MLB | Must-Haves | 5/17/17

Victor Martinez (DK: $3,400 FD: $3,100): Tonight’s first Must-Have is recommended for FanDuel only and is the designated hitter for the Tigers, Victor Martinez. The reason that he is recommended as FanDuel only is due to position depth. Tonight’s slate is very deep with loaded options at 1B and with not as many attractive options at catcher we feel he needs to be locked in as a catcher today on FanDuel.

Tonight he faces Ubaldo Jimenez at Comerica Park, a ballpark that has an above league average 1.07 home run coefficient to left-handed batters, like Victor Martinez. Jimenez has been terrible against left-handed batters throughout his career. Last season, he allowed lefties to hit him for a .292 batting average, a .506 slugging percentage, 1.53 HR/9 and a 32% hard contact rate. He also allowed 10 of his 16 home runs to left-handed batters despite facing 100 less lefties than righties last season. Against left-handed batters on the road, Jimenez is a fly-ball pitcher, with 46% of his allowed contact resulting in a fly-ball. Against this designation of pitcher, Victor Martinez has his best splits last season of a .300 batting average, .559 slugging percentage, .909 OPS and 16 of his 27 home runs.

Jimenez has a large allotment of pitches at his disposal against left-handed batters. Against lefties this season his numbers are very consistent to last season. He throws the four-seam fastball the most, throwing it on 30% of his pitches, followed by the two-seam fastball thrown 25% of the time, the splitter being thrown 23% of the time, the slider being thrown 10% of the time, the curveball being thrown 7% of the time and finally the cutter being thrown on the remaining 7% of his offerings. Against Jimenez’s most utilized pitches, Martinez has had great success. Last season against right-handed pitching, he had a .299 ISO against the four seam, .242 ISO against the two seam and .200 ISO against the splitter. He did not show great power against the slider from right-handed pitchers, represented by his .132 ISO, but he was able to hit for contact with a .417 BABIP.

Victor Martinez is a switch hitter that musters most of his power batting as a lefty facing a right-handed pitcher. Last season, he had near identical batting average splits to pitchers by handedness, but registered a .196 ISO against right-handed pitching. He was also able to accumulate 41% hard contact against right-handed pitching last season with 20 of his 27 home runs coming against them as well. Our research suggests that Victor Martinez is in an excellent position to reach value tonight against Ubaldo Jimenez and the Orioles’ exhausted bullpen and should be locked into your lineups with confidence as the FanDuel only Daily Fantasy Insider Must-Have.

Nomar Mazara (DK: $4,000 FD: $3,500): The second Must-Have for tonight’s slate is Nomar Mazara of the Texas Rangers matching up against Zach Eflin at home in Globe Life Park. This is a ballpark that is constantly hot and humid and should be that way tonight with temperatures as high as eighty eight degrees at first pitch with 40% humidity, which should help the batters in this game tonight.

Zach Eflin has been atrocious against left-handed batters in his career. Over his two seasons in the majors he has accumulated a 6.31 FIP to lefties with 2.27 HR/9 innings allowed. He has also allowed over 36% hard contact to left-handed batters. Furthermore, against lefties this season, he has relied very heavily on two main pitches, the four and two-seam fastballs. He throws them both on 37% of his pitches to left-handed batters. He also has the slider, curveball and changeup in his pitch arsenal against left-handed batters, all of which are thrown on between 7%-10% of his pitches, occupying the remaining 26% of pitches to left-handed batters. His four-seam fastball is thrown at an average of 92 MPH. Against the four-seamer from right-handed pitchers in the 90-93 MPH range, Mazara had a .227 ISO last season. He also had a .340 ISO against the two-seam fastball from right-handed pitchers last season, both in a sample size of around 45 at bats.

Mazara thrives against right-handed pitching. In his young career, he has accumulated a .278 batting average, .193 ISO, 30% hard contact and 25 of his 26 home runs against righties. Also to very little surprise, he has much better hitting numbers at home in Globe Life Park. With a bad right-handed pitcher on the hill tonight, Mazara is in an excellent position to reach value and should be locked into your lineups with confidence as a Daily Fantasy Insider Must-Have for tonight’s slate.

Ian Happ (DK: $2,700 FD: $2,300): The final Must-Have for tonight’s slate is recommended for DraftKings but is in play on both sites. The DraftKings Must-Have for tonight is Ian Happ and he also comes with mild, and seemingly growing, weather concerns. As always with weather concerns, you should keep a lookout for changes in weather patterns, or simply follow us on twitter @dfinsider for weather information regarding the games involving Must-Haves just before lock if we feel the weather has become too severe.

Ian Happ is the Cubs’ top prospect and it has shown in his few games in the major leagues. Last night, in this same 25 MPH to left field wind that should be exploitable again tonight, he demonstrated his power with an opposite field home run that was seemingly effortless. Last season in the minor leagues, he had much better splits against right-handed pitching. He slugged 7 of his 8 home runs against this split and also had a .340 on base percentage. He is a switch hitter that will be able to bat from his natural left-handed approach, but more importantly this allows him to bat left-handed against the many right-handed relievers that struggle against lefties in the Reds’ bullpen, a bullpen that ranks amongst the bottom of the league.

Happ offers tremendous upside tonight batting cleanup in the middle of the power-riddled Cubs’ batting order. He also comes at a discount tonight because the slate was created before he was even announced to be starting last night so this is a spot that we would like to exploit. Our research suggests that Happ is in an excellent position to reach value tonight and should be locked into your lineups with confidence as the DraftKings Daily Fantasy Insider Must-Have for tonight’s slate.

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