We have a nine game slate going tonight that features some very middle of the line pitching and some good hitting matchups. Let’s jump right into all your information, and as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.

Game Notes

Biggest Favorites

CHC (-166) vs. CIN – John Lackey – Lackey gets the nod as the most favored pitcher on the slate tonight with his back-to-back stellar performances against the Cardinals and this same Reds team. In that start against the Reds, Lackey pitched six innings allowing two runs with seven strikeouts while walking three. With some of the bigger names on this slate like Jose Fernandez and Felix Hernandez, Lackey could very well go overlooked. Lackey owns a 10 K/9 over three starts this season.

NYM  (-157) vs. ATL – Steven Matz – After a horrific start to the 2016 season, Matz bounced back nicely in his last start against the Cleveland Indians. In that start, Matz pitched seven innings, allowing no runs on three hits while striking out nine. Matz gets another easy start today against the Braves, who own the lowest SLG% in the league. It’s always been known that the Braves are a relatively tough team to strike out, but that hasn’t been the case lately as they’ve jumped all the way up to 13th in the league. Just like with Lackey, the $8,700 price tag for Matz is an easy choice for his matchup.

Highest Totals

LAD vs COL – 10.5 runs –% With a surprise to no one, Coors Field gets the nod for the highest run total of the night. Kenta Maeda and Tyler Chatwood will take the mound for the Dodgers and Rockies in this one. The pricing for this game has certainly jumped from last night, so making a stack for either team is not going to be easy. Without much to go off for either pitcher, Chatwood has had his early season struggles against right-handed batters, owning a .374 wOBA. As always, it wouldn’t hurt to try and at least get some exposure in this one.

PIT vs ARZ – 9 runs – Any game that involves Rubby de la Rosa should certainly be one to expect runs. As I’ve stated in past articles, de la Rosa owned an atrocious .404 wOBA against left-handed batters last season. He’s picking up right where he left off, owning a .380 in the early going. The Diamondbacks only have a couple of lefties on their roster with Jake Lamb and David Peralta, but de la Rosa hasn’t been getting out anyone in the early going, allowing 10 runs in 10.2 IP.

Weather Concerns

1) MIA vs SFG (AT&T Park) – This game will feature a strong wind blowing out to right field at 16 mph, giving a nice boost to hitters.

2) LAD vs. COL (Coors Field) – This game COULD see some light rain, but not enough to cause any issues. It will have a strong 19mph wind going out to right field. As if the hitters needed any more help.

Park Factors

Park Factors are ranked on a scale of 1.000. If an offensive category has a rating of 1.000 or above, it favors the hitters. Anything below 1.000 favors the pitchers.

  • Coors Field – LAD vs COL – It should come as no surprise that Coors was ranked the best ballpark for hitters in 2015. Spoiler alert, it will also rank first in 2016. Last season, it had a favorable rating in every single offensive category you can think of.
  • Great American Ballpark – CHC vs CIN – Even though this is a great park for hitters, it didn’t exactly help the Reds last night. The Great American Ballpark owned a favorable rating for hitters in every offensive category except triples in ’15.
  • AT&T Park – MIA vs SF – Ranked the worst ballpark for hitters in 2015, AT&TStadium only favored hitters in triples.
  • Worst Ballpark – SEA vs LAA – Park Factor doesn’t really seem to make a difference for these two teams, as they both rank in parks for pitchers. LAA only favored hitters in walks last season, so that’s exciting.

Splits to Start

Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters

Jhoulys Chacin.982.319Hector Santiago.633.222
Juan Nicasio.969.348Jake Peavy.650.207
Rubby de la Rosa.949.315Steven Matz.650.250

Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters

Chase Anderson.761.280Rubby de la Rosa.611.214
Hector Santiago.752.229John Lackey.620.244
Michael Wacha.716.253Charlie Morton.633.239

Batter vs. Pitcher Splits

HitterOpposing SPABFPPG
Mike TroutFelix Hernandez652.44
Ryan BraunCharlie Morton232.39

  • After trying to duck facing Trout last night, Hernandez will have to face him today. These two have hooked up quite a few times in their careers, with Trout going 23-65 with three doubles, two triples, four home runs, 13 RBIs and five walks.
  • Braun is one of the only other guys tonight with a half-way decent BvP. Against Charlie Morton, Braun is 8-23 with three doubles, a home run, six RBIs, and three walks.

Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Steven Matz – NYM vs ATL – $8,700 – With the combination of his salary and opponent tonight, Matz feels like a solid all around option to build around. The majority of pitching options we have, even on this nine game slate, are few and far between. Usually, the Braves would not be a team I would target against for the fact that they don’t strike out much. That’s changed in the early going of 2016, as the Braves rank 13th overall in strikeouts. Matz owns a 10.38 K/9 in the early going this season and could certainly rack up some points in this one.

Heavy Hitter to Pay For

Ryan Braun – MIL vs PHI (Charlie Morton) – $4,400 – A couple of reasons have gotten me on Braun tonight, and one of them isn’t his BvP (even though I love BvP.) First and foremost, the Coors Field effect has taken over and almost all the hitters in that matchup tonight are overpriced. Second, Braun at $4,400 has quite a few players ahead of him in pricing, which I think will drive his price down because of how many options people can choose from. Braun has been great this season, batting .333 with three home runs, 12 RBIs and a cool .959 OPS. Braun owns a .446 wOBA against righties in 2016 with an ISO of .231. Oh, and did I mention his BvP with Morton is solid?

Save Big by Drafting…

Ben Paulsen – COL vs. LAD (Kenta Maeda) – $3,300 – Now, if you do want to get some exposure to LAD/COL but don’t want to spend a lot, Paulsen could be your guy. The 1B/OF eligible player only runs for $3,300 and is off to a really hot start. Paulsen is batting .324 with a home run, nine RBIs, and a .937 OPS. Paulsen owned a .349 wOBA against right-handed pitchers last season, bumping that up even higher to .361 at home vs. a RHP. In the highest projected run total of the night, it shouldn’t hurt to slot Paulsen into your lineup, especially with the 1B/OF dynamic he gives us.

Stack Em Up

MIA vs SFG (Jake Peavy) – No one is talking about how well the Marlins are hitting. Most likely because they’re having some trouble scoring some runs. Overall, they rank 7th in team batting average, but fall all the way to 25th when it comes to runs. Even more frustrating is that they rank 8th in OBP at .325. With how poorly Peavy has pitched so far, it’s only a matter of time before Miami starts bringing those runs home. Tonight certainly presents itself as that opportunity. If anything, you’ll get a low owned stack against a volatile pitcher for cheap.