We’re back folks! After an unexpected day off for me yesterday, I’m back here with you guys for a short Monday slate. Mondays usually carry a short slate, but this one is a bit excessive. With only seven games on tap, were going to have to dig a little deeper than usual to give you that extra edge to take down some events. As always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Heaviest Pitcher Favorites
Johnny Cueto vs. Detroit Tigers (-188) – Well for once, I can agree with Vegas on who the favorite pitcher on the night will be. Granted, we don’t have many to choose from, but at least they made the right choice. Cueto enters today’s start with a 3.46 ERA since joining the Royals with a K:BB of 9:4 and a WHIP of 1.23. Overall, Cueto owns a 2.69 ERA with a 0.96 WHIP. The Tigers seem to be tailing off a bit lately, coming into tonight’s action with a .321 wOBA, good for 15th in the league in the last two weeks. The Tigers still remain one of the best offense in the league, but they certainly haven’t looked like it at times lately. On a night where pitching is going to be super thin, Cueto looks pretty attractive tonight. His pitching, not necessarily him…..
Rubby De La Rosa vs. Philadelphia Phillies (-173)- Oh boy, it’s certainly a short slate today. I’m honestly surprised with this pick because, we don’t have much to be excited for when it comes to De La Rosa. He comes into tonight’s action with a 4.56 ERA to go with a 1.28 WHIP. The Phillies are starting to come back down to earth again, with their wOBA at .317 over the last two weeks, good for 18th in the league. De La Rosa hasn’t exactly been setting the baseball world on fire, as he has 14.3, 8.1. and 30.4 points in his last three starts. But once again, on a night like tonight, it’s hard to get picky. At only $7500, you might have to swallow your pride and throw him on your roster.
Jonathon Niese vs. Colorado Rockies (-170) – When I saw that Niese was the third favorite on the night, I went to double check that Chris Sale and Gio Gonzalez were still pitching tonight. Yup, still on the slate to pitch. Interesting. But, Vegas wasn’t built on winners, so maybe that’s why I question it. Regardless, Niese gets a matchup against the Rockies tonight. Their wOBA sits at 13th in the past two weeks, which is certainly not what you’d expect out of such a great offense. They also have the highest strikeout % in all of the league the past two weeks, just barely beating out, coincendently, the Mets. Niese isn’t a big strikeout pitcher by any means, as he owns 86 strikeouts in 128 innings pitched. He’s only is going to run you for $6,800 tonight, which makes you sit and wonder if he’s actually a viable option. These short slates man, they make you do crazy things.
Top Overall Game Over/Unders
Philadelphia Phillies at Arizona Diamondbacks (Chase Field) – 8.5 Over/Under- When the Phillies and Diamondbacs have the highest projected run total of the night, man, the picks are SLIM! Regardless, it’s my duty to inform and enlighten the masses, so here we go. Aaron Harang takes the mound against Rubby De La Rosa in this one. Harang is, well Harang. Coming into tonight with a 4.11 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP, he’s everything you’d expect from someone named Aaron Harang. In his two starts since coming off the DL, Harang hasn’t made it through six innings, getting stopped in both starts in the 5th. The Diamondbacks are good hitting ballclub that should be able to handle what the 37 year old Harang throws at them. As for De La Rosa, we touched on him just a moment ago. His splits are pretty ugly, as he owns a .399 wOBA against lefties and a .257 against righties, a good indication on why this is slated to be the highest run total of the night. As always, get some exposure to this one.
Toughest Left/Right Matchups
Toughest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
I wanted to try something different in this section here this week. If you’ve read this article before, you know that I always profile the pitchers average against either a LHB OR RHB. For this week, I wanted to use the wOBA average to profile these pitchers, as Ryan Noonan did this in yesterday’s cheat sheet and I thought it worked well. Let me know what you think and if you like this better.
Johnny Cueto vs. Detroit Tigers – Even the best pitchers still come in with the best wOBA on the night. Cueto pitching against the Tigers with his .232 wOBA against lefties.
Gio Gonzalez vs. LA Dodgers – Can you tell its a short slate tonight? The next wOBA on the night against lefties is .51 points higher! I promise, this won’t normally happen. Against lefties, Gonzalez wOBA is .283.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Rubby De La Rosa vs. Philadelphia Phillies – Man, it REALLY must be a short slate tonight. Just kidding, well, sort of. De La Rosa has the best wOBA against righties for tonight, coming in at .257. On a normal night, De La Rosa wouldn’t be even sniffing the top.
Chris Sale vs. LA Angels- Sale is honestly hear by default. On a normal night, he certainly wouldn’t be in the top two. I was surprised when I saw his wOBA against righties, by that’s why this is such a good “catch all” stat. Sale enters tonight with a .275 wOBA.
Best Left/Right Matchups
Easiest Pitcher vs. Left Handed Batters.
Matt Boyd vs. Kansas City Royals – This is almost comical how bad Boyd is against RHB. Granted, he’s only started three games this season, but they’ve been horror shows. Boyd owns a .548 wOBA against lefties. The Royals will enjoy this one.
Rubby De La Rosa vs. Philadelphia Phillies– Sure, De La Rosa might be great against righties,but he’s the complete opposite with lefties. On the season, he owns a .399 wOBA against those lefties. Over a .142 point difference. Yikes.
Easiest Pitcher vs. Right Handed Batters
Ian Kennedy vs. Cincinnati Reds- Once upon a time, Kennedy was supposedly good and won over 20 games in a single season. The end. Amazing, isn’t it? This is the same pitcher supposedly. Coming into tonight, Kennedy has allowed a .367 wOBA to righties.
Wei-Yin Chen vs. Seattle Mariners – You think someone is pretty solid, until you get the wOBA. Damn you wOBA! Chen owns a .340 wOBA against righties on the year. This stat I’ll tell ya……
Chris Davis ($4600) – Davis certainly seems like he’s getting his power stroke back. At this rate, he might be able to sneak in 40 home runs on the season. Davis is 7 for his last 22 with three home runs, eight RBIs, seven runs scored, and yeah what the hell, he stole a base too. I mean, why not?
Carlos Gonzalez ($4300) – Gonzalez has been showing lately, how important it is for him to remain healthy. When he is, he’s such an important part of this Rockies lineup. Cargo is 8 for his last 25 with four home runs, nine RBIs, and five runs scored.
Ryan Zimmerman ($3400) – Hey! Remember this guy? I feel as though he’s been awful quiet this season. But now, he’s starting to make some noise and everyone is like “Oh yeah, that Zimmerman guy on the Nationals!” Zimm is 9 for his last 21 with three homeruns, nine RBIs, and four runs scored.
Best Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups
Paul Goldschmidt vs. Aaron Harang- Yesterday when Ryan Noonan did the Cheat Sheet, he expressed his displeasure with this BvP section. Well, this will be alive and kicking until I no longer write these articles! Sorry Noonan, Team BvP lives, baby! Oh yeah, you came here for Goldy vs Harang numbers. Goldschmidt is 6-15 against Harang with four extra base hits, two home runs and a 1.505 OPS. Lots of small samples today, it’s a short slate!
Joey Votto vs. Ian Kennedy – Votto, like most hitters in the majors, enjoy their time at the plate when Kennedy is standing on the mound. Votto is 5-12 against Kennedy with two extra base hits and a 1.117 OPS.
Marlon Byrd vs. Ian Kennedy- Yeah, I usually don’t like using the same pitcher twice, but the good BvP matchups were few and far between for today. Byrd is 5-18 against Kennedy with two extra base hits, both of them being home runs, and a 1.055 OPS.
The Rockies and New York Mets have a threat of rain during their game tonight. It shouldn’t be enough to cancel, but it should disrupt their play. Watch this one closely.
One Pitcher To Build Lineups Around
Johnny Cueto ($10,300) – Weird, right? If you didn’t come to this article, you would have never have guessed to choose Cueto tonight, right? Well, we only have seven games tonight, so give me a break! I’m not on Sale because he’s starting to worry me a bit. In his last two games, Sale has given up 14 runs on 18 hits with a K:BB of 16:4. Not exactly Sale numbers if you ask me. Granted, Cueto hasn’t been lighting the world on fire either, but between the two, you don’t have much else to feel really confident about. As I mentioned, the Tigers seem to be stumbling a bit, with their team wOBA ranked 15th in the league. They’re still one of the best offense in the league, I just think Cueto will be one of the “safer” pitchers on the night.
Superstar Worth Paying For
Joey Votto ($4600) – I don’t like Votto just because of his BvP vs. Kennedy tonight. 5-12 is a small sample that doesn’t make me sprint to my phone to roster him. It helps a bit, but it’s certainly not the one and only reason. What I do like, is his .423 wOBA vs. RHP. Granted, he’s certainly in a pitcher park today, but that .423 is hard to deny. Votto has 16 home runs against RHP with Kennedy not shying away from giving up home runs, like he’s done 24 times this season. If you’re worried about Petco being a pitchers park, Kennedy has given up more home runs at home than on the road, with a 14 to 10 split.
Save Big Bucks By Drafting…
Jesus Montero ($3000) – Montero just recently got called back up to the bigs and has been doing some work since he’s returned. In his past five games, Montero has scored 11, 5, 8, and 7 points, with a zero mixed in their as well. At 3,000 tonight, he could be someone who flies under the radar, something that is pivotal in a short slate like tonight. Facing Wei-Yin Chen, someone who is allowing a .340 wOBA against, I like my chances with Montero.