Well, damn. It feels like we haven’t had fantasy baseball in our lives for about 5 months. Sure, maybe it was only four days, but my sense of time isn’t that great. So to kick off the second half of the 2015 season, we got a jam packed Cheat Sheet for you today. Also, if you haven’t heard the news , I’ll be taking over this here article for the rest of the season. Seven days a week, baby! I’ll sleep when I’m dead!
Oh, it’s Friday isn’t it? Ticket giveaway day! Make sure you follow me on Twitter @SBuchanan24 and I’ll be tweeting out how to possibly obtain one of these bad boys. Good luck!
Heaviest Pitcher Favorites
Sonny Gray vs. Minnesota Twins (-155) – Sonny Gray is kicking the second half off for the Oakland A’s tonight after a stellar first half. He owns a 2.04 ERA to go along with his minuscule 0.96 WHIP. Gray takes on a Twins offense that’s in the middle of the pack coming into tonight. They rank 15th in team batting average and 18th in team OPS and home runs. Gray has been so good this season, I have no reason to believe the Twins should give him much trouble. The only downside to tonight, is that the Twins don’t strike out a lot, as they rank 20th in strikeouts. It’s not a reason to stay off Gray, but he might not reach his total value if he’s not getting much in the K department.
Colin McHugh vs. Texas Rangers (-150) – Ehhhhh, I’m pretty undecided on this pick honestly. According to Vegas, McHugh is the second favorite going into tonight. The Rangers offense hasn’t been that great this season, but neither has McHugh. This isn’t your Dad’s Colin McHugh, that’s for sure. After a fantastic 2014, McHugh comes into tonight with a 4.50 ERA with a 1.26 WHIP. The problem with McHugh is that he’s been extremely inconsistent and hard to predict. His price is very low, which does give him a good amount of value tonight, but I think you can do better to be quite honest. Those Rangers, while not that great offensively, can hit some bombs, something McHugh has done 14 times this season.
Masahiro Tanaka vs. Seattle Mariners (-148) – Another instance of, “well this team has been awful, but so has the pitcher.” The thought of rostering Tanaka for $9500 makes me cringe. He’s another one who’s been VERY inconsistent and driving people insane. He does however, have a nice matchup against Seattle tonight. Seattle is near the bottom of the barrel in batting average, runs scored and team OPS. They also strike out a ton, as they’re 6th in the league in that category. All factors that WOULD make Tanaka a good pick tonight. Personally, I’m staying away. You can get better value elsewhere. If you really have a strong desire to roster him, GPP only. Cash game? You’re nuts.
Top Overall Game Over/Unders
Kansas City Royals vs. Chicago White Sox (U.S. Cellular Field) – 8.5 Over/Under- Well, this game certainly doesn’t have a high run total tonight because of the White Sox. They’re one of the worst offenses in the league. 24th in batting average, last in runs scored and team OPS and 28th in home runs. They face Chris Young tonight who’s been surprisingly solid. So I’m not on the White Sox. The Royals get one of my favorite pitchers to rag on, John Danks. He comes into tonight with a 5.30 ERA to go along with a 1.47 WHIP. The Royals are second in the league in batting average and 10th in runs scored, which could spell bad news for Danks. Danks is also giving up a ton of home runs, almost two a start. However, the Royals aren’t overly powerful, as they’re 26th in home runs. Still, Danks has been having that issue. A Royals stack is certainly in play.
Toughest Left/Right Matchups
Toughest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Sonny Gray vs. Minnesota Twins- Ah yes, how fitting to have tonight’s favorite according to Vegas (and possibly mine, no spoilers here) as the toughest against lefties. He’s not making life easy for them, as lefties are only hitting .195 against him this season.
Trevor Bauer vs. Cincinnati Reds- Bauer should really be diagnosed with bipolar disorder, as he was all over the place in the first half. Overall, he has good numbers against lefties, as he’s held them to a .199 average.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Chris Young vs. Chicago White Sox- Folks, we offically made it. During the first half of the 2015 season, Chris Young has one of the lowest averages against right handed hitters. Coming into tonight, he’s held them to a .168 average. Mind boggling.
Mike Montgomery vs. N.Y. Yankees- The rookie gets the start tonight against the hit hitting Yankees. He’s been fantastic this season, posting a .197 average against righties.
Best Left/Right Matchups
Easiest Pitcher vs. Left Handed Batters.
Julio Teheran vs. Chicago Cubs- If Teheran has any hope of salvaging his season, he first needs to start with getting out lefties. They’re hitting .302 off of him this year.
Jordan Zimmermann vs. L.A. Dodgers – Another quality pitcher who’s having issues with facing left handed batters. Zimmermann is allowing a .301 average when facing them. Cut that out. Contract year!
Easiest Pitcher vs. Right Handed Batters
Drew Hutchison vs. Tampa Bay Rays – Prettyyyyyy, prettyyyyy ugly against righties for ol’ Hutchy this year. He’s allowing a .335 average when facing them. Not exactly a key to success if you ask me.
John Danks vs. Kansas City Royals – My hopes of Danks taking an extended All Star break came crashing down today when I saw he was slated to start. As always, a stack against him is a strategy I like to implement (not joking.) Tonight, going against one of the best hitting teams in the league, he’s allowing a .321 average to righties.
Mike Trout ($5300) – Coming into tonight, Trout is 7 for his last 16 with two home runs, five RBIs and four runs scored. He also loves All Star games.
Carlos Gonzalez ($4500) – Cargo might finally be on the way to turning his season around. Coming into the second half, he’s 7 for his last 15 with two home runs, five RBIs, and three runs scored. He watched the All Star game at home.
Carlos Santana ($3900) – Santana enters tonight 6 for his last 13 with a home run, three RBIs, two runs scored and two stolen bases. Wait, what? Two stolen bases? Modern day Ricky Henderson!
Best Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups
Matt Kemp vs. Jorge De La Rosa – De La Rosa is one of those pitchers that has more hitters that hit him hard then fans in Tampa Bay. Kemp hits him exceptionally well, which could bode well for your lineup tonight. Kemp is 18-44 against him with nine extra base hits, three of them being home runs, and a 1.198 OPS.
Nolan Arenado vs. James Shields -“Big game” James has been doing anything but come up big as of late. Tonight, he gets a tough matchup against the Rockies, especially Arenado. Arenado is 7-11 against Shields with four extra base hits, three of them being home runs, and an absolutely insane 2.212 OPS. Holy crap.
Andrew McCutchen vs. Mike Fiers – McCutchen has some serious success in a small sample against Fiers. He’s 6-16 against Fiers with four of those hits being home runs and a 1.537 OPS.
The Royals and White Sox have a slight chance of thunderstorms tonight other than that, seems to be a clear night for baseball.
One Pitcher To Build Lineups Around
Noah Syndergaard ($9300) – If you came to this article expecting Jose Fernandez to be featured here, then welcome! You must be a first timer! Fernandez is the obvious choice tonight, so I won’t cheat you with that pick. For my second pitcher, I really like Syndergaard against the Cardinals. We have a few reasons that I want to highlight. First, his price. $9300 isn’t the cheapest price, but it’s quite appealing when looking at his matchup. The Cardinals are 7th in batting average, which is good, but they’re 19th in runs scored. Clearly, this indicates they’re stranding a lot of runners. They lack power, as they’re 25th in home runs, so that’s one threat you can put to bed. The most valuable stat for tonight, is that the Cardinals are 9th in strikeouts. Syndergaard owns a 9.7 K/9 on the season, which matches up well against the Cardinals. In his last three outings, Syndergaard has 24 strikeouts against some tough teams to strikeout. The Reds, Dodgers and Diamondbacks are 25th, 17th and 10th in strikeouts this season. So, Syndergaard it is!
Sneaky play on the night? Chris Young.
Superstar Worth Paying For…
Anthony Rizzo ($4800) – I was going to go with my BVP special for this section, but it’s the start of the second half, so let’s be super helpful today. I really like Rizzo going up against Julio Teheran tonight. Teheran has been having issues against lefties, as he’s allowing a .302 average against him. Rizzo has been hitting RHP very well this season at .286 with 14 home runs. With the way Teheran has been struggling against these lefties, I expect something decent from Rizzo tonight. Honestly, when don’t you expect something good from him.
Save Big Bucks By Drafting…
Jedd Gyorko ($2800) – Ok, I guess I can’t stay away from BvP. Gyorko has AWESOME numbers against Jorge De La Rosa. Gyorko is 12-18 against him with five extra base hits and a 1.684 OPS. For the small price of $2800, that could be a steal tonight. If you need that extra little push to roster him, Gyorko is batting .313 with a home run and a .778 OPS over his last two weeks. Boom.