Game Notes

Biggest Favorites

White Sox v. Twins – Chris Sale (-200) – Sale is my top option on the late slate of games today. He enters this game having won all six of his starts. He has only allowed 8 earned runs, 35 baserunners, and struck out 38 batters in 43 innings of work. His ERA is at 1.66 and his WHIP is a stellar 0.88. He faces a Twins team that has scored the second fewest runs against left-handed pitching, owns a wOBA in the bottom quarter of the league, and has the 6th highest strikeout rate against southpaws at 24.2%. Sale is a huge favorite at home against a weak offense in a game with a low total.

Mets v. Padres – Bartolo Colon (-160) – It did not work out well for Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard, but the fact remains that San Diego is one of the worst teams in the league against right-handed pitching. They own the third highest strikeout rate at just under 26% before last night’s game. The have the second lowest wOBA, the third worst batting average and are near the bottom in almost every conceivable offensive category. Colon is not lights out like the two guys we mentioned above, but he does have an ERA under 3, a WHIP of 1.14, and has struck out 28 batters in 33 innings of work with only 3 walks allowed. He also has a lefty heavy lineup backing him up which profiles well to put up some runs against a guy in James Shields who was crushed by left-handed hitters in 2015, so he should be in line for the win.

Highest Totals

Brewers v. Reds – 8.5 – These two teams have some really bad pitching. Neither offense had done much before this series began, but they have managed to crank out 20 runs in the first two games of this set. Jimmy Nelson and Brandon Finnegan are both young pitchers who have flashed upside, but they have also been pounded in starts already this year. I especially like the Milwaukee bats here. They have a ton of right-handed hitters who should make this a tough day for Finnegan. Nelson struggles more with left-handed bats as well, so I think Joey Votto alone is worth a few runs in this one on the other side.

Astros v. Mariners – 8.5 – Houston is a great ballpark for hitters, which should lead to some runs being scored. Dallas Keuchel is the reigning Cy Young award winner, but he has been putrid to start the year. On the other side, Nate Karns has been decent, but he faces a Houston lineup that has the ability to explode with power and speed from top to bottom. Seattle has scored 18 runs in the last 3 games with Houston topping that number by putting up 25 in their last 3. Neither pitcher strikes me as a guy who should shut down the opposition here, so I expect a lot of runs in this one.

Weather Concerns

1) Milwaukee v. Cincinnati (Great American Ballpark) – It looks like rain may be in store for the night game in Cincy. This is tough, because it is definitely one of the games where we expect a lot of runs to be scored.

Park Factors

Park Factors are ranked on a scale of 1.000. Anything above 1.000 is favorable towards the hitters. Anything below that mark, favors pitchers.

  • Great American Ballpark – Brewers v. Reds – The Great American Ballpark is a bandbox of a stadium where home runs tend to fly out of. It is no secret and no surprise to see this as one of the highest totals on the board today.
  • Minute Maid Park – Astros v. Mariners – Minute Maid Park is known as a good hitter’s ballpark and a great place for home runs. In the first two games of the series, we have already seen five of them fly out of here.
  • PetCo Park – Mets v. Padres – PetCo Park is one of the most pitcher friendly parks in the majors. Both of these teams are only averaging 2.5 runs per game through the first two games of the series.
  • Turner Field – Braves v. Diamondbacks – Turner Field has statistically favored pitchers last year, and the same has held true so far in 2016.

Splits to Start

Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters

Since 2015

Worst vs. LHBOPSBest vs. LHBOPS
Mike Wright.942Dallas Keuchel.457
Julio Teheran.887Chris Sale.581
Jimmy Nelson.864Jake Odorizzi.620

Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters

Since 2015

Worst vs. RHBOPSBest vs. RHBOPS
Mike Wright.793Jesse Hahn.493
Jered Weaver.783Julio Teheran.573
Jeremy Hellickson.782Jimmy Nelson.582

Batter vs. Pitcher Splits

HitterOpposing SPStats
Jay BruceJimmy Nelson6-14 - 2 2Bs - 2 HRs
Nelson CruzDallas Keuchel8-17 - 2 HRs
Prince FielderMike Pelfrey11-31 - 2 2Bs - 3 HRs

Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Bartolo Colon – Mets v. Padres – $7,300 – It is tough to build around the highest priced pitchers on the board, but you can still fit one in with Colon if you choose to do so. I like the fact he faces a weak hitting team with a high strike out rate against right-handed pitching. He’s a favorite in a game that has a low expected run total. I do love Chris Sale and will have a bunch of exposure to him as well, but Colon is the guy who you can take with Sale and some solid bats, or with a cheaper pitcher and load up on big upside bats throughout your lineup.

Heavy Hitter to Pay For

Giancarlo Stanton – Marlins v. Phillies – $5,200 – Stanton has now homered in 7 of his last 11 games, which is absolutely insane. The one he hit last night was estimated at 475 feet and was a laser beam to left-centerfield. Hellickson is not as good as his early season stats would suggest, and Stanton is as locked in with his power stroke as any hitter I have ever seen at the moment. He’s my top hitter to pay for tonight.

Save Big by Drafting…

J.T. Realmuto – Marlins v. Phillies – $3,100 – Realmuto is a catcher who has been leading off for the Marlins. It makes sense for them to do so since he is 19-for-41 over his last 10 games. It is rare to find a catcher on top of the order and it is a great thing because it essentially guarantees him four at-bats at a minimum. If the Marlins tag Hellickson, he could even see a fifth. It is always better to maximize the number of chances a guy has to put up fantasy points, especially when he is one of the few at his position who hits higher than 7th in the batting order.

Stack Em Up

Rangers v. Tigers (Mike Pelfrey) – Mike Pelfrey has been horrendous this year (and in a few years past too). He has always struggled with left-handed bats who have hit over .400 against him so far in 2016 after finishing 2015 with a batting average over .300 and a WHIP of 1.79. The Rangers have a ton of left-handed bats on top of the lineup with guys like Odor, Mazara, Fielder, and Moreland. Pelfrey also allowed right-handed bats to hit over .300 last year against him, so Beltre is also in play. Pelfrey has a WHIP of 2.05 early on in 2016, which means he is allowing over 2 baserunners per inning. Pelfrey could be chased from the game early, which means the Rangers will have done their damage.