Hello from Las Vegas! I’ll be doing these articles from here for the next few days, so forgive me if they aren’t up as early as they usaully are. We have a small split slate today so we’ll give you all the information you need for them. Let’s jump right into things and as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Sonny Gray has been scratched. Jesse Chavez will start for the Oakland Athletics.
Heaviest Pitcher Favorites
Noah Syndergaard vs. Colorado Rockies (-236) – I knew the second I started my research that Syndergaard would be the favorite on the day/night. Vegas loves picking on these Rockies. I should as them why is that, since I’m here and all. I’ll let you know how that goes (from my grave.) Syndergaard enters today with a 3.01 ERA with a 1.12 WHIP and a 9.57 K/9. The Rockies have really fallen off offensively over the past two weeks. Once the top wOBA in all of baseball, they currently sit at 21st at .301. They’re also striking out more than any other team during that time with a 24.3 K%. This could be a big reason why Vegas continues to pounce on these guys and make Syndergaard a favorite. With how poorly they’ve been playing recently, I can’t say I hate rostering Syndergaard at all today.
Jon Lester vs. Milwaukee Brewers (-226)- Also going this afternoon, Lester is the second favorite on the early slate. The leftie comes into today with a 3.22 ERA to go along with a 1.17 WHIP and an 8.96 K/9. Lester also has a matchup this afternoon against a team that is really having a rough stretch at the plate. The Brewers are ranked 28th in wOBA over the past two weeks with a 21.8 K%, good for 8th in the league. It also doesn’t help that they have almost no power during that time, with a .116 ISO. From a team that has struggled against lefties the entire season, second to last wOBA against them at .280, the Brewers really have nothing going in their favor today other than the fact that they aren’t playing in Miller Park. I would be starting Lester in almost all my contests today.
Mat Latos vs. Cincinnati Reds (-180) – Latos has really come a long way from his nightmare of a start in 2015. Now a member of the Dodgers, Latos hopes to continue a nice stretch he had since returning from the disabled list. To do that though, he has to pitch much better than he did against the Pirates last time out. Latos enters tonight with a 4.67 ERA to go with a 1.25 WHIP and a K/9 of 7.32. Latos only lasted four innings his last time out giving up six runs on seven hits while not recording a strikeout. Surprisingly, Latos has only recorded a single strikeout in two start with the Dodgers. His K/9 hasn’t been exceptionally high this season, but it’s something he certainly will need to improve on if he wants to be successful. The Reds have been striking out fairly often these past two weeks at a 22.4%. Latos might be a bit tough to trust tonight, but you don’t have many choices either.
Top Overall Game Over/Unders
Texas Rangers vs. Minnesota Twins (Target Field) – 9 Over/Under- Vegas loves these two going at it lately. Chi Chi Gonzalez goes for the Rangers while Ervin Sanata does for the Twins. As we highlighted yesterday, these two teams are both capable of parking the ball on the other side of the fence. Santana, in his short time back to the majors, has already let up eight home runs in just 41 innings this season. Something the Rangers and their .154 ISO against righties, 8th best in the league, are looking forward to. Gonzalez for the Rangers is getting the callup from Triple A for this start. He’s done well with keeping the ball in the park, as he’s only let up three home runs in 43 innings. As always though, get some exposure to this game, especially from the Rangers.
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.
Sonny Gray vs. Toronto Blue Jays – Someone certainly not deserving to be left off as a favorite for today, but a tough matchup will do that to you. Gray has been fantastic against both righties and lefties, but espicially lefties, holding them to a .228 wOBA on the year.
Francisco Liriano vs. St. Louis Cardinals – Liriano continues to be a solid addition to your team almost every time he’s rostered. Liriano is holding lefties to a .257 wOBA.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Sonny Gray vs. Toronto Blue Jays – It’s a short slate, so the obvious names are going to pop up in this section here. Gray gets a tough matchup this afternoon, but is holding righties to a .242 wOBA on the season.
Noah Syndergaard vs. Colordo Rockies – As I mentioned earlier, Syndergaard has been fantastic this season against pretty much everyone. Coming into this afternoon, Syndergaard owns a .267 wOBA against righties.
Best Left/Right Matchups
Easiest Pitcher vs. Left Handed Batters.
Eddie Butler vs. New York Mets- I didn’t even have to look up the stats to now that Butler was going to be at the top of the list on this one. But I still did and it was confirmed. Butler is “holding” lefties to a .439 wOBA on the year. Good job, good effort!
Jeremy Guthrie vs. LA Angels- One thing I will say about Guthrie that’s positive, he still goes out and starts every five days, even though he shouldn’t. Guthrie is allowing a .401 wOBA against lefties.
Easiest Pitcher vs. Right Handed Batters
Eddie Butler vs. New York Mets- .363. How is he employed?
Ervin Sanatana vs. Texas Rangers – This is certainly not the player the Twins were hoping for. Santana since coming off the drugs, is allowing a .353 wOBA to righties. I don’t want to draw conclusions here…..
Andrew McCutchen ($4600) – This guy, getting it done for the Pirates as of late. McCutchen is 9 for his last 20 with two home runs, eight RBIs and six runs scored. Oh, and he was bored one of the times he was on base and stole one.
Lorenzo Cain ($4700) – Cain is on fire lately, and he had another nice game for his last night, RIGHT!? Cain is 12 for his last 24 with a home run, five RBIs, six runs scored and two stolen bases.
Best Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups
Neil Walker vs. Lance Lynn- Man, Walker has really knocked Lynn around in their meetings. Walker is 13-37 against Lynn with seven extra base hits, three of those being home runs, and a 1.162 OPS. Bales would be proud.
Jhonny Peralta vs. Francisco Liriano – If there’s one thing Peralta has certainly done in his career, it’s taking Liriano deep quite a few times. Peralta is 17-51 against him with five extra base hits, four of those being home runs, and a 1.040 OPS.
Prince Fielder vs. Ervin Santana- Fielder goes up against a clean Santana tonight, so it’s curious to see what numbers he can improve on. Fielder is 6-16 against Santana with four extra base hits, three of them being home runs, and a 1.444 OPS.
A nice clear day across baseball today/tonight.
One Pitcher To Build Lineups Around
Jon Lester ($10,800) – Lester has got to be the favorite today, at least in my eyes. To refresh your memory, let me pull down what I said earlier about this matchup. The Brewers are ranked 28th in wOBA over the past two weeks with a 21.8 K%, good for 8th in the league. It also doesn’t help that they have almost no power during that time, with a .116 ISO. From a team that has struggled against lefties the entire season, second to last wOBA against them at .280, the Brewers really have nothing going in their favor today other than the fact that they aren’t playing in Miller Park. I mean, lots to love here right? In a short slate with not a lot to choose from, you’d have to be a real strong man to fade Lester.
Superstar Worth Paying For
Albert Pujols ($4400) – Pujols sees Jeremy Guthrie tonight, in a matchup that I’m sure the Angels are looking forward to. Pujols has been impressive against RHP this season, even with his overall average looking on the lower side. Regardless, Pujols has 30 home runs on the season and were still in the middle of August. Pujols owns a .370 woBA against RHP to go with a .264 ISO. A big difference in numbers if you compare them to what he does with LHP, .284 and .198 respectively. With Guthrie already giving up 19 home runs on the year, I like my chances tonight.
Save Big Bucks By Drafting…
Abraham Almonte ($2000) – Almonte has been seeing some regular playing time for the Indians due to Michael Bourn being traded. The kid is playing a bit over his head right now, but we don’t care about that. We care about the results! He’s a switch hitter, so naturally it would make sense to bat leftie against Nathan Eovaldi tonight, who really struggles against them. Against righties, Almonte owns a .337 wOBA on the year with a .212 ISO, which I know is low, but the kid is costing you $2000! Almonte has been hitting really well these past four games, so let’s hope it goes into tonight as well.
I’m going back to bed now. It’s 4:30 in the morning here in Vegas. Talk to you all tomorrow!