Matt Boyd has a reverse split, but one that favors everybody. The southpaw has given up a robust .302/.347/.547 line against right-handers and an unspeakable slash of .368/.422/.754 versus lefties this season, including four of his eight doubles and six of his 14 homers allowed despite having faced left-handers in less than 30 percent of his face-to-face meetings. The extreme reverse split is obviously a product of a tiny sample, at least to some extent, but the fact remains that any bat is worth rostering when Boyd takes the hill. Stack away, gamers.
Avoid: LHB's Jacoby Ellsbury OF ($4000, -51 OPS and -.040 ISO vs. LHP), Brian McCann C ($4500, -70 OPS and -.033 ISO vs. LHP) and Brett Gardner OF ($3900, -27 OPS and -.021 ISO vs. LHP) against LHP Carlos Rodon ($7700, -322 OPS and -.133 ISO career vs. LHB)
Left-handed batters have barely touched Rodon this season, as the southpaw has limited them to a paltry .183/.265/.221 line thus far in his brief career, and the next homer hit off of Rodon by a lefty will be the first. Right0handers, on the other hand, have an 809 OPS against him, including 11 home runs among 34 extra-base hits and a .344 BAbip. Both Ellsbury and Gardner have endured struggles at the plate recently, and though Ellsbury hasn't been the same since returning from the disabled list back on July 8 (.223/.263/.332 in 66 games since returning), Gardner seems to be locked into a good old-fashioned slump without any injury issues to blame. Gardner's downturn has been ongoing for the last few months, and over his last 72 games the outfielder has a .220/.317/.325 slash and just four steals in six attempts, hardly the performance of a leadoff hitter for a playoff ballclub. McCann is in a mini slump of his own, slashing just .192/.276/.250 over his last 15 games (13 starts), and though he has battled southpaws for most of his career, there is a silver lining in that he has hit a respectable .245/.325/.443 against southpaws in 2015.
Target: Michael Brantley OF ($4800, 14-of-15 SB this season), Jason Kipnis 2B ($4400,11-of-19 SB), Francisco Lindor SS ($4500, 8-of-10 SB) and Carlos Santana ($4100, 11-of-12 SB) against RHP Edinson Volquez ($7300, opponents 18-of-22 SB this season)
The 18 steals that Volquez has given up this season are tied for the tenth-highest total in baseball, and he certainly can't blame Sal Perez given that other KC hurlers such as Yordano Ventura and Johnny Cueto shut down the running game so effectively. He rarely catches opposing thieves, a factor which combines with Brantley's incredible efficiency to suggest that if the Cleveland outfielder decides to take off then he will be successful; be forewarned that Brantley could be on the bench, as a shoulder issue has kept him out of the lineup since Tuesday. On the flipside is Kipnis, a regular stolen base threat whose efficiency on the basepaths has gone in the tank this season. He has failed on his last three attempts and hasn't gambled for a steal since August 20, so there's a “Temper” feel to his particular recommendation. Lindor has done absolutely everything in his half-season with the Tribe, displaying defensive chops as advertised and adding power, speed, and contact-hitting ability to his lsit of attributes that play at the highest level. Santana is nobody's idea of a burner so it's somewhat shocking to see him on this list, but he picks his spots very well and has been able to swipe bags with both efficiency and regularity this season.
Last 4 games (4 starts): a 7.97 ERA with 12 strikeouts, 11 walks, and 29 hits allowed in 20.3 innings; opponents batting .337/.408/.500 in 98 plate appearances
Gray hasn't been the same since the All-Star break, posting a 3.87 ERA in the second half and striking out just 54 batters in 78.3 frames. It's been especially bad in the month of September, as he has allowed five or more earned runs in three of his last four starts, each involving eight hits allowed, meanwhile he hasn't struck out more than four batters in any outing this month. For the past two seasons Gray has seemingly hit his stride at the tail-end of the season, helping to carry the A's to the playoffs both years, but this time there will be no postseason in Oakland and Gray appears to have run out of gas.
Hill has back-to-back games of double-digit strikeouts, the last of which came against the mighty Blue Jays and their southpaw-slaying lineup, and he now has a 1.93 ERA and 20-to-one ratio of strikeouts-to-walks in 14.0 innings across the two ballgames. The Orioles are a formidable opponent but not nearly as daunting as Toronto, particularly with a left-handed pitcher on the mound. Yet, remarkably, he's the lowest-price pitcher available on today's slate. Expect Hill to be highly owned by DFS gamers who are looking to invest heavily into their bats today, as Hill allows a DraftKings manager to do so while pairing him with the elite pitcher of his or her choosing.
Avoid: LHB Greg Bird 1B ($5100) against LHP Carlos Rodon ($7700)
Bird has far too small a sample under his belt to read anything into his platoon splits, but his exorbitant price tag alone should be enough to spur DFS managers into looking elsewhere; for the same price one could roster Edwin Encarnacion, Chris Davis, Joey Vottto, or Jose Abreu. As awesome as Bird has been over his first 36 games in the bigs (10 homers already as he channels Kevin Maas), he is not yet at the level of the other $5k first basemen, and Rodon's aforementioned domination of left-handed bats is the final nail in Bird's coffin of rosterability.
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