We have a bit of an odd slate of games today, as the first game starts at 3:35. This slate consists of eight games that will take us all the way into the night cap with the final game starting at 10. This is going to be a tough one to find some quality pitching, so we’ll do our best to guide you in this one. As always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.

Game Notes

Biggest Favorites

WAS (-150) vs. MIA – Tanner Roark – You can always tell when a slate on a particular date is a bit odd, as Tanner Roark emerges as the favorite. Roark ended his 2015 campaign with a 4.38 ERA to go along with a 70:26 K:BB ratio in 111 innings. He had issues with right handed batters last season, as they tagged him for a .369 wOBA. He does get a plus matchup against the light hitting Marlins to start the season, and if spring training means anything to you, Roark had a decent one. In 14 innings, Roark allowed four runs with a 17:3 K:BB ratio.

CLE (-135) vs. BOS – Danny Salazar – Salazar is coming off a solid 2015 season. During that time, he posted a 3.45 ERA in 185 IP with a 195:53 K:BB ratio. His wOBA against righties and lefties were both extremely respectable, at .310 and .279, he kept the majority of hitters in check. Salazar does have a bit of an issue keeping the ball inside the park, as he gave up 23 home runs last season. You’d think playing half of his games at Progressive Field, this would be a no brainer. However, he actually gave up more home runs on the road last season (14) than at home (9.)

Highest Totals

CHC  vs. ARZ – 9 runs – When doing research on the pitching for this slate, I was reminded just how poorly Rubby De La Rosa pitches against left handed batters. Last season, De La Rosa allowed a .404 wOBA against them. Guys, .404! This isn’t just a small sample size either, this is with 87.1 IP against lefties in 2015. Looking at the Cubs lineup, they’re loaded with quality left handed batters. Folwer (switch hitter), Heyward, Rizzo, Zobrist (switch), Schwarber, and Montero all hit from the left side.

MIN vs. BAL – 8.5 runs – Checking in a just a half run shy of the highest over/under are the Twins and the Orioles. Phil Hughes takes the mound for the Twins and Ubaldo Jimenez will toe the rubber for the Orioles. Hughes was one of my favorite pitchers to load up on right-handed batters last season, as he ended up with a .369 wOBA against them. To make matters worse, Hughes cannot keep the ball in the park, allowing 29 home runs on the year (15 to RHB, 14 to LHB). To make matters EVEN worse, in his career, Camden Yards is home to where he’s allowed the most home runs at 19. Jimenez is also a victim of the home run, allowing 20 in 2015 (13 to lefties).

Weather Concerns

1) HOU vs. NYY (Yankee Stadium) – This one is slated to start the game with rain and progressively calm down as the game goes on. A delay in to start this one is certainly plausible.

2) MIA vs. WAS (Nationals Park) – Miami and Washington features a threat of thunderstorms all throughout the length of the game, although currently the threat is at it’s peak during the five o’clock hour, which would be an hour after start time. Keep an eye on this one closer to first pitch.

3) BOS vs. CLE (Progressive Field) – This series has had nothing but weather concerns that I’m already used to it. With a chance of rain early in the game with the potential for it to change over to snow, this one could spell trouble.

4) MIN vs BAL (Camden Yards) – Anyone else want to have an issue with weather today? Camden Yards could see a quick thunderstorm in the early going, but it looks as if it will clear up after that. Delay is possible but they should be able to play here. A slight wind will be blowing out toward center field, as if these pitchers really need that going for them.

Park Factors

  • Progressive Field – BOS vs. CLE – Last season, Progressive Field was ranked the number two ball park for hitters. In the two games played here in 2016, its been living up to the hype with 21 runs scored. With plus ratings in runs, singles doubles and runs, Progressive Field gets the green light for today, weather permitting.
  • Camden Yards – MIN vs BAL – As if Camden Yards wasn’t good enough for hitters, with Phil Hughes and Ubaldo Jimenez on the mound it should get a whole lot better. Camden ranks in the green for hitters in runs, home runs, singles, and just shy of doubles.
  • AT&T Park – LAD vs. SFG – AT&T park is about as good for hitters as is AT&T service on the Boston subway. Horrible. Ranking dead last in 2015, this park only has a favorable rating for triples, which we all know doesn’t happen very often. A huge plus for pitchers when pitching in San Francisco.
  • Angel Stadium of Anaheim – TEX vs. LAA -Home of the second worst stadium for hitters, LAA Stadium had walks as the only stat that favored hitters. All the other offensive stats aren’t even really close to favoring the hitters. This one was a pitchers dream in 2015.

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PitchersMLB ContentWeather

Splits to Start

Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters

Rubby De La Rosa0.3150.949Alex Wood0.2230.517
Tanner Roark0.2990.866Hector Santiago0.220.633
Mat Latos0.2860.803Jake Peavy0.2070.65

  • Alex Wood is solid against LHB, owning a shining .517 OPS against them last season. His K/9 is also it’s highest against lefties at 7.2.
  • I can only show you in so many ways how bad De La Rosa is against LHB. As if those numbers weren’t damaging enough, of the 32 home runs De La Rosa allowed last season, 20 of them came from the bat of a left hander.

Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters

Phil Hughes0.3040.869Rubby De La Rosa0.2140.611
Derek Holland0.2640.848John Lackey0.2440.62
Joe Kelly0.2990.84Danny Salazar0.220.628

  • Hughes with a batting average allowed at .304 is about as bad as it gets on this slate to right handed batters. Against RHB, 44% of balls put into play are fly balls. When it comes to lefties, that number drops to 36%. Quite the difference.
  • I think the glaring stat in the Best v RHB is obvious (De La Rosa). Straighten it out against lefties, man!

Batter vs. Pitcher Splits

HitterOpposing SPABFP/AB
Manny MachadoPhil Hughes161.87
Albert PujolsDerek Holland232.65
Mike TroutDerek Holland322.12
Rougned OdorHector Santiago172.64

  • Pujols and Trout have really had their way with Holland in the past. These two have gone a combined 18/55 with 11 extra base hits, five of them being home runs with a 1.140 OPS.
  • Even though Machado only is producing 1.87 fantasy points per at bat, I thought it was significant to include him in the list here because of the fact that he’s 8/16 against Hughes. While he hasn’t done anything huge against him, he clearly sees the ball well when facing him.

Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Nathan Eovaldi – NYY vs. HOU – $8,200 – Ok so, we’re buddies, right? You’re reading my cheat sheet, we have a bond here. I have to be honest, I don’t like anyone on this slate. If I do like someone, they have weather concerns. So in keeping that in mind, the best I can come up with is Eovaldi. He has strikeout potential and faces the Astros, which is always a chance to grab some high K numbers on the night. In fact, last season against this Astros team, Eovaldi owned a 13:5 K:BB ratio in 14 innings, allowing two runs on five hits. Not too shabby. Overall this is going to be a tough slate for pitchers, but I think Eovaldi at least has some good potential here.

Heavy Hitter to Pay For

Anthony Rizzo – CHC vs. ARZ (Rubby De La Rosa) – $5,200 – Remember we talked about how poorly De La Rosa pitched against left handed batters? He’s truly facing his worst nightmare today against the Cubs, who are stacked with left handed batters. As if De La Rosa .404 wOBA against lefties wasn’t bad enough, Rizzo was crushing right handed pitchers last season with a .384 wOBA and a .255 ISO. Oh, did I mention the fact that De La Rosa allowed 32 home runs last season? 32!!!! Rizzo, along with the rest of the Cubs bats, are a must for me today.

Save Big by Drafting…

J.J. Hardy – BAL vs. MIN (Phil Hughes) – $3,100 – Ok we got off to a good start with being honest with each other with the Rizzo advice for today. Now I can do it again with my Hardy advice. If you look at Hardy’s numbers from last season, they aren’t very impressive. However, my thought process here is that we’ll see a good chunk of Orioles stacks/exposure today against Phil Hughes. I think Hardy is a great, cheap way to grab some exposure to this game and be a bit contrarian. I’ve read that Hardy is feeling the best he has in the past two years, and he’s someone that has 25 home run potential on a season basis. As I mentioned, Hughes allows a .369 wOBA to RHB last season. We may just get a good showing here from Hardy, and it will be at a dirt cheap price tag.

Stack Em Up

CHC vs. ARZ (Rubby De La Rosa) – I’m not even going to try and get cute here. The Cubs ARE the stack for today. Is it contrarian? Not at all. Is it still worth it? Absolutely. I keep hammering home the .404 wOBA against LHB from De La Rosa, and I can’t stress enough how good this Cubs lineup is with their lefty bats. Fowler and Zobrist are switch hitters, which could be a bit sneaky with people who are strictly looking at pure left handed bats. Miguel Montero is also another one that could get over looked, but he certainly has some power, as well. I think fading this game would be the wrong choice.

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