WATCH: MLB PITCHING DUEL
A short, five-game slate will wind down our Monday night. With a Coors Field stack on tap, this will certainly make for some interesting lineup construction. Let’s dive right into all the information for tonight, and, as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Chicago Cubs vs. L.A. Dodgers – Jon Lester ($11,300) – Jon Lester checks in as the most expensive pitcher on this five-game slate tonight as he’s set to face off against the L.A. Dodgers. Lester was phenomenal at home last season, posting a .237 wOBA against opposing hitters with a .297 SLG, a .240 OBP and a K/9 of 8.8. This Dodgers club could fall by way of the K tonight, as almost the entire starting lineup had a K% of at least 20% against lefties in 2016. Joc Pederson, Chase Utley and newly acquired Franklin Gutierrez lead the way in that aspect with a K% of at least 27%. With that being said, Lester will likely be a popular pick tonight and will cost you a pretty penny to get in your lineup.
San Diego Padres vs. Colorado Rockies – 11.5 projected runs – Ah yes, the joy of playing a slate with Coors Field. Do we fade, or do we chase? Jarred Cosart and Tyler Chatwood will take the hill in this contest tonight. Cosart started 13 games last season and ended up with a 6.1 BB/9 compare to his 6.1 K/9. Right-handed batters whacked him around the most, earning a .362 wOBA. I can’t imagine he finds much success at Coors tonight, especially since the Rockies are tabbed for whopping 6.7 runs.
L.A. Dodgers vs. Chicago Cubs – 9.5 projected runs – The Cubs and Jon Lester may be the heavy favorite tonight, but they’re also in the second highest projected run total of the night at 9.5. The Cubs currently are sitting at five projected runs on the night as they’ll face Alex Wood. He missed the majority of the 2016 season due to a sore elbow, but is ready to go for tonight. Unfortunately for him, the Cubs have a number of hitters that crush left-handed batters including Kris Bryant (.438 wOBA), Ben Zobrist (.367 wOBA) and Anthony Rizzo (.362 wOBA).
1) L.A. Dodgers vs. Chicago Cubs (Wrigley Field) – Chicago is looking at some thunderstorms earlier in the day that SHOULD be cleared out by game time. With that being said, they still have about a 40-50% chance of more popping up all throughout the night, so this will certainly need to be revisited closer to game time.
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.
- Coors Field – San Diego Padres vs. Colorado Rockies – The mother of all ballparks, Coors Field is and will always be the number ballpark for hitters. Get used to see this here until they go back on the road.
- PNC Park – Cincinnati Reds vs. Pittsburgh Pirates – PNC Park isn’t exactly known as a pure hitters park, but on a short slate like tonight, it’s our second most favored ballpark. PNC favored runs, doubles and triples in 2016.
- Wrigley Field – L.A. Dodgers vs. Chicago Cubs – Wrigley Field checks in as our worst ballpark for hitters tonight. The only offensive categories that were favorable to hitters were triples and walks in 2016.
- Citizens Bank Park – New York Mets vs. Philadelphia Phillies – The Mets and Phillies play at the second ballpark that doesn’t exactly favor hitters. Citizen Bank Park only had a favorable rating in home runs last season.
Splits to Start
Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
|Worst vs. LHB||OPS||AVG||Best vs. LHB||OPS||AVG|
|Adam Wainwright||.841||.306||Jon Lester||.540||.200|
|Jerad Eickhoff||.822||.278||Tanner Roark||.617||.214|
|Tyler Chatwood||.751||.256||Jacob deGrom||.624||.241|
Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
|Worst vs. RHB||OPS||AVG||Best vs. RHB||OPS||AVG|
|Brandon Finnegan||.781||.241||Jon Lester||.620||.214|
|Jacob deGrom||.749||.269||Jerad Eickhoff||.645||.229|
|Adam Wainwright||.739||.272||Tanner Roark||.648||.241|
Batter vs. Pitcher Splits
|Michael Conforto||Jerad Eickhoff||14||2.57|
|Bryce Harper||Adam Wainwright||18||2.1|
*(Fantasy Points Per At Bat)
Pitcher to Build Around
Jacob deGrom – NYM vs. PHI – $9,300 – deGrom is facing off against a Phillies team that has the lowest projected run total of the night at 3.7 runs. While he wasn’t as dominant as in the past in 2016, he did have his best road start of the season against this Phillies club. In that game, deGrom pitched his complete game of the year allowing no runs on one hit with a 7:1 K:BB ratio. Since then, this Phillies club has upgraded their offense, but I think deGrom, at a $2,000 discount from Jon Lester, can get it done in this spot.
Heavy Hitter to Pay For
Kris Bryant – CHC vs. LAD – $5,200 – If you’re leaning towards a Coors stack tonight, which I anticipate many will, you most likely won’t have the room to fit in Bryant. With that mentality, I really like this spot for him tonight. As I mentioned before, no one hit lefties better than Bryant last season and his matchup against Alex Wood matches up well with him. Against lefties at Wrigley, Bryant owned a .399 wOBA with a .573 SLG and a .378 OBP. Bryant could go overlooked with the matchup at Coors Field also on the slate.
Save Big by Drafting…
Jody Mercer – PIT vs. CIN – $3,000 – This pick is contingent on where Mercer lands in the lineup tonight. The Pirates have only faced one left-handed pitcher so far this season, and Mercer was batting leadoff. If that happens again tonight, he’s a tremendous value for that reason. Owner of a .357 wOBA against lefties last season with a .378 OBP, Mercer is cheap way to grab you some points and fill in the often tough shortstop position. He most likely won’t get you power, but he can certainly get on base and score a run or two with a small investment on our part.
Stack Em Up
Washington Nationals vs. St. Louis Cardinals (Adam Wainwright) – Wainwright is hardly the dominant pitcher he once was, so I feel comfortable getting a Nationals stack going tonight. His biggest weakness was left-handed batters last season, as they hit him up for a .361 wOBA with a .366 OBP. The majority of the Nationals offense does or can bat from that side which makes this an ideal matchup for them. With Rockies and Padres stacks being the popular pick tonight, the Nationals could be a sneaky way to grab some points for half the price.
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