It’s a short slate Monday, but not one that’s short on prizes. DraftKings has a ton of contests going tonight with some huge prizes, including $100,000 going to first place in the Swing for the Fences contest for only $3! Let’s get right into things and as always, you can get me on the Ol’ Twitter machine @Sbuchanan24.
Heaviest Pitcher Favorites
Matt Moore vs. Philadelphia Phillies (-150) – I don’t know if this says more about the pitcher or how bad the Phillies really are. Moore has been making his return since Tommy John surgery and hasn’t had exactly had Jose Fernandez success since returning. Granted, he’s only pitched 14 innings since he’s come back, but he owns a 7.07 ERA with a 1.93 WHIP with eight strikeouts. Tonight he gets that matchup against the Phillies, who we all know are an atricious offensive club. They come into tonight ranked 23rd in batting avearge, which is actually an improvement, 28th in runs scored, 29th in OPS and home runs. I usually don’t like to discuss how a pitcher performed in prior years, because quite frankly, what does that have to do with 2015? But for Moore’s sake, he isn’t as bad as advertised right now. He did own a a 3.81 ERA his last full season in 2012 with a K/9 of 9. So hopefully, this is the game that he starts to figure things out.
Andew Heaney vs. Boston Red Sox (-141) On a night where the pickings are really slim, Heaney looks like the safest pick. He has a matchup with the Red Sox, whose offense seems to be better on paper then it does in game. The Red Sox are ranked 11th in batting average, 15th in runs scored and OPS and 14th in home runs. Heaney comes into tonight with 1.32 ERA to go along with a microscopic 0.84 WHIP and a K/9 of 7.6. At just $8400 and Heaney averaging 24.4 points per start, he seems like a complete steal tonight. With that being said, I 100% expect him to be highly owned, as I said the choices tonight are really thin. Just be aware, that the Red Sox are the hardest team to strikeout other than the Kansas City Royals. To be quite honest, tonight is one of those night where you might have to ignore that stat.
Rubby De La Rosa vs. Miami Marlins (-132) – Once again, I don’t know if this speaks more about the quality of the team or the pitcher. I’m going to go with quality of team on this one. The Marlins lineup, without Stanton and Gordon, is looking very….minor league? Even with Stanton and Gordon, the Marlins were ranked 9th in batting average, which is great, but the rest, not so much. They’re 26th in runs scored, 23rd in OPS and 23 in home runs. De La Rosa comes into tonight with a 5.06 ERA to go along with a 1.31 WHIP and a K/9 of 8.1. Unlike the other two that I spoke about, the Marlins are the easiest out of these three to strikeout, as they rank 13th in that category. Again, the choices are extremely thin tonight, so De La Rosa may not be the worst pick tonight.
Top Overall Game Over/Unders
Texas Rangers vs. Colorado Rockies (Coors Field) – 11 Over/Under– Well for the next week or so, we might as well name this section the Coors Field effect, as the Rockies are back home. Tonight we get a Nick Martinez vs. Chris Rusin, a true pitchers duel if you ask me. Martinez is getting called back up to the minors to make this start, makes you wonder who in the organization doesn’t like him. Martinez wasn’t terrible when he was with the big club earlier this year, as he owned a 3.43 ERA, but his control was a different story as 57:34 K:BB ratio is nothing to be proud of. Martinez has given up 10 home runs in his 97 innings pitched, which is just averaging under a home run a start. Rusin is most likely one of the Rockies best starters, as he enters tonight with a 3.98 ERA with a 1.51 WHIP (which is not good) and a K/9 of 5.8. The biggest stat that sticks out here is the WHIP, at 1.51 which will certainly spell trouble against any major league team. With any start at Coors Field, you want to at least have some exposure here, especially with the Rockies righties, as Martinez is struggling against right handed batters, allowing a .307 average.
Toughest Left/Right Matchups
Toughest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Nick Martinez vs. Colorado Rockies- Martinez returns to the big club today and starts off with a less than stellar matchup. Nonetheless, he’s been great against lefties when he’s been up. Martinez has held them to a .215 average on the year.
A.J. Burnett vs. Kansas City Royals- Burnett is one of the best pitchers on a pretty ugly slate of games. But even he has a tough matchup tonight. He’s been doing particularly well when pitching to lefties as he’s held them to a .221 average, second best on the night.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Andrew Heaney vs. Boston Red Sox- Heaney has been performing as advertised since grabbing a rotation spot with the Jered Weaver injury. Heaney has held righties to a .158 average on the year. Truly, no rush Weaver.
Mike Lorenzen vs. Chicago Cubs- Lorenzen doesn’t have great overall numbers, but the damage hasn’t been coming from right handed batters. Lorenzen has held them to a .209 average on the year. ,efties have been a different story, however.
Best Left/Right Matchups
Easiest Pitcher vs. Left Handed Batters.
Matt Moore vs. Philadelphia Phillies- Now, this might be a bit unfair to Moore, as he’s only started three games on the season. But his agents never called me back to pay up so that I’d protect him from the masses. So now he’s going on blast. Moore has allowed a .375 average to lefties to start the year. Spoiler alert: Righties are crushing him too.
Alfredo Simon vs. Seattle Mariners – It’s quite disappointing to have to showcase Simon here, as he’s named after my favorite pasta sauce. But, life can’t always be perfect. Simon has had a lot of issues with lefties this year, as they’re hitting him to a .320 clip.
Easiest Pitcher vs. Right Handed Batters
Matt Moore vs. Philadelphia Phillies- Jesus, Moore! Get things together here, will ya? Thankfully he has a matchup against the Phillies, so he can try and lower his .333 average righties hit him at.
Nick Martinez vs. Colorado Rockies – Here is where Martinez has been running into issues. Righties are hitting him to a tune of .307 this season.
Jose Iglesias ($3000) – I remember the big thing with Iglesias was that his glove was fantastic, but his bat was anything but that. Now, it seems like the glove is still fantastic and Iglesias suddenly learned how to hit. Even DK is expecting the regression, because he’s still priced at $3000! Iglesias is 5 for his last 10 with a home run, three RBIs, five runs scored and a stolen base.
Lorenzo Cain ($5100) – Cain has seen a real spike in his price, but that usually means it for a good reason. He’s having a solid season for the Royals as he just continues to hit and make things happen. Cain is 7 for his last 17 with two home runs, three RBIs, three runs scored and a stolen base.
Curtis Granderson ($3400) – Granderson, or should I say, the entire Mets offense, which is what he has been, is having a nice start to the second half of the 2015 season. Granderson is 5 for his last 12 with a home run, and RBI, three runs scored and two stolen bases.
Best Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups
Brandon Belt vs. Ian Kennedy – I have two guys going up against Kennedy today, who I hope you weren’t all jazzed up about starting him today. Belt is 10-31 against Kennedy with five extra base hits, two of those being home runs, and a 1.028 OPS.
Buster Posey vs. Ian Kennedy – Posey hits a lot of pitchers well, Kennedy is simply another name on the list. Posey is 16-40 against Kennedy with four extra base hits, one of those being a home run, and a 1.005 OPS. I also don’t hate a Giants stack tonight.
Michael Cuddyer vs. Gio Gonzalez – Cuddyer is considered DTD right now, so make sure he’s in the lineup before taking this BvP. If he is, Cuddyer is 6-16 with two extra base hits, one of those being a home run, and a 1.170 OPS against Gonzalez.
Two games look to have a chance of thunderstorms from looking at the forecast this morning Make sure to check these prior to first pitch.
Cubs @ Reds
Pirates @ Royals
One Pitcher To Build Lineups Around
Gio Gonzalez vs. New York Mets ($8100) – Tough night tonight, guys. With the short slate and an extremely unattractive lineup of pitchers, Gonzalez is an easy pick for tonight. I mentioned Heaney was also a safe pick tonight, and I still believe that. Matt Harvey might have a tough start with the Nationals tonight and AJ Burnett faces the Royals, who really handled Chris Sale yesterday, so I’m naturally on Gonzalez. I ‘ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the Mets are a trainwreck. The come into tonight almost dead last in every offensive category, 30th in batting average, 29th in runs scored, 28th in OPS and 19th in home runs. Gonzalez hasn’t been having the best of years, but truly, this offense is THAT bad. You don’t have a lot of choices tonight!
Superstar Worth Paying For…
Buster Posey ($4000) – I’m going to cheat a bit here and go all BvP on you guys for this pick. But still, regardless of the fact that Posey has good numbers against Kennedy, Posey is having another fantastic season at the plate. He’s batting .318 with 14 home runs, 63 RBIs, and an .884 OPS. The biggest attraction here is his price point, only $4000! That’s a steal in my book. Get Posey in that lineup of yours.
Save Big Bucks By Drafting…
Brad Miller ($3100) – Just remeber, picks are slim. Anyways, I don’t LOVE this pick, but I think it could be a sneaky one. Miller faces Alfredo Simon tonight, who’s allowing a .320 average to lefties. In these types of matchups, Miller does have eight home runs on the season. Do I think Miller has a big chance to go deep tonight? Not exactly, but this could be one of those picks that does pay off for super short money.