We’ve made it to the middle of the week with a full slate of games today. This afternoon, we only have two games being played, so we’re going to focus on the 13 games being played tonight. So let’s jump right into it, and as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
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Heaviest Pitcher Favorites
This section is to showcase who the Vegas favorites are on the night. Not my own personal choices.
Chris Archer vs. Minnesota Twins (-200) – Pitching has been a tough one to figure out lately. Last night, at least five players had negative scores, which in the grand scheme of things, is potentially a tough landmine to avoid. Tonight is really loaded with some quality pitching, so let’s hope we can get back on the right track with that. Archer is the favorite for Vegas tonight, coming in with a 2.77 ERA to go with a 1.01 WHIP and a K/9 of 10.9. In his last outing, Archer was basically perfect. Scoring a whopping 50.1 points against the Astros, Archer went nine innings giving zero runs on one hit and striking out 11. The Twins enter tonight with one of the lowest wOBA in the second half, coming in at .300 with a K% of 23%, good for third in the league. With the way things have been lately, nothing seems to be a “slam dunk” matchup, but this one should be close to it. Even at a high price tag of $12,800, I like the strikeout potential for Archer tonight.
Gio Gonzalez vs. San Diego Padres (-190)- This start was originally supposed to go to Max Scherzer, but they decided to bump his start, so now Gio Gonzalez gets to take the mound tonight against the Padres. The interesting thing here, is that the Padres will be priced to face Max Scherzer, not Gio Gonzalez. Keep that in mind tonight. Gonzlaez owns a 3.99 ERA to go with a 1.47 WHIP and a K/9 of 8. Gonzalez as not looked good in his previous two starts, scoring a disappointing 7.3 points in a matchup against the Brewers, and -8.2 in a matchup no one expected him to succeed in against the Giants. The Padres haven’t been great in the second half, but they haven’t been terrible either. They check in with the 16th wOBA in the league at .320, which is a respectable number. They also hover right around that area for strikeouts, ranked 17th in the league with a 20.7%. When it boils down to it, I think you’d find more value with stacking the Padres, priced to face Scherzer, against Gonzalez tonight. Gonzalez just can’t be trusted and hasn’t been able to show any consistency this season. He’s a tournament play at best.
David Price vs. Texas Rangers (-180) – The Blue Jays made the right move getting their guy in David Price for the stretch run. He’s been a huge addition to the Blue Jays and continues to mow guys down. He enters his start with the Texas Rangers with a 2.40 ERA to go with a 1.08 WHIP and a K/9 of 8.7, which seems a bit low to me, but if that’s all I have to complain about, he’s doing just fine. The Rangers have hit well in the second half, owning a .332 wOBA, good for 7th in the league. They’ve also been one of the toughest teams to strike out during that time span, sitting at 26th with a 18.5 K%. Priced at $11,300, I woulnd’t say this is a tough matchup for Price, but it certainly isn’t a lock either. Price has been so good that I wouldn’t even consider fading him, but I might not have a ton of exposure on him like I usually would. What the high price tag and not the most ideal matchup, I’ll certainly consider Price, but he wouldn’t be automatic for me.
Top Overall Game Over/Unders
LA Dodgers vs. Cincinnati Reds (Great American Ball Park) – 8.5 Over/Under – With a ton of good pitching going tonight, it’s no surprise to see that the highest projected run total of the night only checks in at 8.5. Brett Anderson takes the mound for the Dodgers while David Holmberg does the same for the Reds. Anderson is giving you an Anderson type of season. A 3.52 ERA with a 1.32 WHIP and a K/9 of 6. All average stats for an average pitcher. His splits how that his wOBA against both hitters are over .300, but nothing to obsecure. He gives up a decent amount of home runs as well, sitting at 14 on the season. As for Holmberg, he’s a whole different story. Only running you for $4200 tonight, his 6.57 ERA and 1.74 WHIP is a pretty obvious reason why. His splits are awful, especially against righties, who own a .449 wOBA against him. The home run ball is also a huge problem with him, as he’s given up seven in just 24 innings this season. This is certainly a game you’d want to target the Dodgers hitters.
Toughest Left/Right Matchups
Toughest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Johnny Cueto vs. Baltimore Orioles – Like I said, we have a lot of solid pitching going tonight . For me, it’s a welcome sight, after getting crushed on pitching the last two nights. On the season, Cueto owns a .229 wOBA against lefties.
Chris Archer vs. Minnesota Twins – Archer continues to be money this season, especially against lefties. Archer owns a .253 wOBA against them, while striking out everthing that moves.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Shelby Miller vs. Colorado Rockies – Make no mistake about it, even though Miller might not be one of the “big names” on the night, he certainly pitches like he belongs. Miller owns the top wOBA against righties on the night, at .239.
Jimmy Nelson vs. Cleveland Indians – Then we have my buddy Nelson, who every time I hear it, I feel as though he should be my drinking buddy or something. Think about it, Jimmy Nelson. Anyways, Nelson owns a .245 wOBA against righties on the year. Might be because he’s my drinking buddy.
Best Left/Right Matchups
Easiest Pitcher vs. Left Handed Batters.
Rick Porcello vs. Chicago White Sox- Porcello gets the “don’t trust him for the entire year” award from me. The guy just can’t be trusted. Coming into tonight, he owns a .373 wOBA against lefties.
Jeff Locke vs. Miami Marlins- Locke SHOULD have an easy matchup tonight, but he’s the runner up with my “don’t trust him for the entire year award.” He’s burned me twice this year, so that’s more than enough. Locke owns a .368 wOBA against lefties.
Easiest Pitcher vs. Right Handed Batters.
David Holmberg vs. LA Dodgers- Holmberg just had to be number one at something today, so we happily give him the honor of the easiest pitchers against right handed batters. Holmber and his .449 wOBA against them were the clear cut winners.
Rick Porcello vs. Chicago White Sox- Rough season, Porcello? Against righties, Porcello owns a .339 wOBA on the season. This normally wouldn’t be the second worst, it just is a testament to the solid pitching on the night.
Yoenis Cespedes ($5300) – You think the Mets are happy that the nabbed Cespedes at the deadline? He’s hitting .323 over his last seven games with four home runs, 10 RBIs, and two stolen bases. Beast.
Josh Donaldson ($6300) – Oh shocking, Donaldson is hitting well. Isn’t that obvious? Of course it is, but I’d be kidding myself and you if I didn’t throw him in here. Donaldson is hitting .462 over his past seven with three home runs, and 15 RBIs. Good luck fitting him into your lineup.
Rusney Castillo ($3700) – Now that he’s up with the Red Sox for the remainder of the season, Castillo has been settling in nicely in the Sox lineup. Over his last seven, Castillo is hitting .481 with three home runs and 10 RBIs.
Best Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups
Gerardo Parra vs. Johnny Cueto- Figues, we have some real good BvP tonigh when the pitching is loaded. We can never win! Parra is 7-23 against Cueto with five extra base hits, two of them being home runs, and a 1.080 OPS.
Justin Upton vs. Gio Gonzalez- Gonzalez gets the spot start for Scherzer, and his an enemy over on the Padres. Upton has hit him really well in a small sample. He’s 5-16 against Gonzalez with three extra base hits, all of them being home runs, and a 1.375 OPS.
Melky Cabrera vs. Rick Porcello – Oh, someone is hitting Porcello well? I would have never thought that. Cabrear is 12-22 against Porcello with four extra base hits, one of them being a home run, and a 1.402 OPS.
The Brewers and Indians have a small chance of rain tonight. It doesn’t look like anything serious, but just keep an eye on it. Unless, you implement a YOLO lifestyle.
One Pitcher To Build Lineups Around
Chris Archer ($12,800)- I wouldn’t be surprised if no one was reading this section right now. Two nights in a row we’ve had a pitcher in the negative. If you’re new to this article, well, god dammit. But look, when I make these picks, 9 times out of 10, I’m using them myself as well. So if you go down, I’m going down with you. Baseball is an everday sport, so for me to nail it 100/100, would be impossible. With that being said, here we are today with Archer. He’s expensive, but has a good matchup tonight against the Twns. As I said earlier, the Twins are not hitting well at all in the second half of the season and own the third highest K% in all of the majors during that span. Overall on the season, they’ve struggled against right handed pitching, owning a .301 wOBa against them, which ranks 25th in the league. The strikeouts, although not as high in the season total, but still rank 8th, is at 21.1%. With Archer owning a 10.9 K/9 on the season, I’m expecting a lot of strike outs tonight, and a score that’s not a damn negative. C’mon baby, let’s turn things around tonight.
Superstar Worth Paying For
Stephen Piscotty ($4500) – Since his callup to the majors, Piscotty has been a force on the Cardinals lineup. For the season, he’s batting .321 with four home runs 19 RBIs and a .910 OPS, all in 32 games. Tonight he gets a matchup with Patrick Corbin, who struggles against right handed batters. On the season, Corbin is allowing a .346 wOBA on the year, but its the numbers against lefties for Piscotty that really entice me here. Piscotty has been crushing left handed pitching, with a .436 wOBA and an ISO of .233, which is some good power numbers in a short amount of games. With an abundance of good pitching on tap tonight, Piscotty won’t break the bank and has a fantastic matchup ahead.
Save Big Bucks By Drafting…
Andres Blanco($2300) – Once again, I’m going with my man Blanco tonight (everyone is apparently “my man” in a non attraction way) Keeping in mind that you’ll most likely be paying up for a pitching, I wanted to circle back to Blanco, because his numbers compared to his salary are well worth the investment. He has a nice matchup tonight against Big Sexy Bartolo Colon, who allows a .323 wOBA righties and .341 to lefties. Luckily, Blanco is a switch hitter, so either side of the plate he hits from, he should have an advantage. On the season, Blanco owns a .348 wOBA against righties, which is a fantastic number for his price. Truly, you can’t go wrong here close to the minimum salary. Unless of course, he puts up a zero.