We hit the middle of the week with a nice split slate of games. Today and tonight feature some good pitching matchups, which makes it well worth playing both slates. Let’s jump right into things and as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Heaviest Pitcher Favorites
Clayton Kershaw vs. Washington Nationals (-213) – A tie, we actually have a god damn tie for the heaviest pitcher favorite on the day/night. A rare occurance, indeed! Make no mistake about it, Kershaw is certainly in the conversation for today. Kershaw comes into tonight’s start against the Nationals with a 2.51 ERA to go with a 0.95 WHIP and a K/9 of 11.5. The Nationals are ranked 9th in wOBA against left handed pitching at .316 on the season. They also rank right in the middle of the pack in K% against those lefties at 21. Overall, the Nationals are struggling offensively and seem very likely to get shut down by Kershaw tonight. As always, it’s just a matter of if you want to pay that hefty price. Kershaw is not the most expensive he’s been, but I wouldn’t exactly call $14,200 a “discounted” price either. If you can fit him in and make it work, by all means! But I know it’s tough.
Mark Buehrle vs. Oakland A’s (-213)- I had to rub me eyes about three or four times to make sure I was reading the right information. Buehrle, is favored the same amount as Kershaw? Give me a minute to wake up becacuse this certainly is a dream, right? Negative. The truth, shall set you free! Ok, enough with all the one liners. Yes, the rumors are true. Buehrle comes into tonight with a 3.35 ERA to go with a 1.16 WHIP and a K/9 of 4.3. The A’s are really, REALLY struggling offensively. They rank 22nd this season in wOBA against RHP at .304 on the season. If they weren’t so tough to strikeout, ranked 25th against RHP at 18.4%, Buehrle might even be my pick for pitcher tonight. However, the combo of the A’s being so tough to strikeout AND how little Buehrle strikes out batters, you certainly won’t be looking for any points in that department. Otherwise, you might be able to sneak out a nice start for Buehrle, who’s only going to run you for $7000 tonight. That’s not too shabby, my friends!
Jake Odorizzi vs. Atlanta Braves (-200) – Another big favorite on the night, Odorizzi gets a nice matchup against the light hitting Braves. Odorizzi comes into tonight with a 2.88 ERA with a 1.10 WHIP and K/9 of 7.5. The Braves are one of the worst against RHP. They rank 26th in wOBA against righties at .299. Like the A’s, they’re also extremely tough to strikekout, ranked 28th with a microscopic 16.8 K%. We may have some hope for Odorizzi tonight, as he recently faced the Red Sox, who are also a very tough team to strikeout. In that start, Odorizzi recorded five strikeouts in six innings of work. Not saying we can expect the same for tonight, but I would say that sounds about right. It’s still under his K/9 on the year, which is what I would expect for a start like this.
Top Overall Game Over/Unders
Texas Rangers vs. Minnesota Twins (Target Field) – 9 Over/Under- We have two power hitting teams going at it tonight in Minnesota, which helps us land at the highest projected run total of the day/night. Nick Martinez takes on Mike Pelfrey in this one. Martinez enters tonight with a 3.91 ERA with a 1.40 WHIP. Martinez has pitched well in his last two starts, going up against the Astros and Giants. However, he’s struggled since coming off a very strong April. The home runs have been a bit of a problem, as he’s given up 13 on the season. The Twins are 8th in power, as they own a .168 ISO on the year. Pelfrey, hasn’t been much better than Martinez. He owns a 4.06 ERA with a 1.45 WHIP. He’s coming off a real brutal start against the Cleveland, Pelfrey allowed seven runs on 10 hits on three innings pitched. Averaging on nine points a start, Pelfrey is a perfect target to stack a couple hitters against. He’s done well keeping the ball in the park, only allowing seven home runs on the season. Texas owns a .319 wOBA against RHP this season. As always, get some exposure here.
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.
CC Sabathia vs. Cleveland Indians – If only Sabathia were this good against righties as well. He’d be the world’s most perfect pitcher! Sabathia can get some work done against lefties, holding them to a .222 wOBA on the season.
Andrew Heaney vs. Chicago White Sox – It’s hard not to love this kid. Heaney comes into tonight holding lefties to a .234 wOBA on the season. That price is still sitting at an affordable $8600 tonight.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Jacob deGrom vs. Colorado Rockies – deGrom has the lowest wOBA against righties by a long shot on the night. He gets a fairly tough matchup against the Rockies, who own the top wOBA in the majors. deGrom is holding righties to a .197 wOBA on the season. Killin it!
Clayton Kershaw vs. Washington Nationals- I should have known he’d be here. Kershaw owns a .244 wOBA against righties on the season. On a normal night, Kershaw would certainly be first here. What a showing by deGrom.
Best Left/Right Matchups
Easiest Pitcher vs. Left Handed Batters.
Matt Wisler vs. Tampa Bay Rays- When you’re bad at something, you’re apparently REALLY bad at it. Wisler against lefties is almost a big no no. He owns a .420 wOBA against them. I wouldn’t lie to you!
Daniel Norris vs. Kansas City Royals- The centerpiece in the David Price trade is certainly going to have to straighten it out against lefties if he wants to survive in this league. Norris owns a .415 wOBA against lefties this season.
Easiest Pitcher vs. Right Handed Batters
CC Sabathia vs. Cleveland Indians- It’s crazy to see the giant difference Sabathia has against lefties and righties. On one specetrum, he smokes lefties, don’t even bother! Righties, good lord! A .387 wOBA will do that to you.
Nick Martinez vs. Minnesota Twins – For someone to have only given up one run in the month of April, it’s hard to think his splits would be ugly. Well, meet Martinez. He owns a .381 wOBA against righties.
AJ Pollock ($4900) – Who on the Diamondbacks doesn’t look like their on fire right now? Scoring 11 runs in an INNING will certainly do that. Pollock is 12 for his last 27 with a home run, three RBIs, eight runs scored and four stolen bases.
Justin Upton ($4300) – Yeah, the Padres are still playing. Upton never got traded and he’s just padding his stats at this point. Upton is 8 for his last 24 with two home runs, six RBIs, seven runs scored and a stolen base. Why the hell not, right?
Best Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups
Prince Fielder vs. Mike Pelfrey- Fielder has a nice BvP matchup with Pelfrey tonight. Besides the fact that it’s the highest projected run total of the day/night, Fielder has gotten it done against Pelfrey. Fielder is 10-28 against him with five extra base hits, three of those being home runs and a 1.156 OPS.
Nick Markakis vs. Jake Odorizzi – Nothing against Markakis by any means, but wow. Does anyone else forget he’s still playing? He’s rotting away in Atlanta. Do Braves fans even know? Anways, Odorizzi sure knows. In their samll sampling against each other, Markakis is 6-14 against him with two extra base hits, one of them being a home run and a 1.214 OPS.
Jason Werth vs. Clayton Kershaw- It always a bit of a shock when random players have good numbers against aces. Werth has seen some success against Kershaw, going 9-26 with two home runs and a 1.010 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
Andrew Heaney ($8600) – You’d think after my Taylor Jungmann pick was so horrible yesterday, I’d go with a safer pick today. Some dogs just don’t learn. I’m rolling with Heaney tonight even with a number that makes me a bit uncomfortable. Heaney has been fantastic since getting the call up to the Angels. He owns a 2.46 ERA with a 1.01 WHIP, a 6.3 K/9 and a .282 and .234 wOBA against righties and lefties. All great numbers, even though the K/9 could be up a bit more. He’s going against the White Sox who against righies, own a .307 wOBA for the season, which rank them 20th. Their K% is also fairly high, ranked 13th at 20.3%. However, we all know the White Sox are hitting much better than they have all season. Over the past month, they own a .340 wOBA, which is 4th in the league. Impressive, right? Of course, but I’m hoping that the longer, track record of their hitting is what will prevail tonight. Heaney has some electric stuff, so if someone can possibly do it, he might be our guy. For what it’s worth, he’s going to be on my roster tonight.
Superstar Worth Paying For
Lorenzo Cain ($4800) – Cain has been crushing LHP this season. Tonight, he gets a matchup against Derek Norris, who’s REALLY struggling all around. On the season, Cain owns a .435 wOBA with a .248 ISO. Huge numbers! Norris is allowing a .326 wOBA to righties on the season, which when you mix these two guys together, should be quite the show. For us rostering Cain, not Team Norris. This matchup is one of my top on the night for sure.
Save Big Bucks By Drafting…
Chris Coghlan ($3100) – If you’re looking for some cheap power tonight against somone who can serve one up, Coghlan against Garza might just be your matchup. Coghlan owns a .182 ISO against RHP, which sounds like it will match up well with Garza and his 19 dingers he’s given up. Coghlan is really only a threat to go deep against RHP, as he has almost zero power against lefties.