We have another amazing slate of pitching matchups today. Sunday is personally my favorite day to play fantasy baseball and it looks as if we got some good games ahead. As always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24. Good luck!
Heaviest Pitcher Favorites
Jon Lester vs. Cincinnati Reds (-172) – Lester starts us off today as the heavy favortie pitcher of the day, according to Vegas. Lester takes on a Reds team that struggles overall as a team in terms of batting average, but is 9th in OPS and 5th in home runs. Lester has also struggled as of late, as he’s given up 11 runs in just 9 1/3 innings. While Lester may be the favorite on the night, I’ll be curious to see how he performs, as his struggles are very apparent, and he’s pitching the night game tonight, which could see people to look elsewhere.
Max Scherzer vs. Milwaukee Brewers (-158) – Should Scherzer be insulted that he’s not the favorite on the day, going up against the Brewers? The Brewers are near the bottom of the barrel in almost every offensive category, except home runs. They’re 28th in team batting average, 26th in runs scored and 28th in OPS. When it comes to strikeouts, they’re fifth worst in the league. The home runs are about the only shining part of their offense, as they find themselves 12th in the category. Scherzer hasn’t really given up much for home runs this season, as he’s let up only six in 84 1/3 innings. This should be a dominating game from Scherzer, but the price tag is sky high.
Chris Heston vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (-153)- Such an interesting time for Heston. He’s coming off his no hitter that he threw on Monday, so naturally he has a lot of attention on him. However, is he actually THAT good? Heston has been solid for sure. He owns a 3.77 ERA with 66 strikeouts in 74 innings pitched. Today, he goes up against a very good Diamondbacks offense that is in the top 10 in batting average, runs, and OPS. It will certainly be a good test for Heston. After the no hitter, he certainly deserves a longer look than usual, but don’t play him just off of that fact. Take advantage of they people who are.
Top Overall Game Over/Unders
Toronto Blue Jays at Boston Red Sox (Fenway Park) – 9 Over/Under- This game features Marco Estrada for the Blue Jays against the electric Eduardo Rodriguez for the Red Sox. Estrada gives up a lot of home runs, 1.20 per start to be exact. Amazingly, he hasn’t allowed less than a home run per nine innings his entire career, so expect at least one in this game. As for Rodriguez, he owns a remarkable 0.44 ERA throught his first three starts in the majors in which he’s faced the Rangers, Twins and Orioles. He will really be put to the test today when he faces the offense of the Blue Jays. Rodriguez is going to make or break this game in terms of run total. The Blue Jays can certainly put the numbers on the board, but can they figure out Rodriguez?
Minnesota Twins at Texas Rangers (Ballpark at Arlington) – 9 Over/Under – Phil Hughes takes on Nick Martinez in this one, which is also slated at nine runs. Hughes continues to look extremeable hittable, which always seems to be the case with him. His last outing against the Royals he gave up three runs in seven innings while also giving up seven hits. Martinez has been pitching well for the Rangers, as he owns a 2.65 ERA on the season striking out 43 in 71 innings. The Twins has been regressing a bit in the offense department, but neither pitcher is going to exactly be blowing them away during this game.
Toughest Left/Right Matchups
Toughest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Cole Hamels vs. Pittsburgh Pirates- Hamels continues his dominance of lefties. On the season they’re only hitting .129 against him. Hamels owns a 9.4 K/9 on the season.
Eduardo Rodriguez vs. Toronto Blue Jays – Well, he’s finally passed the Steve Buchanan requirements. To be in this section, a pitcher has to start three games to become eligible. Well, here we are and Rodriguez has some incredible numbers. On the season lefties are only hitting .125 against him. His K/9 is at 9.1.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Eduardo Rodriguez vs. Toronto Blue Jays- Well then, Rodriguez has really had a fantastic three starts hasn’t he? Righties are really having much success against them either, as they’re only hitting .113 against him.
Chris Young vs. St. Louis Cardinals – It amazes me how well Young is performing. His numbers against righties are mind boggling, espicially given what other pitchers are going today. He’s holding righties to a .134 average with a 6.2 K/9.
Best Left/Right Matchups
Easiest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Jon Lester vs. Cinncinati Reds – Lester has been extremely inconsistent this season, and his numbers against lefties aren’t helping his case. They’re hitting .339 against them this season. For me, Lester is to hard to trust and I’m staying off of him.
Mike Foltynewicz vs. New York Mets– This will be a great game to target lefties, as Foltynewicz and Dillon Gee are terrible against them. Foltynewicz is the worst of the two, as lefties are hitting .320 against him.
Easiest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Phis Hughes vs. Texas Rangers- Hughes likes to really attack the strike zone, which would be a great idea, if he got people out. But he doesn’t, espicially righties. They’re hitting .306 against him this season.
Nick Martinez vs. Minnesota Twins– Another reason this game as such a high run total as both pitchers are the worst on the day against righties. Righties are hitting .298 against him on the season.
Giancarlo Stanton ($5600) – Stanton should walk out to the song “Can’t stop, Won’t stop.” The man has been a machine lately. He’s 12 for his last 26 with five home runs, 12 RBIs, and seven runs scored. He’s also the second most expensive outfielder today.
Jose Abreu ($5000) – Abreu is about the only good thing about the White Sox right now. He’s 10 for his last 23 with three home runs, seven RBIs, and seven runs scored.
Manny Machado ($4500) – I think Machado hitting leadoff for the Orioles was a brilliant move. It seems as if the idea has really paid off, and Machado has been phenonmal in that spot, espicially lately. He’s 12 for his last 26 with two home runs, six RBIs, and eight runs scored.
Best Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups
Michael Brantley vs. Alfredo Simon – Brantley is basically a bully at the plate when he takes on Simon. He’s 10-15 against him with four extra base hits, a .933 SLG and a 1.621 OPS.
Miguel Cabrera vs. Corey Kluber – Cabrera is basically matchup proof, as I’d start him no matter who he’s facing. But at least today, I can back it up with a good sample of numbers. Against Kluber, Cabrera is 19-33 with four home runs, six extra base hits, and a 1.600 OPS. Kluber is not looking forward to this one.
Alex Gordon vs John Lackey – Gordon has really knocked around Lackey in the times they’ve seen each other. Gordon is 7-14 against Lackey with two home runs, four extra base hits and a 1.634 OPS.
The follwing games have a chance of thunderstorms at some point during the game, so keep a watch on these closely.
Indians at Tigers
Phillies at Pirates
Rovals at Cardinals
Twins at Rangers
Reds at Cubx
One Pitcher To Build Lineups Around
Chris Sale ($11400) – Sale takes on the Tampa Bay Rays, who are very similiar to the Milwaukee Brewers, the team Max Scherzer is taking on. Both pitchers are worth the price tonight but I like Sale a bit more because of his strikeout rates as of late. He has four straight games of double digit strikeouts. In those games he had 10, 12, 13 and 14. Tampa is 8th worst in the league when it comes to strikeouts, and even thought it’s hard to expect double digit strikeouts, it’s honestly a thought that crosses my mind and it’s a reasonable one. We do have a lot of good pitchers going today, don’t get me wrong, but I really think Sale could be one of the best. It doesn’t take a genius to figure that out, but sometimes the most obvious picks are, well, the obvious ones.
Superstar Worth Paying For…
Prince Fielder ($4500) – Fielder is crushing right handed pitchers this season, and he just so happens to be going up against a pitcher who allows a .306 average to righties. On the season, Fielder is hitting .384 against RHP with six of his ten home runs coming against them. Add in the fact that this is one of the highest projected run totals on the day, and I think Fielder will be a good pick today.
Save Big Bucks By Drafting…
Jimmy Rollins ($3300) – Yup, Rollins has been awful lately. But he is batting .500 against Shields. I know lots are not a fan of the BVP, but for what it’s worth, Shields does allow a .285 average to righties. It’s a bit of a stretch, but you could do a lot worse.