We have nine games on tap tonight in this night slate. Overall, this is going to be a bit of a tough slate in terms of matchups, so we’ll have to get a bit creative here. No need to worry, as we’re buddies, and I got you covered. As always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
PIT (-200) vs. CIN – Francisco Liriano – I really don’t like this spot for Liriano. When you take a look at the numbers, the Reds have been hitting left-handed pitching well. They own a .349 wOBA against lefties and are striking out very little, with a 16.7 K%, which ranks 29th in the league. On top of that, Liriano has scored a whopping 21.1 fantasy points in his last three starts. Overall, the Reds haven’t been that impressive at the plate, but I think this is a spot where they could surprise some people and string together a decent game against Liriano.
ARZ (-175) vs. COL – Zack Greinke – After what looked like a promising start against the Giants, Greinke followed it up with a 2.4 fantasy point performance against the Cardinals. Greinke went six innings, allowing seven runs on 11 hits striking out only two. It doesn’t get much easier today, when he faces off against the Rockies. Owning a .336 wOBA against right-handed pitching this season, the Rockies will really test Greinke here. At this point, I can’t trust that Greinke will have a good day, even at his $9,200 salary. With the Rockies not striking out a ton against right-handed pitching, ranked 25th, I don’t seem much upside here for Greinke.
LAA vs. TEX – 9 runs – This is the only game on the entire slate that is projected at nine runs. I can’t say I disagree. Matt Shoemaker takes the mound for the Angels against Derek Holland. This could be a good spot for the weak hitting Angels, as Holland has consistently struggled against right-handed batters. Getting Mike Trout and Albert Pujols back-to-back is certainly worthy of a mini stack here, exposing the weakness that plagues Holland. With Shoemaker, he’s almost equally struggled against both batters, with righties more so than lefties this season. Texas is a mostly left-handed lineup, but make sure to keep an eye on that as we get closer to game time.
COL vs ARZ – 8.5 runs – I wanted to highlight this game in particular because I really think this could end up being another rough outing for Greinke. The Rockies have been hitting righties well so far, ranked 7th with a .336 wOBA and a .208 ISO which is second in the league. Greinke has allowed five home runs in the month of April after allowing just 14 ALL of last season. With Chris Rusin making his first start of the season, this game should be a very high scoring affair. For what it’s worth, Rusin owned a wOBA of .368 against lefties in 22 starts last season and a .372 against righties.
1) CIN vs PIT (PNC Park) – Naturally, my favorite stack of the night features a chance a rain throughout the entire night. A delay might not help here either, as the chance of rain increases as the night progresses. Watch this one closely as we get closer to game time.
Park Factors are rated on a scale of 1.000. Any category that scores 1.000 or above favors the hitters. Anything below 1.000 goes for the pitcher.
- Camden Yards – CWS vs. BAL – Camden Yards was the third ranked overall park in 2015 for hitters, obtaining favorable ratings in runs, home runs and singles.
- Fenway Park – NYY vs BOS – Ranked fourth overall in 2015 for hitters, Fenway had favorable rankings in runs, singles, double and triples.
- Dodger Stadium – SD vs LAD – Dodger Stadium ranked 23rd overall in 2015 for hitters, owning a favorable ranking in home runs (at the bare minimum of 1.000) and doubles.
- PNC Park – CIN vs. PIT -Ranked 19th in 2015 for hitters, PNC park had a favorable ranking in home runs and walks at the bare minimum of 1.000.
Splits to Start
Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
|Worst vs LHB||OPS||AVG||Best vs. LHB||OPS||AVG|
|Chris Rusin||0.867||0.312||Zack Greinke||0.535||0.194|
|Alfredo Simon||0.862||0.289||Wei-Yin Chen||0.576||0.223|
|Jerad Eickhoff||0.830||0.268||Francisco Liriano||0.599||0.209|
These numbers can obviously be a bit deceiving, as they come from 2015. In the next couple of days, I’ll be switching 100% to 2016 numbers, as everyone will have a month sample size under their belt. But for the most part, with the exception of Greinke, everyone has been performing just around the same level as last season in this list.
Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
|Worst vs RHB||OPS||AVG||Best vs. RHB||OPS||AVG|
|Chris Rusin||0.867||0.312||Jerad Eickhoff||0.458||0.168|
|Kevin Gausman||0.843||0.278||Zack Greinke||0.482||0.182|
|Wei-Yin Chen||0.815||0.274||Yordano Ventura||0.658||0.240|
Batter vs. Pitcher Splits
|Jacoby Ellsbury||Rick Porcello||25||3.12|
|Carlos Gonzalez||Zack Greinke||28||2.89|
|Albert Pujols||Derek Holland||25||2.52|
- Ellsbury isn’t much of a power hitter, but he seems like he becomes one when he faces Porcello. Ellsbury is 12-25 against Porcello with two doubles, four home runs, four RBIs and two walks.
- Carlos Gonzalez must be licking his chops with a struggling Greinke on the mound tonight. Even against a good Zack Greinke, Gonzalez is 10-28 with a double, triple, four home runs and six RBIs.
- Finally, Pujols checks in with some great numbers against Derek Holland. Pujols is 8-25 with three doubles, three home runs, four RBIs and two walks.
Pitcher to Build Around
Yordano Ventura – KC vs. SEA – $9,500 – This is going to be a tough slate for pitching, I have no doubt in my mind about that. I’m not a big fan of the two big names here, being Liriano and Greinke, and we don’t have much left after that. Ventura seems to be the most sensible option here with a middle of the line matchup against the Mariners. Seattle is in the middle of the league in wOBA against right-handed bats at .313 and in strikeouts with a 20.7 K%. Ventura has been tough against both hitters this season, especially lefties, which the Mariners are full of. Ventura owns a very small .220 wOBA in 2016 against them, which plays into this matchup even more.
Heavy Hitter to Pay For
Paul Goldschmidt – ARZ vs. COL (Chris Rusin) – $5,400 – You’ll be paying up for this one, but I think this is a great spot for Goldy. He’s not hitting for average so far, but the power is still here. Goldy owns a .391 wOBA against lefties this season with an ISO of .294. When we take a look at last season, Goldy owned a .455 wOBA with an ISO of .256. I have no doubt in my mind that Goldy will turn it around rather quickly, and tonight could be a great spot to start. It certainly doesn’t hurt that Rusin has struggled immensely against righties, owning a .370 career wOBA when facing them.
Save Big by Drafting…
Domingo Santana – MIL vs. MIA (Wei-Yin Chen) – $3,200 – I love this spot for Santana going up against Wei-Yin Chen. Thinking the National League would be a nice change of scenery for him, Chen has already allowed four home runs to right-handed batters this season in four starts. When we mix in that in with Santana owning a .422 wOBA against left-handed pitching so far this season, his salary makes it the cherry on top. With Santana batting leadoff for the Brewers, he should have at least a couple of cracks at Chen.
Stack Em Up
CIN vs PIT (Francisco Liriano) -I really like this spot for the Reds, even with the looming rain that will be over PNC Park. If it can hold off and this game can squeeze in, the Reds against a left-handed pitcher is something I want to expose. For as poorly as the Red have been hitting, they own a .349 wOBA which ranks 7th in the majors. When that comes into play with their minuscule 16.7 K%, I really love this spot here. On top of that, I don’t expect it to be a popular stack, and thus, if they can make it work against Liriano, it should pay off well.
If this game gets rained out, ARZ is the most logical stack. Maybe even a mix of the two teams? Damnnnnnnn.