We have a split slate of a games going here on Thursday. Five will be played this afternoon while 10 play tonight. Let’s get right into things and as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24. Good luck!
Heaviest Pitcher Favorites
Zack Greinke vs. Texas Rangers (-210) – Like clockwork, Greinke is the favorite pitcher, according to Vegas, the night after a Kershaw start. Greinke has truly been nothing but dominating this season, as he comes into tonight with a 1.95 ERA and a 7.7 K/9. He’s only allowed three runs just once this entire season, which is a testament to how well he’s pitching, He takes on a good offensive Rangers team, but at this point, I’m starting Greinke no matter who the team is.
Bud Norris vs. Philadelphia Phillies (-152) – Here we go with one of Vegas favorite activities, picking on the Phillies. Norris is their second favorite pitcher this afternoon. Norris has an 8.29 ERA in 38 innings pitched to go along with his 1.71 WHIP. Now, once again, he is going up agaist one of the worst offenses in the league, so he has that going for him. His K/9 is at 7.1, which isn’t bad by any means. We just has to hope he doesn’t throw another klunker like he has been almost all season. His chances are good, don’t get me wrong, but man, it’s tough to roster a guy with those types of numbers.
R.A. Dickey vs. New York Mets (-151 )- Well, Dickey takes on his former team, the Mets, in this contest tonight. Dickey has been what every knuckleball pitcher always is, inconsistent with a side dish of a gem every now and then. Dickey is only averaging 10.2 points per start for us DK folks, so you can’t really be expecting much, even against an offensively challenged team like the Mets. With some of the other pitchers going tonight, you can do better.
Top Overall Game Over/Unders
Houston Astros vs. Colorado Rockies – 10.5 Over/Under- Did you expect something different here? This one could be a real offensive show this afternoon, as the starting pitchers this afternoon are nothing impressive. Colin McHugh takes on David Hale in this one. McHugh has been having a real rough go of it lately, as he owns a 6.86 ERA in his last seven starts. Add on the fact that his HR/9 rate is at 1.36, and you can almost guarantee to see some balls fly out this afternoon. Hale is also having issues keeping the ball in the park, as he’s already let up six home runs this year in just 25 2/3 innings! Did I mention the Astros are first in the league in home runs? Target these hitters today, if you like to win.
New York Mets vs. Toronto Blue Jays (Rogers Centre) – 9 Over/Under – Once again, these teams are also slated for the second highest run total of the day. Bartolo Colon takes on the R.A. Dickey in this one. Colon might be able to sneak his number 1, 2, and 3 pitch past National League teams, (fastball, fastball, fastball) but I’m thinking tonight might be a bit of a challenge to do that against this Toronto lineup. Dickey of course, remains inconsistent, but his June numbers haven’t been horrible, posting a 3.57 ERA with a 16:6 K:BB ratio. It’s just hard to trust the knuckle.
Toughest Left/Right Matchups
Toughest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
CC Sabathia vs. Miami Marlins- Another Sabathia start, another showcase of his extreme splits this season. Against lefties, he’s great, with a .182 average he’s holding them to. If only he could do the same against right handers. His K/9 comes in at 7.8.
CJ Wilson vs. Arizona Diamondbacks – The first name initial crew has left handers on lockdown today. Wilson is holding left handed batters to a .187 average. His K/9 sits at 7.6.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Shelby Miller vs. Boston Red Sox- Miller continues to impress this season. He’s holding right handed batters to a .164 average this season. Speaking of average, his K/9 is at 6.5.
Chris Archer vs. Washington Nationals – My man! (said in a very manly voice) Archer comes into tonight limiting right handed batters to a .196 average. His K/9 is a fantastic 11.3 on the year.
Best Left/Right Matchups
Easiest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Bud Norris vs. Philadelphia Phillies- This is going to be one of those games, this afternoon, that it would be a great idea to be looking at the left handed batters in this one. Norris is allowing a .362 average against them. His K/9 is at 7.1. Now, onto his opponent.
Sean O’ Sullivan vs. Baltimore Orioles– Remember all those times I was like, oh what if so and so went at it, it would a left handed batters dream! Well this afternoon, it’s happening. O’Sullivan is allowing a .359 average to lefties this season. Which one of these stellar pitchers will lower their average!?! I doubt either.
Easiest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
CC Sabathia vs. Miami Marlins– “Welcome to another edition of extreme splits, I’m your host, CC Sabathia.” Like I say evertime he starts, he’s great against lefties, awful against righties. They own a .343 average against Sabathia.
Doug Fister vs. Tampa Bay Rays- Dougie! Long time no see! Fister makes his first start since coming off the disabled list today. He’s welcomed back with his .333 average that righties hit him at. At least he’s only going up aginst the Rays.
Todd Frazier ($4900) – Frazier just doesn’t stop hitting. He just hit a walk off grand slam last night to further pad his stats this season. It’s incredible. He’s 9 for his last 30 with five home runs, nine RBIs, two stolen bases and seven runs scored.
Miguel Cabrera ($5300) – The same few guys keep popping up in section because they just keep hitting and hitting and hitting. Cabrera is 11 for his last 22 with three home runs, 12 RBIs, and six runs scored. Cabrera is truly in his groove right now.
Ben Zobrist ($3700) – Ok, let’s get someone new in this section. Zobrist has been a run scoring machine lately. He’s 10 for his last 27 with a home run, six RBIs, and 10 runs scored.
Best Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups
Adrian Gonzalez vs Colby Lewis – Gonzalez has seen little of Lewis, but god damn, has he made it count when he has or what? He’s 7-10 off Lewis with two home runs and a 2.127 OPS. Don’t like BvP? To bad, roster Gonzalez.
Carlos Beltran vs. Mat Latos – Yeah, Beltran is still playing! He’s just over the Yankees, falling from grace. He has great numbers against Latos though. He’s 7-21 with three home runs and a 1.226 OPS.
Andrew McCutchen vs. Jeff Samardzija – These two are no strangers to each other, as they would see each other in the National League. McCutchen is 12-29 off Samardzija with five extra base hits and a 1.100 OPS.
The following games have a chance of a thunderstorm throughtout the night, so watch these ones closely.
Cubs at Indians
Red Sox at Braves
One Pitcher To Build Lineups Around
Gerrit Cole ($10200) – Hard to go with anyone else but Cole tonight, as he takes on the American League version of the Phillies, the Chicago White Sox. Cole has been amazing this season, as he owna a 1.71 ERA to go along with a 1.08 WHIP and a 10 K/9. The White Sox are in the bottom five in batting average, runs, team OPS, SLG (dead last in this one) and home runs. I mean, unless your the Phillies, you can’t get much worse. Cole is the second highest priced pitcher on the evening, but truly, it will be worth the investment.
Superstar Worth Paying For…
Nolan Arenado ($4500) – Arenado gets a great matchup this afternoon, going against Colin McHugh, who’s really been struggling his last seven starts, as he’s allowing a .318 average to right handed batters this season. McHugh is also really having trouble with the home run ball, as I mentioned, giving up 1.4 per start. Arenado has hit 15 of his 16 home runs against a rightie. In a game slated for a ton of runs, Arenado should be a good one.
Save Big Bucks By Drafting…
Jake Elmore ($2000) – Hard to hate somone who costs the minimum and is batting near the top of the order. Elmore was slotted into the second spot in the lineup last night and it’s expected he will remain around that spot in the near future. He’s batting .274 with a home run and 11 RBIs this season to go along with a .686 OPS. He takes on Doug Fister tonight who’s coming off the disabled list and is a pure contact pitcher. Even if Elmore only gets you a few points, he certainly helps you roster some other prolific hitters tonight.