Aside from making it to the weekend, the most exciting thing about today is a nice 14 game slate (priorities!). Let’s jump right into the information, and as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.

Biggest Favorites

HOU (-180) vs. DET – Dallas Keuchel – Keuchel ends up being the favorite on the night when we have names like Clayton Kershaw, Madison Bumgarner, Chris Sale and Zack Greinke on the board. At $9,600, I expect Keuchel to be a popular pick tonight, even with a tough matchup against the Tigers. Keuchel has gotten off to a decent start in 2016, pitching 12 innings allowing five runs on nine hits. What’s a bit concerning in the early going is his K:BB ratio which stands at 13:10. Granted, it’s VERY early in the season, but the free passes can always lead to trouble. Another concern of mine is that the Tigers owned the sixth highest team wOBA against lefties last season at .336. Nonetheless, expect Keuchel to be highly owned tonight with his price tag at $9,600 feeling awfully friendly.

STL (-170) vs. CIN – Carlos Martinez – Another pitcher I expect to be highly owned is Carlos Martinez. With the high price tag on the top tier of pitchers tonight, I can expect lots of players to be looking on the low end of pitching. Martinez is making his second start of the season after pitching six innings against the Atlanta Braves allowing two runs on four hits with a 5:3 K:BB ratio. Martinez is coming off a 2015 season that saw him own a 9.2 K/9 with a .276 wOBA against right handed batters. The Reds aren’t exactly a team you circle on your calendar if you’re looking to rack up strikeouts. They ended the 2015 season ranked 18th overall and currently sit in 27th in 2016. Even still, compared to the other pitchers on the slate, spending $9,000 on Martinez feels like a bargain.

Highest Totals

BAL vs. TEX – 9 runs – Two days in a row I don’t have to tell everyone how it’s a good idea to roster people in Coors Field, I love it. The Orioles and Rangers get the nod for the highest run total of the night. Vance Worley and Martin Perez take the hill tonight, and I couldn’t agree more on the prospect of some offense. Worley pitched 23 games as a reliever and eight as a starter. He should have stayed in the bullpen as his numbers change dramatically. In 43 innings as a starter, Worley allowed 27 runs (23 earned) with a 27:15 K:BB ratio and a .359 wOBA.  With Perez, it’s been stated many, many times that troubles come against right-handed batters. In 2015, his wOBA splits were .247 against lefties and .336 against righties. Manny Machado, Adam Jones, Mark Trumbo. All right-handed bats. Stack anyone?

BOS vs. TOR – 9 runs – The Boston Red Sox should almost always be featured in the highest run scoring contest of the night with how bad their starting rotation has been. Tonight, Rick Porcello takes on R.A. Dickey at Fenway Park. Porcello had a rough year in his first year with Boston, owning a .351 wOBA against lefties and a .327 against righties. Sprinkle that in with 25 home runs allowed and it smells like a disaster. With so many heavy hitters on the Blue Jays, it’s tough to trust him, even with his $7,200 price tag. Dickey is also in the same boat and he’s vastly cheaper. At just $5,900, Dickey is another one that’s hard to trust. His wOBA splits are much better than Porcello, .290 against lefties and .322 against righties. His home runs totals were an issue, allowing 25, with 12 of those coming on the road. Great game for some offense here.

Weather Concerns

We’re in an awesome stretch of weather right now. Soak it up while you can, as we don’t have a single concern on tonight’s slate.

TargetsHottest HittersWeather
PitchersCheat SheetTop 5's

Park Factors

Park Factors are rated on a scale of 1.000. If an offensive category scored 1.000 or above, it favors the hitters. Anything below 1.000 favors the pitcher.

  • Progressive Field – NYM vs. CLE – The Mets go from one of the worst parks for hitters (Citi Field) to one of the best. Progressive Field favored hitters in runs, singles, doubles and walks in 2015.
  • Fenway Park – TOR vs. BOS – Fenway Park is notoriously known for favoring hitters. Fenway had favorable rankings in runs, singles, doubles and triples in 2015.
  • Dodgers Stadium – SFG vs. LAD – Dodger Stadium checks in as the worst ballpark on the night. Not that this will make much difference for the Giants, who overall owned the least favorable ballparks for hitters in 2015. Dodger Stadium only scored favorable categories for hitters in home runs and doubles last season.
  • Minute Maid Park- DET vs. HOU – Minute Maid Park had only two favorable categories for hitters last season, being home runs and triples. At least they here hits that are real difference makers.

Splits to Start

Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters

James Shields0.8930.279Martin Perez0.5370.21
Jimmy Nelson0.8760.302Zack Greinke0.5380.194
Williams Perez0.8650.303Madinson Bumgarmer0.5390.206

  • Quite impressive that even on a slate with guys like Kershaw, Sale, Bumgarner and Greinke, Perez comes away as one of the best against lefties. Perez owned a K/9 of 10 against lefties in 2015.
  • James Shields truly is the worst against lefties on the slate, as his overall numbers against them are brutal. Shields owned a .380 wOBA against lefties allowing 23 of his 33 home runs.

Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters

Wei-Yen Chen0.8150.274Zack Greinke0.4820.182
Martin Perez0.7770.304Clayton Kershaw0.5110.192
Tommy Milone0.7720.273Cody Anderson0.5940.225

  • It’s incredible to see how filthy Greinke was against right-handed batters last season. Aside from his microscopic OPS, Greinke owned a .211 wOBA against them with a K/9 of 8.4.
  • On the other side, Chen was a mess against righties. He allowed a .348 wOBA with 25 of his 28 home runs allowed coming off a right-hander’s bat.

Batter vs. Pitcher Splits

BatterOpposing SPABFP/AB
Jose BautistaRick Porcello283.14
Marlon ByrdBartolo Colon142.85
David OrtizR.A. Dickey342.23

  • Bautista has certainly done some damage off Porcello in their 28 matchups. Bautista is 13-28 against Porcello with three home runs, nine RBIs, and five walks.
  • Ortiz has done the same to Dickey, with a few more at bats. Ortiz is 9-34 against Dickey with two doubles, three home runs, eight RBIs, and four walks.

Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Zack Greinke ARZ vs. SD – $10,000 – Seems kind of funny that I saw Greinke against the Padres with his $10,000 price tag and I thought to myself  “Oh wow, he’s cheap!” The Padres have really stumbled out of the gate and currently sit 4th in the league in strikeouts. Even in two tough starts for Greinke so far against the Rockies and Cubs, he’s managed 10 strikeouts in 2016. Otherwise, his numbers look a bit rough. I’m HOPING (doubtful) this will keep some people off of him, especially with some of the other names on the board tonight. Greinke pithed five games against the Padres last season, ending up with a 1.23 ERA in 36.2 IP allowing five runs with a 31:7 K:BB ratio.

If you want a real potential sneaky pick on the night, take a look at Jimmy Nelson against a heavy right-handed batter Pirates team.

Heavy Hitter to Pay For

Jose Bautista – TOR vs BOS – $4,900 – I have no reason to think that Rick Porcello is going to go into Fenway Park tonight and shut down the Blue Jays offense. Doesn’t seem like viable option here. Bautista love hitting at Fenway. He’s a .278 hitter here with 21 home runs, which is the third out of all the ballparks he’s played in, and a .367 OBP. Porcello pitched slight better at home than he did on the road last season, but he still owned a .321 wOBA at Fenway Park, allowing 10 home runs of his 25 total. Bautista will be in all of my lineups tonight.

Save Big by Drafting…

Joey Rickard – BAL vs. TEX – $3,300 – Truly, what’s not to love about Rickard right now? He’s batting leadoff for one of the most dangerous lineups in all of baseball, he’s a right handed batter, which is essentially the krypotnite of Martin Perez, and he’s gotten off to a decent start for the O’s. It’s VERY early in the season, so taking stats from 2016 already doesn’t tell the whole story, but Rickard owns a .406 wOBA against lefties so far which is encouraging. For just $3,300, if Rickard can get on base, he’s very likely to be knocked in and you can rack up those points.

Stack Em Up

TOR vs BOS (Rick Porcello) – Honestly, this is a bit of a cop out pick because I don’t LOVE any team to stack tonight. We certainly have a couple of  favorable matchups, TOR vs. Porcello, BAL vs Perez, but nothing feels like a slam dunk to me. If I had to take a shot, Toronto feels like the safest option to me with Baltimore as a close second. If you want a potential true contrarian stack tonight that almost no one will be on, try LAA vs MIN. Milone struggles against RHB and LAA is full of them.