LAA ($6000)
The promise that surrounded Hellickson's first couple seasons in the league has been broken, and in its place is a stackable starter who penchant for hard contact can backfire in a hurry. His groundball rate of 48 percent is the highest of his career, and yet the frequency of balls that leave the yard (a career-long issue) are also at an all-time high for Helix. Naturally, his homer-per-flyball rate is also the highest of his career (10.4 percent) and the high pop-up percentage that anchored his ultra-low BABIP's of the past have been cut in half, with just a nine percent rate of infield pops this season that is four percentage points off of last season's pace and 11 percent removed from his peak. The Angels are top heavy and shallow beyond the big few bats, but if Helix allows the bottom of the order to get on base then those heavy hitters will likely make him pay.
Chi Chi Gonzalez, TEX vs. LAD ($5400)
The sticker price doesn't exactly match the 0.42 ERA, but his poor peripherals (just eight strikeouts yet 10 walks allowed in 21.7 innings) and unimpressive track record in the minor leagues are much more in line with the suggested price than his performance to date. Thus far he has been spared by a .197 BABIP that's fueling his frequency of 5.4 hits per nine innings, this after giving up 8.6 hits-per-nine over his minor-league career, including a 9.6 H/9 rate in Triple-A Round Rock this season. Don't be fooled by the superficial stats – the DK price is a better indication of Chi Chi's value going into today's game against the Dodgers.
Anthony Rendon, 2B/3B ($4200)
Rendon was a productive factory of fantasy points last season, and he was so consistent throughout the year that he was worth rostering even as his price tag skyrocketed from great value to solid play and eventually to being worth top-end cost. Rendon has been back in the Washington lineup for 11 games now, though we should expect him to take some time to shake off the rust and get back his timing. He has walked seven times and struck out seven times, with a .250 average and three doubles, numbers that are humble yet far from concerning.
He did everything last season, dropping extra-base hits of all types, busting an 825 OPS no matter which arm the pitcher used to throw baseballs, and driving the Nationals offense for the last four months of 2014. He was also incredibly efficient on the basepaths last season, going 17-for-20 on steal attempts, but Rendon has started 2015 with a quick 0-for-2 in the thievery department. He has the potential to lead one of the best offenses in the game, and though it might take some time to rediscover his stroke, Rendon is the type of hitter that could drop 20 DFS points of offense on any given day.
Rain is threatening the following cities:
Arlington (LAD-TEX), heavy rains and thunderstorms during game time – check here for updates
Flushing (TOR-NYM), rains are expected in the afternoon but is expected to clear around game time – check here for updates
Baltimore (PHI-BAL), scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon, clearing around game time – check here for updates
St. Louis (MIN-STL), things should be dry leading up to the game, but chance of rain increases throughout the afternoon – check here for updates
Boston (ATL-BOS), thunderstorms might peek through later in the game – check here for updates
Pittsburgh , skies should clear before game time – check here for updates
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