We have a short slate of games today, as we usually do on Monday’s. Nine games will be played tonight, so we still have a ton of information to get to. Let’s get you right into things and as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
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Heaviest Pitcher Favorites
Lance Lynn vs. Cincinnati Reds (-175) – Lynn is the Vegas favorite today which doesn’t really surprise me, with the lack of quality pitchers going tonight. Lynn comes into tonight with a 2.80 ERA to go with a 1.23 WHIP and a K/9 of 9.8. Lynn is the most expensive pitcher on the night, where he should be worth the price. The only factor that might bring down Lynn is that the Reds are a tough team to strikeout. They rank 24th in the league in strikeouts, which could be tough, even for Lynn with his K/9 approaching 10. Lynn has done a great job at keeping the ball in the park as well this year, as he’s only let up seven home runs the entire season. It’s a short slate, so good picks are going to be hard to come by.
Kyle Hendricks vs. Colorado Rockies (-155) Ok this one, I don’t think I agree with. Hendricks takes on the Rockies, at home. Sure, Hendricks has been pretty solid this season, coming into tonight with a 3.66 ERA with a 1.13 WHIP and a K/9 of 7.6. The Rockies are just a very good offensive club. They rank 4th in batting avearge and OPS, 6th in runs scored and 9th in home runs. Hendricks is another one who’s done a good job at keeping the ball in the park, allowing 10 home runs on the year. I just have a hard time seeing Hendricks shutting the Rockies offense down, even out of Coors Field. Hendricks did face the Rockies on Opening Day, which was in Colorado, and gave up five runs on eight hits while striking out three. The choice is yours!
Chris Heston vs. Milwaukee Brewers (-154) – If you’re a casual fantasy baseball player, you might think this could be the start of the night. Heston, going against a weak Brewers team, right? Wrong! The Brewers have vastly improved on thier overall numbers and no longer come close to the bottom of the barrel. The Brewers rank 14th in batting avearge, 16th in runs scored and OPS and 13th in home runs. While these numbers may not sound overly impressive, it’s how fast they moved up the ranks that’s impressive. Heston comes into tonight with a 3.18 ERA to go with a 1.15 WHIP and a K/9 of 7.2. The Brewers do strikeout at a decent clip, 14th in the league, it’s their new found offense that scares me a bit.
Top Overall Game Over/Unders
Chicago White Sox vs. Boston Red Sox (Fenway Pahhhhkkk) – 9 Over/Under- This game should honestly have a higher run projection. John Danks takes on Joe Kelly tonight, in what should be a hit parade. First off, Danks has spun two nice games in a row against good teams, the Royals and the Cardinals. Tonight, he gets a Boston Red Sox lineup that’s an avearge offense at best, but can bust out for some huge games like last night, scoring 11 runs. Danks still owns a medicore K:BB ratio at 73:29, and in a hitters park like Fenway, could be in for a rough night. Kelly is just all around having a bad year. Recently called up from the minors, Kelly made his first start back against the Astros giving up four runs on six hits in five innings. Kelly also owns an ugly K:BB ratio at 66:32 on the year. Both of these offenses aren’t the greatest by any means, but I think the pitching is bad enough that we’ll see some fireworks tonight. Get some exposure to this game, as the hitters are certainly not that expensive.
Toughest Left/Right Matchups
Toughest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
John Danks vs. Boston Red Sox – Yup, somehow Danks has made the list. It certainly must be a short slate today. But I’ll give credit where credit is due, you’re good against lefties, Danks. They’re only hiting .196 on the year against him.
Anibal Sanchez vs. Tampa Bay Rays- Sanchez comes into tonight looking to improve on his numbers, as he gets the weak Tampa lineup tonight. Lefties are only hiting .210 off of Sanchez this season.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Kevin Gausman vs. Atlanta Braves –Gausman hasn’t really been this good, he’s only started four games this season and most of the damage has come against lefties. But nonetheless, Gausman is holding righties to a .175 average.
Ivan Nova vs. Texas Rangers – Nova has looked good since his return to the Yankee rotation. Nova comes into tonights start holding righties to a .212 average.
Best Left/Right Matchups
Easiest Pitcher vs. Left Handed Batters.
Raisel Iglesias vs. St. Louis Cardinals – A lot of people are saying, Ohhhh watch Iglesias, he could be a real sleeper in the second half. Well, I’ll tell you what, when he gets his average against lefties down, since it’s still at .364, then come talk to me.
Kevin Gausman vs. Atlanta Braves – Yeah, see what I mean about all the damage coming from lefties? They’re hitting .310 off of Gausman this season. Big difference.
Easiest Pitcher vs. Right Handed Batters
Kyle Lohse vs. San Francisco Giants- The Giants would be a great game to stack tonight. Lohse, to no surprise of anyone, has been extremely ineffective as usual. Coming into tonight, righties are hitting .320 off of him. Giants, tonight?
John Danks vs. Boston Red Sox- Ah yes, the Danks I love. As usual, Danks has to struggle somewhere, righties is his poison. They’re hitting .315 off of him.
Carlos Gonzalez ($4100) – Cargo was a huge reason I cashed last night, putting up a monster game. He’s had a really good weekend and might be finally turning a corner on 2015. Gonzalez is 10 for his last 21 with five home runs, 11 RBIs, and nine runs scored.
David Ortiz ($4200) – If you had Ortiz and Gonzalez in your lineup last night, damn son! Ortiz is starting to heat back up at the plate, as he’s 10 for his last 28 with four home runs, 11 RBIs, and six runs scored.
Todd Frazier ($4800) – Not to be out done by his teammate, Joey Votto, Frazier had to get hot at the same time. Frazier is 8 for his last 28 with two home runs, 10 RBIs, seven runs scored and two stolen bases.
Best Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups
Jay Bruce vs. Lance Lynn – I’m going to let you know right now. Today is pretty light on the BvP matchups, so forgive me now. This is the best one you’re going to get tonight. The other two are, meh. Bruce is 14-28 against Lynn with six extra base hits, three of those being home runs, and a 1.516 OPS.
Josh Hamiliton vs. Ivan Nova- Small sample, but not much to pick from tonight. Hamiliton is 6-10 against Nova with three extra base hits and a 1.500 OPS.
Alex Rodriguez vs. Matt Harrison- Again, small sample size. Rodrigueuz is 5-12 againt Harrison with two extra base hits and a 1.083 OPS. I told you, slim picks today!
We have a very small chance of rain in a couple of games tonight, but nothing that would impact game play. As always, keep checking prior to game time.
One Pitcher To Build Lineups Around
Anibal Sanchez ($10,200) – Why am I not picking Lynn? I don’t like how tough the Reds are to strikeout. That’s where the points come from. Tonight, Sanchez gets the 4th easiest team to strikeout, AND they are atricious offensively. The Rays rank 26th in batting average and OPS, 27th in runs scored and 16th in home runs. Home runs have certainly been a factor for Sanchez, he’s given up 21 on the season so I will happily admit that fault. I just like the matchup better than Lynn tonight. Lynn is certainly in play, but the strikeout potential for Sanchez is most enticing for me. For as high as Sanchez ERA is, his 1.23 WHIP tells me he has better control of his game then led to believe.
Superstar Worth Paying For…
Hunter Pence ($4700) –Hitting in the tough Giants offense, Pence gets a matchup against Kyle Lohse. We all know how terrible Lohse has been this season, and Pence has been feasting off right handed pitching. Pence comes into tonight against a right hander hitting .304 with four home runs and a .855 OPS. Don’t forget, Pence has missed significant time this season, hence the low power numbers. Since July 7th, Pence has been on fire, hitting .383 with three home runs and 14 RBIs. Get him in your lineup tonight.
Save Big Bucks By Drafting…
Jose Iglesias ($3200) – No one in the lower priced section was really blowing me away, so I’m going to throw Iglesias in here again. He’s been surprising everyone, even himself I’m sure, with how well he’s hitting this season. Somehow, he’s up to .323 on the season with a .327 OBP and .404 SLG. He doesn’t possess a lot of power, but he’s certainly a cheap way to get some exposure to the Tigers lineup.