Wednesday brings us a split slate of games starting this afternoon. We have five games starting at 1:05 and then 10 starting at 7:05. Let’s jump right into it and as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Heaviest Pitcher Favorites
Jon Lester vs. Detroit Tigers (-210) – Even with Miguel Cabrera back in the Tigers lineup, Lester is the biggest favorite on the day/night slate today. Lester has been pitching extremely well over his last five starts, two of those starts got him at least 10 strikeouts. He enters tonight with a 3.21 ERA to go with a 1.18 WHIP and a K/9 of 9.2 on the season. The Tigers have hit leftie pitching well this season, owning a .335 wOBA on the season, good for third in the league. They have however, struck out a good amount against them, at a 22.3 K%, which is good for 9th in the league. With a lineup that now has Cabrera back in it, the Tigers once again look and feel like that offensive force we were all used to in the first half of the season. The Tigers have certainly scuffled this month, owning the 3rd to last wOBA on the month at .284, but as I mentioned, they have hit left handed pitching well this season. This is a tough decision for me in my opinion, and at $9,900, it doesn’t make decisions that much easier. If anything, I’d be using Lester in GPP, most likely not cash games.
Mark Buehrle vs. Philadelphia Phillies (-193)- In the world of real baseball, I agree, Buehrle is a great pick to pitch well against the Phillies. In the fantasy baseball world, ehhhhh I don’t know about that. The problem with Buehrle, is that you’ll very rarely see him eclipse the low teens in terms of scoring. Averaging 14.6 per start, you don’t have a ton of upside here. Buehrle owns a 3.31 ERA on the season with a 1.16 WHIP and a K/9 of 4.2. See that number I just gave you, 4.2? Deal breaker for me. Buehrle has never been a big strikeout guy and this season is no exception. His price tag is fantastic at $7300, extremely affordable and he has a good matchup. You’ll get what you pay for with no real hope of getting a miracle and seeing 20-25 points next to his name. If you’re ok with a cheap pitcher netting you 12-15 points tonight, hey, go buck wild, Buehrle is your guy. I just want a higher ceiling for my pitchers on the night.
Dallas Keuchel vs. Tampa Bay Rays (-189) – The problem I’ve been having lately with the Tampa Bay Rays, is that I’ll see their name against a particular pitcher, and I almost become automatic with starting that said pitcher. However, they are a classic example of how you always need to do your research, no matter how well you think you know the game. The Rays have been hitting extremely well in the month of August, as they own the second best wOBA in all of baseball, second only to the Boston Red Sox. Their strikeout rates are down as well this month, as they own a 19.8 K%, good for 22nd in the league. Does this mean I’m automatically off Keuchel now? Not necessarily, but the Rays have actually hit left handed pitching well all season, with a wOBA of .329 on the year, good for fifth. Keuchel has been fantastic all season with a 2.36 ERA, a 1.01 WHIP and K/9 of 7.9. He’s the most expensive pitcher on the day at $11,400, so I think with the combination of the high price tag and how well the Rays are hitting, I might limit my exposure to Keuchel more than I normally do. That’s an expensive pitcher for a less than stellar matchup.
Top Overall Game Over/Unders
Washington Nationals vs. Colorado Rockies (Coors Field) – 10 Over/Under- Well this game certainly lived up to the hype last night. With the Nationals scoring 15 runs, 20 runs total were scored in the game last night. Coors Field, ladies and gentlemen! Tonight, Stephen Strasburg takes on Jorge De La Rosa. Strasburg has returned with a vengence since his last DL stint, scoring a combined 60 points in his two starts against the Rockies and Giants. He looks like the pitcher of old, as he has 20 strikeouts in those two starts, giving up three runs on 10 hits. Even with his dominance, it’s still hard to roster him with full confidence tonight, even with how well he pitched against the Rockies over two weeks ago. Coors Field is relenteless as we know. As for De La Rosa, if you aren’t starting Strasburg, you certainly cant be considering De La Rosa. With a 4.75 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP on the season, De La Rosa is much better on the road than at Coors Field, a stat that surprises no one. Expect another high run total tonight and get your exposure when you can.
Toughest Left/Right Matchups
Toughest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Dallas Keuchel vs. Tampa Bay Rays – Bar none, when Keuchel is pitching, he will always be the top dog against left handed pitcher. His wOBA against them is almost unfair at .165. Nasty, just nasty.
Adam Morgan vs. Toronto Blue Jays – Now here’s something you don’t see often, a Phillies pitcher in the “toughest pitcher against” section. However, Morgan has beat all the odds and lands here. Morgan owns a .253 wOBA against lefties this season. Bravo.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Corey Kluber vs. Boston Red Sox – It’s a rare occurance that we have a tie in this section but today we do. Maybe we should all go buy a scratch ticket today or something. Kluber owns a .218 wOBA on the season against right handed batters. Any guess what Jaime Garcia is going to have?
Jaime Garcia vs. San Francisco Giants – I don’t really have to put his wOBA here do I?
Best Left/Right Matchups
Easiest Pitcher vs. Left Handed Batters.
Matt Cain vs. St. Louis Cardinals- Anytime a pitcher has a wOBA over 400, you have to wonder what goes through their mind before a start? Is it along the lines of “I know I really suck, but let’s try not to suck too much, ok?” Cain owns a .474 wOBA against lefties.
Dan Norris vs. Chicago Cubs- The more and more this drags on with Norris, the more I have to wonder if the Tigers got hosed in the David Price deal. This guy was the centerpiece! Norris owns a .401 wOBA against lefties this season. Totally fair trade for Price thus far.
Easiest Pitcher vs. Right Handed Batters.
Joe Kelly vs. Cleveland Indians- I’m sure Kelly is a nice guy and when he said he was going to win the Cy Young, I’m sure it had a bit of humor in it, but I just can’t help shaking my head when I see his numbers. He enters tonight with the worst wOBA against right handed batters tonight at .378. Cy Young winner!
Adam Morgan vs. Toronto Blue Jays – Well, at least Morgan has success against lefties. Against righties, Morgan is not having a fun year. They’re whacking him around to a tune of a .358 wOBA. Good luck against the Blue Jays!
Dee Gordon ($4800) – Gordon is doing what he does best right now, and that’s stealing some bases. He’s one of those guys that if you roster him, you’re expecting at least eight points if he gets on base. Gordon is 11-25 with a home run, five RBIs, six runs scored and four stolen bases.
David Ortiz ($4500) – At least Ortiz is giving Boston fans some hope that he can still hit when 2016 rolls around. Not like we have much else to look forward to. Ortiz is 12-22 with two home runs, nine RBIs, and six runs scored.
Travis Shaw ($3500) – Time to give the kid some credit. Shaw has been fantastic since the trade of Mike Napoli opened up some playing time for him. Shaw is 12-25 with three home runs, six RBIs, with six runs scored. That price tag isn’t too shabby either.
Best Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups
Alex Rodriguez vs. Ervin Santana – Coming off a grand slam last night, Rodriguez has another good BvP matchup tonight. Rodriguez is 12-36 against Santana with four extra base hits, all of them being home runs, with a 1.051 OPS.
Miguel Cabrera vs. Jon Lester- I’m sure Lester is bummed out that Cabrera is back in the lineup, as he’s owned him his entire career. Cabrera is 14-25 against Lester with five extra base hits, one of them being a home run, and a 1.507 OPS.
Albert Pujols vs. Jeff Samardzija- Pujols hasn’t seen a ton of Samardzija, but the times he has, they’ve gone well. Pujols is 7-19 against Samardzija with four extra base hits, three of them being home runs and a 1.415 OPS.
We have quite a few games that have a threat of rain today, so make sure to keep a close eye on the weather today.
MIN at NYY (small chance)
SEA at TEX
TOR at PHI
KC at CIN (widespread rain throughout the night)
SF at STL (also widespread rain)
One Pitcher To Build Lineups Around
Tyson Ross ($11,100) –Tyson Ross is my guy this afternoon, taking on the Atlanta Braves. The Braves are about as intimidating as a seal is to a great white shark, the shark is always like, “I got this.” Ross has been fantastic this season with the exception of the walks. He’s currently walking over four batters per nine innings, which spells trouble for him or any pitcher at that rate. However, the Braves are not a very patient team, as they rank 16th in walks in the league. The Braves owns one of the worst wOBA in the league as well, ranked 28th with a .296. Their power, or lack of, is the worst in the league at .111. They’re literally even worse than the Marlins, which I never thought was possible. The cherry on top is that this game is at Petco Park, which is glorious for pitchers.
For tonight, I like Noah Syndergaard against the Orioles.
Superstar Worth Paying For
Joey Votto($4900) – Votto is going up against the cheapest pitcher on the day, Jeremy Guthrie. If you’re the cheapest pitcher on the night, at $4000, damn, that’s an ego crusher. Guthrie struggles against lefties, allowing a .387 wOBA when facing them. Votto, a leftie, crushes right handed pitching this season. He owns a .414 wOBA with an ISO of .235. With Guthrie giving up 13 of the 19 home runs to lefties, you have to like the matchup for Votto. At $4900, it’s a bit expensive but I think it will be worth it tonight. Guthrie isn’t mowing down Votto, ever!
Save Big Bucks By Drafting…
Yangervis Solarte ($2800) – Solarte has been batting lead off for the Padres and tonight, he gets Julio Teheran. Solarte is a switch hitter, who’d I’d assume would bat from the left side, as Teheran has struggled against lefties this season. Solarte, as a leftie, owns a .329 wOBA vs. right handed pitching this season. He doesn’t own a ton of power, with a .204 ISO against righties, but he does own eight home runs on the season, so it’s not completely out of the question, just don’t rely on it. At $2800, I think he’s got great value going into tonight.