September is quickly approaching, as the last full month of the regular season is upon us. Absolutely crazy to think about! Tonight features a “short” slate of 12 games with plenty of good matchups and some solid pitching to choose from. So, let’s just right into it and as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Heaviest Pitcher Favorites
This section is to showcase who the Vegas favorites are on the night. Not my own personal choices.
Dallas Keuchel vs. Seattle Mariners (-210) – No surprise here as Keuchel has been one of the best pitchers in the American League this season. His wOBA against lefties is of the lowest you’ll see, as it sits at .157 on the season. Madness I tell you! The Mariners have been about average when it comes to facing left handed pitching this season. They own a .311 wOBA, good for 15th in the league, and a .149 ISO, which ranks 13th. When it comes to strikeouts against a leftie, the Mariners rank 7th most in the league with a 22.4 K%. Even with this start being in the hitter friendly confides of Minute Maid Park, you have to like you chances with Keuchel here. For the most part, the only hitters on the Mariners that hit lefties well are Nelson Cruz and Franklin Gutierrez. That’s not enough for me to be off on an pitcher simply because of two hitters. Keuchel has been so good this season, 2.28 ERA with a WHIP of 1.00 and a K/9 of 8, that he’s hard to fade no matter his price or opponent. He’ll be expensive, coming in at $12,100, but I can still see a lot of people getting exposure to him, including myself.
Bartolo Colon vs. Philadelphia Phillies (-210)- How about this! Colon is quite the favorite tonight going against the Phillies! Is it warranted? Ehhhh, maybe not so much, but let’s look at the numbers. First and foremost, the price for Colon isn’t going to run you up very much. He comes in tonight at $6,800, which is dirt cheap. His overall numbers aren’t that impressive, a 4.65 ERA with a 1.29 WHIP and a K/9 of 6.8. Coming into tonight, the Phillies own the eighth highest wOBA in the second half of the season at .327. Their hitting has certainly been much better during this half of the season compared to the first. Even the power is way up, with a .168 ISO during that same time span. Colon is certainly prone to giving up some home runs, as he’s done that 22 times this season. I think Colon might get the nod here from Vegas because he’s going up against the rookie Jerad Eickhoff, who has to face a dynamic Mets offense, but other than that, I don’t see much to like here for Colon. The Phillies aren’t the same team that Vegas you used to love to pick on in the first half of the season. Colon has been more hittable as the season rolls on, I don’t see tonight being much of an exception.
David Price vs. Cleveland Indians (-180) – Price continues to be a dominating force for the Toronto Blue Jays, as he threw another gem his last time out. Since joining the Blue Jays, Price has five quality starts with a 1.98 ERA a 0.98 WHIP and a 41:7 K:BB ratio. If that isn’t dominating, I don’t know what is. Tonight, Price faces an Indians team that, like the Mariners, are right in the middle of the league against left handed pitching with a .311 wOBA on the season. Their power against them is almost non existent, with an ISO of .121. Can’t forget the strikeouts, especially with a pitcher like Price, as the Indians own a K% against lefties at 18.6%, which is one of the lowest in the league. With that being said, Price is going to have an expensive price tag listed next to him for tonight at $12,000. He’s almost certainly in line for the win here, as the Blue Jays runs support is better than any other team. However, I’m not sure if Price can fully reach value tonight with how high his price tag is. I think it’s fair to say that he’ll dominate once again, but the strikeouts could be a bit low, which will hurt his value tonight.
Top Overall Game Over/Unders
Arizona Diamondbacks at Colorado Rockies (Coors Field) – 10.5 Over/Under – Hey everybody, guess where the Rockies are!? Back at Coors Field for a series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Some people will be thrilled, others, or a large grouping, will not. Slated for 10.5 runs tonight, Robbie Ray takes on Chad Bettis in this one. Thankfully for once, Vegas doesn’t have one of their favorite pitchers on the night also in the highest run total. Let’s start off with Ray, who comes into tonight with a 3.86 ERA to go with a 1.32 WHIP and a K/9 of 7.8. Ray has been struggling as of late, with his last start against the Cardinals being a real dud. Ray allowed six runs on five hits in just three innings pitched, scoring a whopping -5.9 on the night. I’m sure everyone who rostered him was thrilled about that one. His prior start against the Pirates was better, but anything is better than a -5.9. In that one, Ray allowed three runs on seven hits in six innings. The Rockies certainly aren’t the same hitting team they were before, and they REALLY struggle against left handed pitching, owning a .288 wOBA on the season against them, which is good for 28th in the league. Ouch. Their strikeout percentage against them is also high at 23.1%, which is fourth in the league. As for Bettis, he was great in his first start since coming back from the disabled list. He held the Braves to one run on five hits in five inings pitched. Of course, he has a much tougher matchup tonight. He faces a Diamondbacks team that has the 13th best wOBA in the league since the break at .324. I think this will be a good game to target the D-Backs and maybe even fade the Rockies, if you can even put the thought of that in your head. Then again, you might not be able to think that way.
Toughest Left/Right Matchups
Toughest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Dallas Keuchel vs. Seattle Mariners – If Keuchel is on the mound on a particular night, you know for a fact he’s going to be the top guy against left handed batters. The guy is a freak of nature when it comes to facing them. On the season, Keuchel owns a .157 wOBA against those lefties.
Vidal Nuno vs. Houston Astros – Not to be out done by his opponent tonight, Nuno comes in with the second best wOBA against lefties. He owns a .256 on the season, which in it’s own right, is impressive enough. Might not be a good day for lefties in this matchup.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Chris Archer vs. Baltimore Orioles- Archer, just doing what he does, make hitters miserable during his starts. Archer enters tonight with a .257 wOBA when facing right handed batters, good for the best on the night. Not that I was surprised by any means.
Dallas Keuchel vs. Seattle Mariners – As if being tough against lefties wasn’t enough. Keuchel had to go above and beyond and make sure he was tough against righties as well. Well great job Keuchel, you own a .267 wOBA against those righties.
Best Left/Right Matchups
Easiest Pitcher vs. Left Handed Batters.
Mike Lorenzen vs. Chicago Cubs – On a night where Mike Foltynewicz is pitching, it’s actually quite shocking that he’s not the worst against lefties. That honor belongs to Lorenzen tonight! He’s getting the call from Triple-A to make a start tonight, however, any thoughts of his .440 wOBA against lefties going away were quickly dashed.
Mike Foltynewicz has been scratched from tonight’s game. Shelby Miller will start.
Mike Foltynewicz vs. Miami Marlins- Well, if it wasn’t for Lorenzen, Foltynewicz would certainly be the worst against lefties, so he’ll have to settle for second worst tonight. Foltynewicz enters tonight with a .401 wOBA against lefties. Hey, at least he’s almost under 400!
Easiest Pitcher vs. Right Handed Batters.
Mike Foltynewicz vs. Miami Marlins- If he can’t be the worst against lefties, he’ll be damned if he can’t be against righties. It’s an improvement over the lefties, but it’s still an atrocious number. Foltynewicz owns a .365 wOBA against righties on the year. Let’s see if the Marlins can hit this guy or not, I’ll be curious.
Chad Bettis vs. Arizona Diamondbacks – Bettis is going to walk into Coors Field tonight, knowing that his .351 wOBA is in jeopardy of moving on up tonight. Coors Field will do that to you.
Michael Brantley ($4800) – Brantley has not made this list very often this season, so it’s still good to see him on here, even in those rare occasions. He’s got a tough matchup tonight against David Price, but at least he’s coming in with some momentum. Brantley is 11-22 with two home runs, five RBIs, eight runs scored and a stolen base for kicks and giggles.
Eduardo Escobar ($3700) – Escobar is like the super utility guy for the Twins. I don’t think they have a position he hasn’t played for them yet. I bet he’s even sneaked in as a catcher at one point and no one even noticed. He’s been getting done at the plate lately as well, going 8-21 with three home runs, six RBIs, and eight runs scored.
Michael Cuddyer ($3100) – Cuddyer has been reminding Mets fans that he’s still on the team! After being quiet (or hurt) for the majority of the season, Cuddyer has been hitting the ball well. Cuddyer is 11-19 with two home runs, seven RBIs, and five runs scored.
Best Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups
Logan Forsythe vs. Wei-Yin Chen- Alright, here we go with some BvP knowledge to throw at you for tonight. Forsythe check in tonight going 7-22 against Chen with four extra base hits, three of them going for home runs, and a 1.173 OPS. Chen is always one of those guys I have a soft spot for, and then he let’s me down. Not tonight, fella! I’m not falling for it!
Mark Trumbo vs. Dallas Keuchel- Oh man, when Trumbo gets a hold of a Keuchel pitch, he makes it COUNT! Trumbo is 5-10 against Keuchel, which is a very small sample, I know. Of those five hits, all of them have gone for extra bases, two of them homeruns. That will give Trumbo a very nice 2.145 OPS against Keuchel.
Alejandro De Aza vs. Ivan Nova- I have a feeling that De Aza might not draw a start tonight because he’s already started the last two nights in a row. But just in case, he’s hitting quite well in a small sample against Nova. De Aza is 7-10 against Nova with a home run and a 1.700 OPS.
Booooooo! After four days in a row of nice clear weather for baseball, we have a couple of possible rain delays to let you know about.
Miami Marlins at Atlanta Braves
Arizona Diamondbacks at Colorado Rockies
One Pitcher To Build Lineups Around
Chris Archer ($12,300)- One of those days when the most expensive pitcher on the night, is the pitcher you should be drafting. When a team is struggling to hit, Orioles, and strike out a ton in the second half, Orioles, you have a recipe for a solid start ahead. The Orioles have the fourth highest K% in the second half of the season at 22.5%. That’s awfully high for a team going up against Archer, who currently owns a 11.1 K/9 on the season. 11.1, guys. This is one of these starts, that of course has to go according to my plan, but if it does, Archer could have no problem reaching value. Reaching value when you’re at $12,300 is a tall task, but I think it’s completely possible. Or, Archer can just make me look dumb and have an awful start. BUT THAT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN! Truly, I’m all in on Archer tonight. Let’s get it!
Superstar Worth Paying For
Anthony Rizzo ($5300) –Ah yes, back to an old favorite tonight. Rizzo gets to face Mike Lorenzen tonight, who has REALLY struggled against left handed hitters. On the year, as I showed you earlier, Lorenzen owns a .440 wOBA when facing them. Rizzo, being leftie, sees most of his power against righties, owning a .263 ISO against them with a .387 wOBA. Rizzo has been a force this season, batting .284 with 26 home runs and 78 RBIs and a .919 OPS. Averaging 9.3 fantasy points per game, I like my chances with Rizzo tonight.
Save Big Bucks By Drafting…
Derek Dietrich ($3000) –Dietrich has some great numbers against right handed pitching, and he just so happens to be facing one tonight that loves to implode. And when I say loves, I mean LOVES. Mike Foltynewicz owns a .365 wOBA when facing RHB and Dietrich just so happens to be one. Owning a .401 wOBA against righties this season, Dietrich could be a sneaky play for you tonight without busting your salary cap. Throw this guy a bone will ya?