MLB | Must-Haves | 5/18/17

Joc Pederson (DK: $3,700 FD: $2,700): Tonight’s first Must-Have is Joc Pederson of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Pederson hasn’t shown his power potential yet this season, highlighted by his 1 home run on the year, however, our research tonight leads us to believe he may showcase that power tonight against Edinson Volquez and the Miami Marlins.

Due to his first glance stats not making the eyes pop as far as Must-Haves go, we’re going into deeper stats for Pederson. Looking at his career stats, Joc has a hard hit rate of 40% against righties with a 20% HR/FB rate. A stat that stands out for Joc is his home numbers. His ISO is .275 at home against righties throughout his career. This season at first glance he’s hitting under .200 which would normally be cause for concern, however he has a hard hit rate of 35.3% this season.

As far as his matchup goes tonight, Pederson has enjoyed huge success against the sinker, a pitch that Volquez throws roughly 40% of the time to lefties. Last year we saw a lot of Pederson taking sinkers over the plate and mashing them for home runs. But as we know seasons change, and as we mentioned before Pederson hasn’t provided the power we all saw last season.

Facing Volquez tonight may be the spark Pederson needs to get going and there are advanced stats that should have him foaming at the mouth to step in the box. Volquez has walked 18 LHBs in 21 innings this year, to go with 24 hits and 4.71 ERA. He has also been much worse on the road then he has been at pitcher-friendly Marlins Park. With the Dodgers looking to take advantage of the struggling Marlins, lock Joc Pederson in whether he’s hitting in the middle of the order or leading off tonight.

Nelson Cruz (DK: $5,000 FD: $4,300): Tonight’s second Must-Have for the small slate is Nelson Cruz. Cruz has been on an absolute tear and our research implies that he will continue this hot streak tonight against Dylan Covey and the Chicago White Sox. Cruz is a player that hits well against both left and right-handed pitchers and has immense power even if his ball park is of the pitcher-friendly variety.

Tonight, Cruz’s matchup with Covey is a hitter’s dream. With Covey allowing a massive 41.8% FB Rate, a 30% HR/FB rate, and a 47% Hard Hit rate to righties. This is just the beginning. Cruz’s contact against righties is at a 44% FB clip. Half of those fly balls are considered hard contact, or have an exit velocity of 100 MPH or more, per Statcast. Cruz, a hitter who can go yard at any time against anyone, is in one of the best spots of the night and our research has us excited to watch him take advantage of his weak matchup, considering Covey has displayed some of the gaudiest reverse splits we have seen all season. Entering play tonight, Covey sports a FIP over 11 against right-handed hitters compared to a FIP under 4 against left-handed bats.

Although their home field has been knows to be pitcher-friendly, we believe it’s safe to let the monster out tonight. Cruz has never struggled to hit home runs or make hard contact no matter where he takes his cuts and we don’t see that changing tonight.

Head for the Chat Room tonight at 5:30 PM EST as we help you build the rest of your lineup and answer all questions you may have!

 

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