A full slate of games is what awaits us for tonight. After a less than stellar pick of Scott Kazmir last night, I’m ready to right the ship tonight. Let’s jump right into it and as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Heaviest Pitcher Favorites
Clayton Kershaw vs. Oakland A’s (-221) – Ànother fifth day, another start for Kershaw as the favorite on the night. It’s almost becoming a routine, so check back on Sunday when I do this article again, Kershaw will be here. Tonight, Kershaw gets the Oakland Athletics, a team that is really struggling to find their offensive groove. Since the second half of the season, the A’s have the lowest wOBA out of ANY team in the league. Think about that for a moment, worse than Atlanta, Miami, crazy to think about, right? So other than the fact that the A’s can’t hit, they’re at least a tough team to strikeout. They maintained that in the second half, as their strikeout percentage stands at 18%, one of the best in the leagues. But truly, with Kershaw entering tonight with a K/9 of 11.3, what does that mean? Maybe he ends up with eight strikeouts on the night? Kershaw has just been that good. Since the All Star break, Kerhsaw owns a 0.92 ERA giving up only four runs in 39 innings and striking out 45. As usual though, he’s going to cost you a fortune to roster. Priced at $15,000, you better get damn creative when building your remaining roster.
Francisco Liriano vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (-215)- I was having this discussion yesterday, as I feel as though the Diamondbacks are getting the respect they deserve when it comes to being a good offensive club. They gave Gerrit Cole a run for his money last night. Tonight, Liriano is the second highest favored pitcher of the night. Like Cole, Liriano hasn’t exactly had a stellar month of August. He’s pitched nine innings giving up seven runs on 13 hits with a 9:6 K:BB ratio. Not exactly great numbers when you’re going to face a team that owns the ninth highest wOBA on the month at .331. Overall, Liriano comes into tonight with a 3.19 ERA with a 1.13 WHIP and a K/9 of 9.9. Once again, I’m not sure I’m all giddy to throw Liriano on my roster tonight against this D-Backs team. Are they as good as I’m making them out to be? Maybe not, but I can’t feel great about putting a pitcher in tonight that hasn’t exactly shown much as of late. At $10,300, it would certainly be risky.
RA Dickey vs. Philadelphia Phillies (-190) – I’ll give credit when it’s due, Dickey has been solid as of late. Dickey has given up only four runs in his last three starts on 14 hits and a K:BB ratio of 13:6. For a knuckleballer, I say that’s pretty good. Tonight, he gets those Phillies that Vegas loves to hate on. After starting off the second half on fire, the Phillies have seen their wOBA slip to the middle of the league at .312, good for 16th. Dickey is of course, one of the toughest pitchers to predict because, quite frankly, even he doesn’t know what the knuckle will do on a particular day, Dickey has had his struggles on the road this season, with his wOBA against is over 60 points higher compared to at home. His price tonight just might make him a serious consideration, as he’s only going to run you for $7000.
Top Overall Game Over/Unders
Washington Nationals vs. Colorado Rockies (Coors Field) – 11 Over/Under- Vegas is expecting some fireworks in this one. Jordan Zimmermann takes on Davis Hale in this one. Zimmermann has looked like his old self lately in his past two starts, scoring 22.6 and 30 points against the Rockies and Dodgers. However, of course, pitching in Coors Field adds a whole different dynamic to the equation. As for Hale, he’s coming off the disabled list to return to the rotation, proving how bad their rotation really is. Hale owns a 5.69 ERA on the season with a 1.39 WHIP and a K/9 of 6.6. The Nationals have really been struggling at the plate, owning a .296 wOBA this month, good for 24th in the league. Nothing a little Coors Field can’t fix, right? As always, find a way to work a couple of these hitters into your lineup tonight.
Toughest Left/Right Matchups
Toughest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
CC Sabathia vs. Minnesota Twins – Oh, Sabathia again? He was scratched last night for unknown reasons. But we all know it was because he was in an altercation with some fans the other night. Hopefully they weren’t right handed fighters, because he can’t get them out at all. Lefties though, different story. Sabathia is still top dog on the day against lefties, with a .222 wOBA against them.
John Danks vs. LA Angels – Boy, this really pains me to include Danks on this list, in a good section too! Somehow, someway, Danks owns a .253 wOBA against lefties. Think about it, that’s even better than Kershaw. Let me go puke.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Jacob deGrom vs. Baltimore Orioles – Some players are just always featured in particular sections, deGrom is one of them. He is just straight up nasty against righties, holding them to a .197 wOBA on the season. Filthy.
Clayton Kershaw vs. Oakland A’s – It just wouldn’t be a list without including Kershaw. He’s been just as nasty as deGrom against righties, just not as much. Good analysis, right? Kershaw owns a .238 wOBA against righties this season.
Best Left/Right Matchups
Easiest Pitcher vs. Left Handed Batters.
Tyler Cravy vs. Miami Marlins- It’s almost as if Cravy doesn’t even try when a leftie steps up to the plate. When you own a .436 wOBA when facing lefties, people are going to question you. That’s down right horrific.
Matt Wisler vs. San Diego Padres- Or you could just be Matt Wisler, and show everyone that two people in the league are equally as awful against lefties. Wisler owns a .424 wOBA against lefties. Let’s these two pitch to lefties in a game, it would be fun.
Easiest Pitcher vs. Right Handed Batters.
CC Sabathia vs. Minnesota Twins- If baseball wishes to improve on ratings, why not throw Sabathia on the mound against an all righties lineup. You want offense? You’ll get it here! Sabathia owns an atricious .385 wOBA against righties. (Even after being scratched yesterday, still the worst)
Anibal Sanchez vs. Chicago Cubs – Sanchez has been having his struggles against righties on the season, as they own a .327 wOBA against him. I ripped so many people in this section, Sanchez gets a pass. I’m beat.
Matt Kemp ($4100) – Kemp may be wasting away on the Padres, but it certainly doesn’t stop him from being a productive hitter. Kemp is 10 for his last 22 with three home runs, nine RBIs, and seven runs scored. A healthy Kemp is a productive Kemp.
Joey Votto ($4900) – Just like a healthy Kemp is a productive Kemp, the same could be said about Joey Votto. He’s 11 for his last 23 with two home runs, seven RBIs, and six runs scored. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever had a bad night with Votto in my lineup, which in reality, means absolutely nothing to you.
Miguel Sano ($4300) – Is it just me, or is it every time I see highlights from a Twins game (yes, they do have some) Sano is involved in some capacity. Sano is 10 for his last 24 with three home runs, nine RBIs, a stolen base and four runs scored. His cheap price tag makes him all the more enticing.
Best Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups
Brian McCann vs. Mike Pelfrey – Back to some good BvP matchups! All is right in the world once again! McCann is 19-40 against Pelfrey with 10 extra base hits, two of them going for home runs, and a 1.368 OPS.
Adrian Beltre vs. Hisashi Iwakuma- If Iwakuma is thinking he’s going to pull out another no hitter, Beltre is here to stop him dead in his tracks. Beltre is 11-33 against Iwakuma with four extra base hits, three of those going for home runs and a 1.008 OPS. No, no, no says Beltre.
Nick Markakis vs. James Shields- These two have seen a lot of each other back in their AL East days. Tonight, they matchup once again with Markakis 23-74 against Sheilds with seven extra base hits, two of them being home runs and a .859 OPS.
As of this morning, a clear night of baseball is ahead!
One Pitcher To Build Lineups Around
Garrett Richards ($9,800) –Raise your hand if you made a weird face when you saw Richards here. I’ll admit, I did, and I’m the one writing this. I have a few reasons to go this route so hear me about before you close this article in disgust and un follow me on Twitter. First off, Kershaw is just too expensive. $15,000. Putting Kershaw on your roster leaves you with $35,000 to work with, or $3,888 on average for each remaining player. Even if you went with Adam Conley, who’s the cheapest pitcher on the night, that leaves you with an average of $3,862 per player. Doable, but tough for sure. Then we have deGrom. Do I like the matchup against Baltimore? I don’t love it. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t hate if you draft deGrom tonight. His WHIP is a ridiculous 0.83 and he doesn’t give up a lot of home runs, only 11 on the year, but at Camden Yards scares me a bit. I have no doubt that deGrom will most likely have a solid start, but at $11,600, I’d at least want to like the matchup a bit more. Baltimore does own the best wOBA against RHP this season. So, with all that being said, here we are with Richards.
After starting off the month hitting way more to the potential people thought the White Sox have, they’ve fallen all the way down to 15th in wOBA in the month of August. Their power is decent, as they’re 10th in ISO this month, but a matchup in LA makes me feel a lot better about dealing with that. The White Sox are also in the middle of the pack in terms of strikeout % sitting at 20.5 on the month, or 14th in the league. I’m ok with that since Richards has a K/9 of 7.1, which I feel as if that’s obtainable tonight or close to it. Overall, for his price tag of $9800, it gives you a good chunk of flexibility that you wouldn’t necessarily get with deGrom and certainly not with Kershaw. Richards certainly isn’t the same caliber pitcher as those two, but matchup wise, I’m feeling good about this one.
Superstar Worth Paying For
Anthony Rizzo($4900) – Rizzo gets a matchup tonight with the home run happy Anibal Sanchez. The majority of the home runs Sanchez has let up as come from RHB, but Rizzo does such a good job against righties, I like this chances tonight. Rizzo owns a .392 wOBA against righties this season with an ISO of .262. Big numbers for sure against someone who struggles to keep the ball on the park. Sanchez is given up an astonishing 28 home runs on the season. If someone can take him deep, Rizzo is certainly fitting the mold tonight.
Save Big Bucks By Drafting…
Abraham Almonte ($2000) – Honestly, I’m riding the hot streak right now. Almonte doesn’t have impressive overall numbers, but he’s been hitting well since taking over the every day outfield role in Cleveland. In the month of August, Almonte is batting .286 with two home runs, and eight RBIs. Again, nothing overly impressive, but at just $2000, you have nothing to lose here. Tonight he faces Eduardo Rodriguez, who has an wOBA over .300 against both RHB and LHB. Almonte, being a switch hitter, can take advantage of either side. He’s not a great hitter and don’t expect a ton, but even a 5-7 point night exceeds what you could ask for from someone who’s an everyday starter costing you the minimum price possible.