This article is part of our FantasyDraft MLB series.
Jacob deGrom, NYM vs. COL ($22,800):- deGrom draws a favorable matchup to open the second half, considering the Rockies generated a majors-low .268 wOBA and 25.2 percent hard contact rate versus right-handed pitching on the road over the last month before the All-Star break, along with a 22.2 percent strikeout rate. Meanwhile, deGrom has been particularly effective at home, posting a 2.56 ERA, .195 BAA, .269 wOBA and 66 strikeouts over 52.2 innings at Citi Field. He's also scored between 31.00 and 39.35 fantasy points in four of his last five home starts, and given the way the numbers line up Friday, he makes for a worthy investment in the top tier for either cash or GPPs.
Taijuan Walker, ARI at ATL ($12,900):- Although SunTrust Park hasn't necessarily been very pitcher-friendly this season, the Braves have had a tough time generating offense there versus right-handed pitching recently. Atlanta generated just a .295 wOBA and majors-low 26.3 percent hard contact rate versus that handedness at home in the last month before the All-Star break, while Walker has been more effective on the road. He's scored over 20 fantasy points in each of his last three road starts, and boasts a 2.65 ERA, .241 BAA and just two homers allowed in 37.1 innings overall outside of Chase Field. Given his price and upside, he offers solid value as a GPP play Friday.
Jose Ramirez, CLE at OAK ($9,300):- Ramirez opens the second half sporting a discounted price despite having finished the first half red-hot, as he's scored double-digit fantasy points in six of his last eight games. While it's true that A's starter Sonny Gray has been very effective against left-handed hitters at home, he's also been on the right side of luck by yielding just a .236 BABIP and has also invited trouble with a 3.60 BB/9. The switch-hitting Ramirez has been particularly lethal against right-handed pitching, posting a .431 wOBA, .306 ISO, 1.047 OPS and 21.7 wRAA, along with a 36.7 percent hard contact rate versus that handedness on the road.
Robinson Cano, SEA at CWS ($8,000):- Fresh off playing All-Star Game hero, Cano kicks off the second half against White Sox starter James Shields, who's yielded a .430 wOBA and seven homers to left-handed hitters, along with a mammoth 11.55 xFIP to the 29 hitters of that handedness he's faced at Guaranteed Rate Field. Cano has hit 13 of his 18 homers on the season off righties and owns a .390 wOBA, .268 ISO and 39.0 percent hard contact rate versus that handedness on the road. He's also been extremely successful against Shields over a very large sample, having tagged him for a .417 average, nine doubles, two triples, five homers and 17 RBI over 97 career plate appearances. It's also worth noting that White Sox relievers surrendered a 5.68 ERA, four homers and a .339 wOBA to left-handed hitters at home in the last month before the All-Star break.
Kyle Seager, SEA at CWS ($6,400):- The struggles of White Sox starter James Shields and those of the Chicago bullpen were just detailed, while Seager checks in with a .325 wOBA, nine homers and a 39.0 percent hard contact rate versus right-handed pitching. Additionally, like Cano, he's also enjoyed plenty of success versus Shields, as he boasts a .412 average, three homers and eight RBI versus the veteran right-hander over 20 career plate appearances.
George Springer, HOU vs. MIN ($10,800):- Springer owns a .399 wOBA, .303 ISO, 32.3 percent HR/FB rate and 37.5 percent hard contact rate versus right-handed pitching at home, and a .571 average, double, homer and three RBI against Twins starter Jose Berrios in eight plate appearances. Berrios has been much more effective at Target Field, as he's surrendered a .332 wOBA, eight of the nine homers he's given up and a 4.70 xFIP on the road. The Minnesota bullpen also presents as a solid matchup, as it yielded a 5.53 ERA, .358 wOBA, 23.7 percent line drive rate and 31.2 percent hard contact rate to righty bats on the road over the last month of the first half.
Mookie Betts, BOS vs. NYY ($8,800):- Yankees starter Michael Pineda has surrendered a .340 wOBA and 32.4 percent hard contact rate to right-handed hitters on the road, and a .304 average, two doubles and two homers to Betts over 24 career plate appearances. Betts smacked three homers and posted a 44.1 percent hard contact rate over the last nine games before the All-Star break and checks in with a .353 wOBA, .214 ISO and 37.6 percent hard contact rate against right-handed pitching. Yankees relievers struggled against righty bats on the road over the last month of the first half as well, allowing a majors-high 6.82 ERA, five homers and a .342 wOBA, along with a 37.2 percent hard contact rate.
Jacoby Ellsbury, NYY at BOS ($6,900):- Ellsbury makes for an intriguing value play on the other side of the Yankees-Red Sox tilt, considering that Drew Pomeranz has given up a .391 wOBA and 33.3 percent line drive rate to left-handed hitters, along with a 41.7 percent hard contact rate when facing them at Fenway Park. Ellsbury hasn't enjoyed much success versus southpaws but does have a 25.0 percent line drive rate versus that handedness on the road, and a brief but successful history versus Pomeranz (.429 average, two doubles over eight plate appearances).
Buster Posey, SF at SD ($7,600):- Posey draws a favorable matchup to open the second half in the form of Padres left-hander Clayton Richard, considering the latter has given up a .377 wOBA and 14 homers to right-handed hitters, along with a 28.5 percent line drive rate and 36.7 percent hard contact rate when facing them at Petco Park. Posey has decimated left-handed pitching all season long and boasts a .448 wOBA, .327 ISO and 1.102 OPS versus that handedness on the road. He's also managed a 26.6 percent line drive rate and 31.4 percent hard contact rate versus that handedness overall, and a .407 average, two doubles, two homers and eight RBI against Richard in 30 career plate appearances. Padres relievers have been vulnerable as well, allowing a 5.34 ERA and seven homers to righty bats at home in the last month before the All-Star break.
Matt Carpenter, STL at PIT ($7,500):- Pirates starter Gerrit Cole's Achilles' heel has been left-handed hitters, as he's given up a .367 wOBA, 13 homers, 21.7 percent HR/FB rate and 42.1 percent hard contact to that handedness overall. Carpenter has hit 13 of his 14 homers on the season off righties and boasts a .386 wOBA, .273 ISO, 21.1 percent HR/FB rate and 46.7 percent hard contact rate against that handedness away from Busch Stadium. He's also gotten the better of Cole on plenty of occasions in the past, posting a .375 average, a double, four homers and six RBI against him over 35 career plate appearances. The Pirates bullpen has been vulnerable to lefty bats as well, allowing a 5.40 ERA, four homers, a .348 wOBA and 27.7 percent line drive rate to that handedness at PNC Park in the last month before the All-Star break.