A full slate of baseball is set for today, as we wind down the weekend. We have some great pitching options to pick from today, as well as some good hitting matchups as well. Let’s jump right into it, and as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Heaviest Pitcher Favorites
Jason Hammel vs. Atlanta Braves (-240) – On a day where Clayton Kershaw is pitching, he’s not even close to being the favorite pitcher on the night. Jason Hammel will take the honors of being the favorite pitcher, according to Vegas. In a season mostly plagued without Freddie Freeman, the Braves rank last in wOBA since the All Star break. At a whopping .282, they are by far the worst in the league. Hammel has been decent this season, coming in today with a 3.38 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP with a K/9 of 9. His last start doesn’t look that impressive against the Tigers, but let it be known they were dealing with rain delays, so I just toss that start out the window. For today, the price for Hammel is ridiculously cheap for the matchup, at just $8200, I think Hammel is going to be higly owned. If he’s not, advantage you. Going against one of the worst offenses in the league, Hammel will be a fine choice for today.
Francisco Liriano vs. San Francisco Giants (-175)- Coming in at $10,300 today, Lirinao takes on the Giants. He hasn’t been as automatic as we’ve been used to all season. In his last three starts, Liriano has scored a combined 26.7 points. Yeah, that’s a combined score. Not very impressive, especially when he averages 19 points per start. Against lefties this season, the Giants are 12th in the league in wOBA at .311 with an ISO rating of 27th at .115. So basically, two ends of the spectrum here. They also don’t strikeout a ton against lefties, owning an 18.9 K% on the season. All and all, this is a potentially tough matchup for Liriano. He might not have to worry about the power so much, but the Giants can certainly hit and they’ll be tough to strikeout. At the $10,300 price tag, I think I might pass on Liriano today. If you’re really on board with playing him, I’d consider him for a GPP. Cash games are a big no no for me on this one.
Clayton Kershaw vs. Houston Astros (-170) – Usually when Kershaw is on the mound, he’s an automatic start, if you can afford his price tag of course. He faces the Astros this afternoon in another matchup that’s tough to decide on. Against lefties, the Astros own the 10th best wOBA in the league at .315 with the fourth best ISO at .170. Pretty impressive to say the least. Then, on the other end, they also strike out the 5th most with a 22.9 K%. Way to throw a wrench into things, Houston. So now we have to decide, can Kershaw shut them down and rack up those strike outs? Or will the Astros get to him early? We all know Kershaw has finally straightned his act out and has been pithing like were used to, with the exception of his start against the Pirates earlier this month. With a K/9 of 11.2, the strikeout appeal is certainly very high. The offensive numbers do worry me a bit though. If I’m getting exposure to Kershaw, it will most likely be minimal, as the price tag of $14,800 is quite high and the matchup isn’t a slam dunk. But, it’s also very hard to sit here with a straight face and tell you to fade Clayton Kershaw. It’s just not possible.
Top Overall Game Over/Unders
New York Mets vs. Colorado Rockies (Coors Field) – 11 Over/Under- So today we’re at 11 runs for this game. They had quite the doozy last night, scoring a combined 23 runs. I’ve been hearing a lot of complaints about Coors Field and I can’t say I blame you, but it’s not going anywhere. You’re going to have to either live with constantly fading it and potentially miss out on some huge scores, or just bite the bullet and get some exposure to these games. It’s honestly as simple as that. The Mets throw out Logan Verrett today, who’s been a starter in the minor leagues but mostly used in relief in the majors. In the minors, Verrett owns a 3.57 ERA with a 1.26 WHIP and a K/9 of 7.6. He’s certainly pitched well in the minors, but I’m not throwing him on any roster of mine. As for David Hale, well, he’s just a mess. Owning a .355 wOBA against righties and a .400 against lefties, I think it’s safe to say the Mets will have another high scoring afternoon. This is one of those games at Coors that I will say, you’ll be foolish not to have some exposure to this one. As for who to target, uhhh, everyone?
Toughest Left/Right Matchups
Toughest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
CC Sabathia vs. Cleveland Indians – Well, no recent scuffles for Sabathia, so I guess he’s good to go to pitch this afternoon. He’s still the top dog when it comes to lefties, holding them to a .222 wOBA on the season.
Clayton Kershaw vs. Houston Astros – I was surprised, Kershaw just barely made it on this list here. We have three guys who are hovering right in the .255 wOBA range that Kershaw owns. But regardless, that’s what Kershaw has on the year, so he’s the second best on the day.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Clayton Kershaw vs. Houston Astros – Well make no mistake about this one, Kershaw is by far the best against righties today. They’ve only managed a .237 wOBA against Kershaw this season.
Jordan Zimmermann vs. Milwaukee Brewers – Seems as if Zimmermann is starting to right the ship on what’s been a real disappointment of a season. He owns a .263 wOBA against righties on the year.
Best Left/Right Matchups
Easiest Pitcher vs. Left Handed Batters.
Matt Boyd vs. Texas Rangers- Brace yourselves, this section is about to get real ugly. When I saw that David Hale had a .400 wOBA against lefties, I said to myself, “oh sure he has the highest on the night.” NOT EVEN CLOSE!!!! Boyd owns a………545 wOBA against lefties. Not a joke! My goodness, I almost feel bad!
Adam Conley vs. Philadelphia Phillies- Ok, certainly Hale has to be the second worst on the day, right? WRONG! How is this even possible, that two pitchers have a worse wOBA against lefties than .400 on the day? Well ladies and gents, it’s true. Conley owns a .415 wOBA against lefties. I’m stunned. Just stunned.
Easiest Pitcher vs. Right Handed Batters.
CC Sabathia vs. Cleveland Indians- Sabathia has nightmares about facing right handed batters. They’ve been crushing him all season. They own a .382 wOBA against the big man on the season. All work and no lefties make Sabathia a dull pitcher.
Matt Boyd vs. Texas Rangers – Well, at least he isn’t the worst against righties. So Boyd as least has SOMETHING going for him lately. Righties “only” own a .379 wOBA against Boyd. After how showing against lefties, I have nothing left in the tank to say about him.
Josh Donaldson ($4500) – We all know he’s a good hitter. It’s very obvious, but he just goes on these tears that’s hard to ignore. Donaldson is 10-19 with three home runs 14 RBIs (god damn) and eight runs scored. In my opinion, he’s the AL MVP, no questions asked.
Starling Marte ($4500) – Marte hasn’t been getting the attention he deserves this season. So I’m taking it upon myself to shove him into the spotlight, because no article is more important than this one. Marte is 12-32 with two home runs, four RBIs, eight runs scored and two stolen bases. The guy can do it all.
Derek Dietrich ($3300) – I’ve been seeing him on a lot of winning lineups lately, so since he’s been flying under the radar, it’s time to blow everyone elses spot. Diertrich is 10-23 with two home runs, nine RBIs, and six runs scored. No more under the radar for you, pal!
Best Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups
Austin Jackson vs. John Danks- Jackson has seen a lot of my buddy John Danks, since they used to play in the same division when Jackson was with the Tigers. Thus, we have a good BvP sample for today. Jackson is 21-49 against Danks with six extra base hits, three of them being home runs, and a 1.155 OPS.
Jason Werth vs. Matt Garza- Jason hasn’t had very good overall numbers, but today against Garza, he could be Werth it. Werth is 6-14 against Garza with two extra base hits, one of them being a home run, and a 1.181 OPS.
Carlos Gomez vs. Clayton Kershaw- This BvP doesn’t blow me away, but it at least shows that maybe you have some sort of potential with a batter against Kershaw. Gomez is 6-20 against him with three extra base hits, one of them being a home run, and a .914 OPS.
I’mmmmmm happy, I’m feelin glad I got SUNSHINE in a bag…..(this means nice day for baseball today for the second day in a row.)
One Pitcher To Build Lineups Around
Jason Hammel ($8200)- Truly, tough to go against this matchup with this price tag today. Hammel, at just $8200 is a steal on the day in my opinion. Going up against the Braves, who are 28th in the league against RHP in wOBA at .296 is enticing enough. Then we add on the fact that their ISO against RHP is .105, which is the number WITHOUT Freddie Freeman, so it’s true as could be at the moment. The strikeout factor is a bit tough, which is the only downfall of this start, as they only strike out 17.6% of the time against a RHP. Since the All Star break, the wOBA of the Braves sits at .282, which makes them sound even worse. So if you’re ok with the strikeouts being on the low side for today, you can’t go wrong with this start today. We have way to many factors that point to this being a good one.
Superstar Worth Paying For
Bryce Harper ($5400) – Harper is “cheap” today at $5400, facing Matt Garza. Garza is…..not very good. Which is great for Harper, because he feasts on RHP. Against righties this season, Harper owns a .474 wOBA with an ISO of .344. .344, guys. That’s basically insane and video game status. With Garza giving up 21 home runs on the season, and allowing a .359 wOBA to lefties this season, Harper sounds like a solid pick for today. I just woulnd’t recommend putting him in the same lineup with Kershaw #impossible
Save Big Bucks By Drafting…
Darin Ruf ($2200) – Another Phillies player, two days in a row? I must not like my job or something. But really, Andres Blanco worked out great last night, scoring us 14 points on the night. I’m hoping that Ruf can do the same for us today. Overall, Ruf does not have good numbers. He’s at .241 with five home runs and 18 RBIs. However, he’s fantastic against lefties. On the season, Ruf owns a .426 wOBA with an ISO of .179. For $2200 and going against Adam Conley, who’s allowing a .415 wOBA to lefties, I like my chances.