It’s Friday so that can mean only one thing, ticket giveaway day! Ah yes, everyone’s favorite day of the week. How do you enter? Well, head on over to my Twitter page @SBuchanan24, and on my page, you’ll see that I’ll have a question posted. The answer to that question will be here in this article, so make sure you read it first. The contest will end at 3pm ET this afternoon! The prizes are two $50 Medium Main Event Tickets. You have you chance to win one of them, so what do you have to lose? Good luck to everyone.
We have a full slate of games today, so lets jump right into it.There are plenty of MLB contests available — Get in the action!
Heaviest Pitcher Favorites
This section is to showcase who the Vegas favorites are on the night. Not my own personal choices.
Max Scherzer vs. Miami Marlins(-240) – The poor Marlins. They struggle to hit as it is, now tonight they have to face Max Scherzer? That’s just unfair. Scherzer has been fantastic this season, as expected, checking in with a 2.79 ERA with a WHIP of 0.93 and a K/9 of 10.5. It’s been said time and time again if you read this article on the regular, but the Marlins are one of the worst offensive teams in the second half of the season. They come in with an overall wOBA of .293 in the second half of the season, ranked 27th during that time span. Their power is basically non existent, with an ISO of .109, which is dead last in the league. Truly, I don’t think anyone really has much to worry about here when it comes to this start. The only factor that causes some trouble is the fact that the Marlins don’t strike out much. They own the second to last strikeout percentage in the league during the second half, at 17%. Only the Royals have a lower strikeout percentage during that time. This could be a brutal night for the Marlins, as Scherzer not only is the favorite for Vegas, but one of the guys I like tonight as well. He’s going to be expensiveeeeee tonight at 12,500 so keep that in mind.
Francisco Liriano vs. Colorado Rockies(-220)- It’s funny because when you think of the Rockies, you think of an explosive lineup that can crush almost anyone, right? If you don’t well, maybe it’s just me. Regardless, I think the Rockies are at least though of as a good offense, which they should be. It seems strange that once we start pulling numbers, their wOBA in the second half only sits in 13th, at .322. You’d expect it to be higher, wouldn’t you? They’ve been striking out quite often during that time frame as well, coming in at 21.8% with their power rating at .182, which is fantastic, good for 6th in the league. When it comes to lefties however, the Rockies really run into trouble. Believe it or not, the Rockies owns the 28th worst wOBA against lefties on the season, at .289. Even more surprising, is that their power is basically gone when facing a leftie, as they own the second to worst ISO in that respect at .107. I know what you’re thinking now, how about the strikeouts? Great question young chap, they strike out the 4th most in the league, with a 23.4%. Liriano has been great this season, of course with some bumps in the road. However, with his 9.6 K/9, I fully expect him to be able to mow down the Rockies tonight and rack up some strikeouts. With this game taking place in Pittsburgh and not Colorado, you have to like your chances with this one. Liriano is “cheap” tonight at 10,000. That is super enticing.
R.A. Dickey vs. Detroit Tigers (-220) – The first thing that popped into my head when I saw how much of a favorite Dickey was tonight, is because he’s matchu. up against Matt Boyd and his horrible stats. I still think that’s a huge part of if, however, it might also have to do with the fact that the Tigers are a sinking ship. So let’s just roll it all into a ball and figure this out. First and foremost, it should be full expected that the best offensive team in the second half of the season, is going to absolutely crush Boyd tonight. Can we all agree on that? Perfect. Second, the Tigers truly have been a sinking ship. Checking in with a wOBA ranked 16th in the league during the second half at .320, it’s baffling to think what happened to this Tigers team. Their ISO rating is still good, at .169, good for 9th in the league. The strikeouts aren’t that shabby either, only striking out 20.9% of the time. So, it comes down to, is this a good spot for Dickey? I think he certainly has a good chance to outduel (sarcasm, guys) Boyd here tonight, so it’s very possible to get the win, I just don’t think I trust Dickey to have a good game. He doesn’t strike out many guys, owning a 5.3 K/9 on the season, so you’re really hoping for some clean innings from Dickey. No offense, but I don’t see that happening to often with a knuckleball pitcher. He might be able to sneak in a good start tonight, but even with the numbers not backing up a good offensive showing from the Tigers in the second half, they’re too talented of a team to be down for so long. It also doesn’t help that this game is……
Top Overall Game Over/Unders
Detroit Tigers vs. Toronto Blue Jays(Rogers Centre) – 9.5 Over/Under –…the top projected overall scoring game of the night. Anytime we have a game in this category, I often stay as far away as possible from these matchups. Vegas thinks this game is going to produce a lot of offense, that’s not exactly odds I want for my starting pitcher. We briefly touched upon both pitchers and the Tigers offense, so let’s focus on the Blue Jays offense. As I mentioned, the Blue Jays have the top wOBA in the second half of the season by a decent stretch. Coming into tonight, it sits at .343, which is seven points higher than the Mariners are, at .336 (uhhh, when did they start hitting?!) It should also come as no surprise that their power also ranks at the top of the league, at .195. Tonight, when they face Matt Boyd, it’s against someone who has REALLY struggled since being in the majors. His splits are downright ugly, with a .362 wOBA against righties and an atrocious .522 wOBA against lefties. Not exactly anything that makes you feel like he’s going to do well here, right? For as good as the Tigers “should” be right now, the Blue Jays ARE that good and should put up a crooked number by the time this game is over. Target suggestions for tonight? The guys with Toronto on their jersey.
Toughest Left/Right Matchups
Toughest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Sonny Gray vs. Arizona Diamondbacks- It feels like no one can stop Sonny Gray when he’s on the mound. He’s the ace of aces, even though he doesn’t get half of the attention he deserves. Tonight, he’s the top against lefties, owning a .235 wOBA against them.
Erasmo Ramirez vs. Kansas City Royals –Did the Tampa Bay Rays strike gold with Ramirez or what. He’s been a solid addition to their rotation, even someone I’ve rostered on occasion. If I’m rostering him, oh baby, he must be throwing FIRE. He doesn’t usually, but he does get lefties out. He owns a .238 wOBA against them.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Max Scherzer vs. Miami Marins- Poor Marlins :(. Ok sorry, I’ll stop bringing that up. Scherzer is straight up throwing filth when it comes to facing righties. They just can’t seem to touch him. Scherzer owns a .218 wOBA against righties on the year.
Matt Harvey vs. Boston Red Sox-Man, we really got some good pitching going tonight. Harvey taking on the Red Sox isn’t the most favorable matchup, but Matt Harvey is, well you know, Matt Harvey. He owns a .237 wOBA when facing righties this season.
Best Left/Right Matchups
Easiest Pitcher vs. Left Handed Batters.
Matt Boyd vs. Toronto Blue Jays- I’ll tell you, Boyd better come out throwing fire or something, because this is NOT the team you want to struggle against. Unless of course, your plan all along was to just collect your pay check and just stand on the mound and wave to the crowd. With the way Boyd has been pitching, that might be as far as he gets. Boyd owns a .522 wOBA against lefties on the season. Yes, true story.
Adam Conley vs. Washington Nationals- Conley should be counting his lucky stars that the Nationals have been struggling at the plate. Him and his .415 wOBA against lefties is not going to help his case tonight. If you’re Conley, you’re praying the numbers the Nationals have been producing lately stay the same.
Easiest Pitcher vs. Right Handed Batters.
John Danks vs. Seattle Mariners- I told you we got some solid pitching going tonight! John Danks in the house people! He’s so good, his .366 wOBA against righties is the worst on the night! This is even with Boyd pitching tonight! That should tell you something.
Matt Boyd vs. Toronto Blue Jays- Have no fear though, Boyd still made the cut. His wOBA would be the worst on any other night, but Danks just wanted attention or something I guess. Boyd enters tonight with a .362 wOBA against righties tonight. Really, good luck with the Blue Jays tonight.
Francisco Lindor ($4000) –Seems as if we keep getting Indians hitters in this section, which makes me wonder, what could have been, if they just hit like this all season. Lindor has been doing basically EVERYTHING for his team lately. He checks in tonight 13-23 with two home runs, six RBIs, five runs scored and three stolen bases. Now that’s a guy I would want on my roster.
Travis d’Arnaud ($4500) – d’Arnaud is recently off the DL, and has been making his presence felt since returning. d’Arnaud is 9-23 with three home runs, nine RBIs, and six runs scored during that span. He’s going to be a big part of the Mets run if they can keep this pace up.
Evan Gattis($4500) – I think it’s safe to say that Gattis has found a home with the Houston Astros. He has been consistently been churning out home runs since he got with the team. Gattis is 8-22 with four home runs, seven RBIs, and six runs scored.
Best Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups
Austin Jackson vs John Danks- Every once in awhile, we get a real good sample size of a batter and pitcher, and it shows how well that particular batter has done against said pitcher. Well tonight, we have Austin Jackson against John Danks. The fact that Danks has someone that hits well against him is SHOCKING to me. Jackson is 23-52 with six extra base hits, three of them being home runs, and a 1.164 OPS.
Dexter Fowler vs. Clayton Kershaw- If you asked me, “name a hitter that has hit Kershaw quite well in their career” my first answer would HAVE to be Dexter Fowler. It’s SOOOO obvious, right? Maybe not. But regardless, Fowler is 17-40 with three extra base hits and a 1.002 OPS. Sure, Fowler has singled Kershaw to death, but anyone with good numbers against Kershaw can certainly give you a slight edge.
Ian Kinsler vs. RA Dickey- Small sample size compared to the other two, but nonetheless, Kinsler has seen his success against Dickey. Kinsler is 6-16 against Dickey with two extra base hits, and a 1.194 OPS.
Looks like quite the clear day in baseball. But that can change on a dime, so make sure you look as roster lock comes closer.
One Pitcher To Build Lineups Around
Francisco Liriano ($10,000)- Truly, we have a LOT of good pitching options tonight. This could be a number of different pitchers tonight, and all would be worthy of a roster spot. Kazmir vs. Minnesota, Jungmann vs. Cincinnati, Tanaka vs. Atlanta, Gray vs. Arizona, Kershaw vs. Cubs, but he’s too expensive. You get the idea though. Overall, value wise and matchup wise, I love Liriano tonight. As I mentioned earlier, the Rockies are BRUTAL against left handed pitching this year. If you need a refresher, just scroll up, I did all the research for you, so don’t roll your eyes. At the price point of 10K tonight, it makes Liriano all the more enticing. He hasn’t been as sharp as he was in the first half of the season, as he’s scored 20, 10.4 and 15.5 in his last three starts, which would most likely explain the drop in salary. Honestly, that’s fantastic. Again, you have a TON of options to pick tonight and I’ll be super curious to see what pair of pitchers end up taking down tournaments tonight. I just think Liriano deserves the extra long look.
Superstar Worth Paying For
Josh Donaldson ($5700) – I know, I know. Give me a night you WOULDN’T want to roster Donaldson. So yes, it’s an obvious choice. But at least let me give you some numbers as to why Donaldson is a must in my eyes tonight. First off, he’s got Matt Boyd. I mean, I could end this section right here and you’d understand. But I’m not that kind of guy, I’ll give you some more. Boyd is a leftie, Donaldson loves lefties. This season, Donaldson owns a .464 wOBA against them with an insane .361 ISO. In other words, Donaldson destroys left handed pitching. Again, I get it, he’s an obvious choice, but I think it’s crazy not to include him in your lineup tonight.
Save Big Bucks By Drafting…
Pedro Alverez ($3200) – The problem with Alverez is that he’s not starting like he used to. For someone who was always a lock in the lineup, Alverez isn’t seeing the starts he’s used to. Regardless, when he’s in the lineup, he’s always a threat to go deep. If he does indeed start, he faces Jonathan Gray, who’s averaging about 1.5 home runs per nine innings. Alverez has some good power against RHP, with a .224 ISO and wOBA of .324. They aren’t slam dunk numbers, but at the same time, you’re not paying much for him to begin with.