With only two games on the afternoon, this edition of the highly acclaimed (by my mother) Cheat Sheet will cover the night slate, which features ten games. We have some fantastic offensive matchups (not so much pitching) so lets get into all the information. As always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.

Game Notes

Biggest Favorites

WAS (-225) vs. ATL – Gio Gonzalez – First and foremost, have you seen Gio Gonzalez flash his new hair style? He’s looking sharp. So he automatically becomes the heavy favorite on the slate. Going up against, you guessed it, the Atlanta Braves, Gonzalez, like many others, is favored and favored heavily. Gonzalez owned the Braves last season in his two starts against them. In 13 innings, Gonzalez allowed two runs on seven hits with a decent 18:5 K:BB ratio. As I always remind you, the Braves are a tough team to strikeout, ranked 29th out of 30 in 2015. Gonzalez did own a 12.5 K/9 in those two starts against the Braves, so here’s hoping for more of the same this year. At just $8,600, Gonzalez carries some serious value.

BOS (-158) vs. BAL – Clay Buchholz – Here is my first hard disagreement with Vegas this season. Buchholz favored on the night may indeed be true, as he’s facing the very volatile Mike Wright. However, this game is also slated as ** SPOILER ALERT** the second highest run total of the night (more on that later). I very, VERY rarely take pitchers that are included in the highest run total of the night, let alone Buchholz against the Orioles.  Buchholz only pitched in 12 games last season, but he did face the Orioles twice. He gave up a ton of hits, 19 in 13 IP, but he kept the damage to a minimum with only three runs allowed. I believe this game will have a ton of runs scored, and it’s had to trust Buchholz, even at a $8,700 price tag.


Highest Totals

SFG vs. COL – 10.5 –  #nosurpisehere. If you’re new to fantasy baseball, Coors Field will ALWAYS have the highest run total of the night no matter what. If it doesn’t, it will have the second. If you’re not new to fantasy baseball, more of the same here. With Jeff Samardzija and Tyler Chatwood going in this contest, the high run total is justified. Samardzija pitched in 32 games last season and was really haunted by the home run ball. Lefties got the best of him last season, grabbing 21 of 29 home runs to go with a .357 wOBA. This seems like an elite matchup for Carlos Gonzalez and Charlie Blackmon.

BAL vs. BOS – 9.5 runs – As I mentioned above, this game favoring Buchholz and having the second highest run total of the night is usually a bad scenario. Does Buchholz have a decent chance of grabbing the W here? For sure. Do I want to pay for him and find out if he does well? Absolutely not. The Orioles have a serious lineup that is scary no matter who they face. Hitting in another hitter friendly park like Fenway further makes that lineup a true threat. Combine this with Mike Wright and his horrible splits in nine starts last season, .392 wOBA against lefties and .361 wOBA against righties, this is a game you don’t want to miss. Unless of course, you are drafting one of the guys on the mound.

Weather Concerns

It’s always nice when you see these words. NO WEATHER CONCERNS!

Park Factors

Park Factors are rated on a scale of 1.000. Any offensive category that has a rating of 1.000 or above favors the hitter. Anything below, favors the pitchers.

  • Coors Field – SFG vs. COL – If you haven’t heard the rumors already, Coors Field is a pretty good park for hitters. Coors favors hitters in every offensive category that gets a rating. This is the ultimate hitters park.
  • Fenway Park – BAL vs BOS – The Orioles visiting Fenway Park is quite comparable to being at home in Camden Yards. Fenway Park had ratings in favor of hitters in 2015 for runs, singles, double, and triples.
  • Citi Field – MIA vs. NYM – Citi Field ranked as the third worst park for hitters in 2015. With ratings favorable for pitchers in every offensive category, it’s easy to see why this ranks as our worst ballpark for hitters on the slate.
  • Safeco Field – TEX vs. SEA – Safeco Field is notoriously known for favoring pitchers. In 2015, Safeco didn’t have a single offensive category that favored hitters. It was ranked the fourth worst for runs scored.

TargetsWeatherHottest Hitters
PitchersTop 5'sCheat Sheet

Splits to Start

Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters

Mike Wright0.3220.919Clay Buchholz0.2390.61
Charlie Morton0.3010.894Hector Santiago0.220.633
Aaron Sanchez0.2820.878Gio Gonzalez0.2580.641

  • As noted earlier, Wright has some truly ugly splits against both sides of the place. He truly has no real upside, especially in this matchup against the Red Sox. His 5.2 K/9 is the lowest on the slate.
  • Buchholz has historically been solid against left-handed batters, as evidenced in these numbers. Overall, he has some decent numbers to hang his hat on, with a 8.5 K/9 last season. The biggest problem is his inconsistency, which doesn’t instill confidence in a tough matchup with a tough offensive club like the Orioles.

Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters

Matt Moore0.3150.866Aaron Sanchez0.1630.435
Mike Wright0.2580.855Corey Kluber0.1970.549
Derek Holland0.2640.848Charlie Morton0.2390.633

  • We have two pitchers that show up on this list that were also featured on the Worst vs LHB. We have some dramatic differences in the splits, with Morton owning a .384 wOBA against righties and a .275 wOBA against lefties. Sanchez showcases an even bigger difference, with .380 wOBA against lefties and .205 wOBA against righties.

Batter vs. Pitcher Splits

BatterOpposing SPABFP/AB
Freddie FreemanGio Gonzalez292.44
Chris DavisClay Buchholz242.41
Robinson CanoDerek Holland372.37

  • We don’t have a lot of ground breaking BvP splits on this slate, but the ones we do have are some big ones. The best one belongs to Freeman against Gonzalez. Freeman is 9-29 with four doubles, two home runs, 10 RBIs and one walk.
  • Cano also has some impressive numbers against Holland. Cano is 15-37 with three doubles, a triple, two home runs and nine RBIs.

Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Gio Gonzalez – WAS vs. ATL – $8,600 – So, last night didn’t go very well. I took Steven Matz as the pitcher to lean on, and he ended up with -14 points. Whoops. It happens, just trust your process and everything will work itself out. I’m once again going with someone that isn’t exactly a sure thing, but I love the spot he’s in. Gonzalez isn’t the flashiest name on the slate, but he’s got some great numbers overall, his salary is a steal, and you’ll get some great value out of him. Gonzalez owned an 8.1 K/9 in 2015, and on top of that, he had some stellar numbers in two starts against the Braves last year. If you’re looking to load up in COL tonight, Gonzalez is a great way to save you some money.

Heavy Hitter to Pay For

Carlos Gonzalez – COL vs. SF – $4,600 – When Jeff Samardzija faces a left-handed batter, it usually doesn’t end very well. Tonight, he pitches in Coors Field, and we have one of the best hitting lefties in the game right now calling that place home. That man would be… Carlos Gonzalez. Gonzalez was a beast least season against right-handed pitching, owning a .415 wOBA with an ISO of .332. Guys, that’s a huge ISO. That’s entering, dare I say it, Bryce Harper territory. With Samardzija allowing a .357 wOBA to lefties last season to go with the 21 home runs they hit, how can you not love Gonzalez here?

Save Big by Drafting…

Mike Napoli  – CLE vs. TB – $3,500 – It’s hard not to love Napoli facing a left-handed pitcher. It’s even harder when that pitcher is Matt Moore. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, Moore is not the same guy he was in 2014. He’s been whacked around in almost every start since his return, and I don’t anticipate tonight being much different. For just $3,500, you’ll be getting a hitter that owned a .403 wOBA against lefties and hit 12 of his 18 home runs against them last season. The value in this pick makes him tough to leave on the board.

Stack Em Up

CLE vs. TB (Matt Moore) – Once more with the hating on Moore, a Cleveland stack is not going to run you a lot of money and has the potential to put up some points for you. If you’re looking to start someone like Jose Fernandez, this might be the route you want to take. The Indians don’t have a single (healthy) starter that costs more than $3,900 tonight. So drafting this stack will easily help you afford some of the bigger names on the night.