Monkey Knife Fight Home Run Derby:
Seattle Mariners at New York Yankees
Well, don’t look now, but it looks like a streak has officially begun. The Boston Red Sox pulled through with two home runs two days ago, and the Houston Astros hit an incredible four home runs yesterday. Tonight, let’s travel to New York for the Yankees against the Seattle Mariners. J.A. Happ will take the mound for the Yankees, and he is currently allowing 1.5 HR/9, compared to Mike Leake, who will take the mound for the Mariners, allowing 1.3 HR/9. Both opposing offenses are in play tonight, especially the left-handed bats for the Yankees and right-handed bats for the Mariners. According to Vegas, the Mariners are expected to score 4.2 runs and the Yankees are expected to score 5.4 runs, based on the 9.5 run O/U and -162 ML in favor of the Yankees. It is worth noting, however, that Happ owns a 40% fly ball rate compared to Leake’s 26% fly ball rate. So, who should fantasy owners be targeting? Well, despite negative power splits against right-handed pitching, Gary Sanchez must be included in any attempt to predict home runs tonight. He has a 60% fly ball rate over the last 15 days! With 0.072 HR/AB, an average batted ball distance of 245 feet over the last 15 days, an average exit velocity on those batted balls of 96 MPH, and a 52% hard hit rate over the same time span, Sanchez is a lock. He is expected to hit third for the Yankees tonight, and for great reason. He already has double-digit home runs this season, and his advanced metrics suggest he is not going to slow down. Clint Frazier is another interesting option for the Yankees, as he enters tonight’s game with a 0.066 ISO differential against right-handed pitching, despite being a right-handed batter. He has an impressive 0.055 HR/AB ratio, and over the last 15 days, he has an average batted ball distance of 214 feet, an average exit velocity on those batted balls of 93 MPH, and a decent 33% fly ball rate. Frazier is hitting .300 on the season with six home runs, three of which came in his last 10 games. Finally, pivot over to the Mariners, and roster Jay Bruce. Bruce has decent 0.023 ISO and 0.01 wOBA differentials against left-handed pitching, and his fly ball rate is almost 50%. He has a decent 33% hard hit rate, and despite low numbers regarding average batted ball distance and exit velocity, he should see a big enough bump from playing in New York to warrant consideration. On the season, he has 11 home runs, 2 of which came in his last 10 games. He plays much better away from home, hitting .242 compared to .118 in Seattle. He also has seven away home runs compared to four at home. He is a sneaky betting option on MyBookie tonight as well (see below)!
Recommended Batters: Gary Sanchez, Clint Frazier, Jay Bruce
Home Run Prop Bet:
Jay Bruce (+375) – Seattle Mariners – OF
Jay Bruce has rather wide odds to hit a home run tonight. He is much better away from home, and New York is a very hitter-friendly ballpark. Gary Sanchez’s odds are too close, and Clint Frazier doesn’t currently have home run odds. Bruce is the recommendation on MyBookie.
Edwin Encarnacion (6.0, OVER), Gary Sanchez (7.0, OVER)
Gary Sanchez is an easy over recommendation tonight. If he hits a home run, he is well over seven fantasy points. As an added bonus, pair him with Edwin Encarnacion. Encarnacion almost made the list, but his negative ISO splits were enough to keep him off. However, he does not need a home run to go over six fantasy points tonight, and hitting in New York should be a breeze for him.
*Odds are from MyBookie. They continually update available prop bets on their prop builder, so odds should be released closer to the start of the contests. If you do not see the recommended player available, he will likely become available later in the day, and odds will be updated in the article when that happens.*
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