We technically have a split slate of games today. Two will be played this afternoon and ten are going tonight. In today’s article, we’ll just be focusing on the slate tonight. Be sure to monitor your lineups ALL the way up to game time. Trades have been going off like crazy lately. 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
Carlos Martinez vs. Colorado Rockies (-226) – Man, the Rockies trade away Tulo and all of a sudden Vegas thinks they’re the team to pick on! Martinez enters his start tonight with a 2.34 ERA to go along with a 1.23 WHIP and a K/9 of 9.1 We focus so much on how good the Rockies are offensively, that we miss out on the fact that they can indeed have some rough games and strikeout out some. Jon Lester proved that yesterday with his 14 strikeout performance against these Rockies. But still, they are one of the best offensive clubs in all of the majors. This matchup reminds of me the battle of David and Goliath. One of these entities is going to have to give, it’s just a question of which one? Vegas likes Martinez and he certainly has the talent to take these Rockies down.
Chris Sale vs. Boston Red Sox (-164) Well this one feels like a no brainer. Sale comes into tonight the most expensive pitcher on the night at $13,200. He owns a 2.85 ERA to go along with a 1.00 WHIP and a K/9 of 11.5. On paper, the Red Sox are one of the toughest team to strikeout in all of the majors, however, this team is basically already giving up on the year. It’s quite a sad affair, being a Boston fan and all, but I’m certainly not going to be biased toward “my team.” Last time out against the toughest team in the league to strikeout, Kansas City, Sale was only able to muster six strikeouts on the day. Normally, this would be a good performance for a starting pitcher, but not Sale. If you’re paying all that money for him, you’re certainly HOPING for more. I think Sale will be worth the price tonight, the Red Sox are dead in the water.
Miguel Gonzalez vs. Detroit Tigers (-151) – Gonzalez comes into tonight as one of the favorites against a team that might have a few moving parts in the next 48 hours. Gonzalez owns a 3.99 ERA to go along with a 1.23 WHIP and a K/9 of 6.8. The Tigers are still a great offensive club, as they rank 1st in batting average, however, they’ve been having issues scoring runs as of late. In their last five games against Boston and Tampa Bay, the Tigers have only managed to score 12 runs, with five of those coming in one game against Boston. Gonzalez has been decent this season and with a 6.8 K/9, might be able to rack a few strikeouts against a team that strikesout the 12th most in the majors. Keep a watch on this one, as the Tigers could also lose a couple of key players in their lineup, which would further boost Gonzalez’ value tonight.
Top Overall Game Over/Unders
Kansas City Royals at Toronto Blue Jays (Rogers Centre) – 8.5 Over/Under- We have quite a few games going tonight that have a projected run total of 8.5, but I wanted to highlight this one. Danny Duffy takes on Marco Estrada in this one. The battle of two of the best hitting clubs in the American League. The Royals come in with the second best batting batting average in the league and rank 8th in runs scored and OPS. Estrada has been quite decent this season, owning a 3.55 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP. The Royals have been able to handle good pitching lately, even taking care of Chris Sale as of late. Duffy gets the crushing lineup of the Blue Jays, who rank 5th in batting average, 1st in runs scored and OPS and 3rd in home runs. This shouldn’t be an easy game for either pitcher and it would most likely benefit you to have some exposure to this game. Duffy is especially weak against lefties this season. Hint hint.
Toughest Left/Right Matchups
Toughest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Jake Arrieta vs. Milwaukee Brewers – Arrieta gets a start tonight against a Milwaukee team ready to ship out some of it’s prime players. Advantage, Arrieta. He’s been great against lefties this season, holding them to a .192 avearge.
Scott Kazmir vs. LA Angels – I loved the Kazmir trade to Houston. It gives them such a boost to their rotation and he’s been fantastic this season. Kazmir is especially good against lefties this season, holding them to a .214 average.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Shelby Miller vs. Philadelphia Phillies –Miller has been fantasticcccccc this year. I think I’ve let you guys know about this three or four times now. But it must be heard! Miller is holding righties to a .180 average this season.
Scott Kazmir vs. LA Angels – Look at Kazmir, gettin it! Righties can’t solve his stuff either, as they’re only hitting .205 against him.
Best Left/Right Matchups
Easiest Pitcher vs. Left Handed Batters.
Alfredo Simon vs. Baltimore Orioles – Ever since Simon has started making this list for being terrible against lefties, I can’t eat my favorite alfredo sauce anymore. People would ask me if I knew I was essentially supporting Simon by eating that alfredo sauce. So there it goes. Marinana it is. Simon is allowing a .309 avearge to lefties.
Danny Duffy vs. Toronto Blue Jays – Duffy with his .306 average against lefties tonight facing the Blue Jays. This MIGHT end well.
Easiest Pitcher vs. Right Handed Batters
Chris Rusin vs. St. Louis Cardinals- Oh, here’s something shocking, a Rockies hitter making this list! Rusin throws batting practice to righties this year, as they’re hitting .303 off of him this season.
***Editors Note: Michael Pineda has been scratched from his start tonight.***
Michael Pineda vs. Texas Rangers – I don’t know what’s going on with Pineda lately, but it’s not right. Righties are suddenly hitting him really hard, as he’s up to a .288 avearge on the year.
Carlos Gonzalez ($4300) – Ya know, I take him off for a day because I usually like to mix in a lot of different players in here, so you get an idea of who’s hittin well. Gonzalez won’t stop hitting! So he keeps sneaking his way on this list. Gonzalez is 12 for his last 24 with seven home runs, 13 RBIs, and 11 runs scored. Tulo who?
Adam Eaton ($4300) – I’m sure it doesn’t hurt that Eaton is getting the sad state of affairs that is the Boston Red rotation, but he’s been hitting quite well lately. Eaton is 11 for his last 27 with two home runs, five RBIs, nine runs scored and two stolen bases. The White Sox are really hitting well at the moment.
David Ortiz ($4000) – Well at least Ortiz can pad some of his stats this season, since he basically has nothing left to play for. Ortiz is 9 for his last 25 with four home runs, 11 RBIs, six runs scored and 24 stolen bases. Ok, zero stolen bases.
Best Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups
Todd Frazier vs. Jeff Locke- Today is another weak BvP day, which is always a depressing thing to say. I love me some good BvP. This is likely the best one on the day. Frazier is 9-20 off Locke with three extra base hits, two of those being home runs and a 1.322 OPS.
Ryan Howard vs. Shelby Miller- Howard has hit Miller well in the short amount of time they’ve seen each other. Howard is 5-14 against Miller with four extra base hits, three of those being home runs, and a 1.509 OPS.
Rajai Davis vs. Miguel Gonzalez- Davis hasn’t been in the lineup very consistently lately, so make sure he is today if you decide to play him. Davis is 4-12 against Gonzalez with three extra base hits, all of them being home runs, and a 1.469 OPS.
Two games of the potential for rain tonight. So make sure you watch these ones closely. Braves @ Phillies White Sox @ Red Sox
One Pitcher To Build Lineups Around
Jake Arrieta ($12,100) – The Brewers continue to sell off it’s players, making their lineup weaker and weaker. A perfect time for Arrieta to feast. With Aramis Ramirez already gone and Carlos Gomez basically on his way out the door (but no longer going to the Mets) the Brewers lineup actually can look worse then it did. Arrieta enters tonight with a 2.61 ERA with a 1.00 WHIP and a K/9 of 9.4, which will go up against a team that strikes out the 12th most in the league. Hence, a big reason I’m on Arrieta more than I’m on Sale, because of the huge difference in strikeout potential tonight. Arrieta will run you for $12,100 tonight, which is a fair price in my mind for the production he could get you tonight. Fire Arrieta up with confidence tonight, he should have a good one.
Superstar Worth Paying For…
Josh Donaldson ($4600) –I know I know, two days in a row now. “Steve you’re lazy and a loser, stop picking the same guy two days in a row.” No one has actually said that, but we can pretend right? I’ll be honest, if Donaldson is facing a left handed pitcher, you can be sure he’s most likely going to be here. Donaldson has also seen a nice drop in his salary for tonight, further making him an attractive pick. Against lefties this season, Donaldson is hitting .329 and slugging .646 on the year. The power mostly comes from facing righties, but Donaldson has hit six against lefties. If anything, with how well rounded this Blue Jays offense is, Donaldson can set himself to get knocked in by the rest of his teammates.
Save Big Bucks By Drafting…
Adonis Garcia ($2000) – Garcia is going to cost you next to nothing tonight and he gets a matchup against Aaron Harang. Eligible in the outfield or third base, Garcia has been taking advantage of his short time in the majors thus far. Scoring 5, 19, 14, and 3 in his first four games, you literally have nothing to lost with Garcia costing so little and going up against a less than stellar pitcher in Harang.