A full slate of games is being played today, however this article is only going to be covering 14 of those games. The Giants and Cubs are playing at 4:05 today, so we’ll skip that one. We have plenty of information for tonight, so let’s get right into it.
As always on Friday, I giveaway some DraftKings tickets on my Twitter page. Make sure to head on over @SBuchanan24, where I’ll be giving away not one, not two, but three tickets to the $33 entry Slugfest event! $25K will go to first place! So make sure to follow me for all the information on how to possibly obtain one!
Heaviest Pitcher Favorites
James Shields vs. Philadelphia Phillies (-169) – After watching the Phillies solve the mystery that is Zack Greinke yesterday afternoon, I’ll believe almost anything at this point. Shields is the most favorable pitcher tonight, according to Vegas. Shields enters tonights start with a 3.74 ERA to go with a 1.30 WHIP and a K/9 of 9.8. The Phillies are a tough team to strikeout, as they rank 20th in that category. A factor that gives Shields value a small hit. So is this non start for Shields after all? Honestly, it’s hard to gauge the Phillies at this point. They’ve sky rocketed their way up in the batting avearge rankings, as they now sit at 14th after being in the bottom of the league all season. But at the same rate, they’re still near the bottom in every other offensive category including runs scored, OPS and home runs. One thing is for sure, the price is certainly good on Shields at only $8600. Shields also has 15 quality starts in 23 tries this season. If you can get past the fact that the Phillies can certainly hit the ball at this point, you might be able to sneak something out of Shields.
Edinson Volquez vs. Chicago White Sox (-168)- Another team that we were so eager to jump all over, is now making us eat our words. The Chicago White Sox were the American League verison of the Phillies, but they’ve been tearing the cover off the ball lately. Overall, they don’t have impressive numbers, ranked 20th in batting average, 29th in runs scored, 25th in OPS and 22nd in home runs. However, they’ve certainly made some strides from where they were before the All Star Break. The White Sox get a matchup with Volquez tonight, who has certainly held his own this year for the Royals. Coming into tonight, Volquez owns a 3.21 ERA with a 1.27 WHIP and a K/9 of 6.8. The White Sox do strikeout at a higher rate than the Phillies, ranked 16th in the league, but even still, you want a team a bit higher than that. Just like Shields, Volquez has a really nice price at $7700. Between Shields and Volquez, you could certainly load up on some hitting when rostering these two guys.
Jordan Zimmermann vs. Colorado Rockies (-167) – Vegas lovessssss going against the Rockies lately. Zimmermann may be cheap tonight, but the matchup is certainly not one I’m crazy about. The Rockies don’t seem to be missing Tulo that much, as they still continue to mash the ball with out. Coming into the game tonight, the Rockies rank 2nd in batting average and OPS, 4th in runs scored and 7th in home runs. Not exactly stats that make you feel good about starting a pitcher agains them, right? Zimmermann owns a 3.54 ERA with a 1.26 WHIP and a K/9 of 6.6. Averaging only 14.7 points per start, Zimmermann certainly doesn’t seem to be the same guy we’ve seen in the past. He has a salary friendly price of $7500 tonight, but I think I’m going to pass.
Top Overall Game Over/Unders
Boston Red Sox at Detroit Tigers (Comerica Park) – 9 Over/Under- Vegas projects this game to be the highest scoring game of the night and I couldn’t agree more. Joe Kelly gets the start for the Red Sox while Daniel Norris goes for the Tigers. Kelly is been a complete disaster for the Red Sox this season. No way around it. He enters tonight with a 6.11 ERA to go with a 1.54 WHIP. Even a stint in the minors couldn’t adjust Kelly upon his arrival back. In his three starts back from being called up, Kelly has given up nine runs on 22 hits in 13 innings while striking out 14. For those keeping score at home, that equals 20.6 points in THREE games. Good lord. Is that enough reason to stay away? The Tigers only own the best batting avearge in the league. Norris had a great debut with the Tigers, tossing seven innings of one run ball while striking out five Baltimore Orioles. However, his struggles in the minors are a cause for concern. Before his callup, Norris owns a 4.18 ERA to go with a 1.50 WHIP and a 96:53 K:BB ratio. Not numbers you want to trust. As always, get some exposure to this game.
Toughest Left/Right Matchups
Toughest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Dallas Keuchel vs. Oakland A’s – Keuchel gets a tough pitching matchup tonight, as he’s matched up against another young stellar pitcher in Sonny Gray. Keuchel has held lefties to a .138 averge on the season. That’s just not fair.
Sonny Gray vs. Houston Astros- It’s certainly not going to be a fun game tonight if you’re a leftie. Between Keuchel and now Gray, they’ve been holding it down against these hitters. Gray is only allowing a .184 average against them.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Jacob deGrom vs. Tampa Bay Rays – deGrom and his hair are the kryptonite of righties tonight. Those hitters have only managed a .177 avearge against deGrom this season.
Jose Fernandez vs. Atlanta Braves- What a great matchup for Fernandez tonight. He gets the light hitting Braves, who are still missing Freddie Freeman. Fernandez won’t make it easy against them, as he’s held them to a .187 average this season.
Best Left/Right Matchups
Easiest Pitcher vs. Left Handed Batters.
Nathan Eovaldi vs. Toronto Blue Jays – What amazes me about Eovaldi against lefties, is I feel like the avearge they’re hitting against him hasn’t changed all season. It sits at .349 going into tonight. He just doesn’t get any better!
Julio Teheran vs. Miami Marlins- Teheran is just….not having a good year. Lefties have been kicking the crap out of him, hitting .304.
Easiest Pitcher vs. Right Handed Batters
John Danks vs. Kansas City Royals- Ok, I’ll admit it. Danks has pitched a couple of decent games as of late. I know it was an accident, so I’m not going to change my stance against him. He still faces a tough Royals team and he’s allowing a .316 average against righties.
Joe Kelly vs. Detroit Tigers – Joe Kelly has a high avearge against right handed batters, .310. It won’t go down tonight, either.
Nelson Cruz ($4700) – Hard not to feature Cruz in anything that has to do with being on a hot streak. Cruz comes into tonight 15 for his last 27 with five home runs, six RBIs, seven runs scored and a “what the hell, why not” stolen base.
Carlos Correa ($4800) – The shortstop for the Astros has certainly lived up to the hype. He enters tonight 7 for his last 28 with five home runs, eight RBIs, six runs scored and three stolen bases. Do you understand why he’s the highest priced shortstop yet?
Edwin Encarnacion ($4500) – Here’s something I’m shocked about, a Blue Jays hitter is hitting well. I never would have guessed! Encarnacion is 11 for his last 25 with two home runs, eight RBIs, and eight runs scored.
Best Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups
Adrian Beltre vs. Hisashi Iwauma- Iwaukuma has been pitching much better lately, owning a 1.74 ERA over his past three starts before getting crushed by the Diamonbacks. Tonight, he faces the Rangers and a nemesis of his, Adrian Beltre. Beltre is 11-30 off of Iwakuma with four extra base hits, three of those being a home runs and a 1.106 OPS.
Jean Segura vs. Lance Lynn – Segura has had a disappointing season, but tonight might just be the night where he rewards you for reading this article. Segura is 10-26 against Lynn with two extra base hits and a .907 OPS.
Chris Stewart vs. Clayton Kershaw – Wait, you didn’t realize Stewart, in a small sample, has decent numbers against Kershaw? How dare you. Granted, it’s nothing great, but just thought it was worth a quick mention. Stewart is 6-12 against Kershaw with a home run and a 1.250 OPS.
A nice night of baseball is ahead. Unless something decides to change that later on. In which, my iPhone app lied to me and I’ll delete it.
One Pitcher To Build Lineups Around
Dallas Keuchel ($11,900) – It was tough to pick just one pitcher to showcase here tonight, but after some research, because that’s my job, I finally landed on Keuchel. Against the A’s tonight, Keuchel certainly has some factors going for him. The A’s have one of the lowest team wOBA averages over the past two weeks and to go even further, past 30 days. The ranked 28th in the past two weeks in wOBA. As a team, The A’s are also having a really tough time against left handed pitching. Hitting .240 as a team, ranked 22nd, is not exactly numbers you want to see going into tonight for the A’s. On a night where so many premium pitchers are going at extremely high prices, (I’m looking at you Kershaw) it’s nice to get a quality pitcher at less than $12,000, even if he barely makes that mark. Pairing him with Shields tonight, although slightly risky, won’t completely kill your salary for the night.
Superstar Worth Paying For
J.D. Martinez ($5200) – Martinez gets a good matchup tonight against Joe Kelly. Kelly has been struggling against almost everyone, with Martinez having some really good numbers against right handed pitching. On the year, Martinez has a .294 average with 23 home runs and a .915 OPS. At home, Martinez has been much better than on the road, hitting 16 of the 29 home runs he has. Kelly has been a hot mess this season, Martinez should be able to take advantage.
Save Big Bucks By Drafting…
Christian Yelich ($3300) – This was a bit of a tough pick tonight, as we truly have some good pitching matchups going. But Yelich could be a sneaky play tonight going against Julio Teheran. It’s been well documented that Teheran has been struggling against lefties this season, giving up a .304 average to them. Yelich isn’t exactly crushing pitching, hitting righties at .269 clip with five home runs, but the cost for him is next to nothing. He will certainly be low owned across the board tonight.