I don’t know about you guys, but I’m in full weekend mode right now. We have a split slate today just like every Saturday, so you have plenty of baseball to choose from today. Let’s get right into things and as always, you can get me on the Ol’ Twitter machine @Sbuchanan24.
Heaviest Pitcher Favorites
Scott Kazmir vs. Minnesota Twins (-155) – Kazmir comes into tonight as the heavy favorite on the day, according to Vegas. Kazmir has a decent matchup against the Twins, but what makes this start (hopefully) a bit easier, is that it’s at the Coliseum. Kazmir has been great pitching at home where he has yet to give up a single home run on the year. The Twins have been average at best this season in terms of offense, so it’s not exactly a start you’d worry about for Kazmir. The Twins rank 15th in team batting average, 9th in runs scored, and 18th in both team OPS and home runs. As the fifth most expensive pitcher tonight, I like how Kazmir looks tonight.
John Lackey vs. New York Mets (-155) – Vegas has Lackey slated for the next favorite pitcher tonight, one in which I surely can’t disagree with. Sorry Mets fans, but your offense just really sucks. Coming into tonight, the Mets are ranked dead last in team batting avearge, a good start to these stats. Then they rank 28th in both runs scored and team OPS and 19th in home runs. Add on the fact they rank 11th in strikeouts and you can have a solid play tonight from Lackey for a low cost of $8600. Now, just realize that Lackey doesn’t strike out a lot of guys, as his K/9 is only at 6.6, but I think he can certainly come close to his avearge on the season. You’d really have to have a damn good excuse tonight to not throw Lackey in your lineup.
Clayton Kershaw vs. Washington Nationals (-153) – Well, Kershaw is pitching today, so of course he’s going to have to end up as one of the top three pitchers, according to Vegas. His matchup, however, is a tough one, hence not being a super heavy favorite like he usually is. Personally, I think that is a bad matchup for Kershaw this afternoon. First of all, his price is through the roof, as he costs $14000 on the afternoon. $14000! Next, Washington is a good offensive club. They come into today’s start ranked 12th in batting average, 14th in runs scored, and 11th in both OPS and home runs. Sprinkle in the fact that they’re in the middle of the league in strikeouts at 15th and you can’t love the matchup. If Kershaw was honestly $4K cheaper, yeah it doesn’t look as bad. I just can’t see myself paying such a premium price for a matchup that is not a guranteed knockout. I’m keeping Kershaw on the board this afternoon.
Top Overall Game Over/Unders
San Francisco Giants at Arizona Diamondbacks (Chase Field) – 9 Over/Under- Jake Peavy takes on Chase Anderson in what’s slated to be the highest run total of the day. Peavy looked fairy decent over his last two starts before the All Star break, but tonight he gets a tough matchup against a good offense in the Diamondbacks. What’s really been getting to Peavy, is his struggles against righties, as they’re hitting .311 off of him this season. In a lineup that was showcasing six righties last night, Peavy could be in for a tough one tonight. His counterpart, Chase Anderson, has been decent on the year. His splits have been solid, as righties are hitting .271 and lefties .241 off of him this season. The problem with Anderson has been the home runs, as he’s been plagued by letting them up early in the game. Anderson is hoping to avoid that tonight, as the Giants offense has only hit 10 home runs between the first three batters in thier lineup (Pagan, Panik and Pence.) However, the possibilty with those three is definetely prominent. As always, get some exposure to this game. My thoughts, would be the ARZ righties.
Toughest Left/Right Matchups
Toughest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Francisco Liriano vs. Milwaukee Brewers- Remarkably, we have three pitchers that have held lefties to a .189 average on the season. Honestly, I think that’s pretty damn incredible and the odds of that have to be huge. Nonetheless, Liriano is one of those pitchers.
Jake Peavy vs. Arizona Diamondbacks- I mentioned how Peavy has seen his struggles against right handed batters, well lefties are the complete opposite. He’s a part of the .189 club today. The other pitcher who also falls into this group today is Jose Quintana against the Kansas City Royals.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Francisco Liriano vs. Milwaukee Brewers- Strictly judging by his splits, Liriano is going to be dealing a tough one to the Brewers tonight. Against righties, Liriano is holding them to a .193 average.
Corey Kluber vs. Cincinnati Reds- Kluber has been having a great season, unless I roster him. So don’t be afraid, he won’t be on my roster tonight, so start him with confidence! Kluber is holding righties to a .202 avearge on the year.
Best Left/Right Matchups
Easiest Pitcher vs. Left Handed Batters.
Chad Billingsley vs. Miami Marlins- This is just laughable. Somehow, someway, someone in the Phillies front office was like, “You know who we need on our staff? Chad Billingsley!” Even worse, someone agreed. Well, it’s really paying off, I’m sure, as Billingsley is allowing a .429 avearge to lefties.
Jeremy Guthrie vs. Chicago White Sox – Guthrie looks like a God compared to ol’ Chad up there. But in reality, he’s terrible against lefties, as they’re hitting .330 against him.
Easiest Pitcher vs. Right Handed Batters
Chris Tillman vs. Detroit Tigers – I’ll tell you Tillman, not an offense you want to face when struggling against a particular batter. Righties are giving Tillman a lot of trouble, as they’re hitting .314 against him. Good luck today!
Jake Peavy vs. Arizona Diamonbacks – You already know this. Peavy is allowing a .311 average to righties. If you didn’t know this, you’re skipping around in my article. Stop doing that.
Trevor Plouffe ($3900) – Plouffe comes into tonight for the Twins 6 for his last 12 with two home runs, five RBIs, four runs scored, and what the hell, he threw in a stolen base as well.
Kyle Seager ($3900) – We had the .189 club with pitchers earlier and now we apparently the have $3900 club. Seager is 7 for his last 10 with two home runs, four RBIs, and four runs scored.
Charlie Blackmon ($4300) – Blackmon enters tonight 8 for his last 14 with a home run, five RBIs, three runs scored and a stolen base just for kicks and giggles.
Best Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups
Carlos Gomez vs. Francisco Liriano – Liriano may be great this season, but Gomez has seen a good chunk of success against him. Gomez is 10-21 against Liriano with four extra base hits, two home runs, and a 1.446 OPS.
Melky Cabrera vs. Jeremy Guthrie- Cabrera has seen a lot of Guthrie in his career, and while he might not have a huge amount of hits against him, Cabrera has made those hits count. Cabrera is 14-41 against Guthrie with seven extra base hits, one of those being a home run, and a .927 OPS.
Michael Cuddyer vs. John Lackey – Another instance where Cuddyer doesn’t have a lot of hits against Lackey, but the ones he does are big ones. Cuddyer is 8-28 against Lackey with five extra base hits with four of those being home runs. See what I mean? Cuddyer also owns a 1.083 OPS against Lackey.
The only game that might have some potential issues today is the Marlins and Phillies game. I can’t see this bothering too many people. A slight chance of thunderstorms are forecasted for the area. Make sure to check this game closer to first pitch.
One Pitcher To Build Lineups Around
John Lackey ($8600) – I originally had Scott Kazmir as my guy for tonight. But as I got deeper and deeper into my research, I realized that I had to make a switch and get Lackey in here. Truly, the Mets offense is a joke. It’s getting to the point where it’s going to be hard to not look at almost every pitcher that matches up against them. I mean to go over this one more time, they’re dead last in team batting avearge, 28th in runs scored and team OPS and 19th in home runs. Then, they strikeout out a decent clip, 11th in the league. Again, Lackey isn’t a strikeout pithcer by any means, but hoping for five or six strikeouts tonight isn’t shooting for the moon either. At $8600, I think Lackey is a steal.
Superstar Worth Paying For…
Mike Trout ($5600) – Ah yes, Steve is recommending the poster boy for the MLB. How insightful!
Yup, this is my first time throwing Trout in this section, so throw me a bone here. I like Trout tonight because he goes up against Rick Porcello. Trout has been hitting right handed pitchers to a tune of .304 with 18 home runs and a .989 OPS. Add in the fact that Porcello gives up seven home runs to righties and Trout has hit 11 at home and I love the matchup. Trout is expensive, don’t get me wrong, but a nice home runs will put your worries to bed.
Save Big Bucks By Drafting…
Justin Bour ($3000) – Soooooo, what’s not to like here? First off, Bour goes up against Billingsley and his pathetic .429 avearge against lefties. Bour is a leftie. Really, I could end this section here. But no, I’ll go on! Bour has 10 home runs. All 10 of those home runs have come against a right handed pitcher. Billingsley is a rightie. Really, roster Bour. Where else do you get 10 home runs and a .273 avearge for the cost of $3000?