Benny Ricciardi

All Sports Analyst      

2014 winner of the FSWA’s Baseball Article of the Year award. 2016 FSTA Winner for Radio Show of the Year for "On Target Fantasy". 2017 winner for Basketball Writer of the Year from the FSWA. Benny was a featured writer for the DraftKings Playbook, an on air talent for FNTSY Radio, a podcast host and writer for RotoWire, a daily fantasy expert at Scout Fantasy and one of the featured writers and webcast hosts at RotoCurve. He is a published author in the fantasy sports space and a journalist who has had articles picked up by the AP press and distributed through various news outlets around the country. He is a frequent guest on Sirius XM Fantasy and FNTSY Radio talking about both season long and daily fantasy sports topics. 

 By the Numbers - 8/17
Posted by Benny Ricciardi on Friday, August 17, 2018 - 14:44


  • Freddy Peralta v. Jack Flaherty


  • Big strikeout youngster over 11 K per 9, but also walks over 5 per 9
  • He has been either really good or really bad lately. Got shelled twice for 7 runs in under 5 innings and also threw two games in between where he was basically lights out
  • He has huge splits but has dominated righties who own just a .174 wOBA against him at the MLB level this year. Lefties though are 200 basis points higher at a .370+ wOBA
  • This is why the matchup here is pretty good for him. Outside of Carpenter, they don’t really have any other lefties that scare you and as a team, they have a well below average wRC+ and a higher than average strikeout rate if you back out his production. Carpenter is also banged up, so you catch them at a good time
  • Due to the volatility of his recent starts, I can’t back him in cash games, but he has the strikeout upside, the good park shift, and profiles well against this team, which could lead to an upside game. 

Cardinals: Matt Carpenter (I’m not on him because of price and him being banged up, but he grades out highly in the models based on the numbers)

 MLB Livestream Breakdown - 8/16
Posted by Benny Ricciardi on Thursday, August 16, 2018 - 17:42

Don't love this slate for cash games. Clear chalk on FD and DK. Jon Gray highest owned pitcher today - maybe 40-50% in tournaments. PITCHERS MAIN GUYS Julio Teheran - Most people going for Jon Gray, no Charlie Blackmon in Rockies lineup today. Teheran struggles with lefties at the ballpark, but not great lefty bats against Teheran today. So actually a pretty good matchup and will go lower owned.

 By the Numbers - 8/16
Posted by Benny Ricciardi on Thursday, August 16, 2018 - 13:00


  • Jon Lester v. Ivan Nova


  • Lester is struggling right now. He needed 97 and 100 pitches to get through five in two of the last three starts and the other one he was pulled early after getting blasted for 8 runs. Last 3 games: 13.2 IP, 25 hits, 6 walks, 17 runs
  • His numbers are worse across the board. Ks are down to 7 per 9, BB/9 up to 3.5. HR rate up to around 1.5 from under 1. ERA high 3s and xFIP mid 4s are both up from career averages and the xFIP is almost a full run higher this year
  • Righties hit him much better than lefties, but numbers are up to both sides of the plate
  • He’s only getting 38% GB rate this year from 46% for his career. FB and LD rates are obviously up as well. The big difference though is hard contact. For his career, Lester is a 26% hard contact guy. This year he is up at 35% and that is a big reason along with the increase FB rate for the HR/9 being way up and the xFIP > ERA
  • The Pirates that hit lefties well are not the main guys, but right now Lester has been so bad that anyone is in play

Pirates: Lester has allowed 4, 5, and 8 runs in an average of fewer than 5 innings per start. Stacking here is best. Guys like Francisco Cervelli, David Freese, Josh Harrison are the ones I have to squeeze in against lefties. Then you can add the big left-handed bats to round it out like Dickerson or Polanco

 By the Numbers - 8/15
Posted by Benny Ricciardi on Wednesday, August 15, 2018 - 13:52


  • Derek Holland v. Hyun-Jin Ryu


  • Holland has actually thrown well this year
  • His is over a K per inning when he's more like a mid 7 K per 9 guy for his career
  • Around 3 walks per 9 is in line with his career numbers and he’s a little below his HR/9, probably due to that cavernous home park
  • ERA and xFIP hover around 4, both numbers a tad below his career marks
  • He is very tough on fellow lefties, but righties have always been above average against him and that is the case this year too
  • The Dodgers actually hit righties much better, but they have a lot of good bats with long histories of hitting lefties too. It is not a soft spot for Holland, even though he’s been decent this year and better than normal

Dodgers: Matt Kemp, Manny Machado, Brian Dozier, Justin Turner

 By the Numbers - 8/14
Posted by Benny Ricciardi on Tuesday, August 14, 2018 - 14:10


  • Rick Porcello v. Nick Pivetta


·      He has been very erratic this year. It took him just 86 pitches to throw a complete game against a good Yankees lineup two back, and then he got light up and chased in the fourth inning by a lesser Toronto Blue Jays lineup 5 days later. 

·       On the season, some numbers are good, some are concerning

·       8.7K per 9 is his highest ever, so that is obviously one of the good numbers

·       4.17 ERA and 3.90 xFIP are both in line with his career norms, so those are not bad

·       Both sides are around a .300 wOBA. HE’s been a tad better to each, but lefties still the better split by a little bit

·       The batted ball is what has me concerned though His GB rate is down from 48.6% to 45%. His FB rate is up from 31% to 35% and his hard contact rate is 33%, up from 29%

·       The Phillies are a high strikeout team. The 23.9% rate is fifth highest in the league. They also have a high wRC+ score of 104 though, which also puts them in the top 10 for runs created. You can get some K's against them, but they also may tag you for a few runs

Phillies: Justin Bour, Asdrubal Cabrera, Nick Williams, Rhys Hoskins (All these guys have solid wRC+ scores v. RHP)