Thursday brings us a short slate of games for tonight. 11 games will be played and pitching will be a bit tough to roster. Let’s jump right into it and as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Heaviest Pitcher Favorites
Jake Arrieta vs. Atlanta Braves (-264) – Tonight really comes down to three solid pitchers on the night. Arrieta, Archer and Scherzer. The rest of the field is quite ehhhh. So it should come as no surprise to see Arrieta as the clear cut favorite on the night. Coming into tonight with a 2.39 ERA, a 0.99 WHIP and a K/9 of 9, Arrieta checks in as the second most expensive pitcher on the night, besides Chris Archer. Going against the team with the third worst wOBA in the league, Arrieta seems almost like a man posessed with the way he’s been pitching as of late. Arrieta now owns 11 straight quality starts, scoring at least 20.2 points in his last three. The Braves are a tough team to strike out, as they own an 18.2 K% on the season, but at this point, it almost doesnt matter, Arrieta has just been that good. Just be warned, almost everyone and their mother is also going to be on Arrieta tonight. At this point, I don’t even think trying to fade him will necessarily help your chances.
Max Scherzer vs. Colorodo Rockies (-189)- This is always a tough one to call. Granted, not every game in Coors Field is going to be a doozy. Last night is a perfect example of this, as Stephen Strasburg shut down the Rockies and scored 28.55 points in a 4-1 victory. Is Scherzer capable of doing the same tonight? Absolutely. For as much as they hit well at home, the Rockies own one of the worst wOBA in the month of August, at .295. Their K% is way up at 23.4%, good for 4th in the league during the month of August, two factors that make Scherzer an attractive option, even in Coors Field. Scherzer owns a 2.73 ERA on the season to go with a 0.90 WHIP and a K/9 of 10.5. It’s always risky taking a starting pitcher in Coors Field, but with a short list of pitchers I’d trust tonight and with how poorly the Rockies are hitting as of late, I think Scherzer is a very real option tonight.
Miguel Gonzalez vs. Minnesota Twins (-156) – This one is for sure more of a reflection of the Twins offense then Gonzalez pitching abilities. Coming into tonight, Gonzlaez owns a 4.42 ERA to go with a 1.32 WHIP and a K/9 of 6.9. Really, nothing to see here. He pulled off a quality start his last time out against Oakland, but I mean, I’d hope almost everyone would do that. The A’s are horrific offensively. His last two starts besides that, facing the Angels and A’s again, he only managed 9.1 and 10.6 points respectively. The Twins have one of the lowest wOBA in the month of August at .290 and they’re striking out a good amount with a 23.3 K%, good for 5th in the league. However, I don’t think Gonzalez can really be trusted. Granted, he’s not going to cost you much at all, at $6400 with this matchup, he could potentially be considered a “steal” in some eyes. I just can’t bring myself to do it. Maybe I’m alone in that, but I’m sure I can find someone else in the lower priced tier with a bit more upside than Gonazlez (cough Nick Tropeano cough.)
Top Overall Game Over/Unders
Washington Nationals vs. Colorado Rockies (Coors Field) – 10 Over/Under- The first game of the series certainly lived up to the hype with 21 runs. Last night, not so much, as both teams only combined for only five runs on the night. As for tonight, it might be a struggle to reach 10. Scherzer taking the mound, as I just went over, has a real chance of shutting this Rockies offense down. I’m quite confident about this. As for Yohan Flande for the Rockies, I’d say he’s the complete opposite of Scherzer. He enters tonight with a 4.19 ERA to go with a 1.27 WHIP and a K/9 of 5.3. He struggles against right handed batters, allowin a .353 wOBA on the season. Overall, he’s certainly not the worst pitcher on the Rockies staff, but that doesn’t really mean much either. If you’re going to get exposure to this one, I’d be targeting the right handed Nationals hitters. For once, I’m telling you not to go crazy with this one.
Toughest Left/Right Matchups
Toughest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Jake Arrieta vs. Atlanta Braves – With how well Arrieta has been pitching, it’s no surprise to me that he’s been smoking left handed batters. Arrieta owns a .233 wOBA against them this season.
Martin Perez vs. Detroit Tigers – I mentioned this in the last article that had Perez pitching, I’d trust him a whole hell of a lot more if he was facing an all leftie lineup. Against them, he owns a .236 wOBA. Against righties, yikes.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Max Scherzer vs. Colorado Rockies – Scherzer enters tonight as the toughest pitcher against right handed hitters. Not a shock to anyone, as he owns a .218 wOBA on the season.
Chris Archer vs. Houston Astros – Archer against the strike out happy Astros is almost scary to think about. The amount of K’s he could potentially rack up could easily be in the double digits tonight. On the year, Archer owns the second best wOBA against lefties, at .262.
Best Left/Right Matchups
Easiest Pitcher vs. Left Handed Batters.
Alfredo Simon vs. Texas Rangers- This game features one of the best against left handed batters on the night in Martin Perez, and then the worst against lefties. Simon owns a .383 wOBA on the year.
Charlie Morton vs. San Francisco Giants- Morton, the player I always want to call Chris (it flows much better than Charlie) owns the second worst wOBA on the night. He’s allowing a .376 wOBA against lefties. I just did some quick math andddddd my caculations tell me that’s not a good number.
Easiest Pitcher vs. Right Handed Batters.
Jerome Williams vs. Miami Marlins- It wouldn’t be a “Easiest pitcher against” section with Jerome Williams! He’s allowing a .385 wOBA against right handed hitters this season. He is facing the Marlins though tonight……dare I suggest it…..? Nah.
Mike Foltnewicz vs. Chicago Cubs – Foltnewicz has trouble with everyone is seems like. He’s just espicially bad against right handed batters, who own a .367 wOBA against him. Hey, at least he’s better than Williams. That’s a win, right?
Jackie Bradley Jr. ($4000) – Somehow, someway, this kid keeps hitting all of a sudden. He was basically dead in the water in Boston because of his inability to hit, certainly not because of his defense. Bradley Jr is 10-20 with three home runs, 11 RBIs, and eight runs scored.
Kyle Schwarber ($4900) – Schwarber has quickly become one of the most popular catchers to draft on a nightly basis because quite frankly, we don’t have many to choose from. Schwarber is 6-20 with four home runs, 10 RBIs, and nine runs scored.
Gerrardo Parra ($4500) – Parra seems to be enjoying his new home in Baltimore, as his hitting as really picked up as of late. Parra is 12-27 with three home runs, five RBIs, eight runs scored and a “what the hell, why not” stolen base.
Best Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups
AJ Pierzynsi vs. Jake Arrieta – This is certainly a small sample, but it’s still eye popping at the same time. Pierzynski is 7-11 off of Arrieta with three extra base hits, two of those being home runs, and a 1.965 OPS. Like really, who the hell does Pierzynski think he is!?
Uhhhhh, that’s it for BvP today…..tune in next time…..but really, it’s a weak BvP day. This has been happening often lately, bad stretch, we will rebuild!
Two games have the potential for rain tonight, which is much better than the five we had yesterday.
Minnesota at Baltimore
Cleveland at New York Yankees.
One Pitcher To Build Lineups Around
Max Scherzer ($11,400) –Honestly, my gut just keeps taking me toward Scherzer tonight. Now it’s just a matter of how much you trust my gut. But really, even in Coors Field, I feel like Scherzer has this game on lock down. You’re getting him on a “discount” tonight at $11,400, which is about $1600 less than you’d normally be paying for him. The Rockies as I mentioned have been struggling this month offensively and they strikeouts have gone up, which is an advantage for Scherzer and his 10.5 K/9. I get it, we always have a bigger risk of starting a pitcher in Coors. Normally, I would never go for a pitcher in this environment, but I’ll be honest, Strasburg having a good game last night has allowed me to feel better about this pick than I did last night. Arrieta is certainly a favorite for tonight as well, but if people are going to shy away from Scherzer, they’re going onto Arrieta. Can’t say I blame them at all, but I’m going with Scherzer to hopefully get a smaller percentage owned than Arrieta.
Superstar Worth Paying For
Anthony Rizzo ($5100) – We’re rolling with Rizzo again tonight, who takes on Mike Foltynewicz. Foltynewicz is just down right awful against LHB, as he owns a .406 wOBA against them giving up eight home runs in just 13 games started. On the year, Foltynewicz is allowing 1.8 home runs per nine innings. That is just down right scary if you’re name is Mike Foltynewicz. However, that’s great news if your Rizzo. Rizzo owns a .387 wOBA against RHP with an ISO of .259. Hitting at Wrigly Field tonight, it’s hard not love this matchup.
Save Big Bucks By Drafting…
David Murphy ($2500) – Here I go again with another repeat pick. But to be fair, last time I slotted Murphy in here, he didn’t play so that doesn’t count. He’s going up against a leftie tonight in Jose Quintana. With the injury to Pujols, Murphy actually hit clean up last night. At the price of 2500, potentially batting cleanup, and a wOBA of .343 against lefties, I’ll take my chances.