Baseball can be such a hard sport to predict. If you were to tell me, that last night Jacob deGrom and Hisashi Iwakuma were going to be two of the worst pitchers on the night, I’d call you crazy. But in the end, the only person who looked crazy was myself. It happens, and it will happen again where I’m wrong. It’s just the name of the game. Moving onto today, we have a full slate of games tonight. So let’s jump right into it, and as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
How does $100,000 sound? The $500K Payoff Pitch Championship is TONIGHT!
Heaviest Pitcher Favorites
This section is to showcase who the Vegas favorites are on the night. Not my own personal choices. I keep getting asked about this, so I wanted to make it clear.
Noah Syndergaard vs. Philadelphia Phillies (-200) – Vegas starts off their picks for today with Syndergaard going against the Phillies tonight. Not too shabby of a pick here, as Syndergaard enters tonight with a 3.17 ERA to go with a 1.14 WHIP and a K/9 of 9.5. Syndergaard has been struggling as bit as of late, especially in the first inning, where a lot of the damage has been coming in his starts. His inconsistensty might be the biggest factor that would shy me away from him, as otherwise, he’s been solid all around. We also do have the fact that the Philles are still hitting well in the second half. They own the 8th best wOBA in the league during the time span, and ruined quite a few nights last night as they took care of deGrom. Priced at $10,900, Syndergaard suddenly seems a bit pricey for a matchup that isn’t as much as a slam dunk as we once thought it would be. Vegas might love Syndergaard tonight, but I don’t know if I’m fully on board.
Alex Wood vs. Cincinnati Reds (-153)- For a short while last night, it looked as if the Reds might even get shut out by Buck Farmer last night. It truly would have been the icing on the cake for a horrible night last night. Eventually, the Reds busted out of their early game slump and starting piling the runs on the Tigers. Crisis averted. As for tonight, Wood is the second favorite for Vegas tonight, coming into tonight’s start with a 3.79 ERA to go with a 1.42 WHIP and a K/9 of 6.7. He hasn’t been that great since joining the Dodgers, giving up at least three runs in each of his four starts. His K:BB ratio also sits at 17:11 during the time span, which isn’t exactly going to get you a stamp of approval. Even though the Reds haven’t been hitting that well in the second half, a .308 wOBA in the second half, good for 22nd in the league, they’re still fully capable of piling on the runs as seen in last nights game. Wood is priced very cheap tonight, at $6,600, which is most likely the other reason I’d consider him for tonight. However, with how inconsistent he’s been with the Dodgers, I would only be using Wood in tournament plays.
Josh Tomlin vs. Milwaukee Brewers (-150) – Making two starts this season, and Vegas is already favoring him tonight? Man, kind of feels like they’re jumping the gun on that one a bit! Tomlin enters tonight with a 2.03 ERA to go with a 0.68 WHIP. His two starts this season have come against the Twins, where he scored 17.3 points and the Yankees where he scored 27.4 points. So yes, he’s been great thus far. His K:BB ratio has also been on point, sitting at 11:2 in 13 1/3 innings. Priced at $5700, he could be a steal tonight with a good matchup against the Brewers. The Brewers have the 24th wOBA in the league in the second half of the season at .303 while striking out the 15th most in the league, at 20.9%. Honestly, even though it’s a small sample, Tomlin is almost too cheap to pass up tonight. I realize that you shouldn’t get all excited after two starts, and believe me, I’m not. But, at $5700, that sounds awfully good now doesn’t it?
Top Overall Game Over/Unders
Toronto Blue Jays at Texas Rangers (Globe Life Park in Arlington) – 9.5 Over/Under – Tonight features the best hitting offense in the second half, the Toronto Blue Jays, against the Rangers with the 7th best wOBA at .330. Let the runs pour in on this one. Mark Buehrle takes on Derek Holland in this one. Buehrle comes into tonight with a 3.45 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP. He’s been pretty solid this season, and by that I mean on Buehrle standards. He isn’t someone you’re going to count on to get you 20+ points, but he’s good for the mid teens. However, going against the Rangers tonight, he could see some trouble. Buehrle has given up 19 hits in his last three starts, which seems to be happening a lot in his starts lately. He might limit the runs given up, but guys are getting on base, and not because of walks. The Rangers can certainly hit the ball, so Buehrle will certainly run into trouble with that tonight. Holland, is making his second start since returning from a shoulder injury in April. He’s made one start against the Mariners, scoring 21.5 points. I would very rarely recommend a pitcher going against the Blue Jays, who are just an offensive force. Besides have the top wOBA in the league, they also have the most power, with a .196 ISO. Insane numbers. Best of luck to Holland tonight.
Toughest Left/Right Matchups
Toughest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Dallas Keuchel vs. New York Yankees – Every fifth day, Keuchel will sit a top of this list. He continues to be down right nasty against lefties, with a .158 wOBA on the season.
Jake Arrieta vs. San Francisco Giants – Two solid pitchers going tonight, that Vegas wasn’t showing any love to. Arrieta comes into tonight with a .237 wOBA against lefties.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Jaime Garcia vs. Arizona Diamondbacks – Garcia has been straight up nasty since making his way back from the disabled list. Entering tonight, he owns a .221 wOBA against righties. Just please, don’t get hurt again.
Alfredo Simon vs. LA Angels – Oh yeah?! I wasn’t expecting this one. Simon has the second best wOBA against righties at .265. Nice job pasta sauce, nice job.
Best Left/Right Matchups
Easiest Pitcher vs. Left Handed Batters.
Matt Cain vs. Chicago Cubs- Cain….has not been having a good season. That’s being nice. He owns a .433 wOBA against lefties on the season. Sheesh.
Mike Foltynewicz vs. Colorado Rockies- Not a team you want to struggle against a particular type of batter. Foltynewicz may by in for a short night, if his .416 wOBA shows it’s ugly head tonight.
Easiest Pitcher vs. Right Handed Batters.
Jerome Williams vs. New York Mets– Here he is! By buddy Jerome Williams, coming at you with the worst wOBA against righties, per the usual. Willimas with his .407 wOBA, coming in hot!
Mike Foltynewicz vs. Colorado Rockies- Oh Mike, when will you learn. His .369 wOBA against rightiese is the second worst on the night. It might be the first after tonight with those Rockies. At least it’s not at Coors! The horror that would have brought!
Wilmer Flores($3600) – If you had Flores last night, how pumped were you? Kid has been on fire lately. Flores is 12-27 with three home runs, 10 RBIs, and 10 runs scored.
Edwin Encarnacion($4600) – A buddy of mine sent me a lineup the other day and asked what I thought about it. I liked it, but I said replace Encarnacion. He ended up going 4-4. Whoops. Not sure if him and I are still friends. Encarnacion is now 9-20 with three home runs, nine RBIs, and eight runs scored.
Ian Kinsler ($4300) – I’ve always been a fan of Kinsler. But I must admit, I’m a bigger fan of his when he starts going on a hot streak. Kinsler is 15-31 with two home runs, six RBIs, and nine runs scored.
Best Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups
Evan Longoria vs. Ervin Santana- Longoria hasn’t been doing much this season, but the least he could do is help us out against Santana tonight. Longoria is 6-15 with two extra base hits, both of them being home runs, and a 1.244 OPS.
Miguel Cabrera vs. Jered Weaver- I’m honestly surprised more players don’t hit Weaver well. He has like a 54 mph fastball. I might be off on the number, but it’s close! Cabrera is 8-26 against Weaver with five extra base hits, one of them being a home run, and a .977 OPS.
Chris Young vs. Dallas Keuchel- Ah yes, the left handed pitcher killer, Chris Young. He’s seen some moderate succcess against Keuchel, going 6-17 with three extra base hits and a .977 OPS.
Looks like a clear night of baseball is upon us. Rejoice!
One Pitcher To Build Lineups Around
James Shields ($8,900)- Soooooo, I’m hoping tonight goes a lot better than last night for my pitcher pick. Everyone last night was like, “Oh Steve, you idiot, deGrom is getting rocked tonight! Buhhhhh, we hate you!” So I said, “Hey look player haters, I picked Iwakuma, so just relax and wait and see.” Well, Iwakuma scored -0.30 points. Hey, it least it was better than deGrom and his -6.60, right? Regardless, we messed up yesterday. But I feel good about Shields tonight (hard to believe me right now, huh?) Shields takes on the Nationals, who have completely fallen off the face of the earth in the second half of the season, with a wOBA of .302, good for 25th in the league. They’re also striking out a TON, with a K% of 23.6, which is second in the league. That’s Chicago Cubs status right there. I wish this start was in San Diego, but we’ll settle for Washington. At $8,900, Shields will be an nice start to your lineup without killing your salary cap.
Superstar Worth Paying For
Charlie Blackmon($4600) – Blackmon batting leadoff against Mike Foltynewicz should be a good one tonight. Foltynewicz really struggles against lefties, and righties too, but especially lefties. They own a .416 wOBA against him, which is one of the worst on the night. As for Blackmon, he owns a .377 wOBA against RHP with some decent power, showcasing a .192 ISO rating. The added bump for Blackmon goes to the fact that he bats leadoff, so he’ll get the most exposure to Foltynewicz tonight, banking on the fact that he even makes it deep into this game. The Rockies have struggled a bit offensively in the second half, but have still feasted on below average pitching. At $4600, he won’t break your salary either, which is always an added bonus.
Save Big Bucks By Drafting…
Chris Young ($2900) – This is not going to be a popular pick. Hence, why I’m making it mine. Keuchel is just nasty, so the Yankees are going to be low owned today. Which is why, I love Young tonight. His price tag is super low, at $2900. Then, we have the fact that he crushes lefties. On the season against lefties, he owns a .435 wOBA with a .296 ISO. MONEY numbers I tell you. Also, if you’ve noticed in the BvP section, he’s hit Keuchel fairly well in their meetings together. 6-17 and only costing me $2900? I’ll take my chances.