Sunday is always one of my favorite days of baseball. It’s a guranteed full slate and one game in prime time. Today also features a TON of quality pitchers so should be a real doozy. Let’s get right into things and as always, you can get me on the Ol’ Twitter machine @Sbuchanan24.
Heaviest Pitcher Favorites
Chris Sale vs. Kansas City Royals (-155) – Sale comes into today as the favorite pitcher, according to Vegas. Going up against the Royals, Sale is the second most expensive pitcher on the day, besides Max Scherzer. The Royals are maintaining their high team batting avearge at .272, which is good for second in the league. Other than that, they’re a bit all over the place. The Royals are 10th in runs scored, 8th in OPS and 26th in home runs. The Royals are also the hardest team in all of baseball to strikeout, as they rank last in that category. It’s a bit interesting to think about who’s going to prevail in this one. Sale of course is absoutely nasty and can strikeout almost anybody, but is it worth finding out for the extremely high cost of $13,100? Earlier in the year when Sale was having his struggles, he did face the Royals and only struck out two in seven innings. However, at that time, Sale was not throwing his slider to try and preserve his elbow. His last time out against a team that’s tough to strike out, Sale faced Toronto, who’s ranked 22nd in strikeouts, and only fanned six. On the brightside, you do have a lot of quality starters today as well.
Dallas Keuchel vs. Texas Rangers (-153) Keuchel comes into today is the second favorite pitcher, according to Vegas, in a matchup with the Texas Rangers. Keuchel has been phenonmal this season, as he enters today with a 2.23 ERA to go along with a 1.01 WHIP and 114 strikeouts. Add on the fact that eight of his last nine starts have been quality starts and Keuchel starts to feel like a bit of a bargain at $10,300. The Rangers were starting to pick their game up in the month of June, but they seemed to have fallen back since then. They’re ranked 19th in batting average, 15th in runs scored, 13th in OPS and 10th in home runs. A big factor going for Keuchel today is that the Rangers strikeout a lot, as they’re 9th in the league in that category. Keuchel bring his 7.5 K/9 into today’s start and should easily be able to match that today. With so many high priced pithcers today, Keuchel could easily be a solid start for you today.
Jesse Chavez vs. Minnesota Twins (-140) – On a day where we have so many highed price, big name pitchers on the board, we have Jesse Chavez sitting at $6,400. Chavez was struggling a bit heading into the All Star Break, as his last two starts against Seattle and the New York Yankees only would have gotten you a combined 12.2 points. Granted, Chavez is not a stud pitcher by any means, but he’s a solid middle of the rotation guy. Today he get’s a matchup against the Twins and Vegas is liking what they see. The Twins continue to fall in almost every offensive category, as they now rank 14th in batting avearge, 9th in runs scored, 16th in OPS and 17th in home runs. Of course, Chavez has the advantage of pitching in Oakland today, one of the friendliest parks for pitchers, which is always an advatage for any pitcher who plays here. I wouldn’t hate if you rostered Chavez today, as you’ll have to have a mid tiered pitcher today if you want to balance out your pitching and hitting. However, make sure your expectations are in check. Expect a score in between the 12-15 point range but also understand you’ll be saving a ton of money in donig so.
Top Overall Game Over/Unders
Baltimore Orioles at Detroit Tigers (Comerica Park) – 8.5 Over/Under- When the over under for the highest scoring game of the day is at 8.5, you know you have a stacked day of pitching. Miguel Gonzalez goes up against Justin Verlander in this matchup. Gonzalez had a rough end to the first half of the season, as he was knocked around by the Nationals for six runs on nine hits in only five innnings pitched. Going into the break, Gonazlez had failed to make six innings in his last five starts. Home runs have also continued to haunt Gonzalez, as he’s given up 17 already this season. The Tigers can certainly crush the ball, as they rank 11th in dingers. Verlander is going for the Tigers today and is the prime example of a superstar falling from grace. Did you ever think you’d see the day where only Danny Duffy and Kyle Kendrick were cheaper then Verlander? At least Justin ended the first half on a high note, when he gave up one run on five hits against the Twins in seven innings. Today he faces a really tough Baltimore lineup, who rank in the top 10 in average, runs scored, OPS and home runs. As always, get some exposure to this one.
Toughest Left/Right Matchups
Toughest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Dallas Keuchel vs. Texas Rangerrs- Coming off his start in the All Star Game, Keuchel finds himself against one of the most disappointing teams in all of baseball. And when it comes to lefties, Keuchel has got that on lockdown. Lefties only mustered a .134 average in the first half of the season.
Tommy Milone vs. Oakland A’s- With all the quality names starting today, you wouldn’t expect a name like Milone to pop up in this section. Well, surprise! Here he is. Milone has been excellent against lefties, holding them to a .167 average.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Max Scherzer vs. LA Dodgers- Scherzer was one of the most dominating pitchers in the first half of the season. I have no reason to believe he’ll be anything less than that in the second half. A big part of the reason is his success against righties, as he’s holding them to a .163 average.
Taylor Jungmann vs. Pittsburgh Pirates- Again, think about the quality pitchers going today, and somehow Jungmann sneaks his way on here. Jungmann is holding righties to a .185 average thus far. Unreal.
Best Left/Right Matchups
Easiest Pitcher vs. Left Handed Batters.
Tim Cooney vs. New York Mets- We all know the Mets are just a train wreck, but Cooney against lefties is no better. He’s truly allowing a .500 average to them. I’m being serious. If he faced 20 lefties, 10 would get hits. MATH!
Danny Duffy vs. Chicago White Sox – Well, let’s see what’s worse today. The pitching of Danny Duffy, or the offense of the White Sox. Both are equally terrible. Duffy is allowing a .321 average to lefties this season. This isn’t the last mention of Duffy…..
Easiest Pitcher vs. Right Handed Batters
CC Sabathia vs. Seattle Mariners- Sabathia continues to struggle against right handed batters. You know, the prominent side of the plate batters hit from? Righties are hitting .331 against Sabathia this season and proubly next season as well.
Danny Duffy vs. Chicago White Sox – Please see above excerpt about Duffy but replace it with a .280 average against righties.
Adrian Gonzalez ($4000) – I feel as though Gonzalez has been underpriced this entire season on DK. That’s not a complaint by any means and now would be a good time to take advantage of that cheap price tag. Gonzalez is 6 for his last 11 with three home runs, five RBIs, and four runs scored. Just remember though, he faces Scherzer today.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis ($2000) – I will never be able to spell his last name without staring at it while I type. Not happening. Nieuwenhuis of course blasted those three home runs right before the All Star break, which is basically why he’s here. But still, if he’s starting, his low price is can enticing. He’s 5 for his last 12 with three home runs, four RBIs, and four runs scored.
Jason Heyward ($3400) – Heyward had a very nice performance last night, going 5-5 and it propelled him right into this section today. Heyward is 8 for his last 12 with two RBIs, two stolen base and three runs scored.
Best Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups
Mark Teixeria vs. Felix Hernandez – This is one of those matchups where Tex should be low owned because he’s going up against Hernandez. Well lucky for you, you have some secret intel that tells you otherwise. Tex is 20-66 lifetime against Hernandez with 10 extra base hits, six of those being home runs, and a 1.018 OPS.
Hunter Pence vs. Patrick Corbin – Yeah don’t forget, Pence is recently back from the disabled list and hitting third for the Giants. Today he gets Patrick Corbin, who he’s seen some good success against. Pence is 9-19 against Corbin with six extra base hits, three of them being home runs, and a 1.703 OPS.
Lorenzo Cain vs. Chris Sale – Not many hitters can say they’ve seen even moderate success against Sale, but Cain, of all people, can. Cain is 14-40 against Sale with five extra base hits, two of them home runs and a .925 OPS.
As of this morning, a clear day of baseball seems to be ahead. But as always, be sure to check this as first pitch creeps closer. Things always change.
One Pitcher To Build Lineups Around
Dallas Keuchel ($10,300) – This was a tough one today. We have SO many quality pitchers going today, it’s hard to break it down to just one. However, when looking at these guys that are going today, Keuchel might have the best overall matchup in my opinion. A lot of the guys going today, like Sale, Felix Hernandez, Max Scherzer, are going up against teams that are on the harder side to strikeout. Keuchel has a matchup against the Rangers, as I highlighted earlier, that strikes out the 9th most in the league. Strikeouts are super important to me so I like this one today. Plus, on a normal day, Keuchel might be viewed as a bit expensive, but not today. $10,300 sounds cheap when compared to Sale and Scherzer today.
A couple of sneaky plays I also like today are Gallardo vs. Houston(wouldn’t hate having these two go against each other) and Chavez vs. Minnesota.
Superstar Worth Paying For…
J.D. Martinez ($5000) – Martinez is playing in what is projected to be the highest run total game of the day. He goes up against Miguel Gonzalez, who’s really had issues with the home run ball. Gonzalez has given up nine home runs to right handed hitters this year, while 21 of Martinez’s 26 home runs have come off righties. Martinez has been a force this season and with Miguel Cabrera on the DL, he’s been a great source of power. Also, don’t forget that Martinez is hitting .320 at home with 15 home runs.
Save Big Bucks By Drafting…
Mark Reynolds ($2600) – I might rename this section to “Cheap BvP Champion of the Day.” But hey, my track record of reccommending BvP stats have worked wonders this year. So what the hell, let’s roll with it again today. Mark Reynolds is on your roster for one purpose, home runs at a cheap price. So today he faces Jon Niese, who Reynolds is 6-12 against with two home runs and a 1.538 OPS. With all the studs pitching today, a guy like Reynolds will fit nicely into that salary cap management.