It is absolutely mind boggling to me that were just about to wrap up the end of August, and enter the final full month of regular season baseball. Truly, where on earth did this season go? We’re going to be talking about playoffs and such soon, it’s crazy. Today, as always on a Sunday, features a full slate of games. Let’s just right into things and as always, make sure to get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.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.
Mark Buehrle vs. Detroit Tigers (-270) – Oh boy, it’s going to be one of those types of days huh? This is one of those days, where I’m thankful I have that little blurb above that states this is who Vegas likes for today NOT me. I can’t even see myself having Buehrle being the number one pitcher on the night. Regardless, I have to speak on what I see. So yeah, Buehrle as the favorite on the day. Where do I begin? Buehrle has not been good lately. In his last two starts, Buehrle has allowed at least four runs and has scored a combined 5.5 points during those. He does own a decent 3.60 ERA to go with a 1.18 WHIP and a meager K/9 of 4.2. He doesn’t walk really anyone, as he’s averaging only 1.4 BB/9, which is really super impressive. However, the strikeout aren’t a factor when he pitchers, so you’re really just hoping for a nice clean start if you roster him. He’s only going to cost you $6400, but you’ll be getting exactly what you pay for. A low to mid teen score (hopefully) and almost no strikeouts. Even at this price, you can do better. The Tigers might be struggling, but they can still crank the ball with the like of Victor Martinez, Miguel Cabrera and JD Martinez in the lineup. Buehrle isn’t going to fool these guys.
Stephen Strasburg vs. Miami Marlins (-260)- I can get behind this pick a hell of a lot more than I can with Buehrle. Strasburg seems like the Strasburg of old and has been lights out since he’s come off the disabled list. Since that time, Strasburg owns a 1.73 ERA with a 0.65 WHIP and a 32:3 K:BB ratio in 26 innings pitched. Those are exactly the numbers were expect from him. The other nice part about this, is that his salary really hasn’t budged much either, as he checks in at $10,000 this afternoon. Going up against one of the weakest offenses in the league, this sounds mighty fine to me. This is the part where I remind you that the Marlins have one of the lowest wOBA in the league since the All-Star Break and also one of the lowest K% in the same time span, at 17.1%. So obviously, take that into consideration with Strasburg, but that wouldn’t scare me off of him either. With Strasburg locked in right now and the Marlins struggling to even hit the ball, at $10,000, Strasburg is a fine play today.
Charlie Morton vs. Colorado Rockies(-190) – I think this is day 15 of Vegas going against the Rockies? I might be off a few days with that, but that’s what it feels like. I don’t know how crazy I am about this, but let’s dive a little deeper into this and then I’ll make a decision. First, Morton owns a 4.20 ERA to go with a 1.30 WHIP and a K/9 of 6.6. Nothing special here. He has had two quality starts recently against the Giants and the Mets, which is quite impressive actually, but really stumbled in his last start against the Marlins. Seems to make no sense to me, but ok. In that start against the Marlins, Morton pitched five innings giving up four runs on eight hits and striking out three. The Rockies sit in the middle of the league with a .320 wOBA and 10th in strikeouts with a 21.4%. Morton isn’t big strikeout guy, so we can’t really be relying on that too much. Sure, he might be able to nab five or so, but don’t come into today expecting eight. The Rockies are still a powerful team, regardless of their inability to hit lately, with an ISO of .181. However, Morton has done a fantastic job of keeping the balls in the park this season, allowing only nine home runs on the year. So, this basically comes down to a slightly above average pitcher going against a struggling offense. At $7200, Morton might be at least slightly intriguing option, facing the Rockies away from Coors Field. I won’t go as far as recommending him, but I will say he’ll make at least one of my lineups.
Top Overall Game Over/Unders
Detroit Tigers vs. Toronto Blue Jays(Rogers Centre) – 9.5 Over/Under – One of my biggest pet peeves, which is so weird to have pet peeves when researching baseball games, is when the Vegas favorite pitcher on the night is also in the highest projected run total. Doesn’t really make a lot of sense to me. Anyone else? So Mark Buehrle takes on Alfredo Simon this afternoon. We’ve gone over Buehrle just a moment ago, so let’s a look at Simon. He enters today with a 4.89 ERA to go with a 1.43 WHIP and a K/9 of 5.9. It comes as no surprise that the Blue Jays are the top offense in the league right now, which is what Simon is going to have to deal with. Simon has given up a decent amount of home runs, 15 on the year, which should bode well with the Blue Jays and their .204 ISO in the second half. Just for kicks, I looked at what the Blue Jays own in the last two weeks, a .401 wOBA with a .231 ISO. Crazy numbers for just a filthy lineup. Truly, at this point, unless your going to be completely contrarian, I can’t see myself throwing a starting pitcher into my lineup that is facing Toronto. You’re just asking for trouble. No exception with Simon today. Simon also struggles against lefties this season, owning a .378 wOBA against them. This is a game where keeping your exposure to Toronto is certainly recommended.
Toughest Left/Right Matchups
Toughest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Jake Arrieta vs. LA Dodgers- Arrieta gets the night game tonight against the LA Dodgers. He’s been truly fantastic this season, especially when facing left handed batters. He’s been holding them to a .229 wOBA on the season.
Alex Wood vs. Chicago Cubs – Well, I wouldn’t say this is a game you want to be targeting left handed batters in. Not only is Arrieta the best on the day against lefties, his opponent, Alex Wood, checks in as the second. He owns a .243 wOBA against lefties.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Jaime Garcia vs. San Francisco Giants- Garcia is so underrated, which is great if you’ve been rostering him. If you haven’t, you’ve certainly been missing out. Garcia checks in with a .223 wOBA when facing righties this year, a truly remarkable number.
Chris Heston vs. St. Louis Cardinals- With the way these numbers are working out, you’d think we have a short slate going today with the all the pitchers in the same games having the first and second best wOBA against hitters. Heston comes in with the second best wOBA against righties, at .268.
Best Left/Right Matchups
Easiest Pitcher vs. Left Handed Batters.
John Lamb vs. Milwaukee Brewers –Oh my. Lamb has not been finding much success when facing lefties this year. It’s down right awful. He owns a .430 wOBA when facing them this season. Call me crazy, but that might help explain his 6.06 ERA on the season.
Ervin Santana vs. Houston Astros- So let me get this straight, Santana comes back from his 50 game suspension, and you’re telling me he’s struggling now this season? Something doesn’t add up here. His .398 wOBA against lefties is the second worst on the day. Easily could have been first.
Easiest Pitcher vs. Right Handed Batters.
Derek Holland vs. Baltimore Orioles- So, Holland make his return to the Rangers after injuring his shoulder, and this is what he gives them? Maybe he should have taken the year off. Holland enters todays start with a .427 wOBA against righties. A lot of different emoji icons would fit well here.
John Lamb vs. Milwaukee Brewers- Never, ever a good thing when you show up on this list twice. Especially if it’s the “easiest pitcher” section. Lamb sees his struggles against lefties and says, “Hey, at least I’m better against righties!” He is, I’ll give him that, checking in with a .388 wOBA against righties. Bravo.
Edwin Encarnacion ($4800) – So, who had Encarnacion yesterday? How pumped were you? If you didn’t, how pissed were you? Encarnacion scored an ungodly 56 points yesterday. Yup, you might have passed on him, and that’s a buzzkill. But truly, I think anyone is hotter than Encarnacion right now. He’s 11-24 with six home runs, 20 RBIs and eight runs scored. That’s just not fair to the rest of baseball.
Mike Moustakas ($3700) – I’m happy that the Moooooooose is having a good season this year. I was really disappointed that he fell off last year, after having a great rookie season. Moustakas is 14-27 with three home runs, 14 RBIs, and four runs scored. His price point makes him all the more enticing. Can’t beat $3700 for his recent production.
Kevin Kiermaier ($3100) – Kiermaier has been a great source of getting on base and then maybe even sneaking in some stolen bases. That’s exactly what he’s been doing lately. Kiermaier is 10-20 with a home run, three RBIs, three runs scored and three stolen bases. He’s dirt cheap right now for someone who’s a threat to swipe a bag.
Best Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups
Victor Martinez vs. Mark Buehrle- Martinez and Buehrle have both been in the league for a long time. Because of that, they’ve also seen plenty of each other. Martinez is 28-78 with six extra base hits, four of them being home runs, and a .909 OPS.
Carlos Santana vs. Jered Weaver- It’s amazing to me how fast Weaver fell off. Three or four years ago, he was a dominating pitcher. Now, I don’t know what he is. Santana certainly doesn’t mind, as he’s 12-23 against Weaver with three extra base hits, two of them being home runs, and a 1.419 OPS.
Marcell Ozuna vs. Stephen Strasburg- I always like to sneak in one of these hitters that has done well against an ace, even if it’s a smaller sample. Ozuna is 7-17 against Strasburg with two extra base hits, both of them being home runs, and a 1.176 OPS.
Four days in a row where we aren’t seeing any weather implications across the board. Helllllll yeahhhhhhhh.
One Pitcher To Build Lineups Around
Lance McCullers ($9300)- Man, I’m going against the Twins again today, maybe the Astros have a much better rotation than you think. But once again, with the high strikeout percentage the Twins own since the All-Star break and the lack of hitter they’ve been producing, it’s hard not to go against them. McCullers enters today with a 3.12 ERA to go with a 1.21 WHIP and a K/9 of 9.3. Aside from that, his $9300 price for today is a big selling point for me. If I paired him with, let’s say Strasburg, that’s going to leave me with a remaining salary of $30,700, or an average of $3,837 per player, which is very manageable. The Twins continue to fall in wOBA ranking, sitting at .300 on the season now, good for 26th in the league in the second half of the season. Their K% of is now the second highest in the league, passing the Nationals, at 23.6%. McCullers has dynamic stuff and should hopefully nab a few more strikeouts than Fiers did yesterday, who only got five, which was pretty disappointing.
Superstar Worth Paying For
Nelson Cruz ($5200) –I’ll be honest, I really don’t like putting super obvious picks here in this section. If you’re coming to this article, I figure you at least want some decent insight into the days matchup. So for me putting Cruz here, I bet you could figure that out on your own. However, with that being said, it’s almost impossible NOT to put Cruz here, when facing a leftie on the road. On the season, Cruz owns a .465 wOBA against lefties with an ISO of .336, which is honestly filthy. His home/road ISO splits are also a huge difference, with a .206 at home and a .361 on the road. So now, even though the pick may be obvious, it certainly deserves a spot here.
Save Big Bucks By Drafting…
David Murphy ($2600) – I’ll admit it, I was so tempted to put Scooter Gennett back here again. He absolutely killed it last night, as I had a bunch of tweets telling me they won some money thanks in large part to Gennett. Just an FYI, he has another favorable matchup today. But, as much as I’d love to throw him in, I’m going to follow my gut and put Murphy in here. He’s been batting cleanup for the Angels against right handed pitching and today they face Josh Tomlin. Tomlin has REALLY struggled this season, giving up SIX home runs in just THREE games. Murphy owns a .333 wOBA against RHP with an ISO of .147. It’s not fantastic numbers, but against someone who’s allowing a .404 wOBA against RHB and Murphy batting cleanup, I like this matchup.