Interleague play continues this week as we get you ready for another night of fantasy baseball. We have a few stellar pitching matchups tonight as well as some atrocious ones. As always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24. Good luck!
Heaviest Pitcher Favorites
Clayton Kershaw vs. Texas Rangers (-275) – Ah yes, another game started by Kershaw, another game where he’s a ridiculous favorite. Kershaw has now put together four dominating starts in a row, as his early season struggles are a thing of the past. He owns a 3.21 ERA, which is the lowest it’s been all season, to go along with 112 strikeouts in 87 innings. He takes on the Rangers today, who are full of left handed batters. Kershaw is allowing a .226 avearge to lefties, but has basically become matchup proof at this point.
Michael Pineda vs. Miami Marlins (-168) – Pineda didn’t fare well his last time out when he had over ten days off between starts. That usually never works out, so I’m not sure why teams continue to do that. He takes on a Marlins team who is 9th in batting average, but near the bottom in all other categories offensively. Pineda owns a 3.74 ERA to go along with 78 strikeouts in 74 innings.
Jordan Zimmermann vs. Tampa Bay Rays (-158 )- It will be interesting to see how Zimmermann fares tonight, as he’s really struggled as of late. In his last 8 1/3 innings, Zimmermann has given up 19 hits and ten earned runs. His strikeout rates are also at a career low, with a K/9 of 6. He goes up against the light hitting Rays, a matchup he would normally breeze right though. At this point, I don’t know if he could be trusted. In my opinion, he’s a great GPP option. I wouldn’t play him in cash unless I don’t like money.
Top Overall Game Over/Unders
Houston Astros vs. Colorado Rockies – 10.5 Over/Under- We’re back, baby! Coors Field is in our lives again and that means the highest run total of the day. Brett Oberholtzer takes on Kyle Kendrick in this one. Oberholtzer has never pitched at Coors Field before, so it will be intersting to see how he fares. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say, not very well. The Astros, while not the best offensive club in the league, do rank first in home runs. With Kendrick averaging 1.8 HR per start, I have no reason to believe the ball won’t be flying out off Coors Field tonight. As always, target these hitters.
New York Mets vs. Toronto Blue Jays (Rogers Centre) – 9 Over/Under – Jonathon Niese takes on Drew Hutchison in this highly projected game. Hutchison is coming off the worst start of his career against the Red Sox, where he gave up eight runs in just 2 1/3 innings, including three home runs. Niese as put together two quality starts in a row, but takes on one of the best offenses in the league. This would be a great game to target hitters, especially righties, as both pitchers are giving up over a .300 average to them.
Toughest Left/Right Matchups
Toughest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Hector Santiago vs. Arizona Diamondbacks- Santiago continue to completely dominate left handed batters this season, as they’re only hitting .157 off of him. His K/9 sits at a nice 8.1 on the season.
Johnny Cueto vs. Detroit Tigers – This game features a great pitching matchup, with Cueto going up against David Price. Cueto has been pitching very well against left handers, as they’re only hitting .174 off of him. His K/9 is 8.6.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Shaun Marcum vs. Chicago Cubs- Marcum certainly isn’t at the top of my list when it comes to pitchers I want to roster on the day, but he certainly has seen success against right handed batters. They’re only hitting .145 against Marcum. His K/9 comes in at 8.2.
Wandy Rodriguez vs. L.A. Dodgers – I just want to make everyone aware, that on a day where we have Clayton Kershaw, Felix Hernandez, and Madison Bumgarner going, Marcum and Rodriguez have the best batting average against RHB. You still with me? Ok, great. Rodriguez is holding right handers to a .200 average. His K/9 is 7.4.
Best Left/Right Matchups
Easiest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Tsuyoshi Wada vs. Cleveland Indians – What in the living hell….? A .429 average against left handed batters….? How are you even pitching in the majors?! I bet I could come up with a good Indian hitter that you could build your lineup around today.
Matt Andriese vs. Washington Nationals– I mean, we’ve had pitchers who were really bad against left handed batters, but these two might take the cake. Andriese is allowing a .364 average against them. How does this even happen?
Easiest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
John Danks vs. Pittsburgh Pirates- I’m still trying to figure out how Danks managed to pitch that complete game shut out against the Astros earlier this year. He’s been awful in two starts since. Against righties, they’re hitting .327 against Danks.
Drew Hutchison vs. New York Mets– As I mentioned earlier, both Hutchison and Niese are having a tough time against right handed batters, as Hutchison is the worse of the two. Righties are hitting .325 against him this season.
Manny Machado ($4800) – Machado has been on a super hot streak as of late, as he’s got a seven game hit streak going. He’s 13 for his last 27 with four home runs, eight RBIs, a stolen base and 12 runs scored. Hitting leadoff for the O’s has paid off immensely for them.
J.D. Martinez ($4400) – Martinez is starting to put together another solid season for the Tigers. He’s 8 for his last 20 with three home runs, seven RBIs, and three runs scored.
Miguel Montero ($3300) – Montero, in my opinion, is often overlooked on a daily basis, as he’s near the bottom of the list, costing you 3300. But he’s always a threat to go deep in any given game. He’s 7 for his last 19 with three home runs, eight RBIs, and four runs scored.
Best Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups
David Lough vs. Kevin Correia – We have a couple of sneaky plays in this section today, with this being one of them. Lough is 7-11 against Correia with three extra base hits a .909 SLG and a 1.545 OPS.
Jimmy Rollins vs. Wandy Rodriguez – Rollins has really been struggling as of late, but this could be a good game to see some success. Rollins is 6-18 against Rodriguez with a home run, and a 1.111 OPS.
Chris Heisey vs. Wandy Rodriguez – Now, this pick completely hinges on the fact that Heisey starts, which isn’t guaranteed as he was just called up from Triple-A. If he does, he’s 7-23 against Rodriguez with three home runs and a 1.072 OPS.
The only game that might run into some issues, as of this morning, is the Tigers and Reds. Looks like they have a chance of thunderstorms throughout the night, but it doesn’t look bad enough to get a PPD. As always, check this closer to game time as I have zero certification to forecast weather. I use an iPhone app.
One Pitcher To Build Lineups Around
Madison Bumgarner ($10700) – Kershaw is usually the most obvious choice, but he’s just under 13000, which really makes it tough to either field a good roster of hitters or have a second pitcher you can also count on. So I’m going with Bumgarner with a friendly matchup against Seattle.They have one of the worst OBP in the league, as they’re ranked 27th at .296. Seattle is also 4th in the league in strikeouts, as Bumgarner comes into tonight with a 8.3 K/9. With the pitcher friendly Safeco Field as the backdrop, I think Bumgarner is a solid play tonight.
Superstar Worth Paying For…
Michael Brantley ($4500) – I just have to go with Brantley going up against Wada tonight with his .429 average against left handed batters. Brantley is hitting .326 against lefties himself with two home runs this season. I can’t see how this matchup goes in the favor of Wada. With how well Brantley is hitting and how atrocious Wada is against left handed batters, I like this matchup.
Save Big Bucks By Drafting…
Ben Paulsen ($3400) – Paulsen is kind of the forgotten man in the Rockies lineup. He costs only 34oo and he has a .304 average with five home runs 11 RBIs, and a .948 OPS. He goes up against Brett Oberholtzer, who’s never pitched in Coors Field before. In a game that’s projected for 10.5 runs, I don’t think Paulsen is going to hurt you.