A lot of factors to consider when picking hitters have discussed in this space this year. Weather factors like temperature and wind are more important than I realized at the beginning of the year. Park factors are a big deal. The extent to which the opposing starter is susceptible to the long ball matters. And on and on and on.
But before I look at any of those other factors each day, I start by looking at whether the batter has the platoon advantage. As both Blake Murphy and I have discussed, some guys have reverse splits when it comes to the handedness of the opposing pitcher. But, for the most part, having the platoon advantage should be requirement numero uno when selecting hitters. I know I’m not breaking any news by harping on the platoon advantage, but because it’s the first thing I look at, I wanted to give everyone a reminder of its importance. Below is a chart showing how batters have performed with and without the platoon advantage so far this season.
The Daily Five
Doug Fister, $15,075 – It would be nice if Yu Darvish against the Astros was an option today, but I’m playing in a contest that doesn’t start until the late games. And so Fister is my expensive pitcher option of the day. He’s been as Fister-ish as ever this year with his average strikeout numbers, elite control, and above average ground ball rate, which has actually improved to elite at 56% this year. And he’ll face the White Sox who have the third worst wRC+ against right-handed pitching like Fister.
Danny Salazar, $14,320 – Salazar made his debut back in early June allowing one earned in six innings with seven strikeouts against the Blue Jays. He got his second start six days ago and struck out ten Tigers while allowing four earned over seven and two thirds. That’s seventeen strikeouts in his first 13.2 IP, which certainly grabs your attention. And when you see that the kid had a 35.5% K% between AA and AAA this year, it’s obvious he can punch ’em out. And he’s got a good match up for strikeouts today against the Twins who have the fourth highest K% when facing right-handed pitching. They also have the 6th worst wRC+ vs. RHP.
Scott Feldman, $7,924 – Ricky Nolasco is a little better than Feldman (3.73 xFIP compared to 3.94), and Nolasco has a little bit better match up today, but that’s not enough to justify the almost $5,000 price difference between the two. Feldman is the cheapest pitching option of the day despite having a league average K%-BB% and being just below average in ERA- and xFIP-. And his match up is with the Diamondbacks who are a smidge below average against right-handed pitching. There’s risk of a blow up here, but there’s also value in this price.
Christian Yelich, $6,317 – Kansas City is one of the few places where night games have a game time temperature in the 80’s, and tonight is no different. Yelich, a left-hander, will be facing right-hander Wade Davis in those warmer temperatures. Davis has allowed a wOBA about 20 points higher to lefties in his career, and he has a 1.43 HR/9 against lefties this year. After selecting my three starters, the average price I could spend on hitters was $6,965, so I like Yelich being under that price.
Lyle Overbay, $5,742 – The highest park factor in the league for home runs based on handedness is Yankee Stadium with a 118 HR as L factor. So I’ll take a shot on left-hander Lyle Overbay hitting his 14th home run against right-hander Garrett Richards, especially since Overbay is well below my average cost for hitters and gives me fake money to spend elsewhere.
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