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. 


 Benny's MLB By the Numbers - 6/24
Posted by Benny Ricciardi on Sunday, June 24, 2018 - 09:26

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Marco Gonzales v. Chris Sale

Gonzales:

  • Decent strikeout stuff. Sitting at 7.8 per 9 IP this year an over 7.6 for his career
  • Has been great at limiting walks this year. Sitting at just 2.11 per 9 IP, which has dropped him below 3 per 9 for his career
  • He has always been incredibly tough on lefties. Righties are the ones who give him trouble. This year they are a tad below norms, but for his career RHBs have a .361 wOBA and a slugging of .478

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 By the Numbers - 6/22
Posted by Benny Ricciardi on Friday, June 22, 2018 - 13:34

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  • Zach Eflin v. Tanner Roark

Eflin:

  • The strikeouts are up this year over one per inning. He has never tracked as a high K guy throughout the minors, so I’m a little skeptical he can keep this up. My guess is he settles in around 7 Ks per 9
  • Lefties have always hit him better and own a career .370+ wOBA with a slugging over .500
  • This lineup is very left-handed heavy with most of the big bats swinging from that side. They are below league average in terms of wRC+ against righties though, mostly due to injuries and the struggles of some of the big bats right now
  • Eflin’s numbers skew more towards him being a fly ball pitcher. He does limit hard contact in the low 30% range which is good.

Nationals: Adam Eaton, Juan Soto, Anthony Rendon, (The Nats shuffled the order and hit Bryce Harper first yesterday. Harper is batting near 200 after a blistering start to the year, which shows how bad he has been. Daniel Murphy has not hit since coming off the DL and Trea Turner has been bounced around the lineup and is hitting just .260 as well. These big bats need to wake up as Eaton, Soto, and Rendon are carrying them lately. Those three are the top plays)

Roark:

  • Not elite strikeout stuff. He sits around 7 Ks per 9 this year and for his career
  • Roark is very tough on righties. Lefties are a tad above league average, but not great, although the numbers look worse because he’s that much better v. RHBs
  • HAs thrown at least 97 pitches in 8 of his last 10 games with 6 over 100 and 3 over 110. I like the guys that throw a lot of pitches because they can get deep when pitching well
  • Outside of a few key hitters, the Phillies are a good matchup. They are mid-pack for wRC+, a tad below the median value, but they have a league-high 26% K-rate against RHPs. He put up 20 DK points against them last time going over 6 innings with 9 Ks and giving up just 3 runs. 
  • Roark skews as a ground ball pitcher in the low 40% range. He has a lifetime hard contact number of just 25.7%, although this year he is up a tad in the low 30% range. 

Phillies: Odubel Herrera, Rhys Hoskins


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 MLB Injury Report - 6/21
Posted by Benny Ricciardi on Thursday, June 21, 2018 - 16:00

Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers) - Is scheduled to pitch this coming week, probably sometime around Wednesday - Thursday. He’s Clayton F$%^ing Kershaw, so if you spent the first or second round pick on him, get him back in EVEN without being his best! 60% of Kershaw is still better than half of your staff at a minimum. The Dodgers are sorely in need of pitching with all the injuries. They got Rich Hill back last week and Walker Buehler is slated to throw a bullpen session this week, so reinforcements are on the way...


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 By the Numbers - 6/21
Posted by Benny Ricciardi on Thursday, June 21, 2018 - 10:48

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  • Kevin Gausman v. Max Scherzer

Gausman:

  • Good strikeout upside. He is just shy of a K per inning and has averaged over 8.40 K’s per 9 for his career
  • Has been limiting walks this year. He is barely over 2 per 9 when he is closer to 3 per 9 for his career
  • Righties have actually hit Gausman better. They have the higher slugging and wOBA this year and for his young career
  • Gausman normally leans slightly towards being a GB pitcher
  • This year his GB rate is up and his FB rate is down. Hard contact has stayed flat for the last 3 years so that hasn’t changed much
  • Nationals do hit righties much better than lefties, but they have a big black hole in the middle of the lineup with Matt Adams out, Harper now batting just .200 on the season after a blistering start and Daniel Murphy hitting just .100 since coming off the DL

Nationals: Adam Eaton, Juan Soto, Trea Turner, Anthony Rendon (These are the four guys doing the heavy lifting currently for this offense)

Max:

  • Huge strikeout upside, well above a K per inning
  • Scherzer is absolute lights out to right-handed batters
  • Lefties are the weaker split against him. They not only hit him better, but they also flash most f the power
  • Scherzer is dominant, but he’s also a fly ball pitcher that does give up some homers (Especially to lefties) 
  • He is likely to go deep, rack up the Ks, and shut down an offense. I do like taking a leverage bat against him if you have a power lefty, but the Orioles really don’t (Davis benched, Alvarez over the hill)

Orioles: Not taking these righties against Scherzer. Just can’t do it. They play into what his strength is


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 By the Numbers - 6/20
Posted by Benny Ricciardi on Wednesday, June 20, 2018 - 11:30

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  • Andrew Cashner v. Gio Gonzalez

Cashner:

  • Never been a big strikeout guy. Hovers just over 7 K's per 9 IP for much of his career
  • The Walk rate is elevated this year from his norm. He’s up over 4 and that walk rate has increased as he has aged
  • He’s been bad to both sides of the plate this year as both have over a .500 slugging. For his career though, lefties have always been the better way to go after him
  • Cashner has seen his numbers gradually regress over the years. His GB rate is down, the FB rate is creeping up, and his hard hit rate is higher too. All three of things are negative for him.
  • He has walked a big 10% of batters and has a HR/9 of 1.60+. Both of those numbers are bad too
  • Nationals are very solid against right-handed pitching, especially with Eaton and Murphy, two of the better bats against righties back in the lineup. This is a solid spot for the Nats

Nationals: Adam Eaton, Bryce Harper, Juan Soto, Anthony Rendon, Trea Turner

Gio:

  • Solid strikeout stuff, just shy of a K per inning, but he does walk a lot of guys too, usually just a tad under 4 per 9
  • The splits are usually severe with Gio. He is very tough on fellow lefties, but righties always hit him much better
  • 28% hard contact for his career with 48% ground ball rate. Both of those are very good numbers
  • Low HR rate for Gio too, always under 1 per 9, which is good considering that is how the Orioles tend to get runs when they do
  • The Orioles are not a team that scores many runs as the 87 wRC+ can attest to, but they are 23rd in k-rate just barely over a 20%, so the strikeout upside might not be there for Gio 

Orioles: Manny Machado (The other big righties have all underperformed this year, so outside of Machado, I can’t trust guys like Schoop, Trumbo, Jones, or Mancini that much)


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