We have a split slate of games going today. Six games will go this afternoon and nine games for tonight. Let’s jump right into everything and as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
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Heaviest Pitcher Favorites
****Editors Note: Kershaw has now been officially scratched. Mike Bolsinger will be starting in his place.****
Clayton Kershaw vs. Oakland A’s (-329) – Not only is he the favortie today, he’s like THE FAVORITE. Huge number here for Kershaw. He’s also the most expensive I’ve seen him, priced at $15,000 tonight. So, now the real question, is he worth the price? Kershaw brings his 2.51 ERA with his 0.94 WHIP and a K/9 of 11.9 in his matchup, at home, against Oakland. Offensively, the A’s are a middle of the road team, ranked 11th in batting average, 12th in runs scored, 17th in OPS and 21st in home runs. Strikeout wise, they’re near the bottom of the league, ranked at 28th. Clearly, in my world at least, this hurts Kershaw value justtttt a bit. However, in doing a little bit of research, Kershaw has faced two teams this season that are in the bottom 10 in strikeouts, San Francisco three times and Atlanta once. In those games, Kershaw racked up nine, eight and seven strikeouts against the Giants and 10 against the Braves. So, at least against those two teams, the low strikeout totals didn’t really make a difference with Kershaw, he got them anyways. It’s a super steep price for Kershaw tonight, but one would think that would see him see a dip in ownership tonight? Or maybe not, it’s Kershaw.
Jon Lester vs. Colorado Rockies (-245) Take the Rockies out of Coors field and everyone gets on them. Lester comes into this afternoon as the second favored pitcher, according to Vegas. Lester has been pitching much better as of late, owning a 36:4 K:BB ratio in his last four starts. The Rockies are tough, and recently got another boost in their lineup with as Corey Dickerson is back from injury. The price may be right here, as Lester is only going to run you up for $9100 this afternoon, it’s just tough for me to give a green light against Colorado. The afternoon slate is honestly stacked with good pitching so you might be able to find a more favorable matchup than this one.
RA Dickey vs. Philadelphia Phillies (-226) – Dickey comes into tonight as a big favorite against the Phillies, something I’m not sure you’d want to be proud of. I’d be a favorite against the Phillies at this point. One thing I don’t like about this, is that this game is also slated as the highest run total of the night, a pet peeve of mine, but it is what it is. If you want to talk about the price being right, it certainly is with Dickey tonight, as he checks in with a $6500 price tag. Overall he’s having a typical season, with a 4.54 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP to go along with his 5.6 K/9. Since June, Dickey has posted a 3.23 ERA, which covers 10 starts in that span. Matchup wise, it’s a good one for almost any pitcher, even as someone as hard to predict as Dickey. If you are going to take him tonight, just be aware that I’m sure many others are as well.
Top Overall Game Over/Unders
Philadelphia Phillies at Toronto Blue Jays (Rogers Centre) – 9.5 Over/Under- Make no mistake about it, I fully expect this one to have a ton of runs, it’s just a matter of if the Phillies are actually going to contribute to the run total or sit back and get smoked while the Blue Jays mash everything in sight. Jerome Williams gets the start tonight for the Phillies at the price of $4000. I think this proves to us that DraftKings won’t go lower than $4000 on a pitcher. Otherwise, I’d suggest Williams be free today. Williams owns a 6.28 ERA with an atricious 1.66 WHIP. Going against an offense that’s ranked 5th in batting avearge, 1st in runs scored and OPS and 3rd in home runs, this could be a massacre on the field tonight. Of course, EVERYONE will be in on Toronto tonight, so just be aware of the high percentages for these players. Dickey, as I just mostly explained above, is a real hit or miss. He’s pitched well in his last 10 starts, so I can’t say I’d expect a complete blow up tonight. But as usual, find some exposure to this game.
Toughest Left/Right Matchups
Toughest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Francisco Liriano vs. Minnesota Twins – Oh yeah, Liriano going up against his own team. Show them what you’re made of, son! Liriano will show the Twins how he’s nasty against lefties, holding them to a .186 average.
Lance McCullers vs. LA Angels – I love McCullers. This kid has got some nasty stuff and has been showing it off in the majors. McCullers comes into tonight holding lefties to a .197 avearge.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Francisco Liriano vs. Minnesota Twins –Oh, you thought Liriano was only good against lefties? BAM! Righties don’t do much better. The Twins righties can look forward to a .191 average when facing Liriano.
Clayton Kershaw vs. Oakland A’s – Kershaw had to make an appearance on here some where. He can’t cost $15,000 without being one of the best at something. Kershaw is holding righties to a .197 average on the year.
Best Left/Right Matchups
Easiest Pitcher vs. Left Handed Batters.
Eddie Butler vs. Chicago Cubs – If Butler wants to be happy about something, at least he costs $300 more than Jerome Williams. That says something. Butler does not enjoy facing lefties, as they knock him around to a tune of .333.
Jeremy Guthrie vs. Cleveland Indians – Guthrie is doing his best Butler impression when it comes to facing lefties. Guthrie is staring down at a .333 against lefties this year.
Easiest Pitcher vs. Right Handed Batters
Doug Fister vs. Miami Marlins- Fister? Why? You used to be so….decent! Fister doesn’t even try when it comes to facing a right handed batter. They’re crushing him to a tune of .380.
Jerome Williams vs. Toronto Blue Jays – Williams, facing one of the best offenses in the league, brings a knife to a gun fight, or a .339 average in his start. Oh, shouldn’t Tulo be in that lineup tonight? Any chance we can make Williams free tonight? Draftkings? No?
Chris Davis ($4200) – Davis posesses a ton of power and his price tag is cheap. At $4200 with 22 home runs, that’s not too shabby. Davis has been heating up at the plate lately, going 8 for his last 26 with five home runs, 12 RBIs, and six runs scored.
Curt Casali ($2900) – Never heard of Casali? Yeah, me neither. But it doesn’t matter, we just want production! Casali has been a good producer lately! He’s 7 for his last 13 with five home runs, seven RBIs, and five runs scored.
Eric Hosmer ($3900) – For as good of a hitting team the Royals are, not many players of earned a spot on my list here. Hosmer is going to brag to all his buddies now after seeing this one. He’s 12 for his last 22 with three home runs, seven RBIs, and six runs scored.
Best Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups
Gordon Beckham vs. Rick Porcello- This just proves that almost anyone can hit Rick Porcello. Beckham comes into tonight 15-32 against Porcello with seven extra base hits, a home run and a 1.236 OPS. He rarely starts, but if he does, he could be real sneaky tonight.
Mike Moustakas vs. Corey Kluber- The Moose has figured out Kluber. Moustakas comes into this afternoon 15-31 against Kluber with six extra base hits, one of those being a home run and a 1.271 OPS.
Brandon Moss vs. Jeremy Guthrie- Ok, can we try this again with Moss? He was scratched from the lineup last night, because why would you want to put him in the lineup when he has good numbers against Chris Young, right? This afternoon, he has good numbers against Jeremy Guthrie, so c’mon! Moss is 7-16 against Guthrie with four extra base hits, three of those being home runs and a 1.500 OPS.
Another clean night of baseball. Unless that changes. Always check!
One Pitcher To Build Lineups Around
Francisco Liriano ($10,300) – This matchup goes for this afternoon, as the day slate is staced with good pitching. Liriano gets the start against his former team, which always gives the pitcher a little bit more motivation. I know this because I asked Liriano and he told me. But really, Liriano has been lights out this season, coming into today with a 2.91 ERA, a 1.03 WHIP and a K/9 of 10.1. Minnesota is a but tough to strikeout, as they rank 20th in that category, but Liriano should still be able to rack up around 6. As far as the other pitchers this afternoon, most of them honestly don’t have easy matchups and I think this could potentially be a tough afternoon for pitching. Liriano seems to be a safe bet for the day.
Superstar Worth Paying For…
Josh Donaldson ($5200) –This is pretty much an obvious pick, but you can’t deny the home run possibility here. Donaldson gets Jerome Williams tonight, who has given up 16 home runs of the year, 14 of those against RHB. Donaldson is hitting .276 against RHP with 17 home runs. I normally wouldn’t have Donaldson as my pick here, as he’s much better against LHP, batting .338, but truly, I think we have a very good chance of seeing Donaldson going yard tonight. This is projected to be the highest run total of the night, so it doesn’t hurt to have a couple of Jays in that lineup.
Save Big Bucks By Drafting…
Brandon Moss ($3400) – Dammit, I’m trying this one more time. I’m going all BvP style on you guys right now so get ready. As I mentioned, Moss has great numbers against Jeremy Guthrie this afternoon. 7-16 with four extra base hits, three home runs and a 1.500 OPS. Even though Guthrie is worse against righties, he still lets up a .281 avearge to lefties. Moss has 11 home runs against RHP despite a really, really sad avearge of .192. I know, it might be crazy, but c’mon! Yolo!