Yesterday brought us a lot of headaches for an Opening Day. With two games being postponed and a starting pitcher getting scratched, many of us found ourselves scrambling to adjust our lineups. Believe me, that was not a normal day for baseball, and I’m looking forward to getting back on track today. We have a nice nine-game slate tonight. Let’s get to all the information, and as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.

Game Notes

Biggest Favorites

ARI (-165) vs. COL – Shelby Miller I was quite surprised to see Miller get the nod as the heaviest favored pitcher on this slate. Miller will be debuting for his new team after spending 2015 with the Atlanta Braves. The RHP was excellent against righties last season, posting a .265 wOBA on the season with an 8.3 K/9. His struggles comes against lefties, who owned a .315 wOBA while nabbing 10 of the 13 homeruns Miller allowed. Miller struggled against the Rockies last season, splitting starts at home and at Coors Field. Miller lasted 11.2 IP giving up nine runs on 20 hits with a 14:3 K:BB ratio.

SFG (-135) vs. MIL – Johnny Cueto – Cueto is someone I believe is going to be overlooked tonight. Let’s face it, his time in the American League with the Royals was less than stellar. In the second half of 2015, Cueto owned a .341 wOBA with a 6.0 K/9 and a 2.3 BB/9. Compared to .253 wOBA with a 8/5 K/9 and a 1.6 BB/9, you see what I mean. However, Cueto is back in the National League where I think he will straighten himself out. He faces a Brewers team that was ranked 10th in strikeouts last season and a pitcher friendly Miller Park. He’s a bit pricey at $9,600, but a worth GPP flier.

Highest Totals

SEA vs. TEX – 9 runs – Ah yes, finally some runs being predicted. With most of the aces getting their turn the past two days, it’s time to bring on the offense. SEA and TEX get the nod as the high projected run total of the day with pitchers Hisashi Iwakuma going for Seattle and Martin Perez for Texas. Perez is the weaker of the two in my opinion, as his struggles against RHB are well documented. In 2016, Perez owned a .336 wOBA against them, allowing 33 of the 39 runs he allowed. A Seattle stack is one I will be looking at for tonight.

COL vs. ARI – 8.5 runs – The Rockies being involved in one of the highest scoring games of the night is nothing new. With Shelby Miller taking the hill for the Diamondbacks, the Rockies send out Chad Bettis. If we learn anything from this Cheat Sheet today, it should be that the Rockies do not have really anyone on their staff that isn’t worth stacking against. Bettis owned a .345 wOBA against RHB last season and a .323 wOBA to LHB. He does a decent job at keeping the ball in the park, allowing only 11 home runs last season. However, righties smashed seven of those bombs. The righties on the Diamondbacks should be a popular choice tonight.

Weather Concerns

After a cluster of weather issues yesterday, we should be all clear in terms of inclement weather. SEA at TEX will have some strong winds blowing in from right field that could top over 20 mph.

Park Factors

  • Globe Life Park in Arlington- SEA vs. TEX – Texas gets the nod for one of the best parks for hitters last season with almost every offensive category scoring a rating over 1.000, except for triples. As noted, we will have some potential strong winds coming in for this one out of right field.
  • Angel Stadium of Anaheim – CHC vs. LAA – Rated the second worst ballpark in the league for hitting last season, it certainly didn’t stop the Cubs from throwing nine runs on the board yesterday. With walks being the only category favoring hitters, this park certainly caters to the pitchers.
  • Petco Park – LAD vs. SD – Surprisingly enough in 2015, Petco Park actually had a favorable rating for home runs. Otherwise, all other offensive categories ranked under 1.000, thus giving it a thumbs down for hitters.


Splits to Start

Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters

Best vs LHBOPS-AAVG-AWorst vs. LHBOPS-AAVG-A
Johnny Cueto0.5610.194James Shields0.890.279
Martin Perez0.5370.21Aaron Sanchez0.8780.282
Andrew Heaney0.5680.228Jimmy Nelson0.8760.302

  • Johnny Cueto will toe the rubber for the first time in San Francisco tonight, and he owns a very respectable 0.561 OPS against LHB.
  • For as bad as Perez is against righties, he certainly can handle lefties. His K/9 against lefties was astounding at 10.0, which is a far cry compared to the 4.2 K/9 against righties.

Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters

Best vs RHBOPS-AAVG-AWorst vs. RHBOPS-AAVG-A
Aaron Sanchez0.4350.163Wei-Yin Chen0.8150.274
Hisashi Iwakuma0.6040.212Chad Bettis0.8060.284
Jon Lester0.6380.230Martin Perez0.7770.304

  • Impressive numbers from the three pitchers against right handed batters. While Sanchez has impressive number against righties, he only pitched in 92 innings last season, so take that for what it’s worth. He did own a 7.4 K/9 against righties in that time.
  • As noted above, Perez is brutal against right handed batters. Any good possesses when facing lefties is almost immediately nullified by how poorly he pitches against righties. Not worth the risk.

Batter vs. Pitcher Splits

BatterOpposing SPABFP/AB
Kyle SeagerMartin Perez202.71
Adrian BeltreHisashi Iwakuma361.13
Andrew McCutchenMichael Wacha162.43

  • In the world of BvP, Alexei Ramirez is a sneaky play that I like tonight. In his career against Kazmir, Ramirez is 8-22 with two doubles, a triple, a home run, six RBIs and two walks.
  • Kyle Seager is the exception to the rule with Martin Perez. A rare leftie that hits him well, Seager is 10-20 with three home runs, and five RBIs.


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Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Justin Verlander – DET – $8,700 – I don’t think enough chatter went around last season about how well Verlander pitched in the second half. After the All-Star Break, Verlander owned a .256 wOBA against opposing hitters with a solid 95:21 K:BB ratio. Tonight he gets the Marlins, who were ranked 29th in runs scored and in homeruns last season. At $8,700, Verlander feels awful cheap for this plus matchup. I’m also expecting Wei-Yin Chen to have his struggles with the Tigers offense, thus giving Verlander a potential W on the night.

Heavy Hitter to Pay For

Paul Goldschmidt – ARZ vs. COL (Chad Bettis) – $5,200 – Ah yes, the salary is certainly back in line with the matchup. Goldschmidt is the most expensive hitter on the slate, which should come as no surprise to anyone. Aside from the obvious reason to roster Goldy (he’s incredible), I like his matchup against Bettis a lot tonight. Against right handed pitchers last season, Goldy owned a .408 wOBA with an ISO of .247. His .441 wOBA at home doesn’t hurt his case either. Bettis struggles against RHB with a .345 wOBA allowed. As I mentioned earlier, he does a good job at keeping the ball in the park; however, Goldy is certainly a candidate to take one out of the park at any given moment.

Save Big by Drafting…

Chris Iannetta – SEA vs. TEX (Martin Perez) – $3,500 – Wow, we’re digging really deep already, aren’t we? Iannetta is certainly not someone you would even remotely think about on a daily basis. I mean last season he finished with a .188 average with 10 home runs 34 RBIs and a .628 OPS. So what gives? Well, when we take a closer look, we see that Iannetta has some decent splits when facing left handed pitchers. Tonight, he just so happens to be taking on Martin Perez. As mentioned, Perez really struggles against right handed batters, posting a .336 wOBA against them. Iannetta meanwhile, posts a .334 wOBA with an ISO of .136. Not too shabby for someone you weren’t even going to consider.

Stack Em Up

DET vs. MIA (Wei-Yin Chen) – Chen makes his debut with his new Marlins team and I’m not expecting it go very smoothly. Figures, he goes to the National League hoping to get a lighter schedule and he gets stuck facing a good Tigers lineup. Chen struggles against right handed batters and this lineup is loaded with them. If you want to be a bit different with your stack, try sticking in Victor Martinez instead of Miguel Cabrera. I know it sounds a bit crazy, but Martinez has some sneaky numbers against LHP, posting a .375 wOBA against them.