It’s a weird slate of games today, as we have four games this afternoon and the rest are all tonight. The afternoon slate is actually a bit more appealing with the pitchers going, so don’t automatically pass that slate up. Let’s get right into things and as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Heaviest Pitcher Favorites
Johnny Cueto vs. Minnesota Twins (-190) – Here we go again, Vegas is back at picking on the Twins. Ok maybe they aren’t at that point just yet, but Cueto is your Vegas favorite going into the short slate this afternoon. Cueto owns a 2.98 ERA with a 0.94 WHIP and an 8.6 K/9. The Twins keep slipping offensively, as they now rank 20th in team batting average and team OPS, 21st in home runs and 14th in runs scored. With only four games in the afternoon slate, it’s going to be hard to pass up on Cueto.
Jesse Hahn vs. Colorado Rockies (-160) – Vegas has been giving NO love to the Rockies lately, as every game as of late, they have them as the underdog. Hahn as been solid this season as he comes into tonight with a 3.47 ERA to go along with a 1.18 WHIP and a 5.8 K/9. The Rockies are still in the top 10 in batting average, runs, team OPS and home runs, yet Vegas keeps going against them. The A’s have have certainly done their part to quiet those bats, as the Rockies have only scored three runs in their past two games against them. Hahn is a bit risky today, but the Coliseum is one of the best pitchers parks in the league.
John Lackey vs. Chicago White Sox (-155) – Finally we get a game that’s playing tonight. Lackey get the start in some interleague action tonight against the White Sox. Lackey should be familiar with facing this type of team, as I like to call them the American League Phillies. Lackey has been solid overall for the Cardinals as he owns a 3.35 ERA to go along with a 1.24 WHIP and a 6.6 K/9. The strikeouts are down for Lackey this season, however, he’s been able to go deep into games, as his last three starts have seen him get into at least the seventh inning. The White Sox don’t strike out a ton, one of the only good things they do this season, so it might hurt Lackey’s value a bit, but he should be able to go deep into this game as well.
Top Overall Game Over/Unders
Boston Red Sox at Toronto Blue Jays (Rogers Centre) – 9 Over/Under- Doesn’t seem like a coincidence that Rick Porcello is always featured in the highest run total of the night when he starts. He takes on Mark Buehrle, in a game which should feature plenty of offense. Porcello has been having a rough go of it this season, as his 5.54 ERA is the fifth worse amongst qualified starters in the majors. Home runs have been a problem for Porcello as he’s given up 13 on the season, and averaging 1.3 per start. Lefties have been his kryptonite, as they’re hit eight off of him this season. Buehrle has found the second coming of God apparently, as he’s been churning out solid performances after solid performances. The Red Sox are in the middle of the pack in terms of offense, but they’ve been extremely inconsistent. On paper, this one looks like it could be a real doozy.
Toughest Left/Right Matchups
Toughest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Johnny Cueto vs. Minnesota Twins- Cueto has been brilliant when facing a leftie this season. They’ve only been able to get him for a .175 avearge this season.
Jose Quintana vs St. Louis Cardinals- Here’s your usual every five day reminder about Quintana. He’s great against lefties and not so much against righties. Lefties are hitting him to a tune of .177 on the season.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Jesse Hahn vs. Colorado Rockies- One of the reasons Hahn is favored this afternoon is the fact that he can get right handed batters out. They’re only hitting .190 against Hahnnnnnnnnn this season.
Dan Haren vs. San Francisco Giants- Haren has some solid splits as we head into July. He’s been holding right handed batters to a .191 average thus far.
Best Left/Right Matchups
Easiest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Nathan Eovaldi vs. L.A. Angels– This is the section of the article where I roll my eyes when I look Eovaldi’s numbers against a leftie. It’s down right atrocious. Lefties are hitting him at a .367 clip. I mean c’mon.
Jon Lester vs. New York Mets- Lester may have the title of an ace, but he can’t seem to figure out how to get a leftie out. They continue to him him hard this year, as they see that average up at .319.
Easiest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Doug Fister vs. Atlanta Braves – Fister was usually someone you could rely on to go deep into games and breeze on through a lineup with a minimal amount of strikeouts. Well the only thing that’s sticking around is the minimal amount of strikeouts. Righties are hititng .236 against Fister this season.
Nick Martinez vs. Baltimore Orioles- This is one of those lineups where you don’t really want to struggle against any particular type of hitter. Martinez likes to live life on the wild side and comes into his start with a .311 avearge given to him by these right handed batters.
Mitch Moreland ($4200) – It was a good day to be alive yesterday if you were able to have Moreland and Chris Davis in your lineup. If not, well then that’s quite unfortunate. Moreland is on fire right now as he’s 11 for his last 28 with six home runs, 10 RBIs, and six runs scored.
Buster Posey ($4600) – Posey joins our list again this week as he continues to crush the ball. He’s 11 for his last 24 with two home runs, 13 RBIs, and eight runs scored.
Ryan Braun ($4900) – Braun is a five tool player, and he’s been able to show everything off as of late. He’s 13 for his last 25 with a home run, six RBIs, two stolen bases and six runs scored.
Best Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups
Aramis Ramirez vs. Aaron Harang -If you’re usually not a BvP fan because of the small sample sizes, do I have a couple of doozy’s for you today or what? Ramireaz is 22-66 (how’s that for sample size) with five home runs and a .963 OPS against Harang. Not good enough? How about…..
Robinson Cano vs. James Shields – Cano has seen a TON of Shields from back in their days in the AL East. Oh, memories. Cano is 35-87 against Shields with 15 extra base hits, four home runs and a 1.124 OPS.
Paul Goldschmidt vs. Brett Anderson – Goldschmidt could hit a baseball with his eyes closed. He might be able to do that against Anderson as well. Goldy is 7-11 against Anderson with two home runs and a 1.848 OPS.
Two games today have a threat of rain this morning as I write this. As always, make sure to check as game time approaches.
Nationals at Braves
White Sox at Cardinals
One Pitcher To Build Lineups Around
Carlos Carrasco ($10,200) – Don’t let the inflated ERA fool you, Carraso has been pitching a lot better then is lead to believe on the surface. You look at his 4.16 ERA and you say, meh, I could do better then Carrasco and his 4.16 ERA for $10,200. Then I say ehhhhh I’d hold off a minute their fella (or ma’am.) The Rays are a very light hitting team, they rank 22nd in team batting avearge and 25th in runs scored. The home runs are fairly decent, at 13th, but Carrasco has done a great job at keeping the ball in the park as he’s given up only nine home runs this season, good for less than a home run a start. His control is also really sharp, as his K:BB ratio sits at 97:19. The Rays strikeout a lot, 6th in the league, and with Carrasco owning a 9.8 K/9, I think you have a recipe for a good start here.
Superstar Worth Paying For…
Paul Goldschmidt ($5900) – Goldy is expensiveeeeeee and it’s going to be a bit of a challenge to fit him into your lineup. Well guess what, do it. Besides the fantastic numbers he has against Anderson tonight, 7-11 with two home runs and a 1.848 OPS, Goldy has been crushing left handed pitchers to begin with. He’s hitting .387 against them with five home runs and and a 1.158 OPS. Goldy is a prolific five tool player who can surprise you with a stolen base every now and then, I mean, he already have 15 on the season. WHAT CAN’T HE DO!?
Save Big Bucks By Drafting…
Kelly Johnson ($2900) – Johnson has been seeing consistent starts as of late with injuries plaguing the Braves team. Tonight, he faces Fister, who’s been struggling this year. Johnson has seen some success against Fister as he’s 4-12 against him with a home run and a .917 OPS. I mean he’s less then 3000, you aren’t going to complain are you? It’s going to help you roster Goldy!