The worst thing that can happen on a Monday that doesn’t actually involve being a Monday, is a short slate. Tonight, we only have seven games going so the pickings are going to be slim, and the obvious choices will be obviously taken. So let’s get to things. As always, you can follow me on Twitter @SBuchanan24.
Heaviest Pitcher Favorites
Michael Pineda vs. Philadelphia Phillies (-278) – Think Vegas likes Pineda tonight with that number? Holy crap is that high. Pineda comes into tonight with a 3.54 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP to go along with his 9.6 K/9. As always, because this never changes, the Phillies are last in almost every offensive category, and yet they still knocked Michael Wada around yesterday. Do I think they’ll be able to do this two nights in a row against another quality starter? No. But I also didn’t expect it last night either. So take that for what it’s worth.
Clayton Kershaw vs. Chicago Cubs (-170) – This is one I like a lot for the pure fact that Kershaw could honestly be in the double digits in strikeouts by the 5th inning. The Cubs strikeout more than every other team in the majors with the exception of the Astros. You have to love this matchup tonight, but you know everyone and their brother will be on this pick as well. It just comes down to the fact if you can afford to miss out on these points or not.
Felix Hernandez vs. Kansas City Royals (-168) – Not to be forgotten, King Felix also takes the mound tonight in this short slate of games. He goes up against the team who ranks first in all the majors in team batting avearge, at .274. It will be interesting to see how much the Royals will strikeout tonight, as they strikeout the least amount in baseball, which could potenitally hurt the value of picking Hernandez. While I won’t tell you to fade Hernandez, when you dig into the stats, he may not be as automatic as you would normally think.
Top Overall Game Over/Unders
Chicago White Sox vs Minnesota Twins (Target Field) – 8.5 Over/Under- Man, you know it’s a short slate of games when the White Sox and Twins are slated for the most amount of runs tonight. The White Sox are basically the Phillies of the American League, as they’re almost last in every offensive catergory. The Twins are facing John Danks tonight, who isn’t the impressive. The Twins have A LOT of hitter tonight with great numbers against Danks, so if you wanted to stack the Twins tonight, I wouldn’t hate it.
Toughest Left/Right Matchups
Toughest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Hector Santiago vs. Houston Astros – Santiago has been solid this season. His overall numbers are great, as he comes into tonight with a 2.77 ERA with a 1.22 WHIP and an 8.6 K/9. Against lefties they’re only hitting .163 this season.
Tommy Milone vs. Chicago White Sox – Milone has pitched past the sixth innings in back to back starts now, which I guess is something to be proud of. He’s also been giving lefties problems lately, as they’re only hitting .173 off of him.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Felix Hernandez vs. Kansas City Royals – The King is king against facing righties today. They’re only hitting .212 off of him. Hernandez also owns an 8.6 K/9 on the season.
Clayton Kershaw vs. Chicago Cubs – Seems only fitting that the two aces on the day are the best against right handed batters. Kershaw is holding them to a .216 average on the season. His K/9 is at 11.8 on the season.
Best Left/Right Matchups
Easiest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Tsuyoshi Wada vs. L.A. Dodgers– Wada is been extremely inconsistent this season, but he consistently gets whacked around by lefties. They’re hitting .348 against him this season.
Matt Andriese vs. Toronto Blue Jays- If you’re going into a matchup against the Blue Jays, you don’t want to have issues against either right or left handed batters. Andriese didn’t get the memo. He’s really struggling against lefties, as they’re hitting .344 off of him.
Easiest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Drew Hutchison vs. Tampa Bay Rays– Hutchison has been pretty solid against lefties, but not so much righties. Right handed batters are hitting .317 against him.
John Danks vs. Minnesota Twins- I still to this day will never understand how Danks pitched that gem against the Astros earlier this season. He’s really not that good. Righties know this well, as they’re hitting .316 against him.
Justin Turner($3800) – Turner is 10 for his last 23 with four home runs, eight RBIs, and seven runs scored.
Lorenzo Cain($3900) – Cain is 10 for his last 27 with two home runs, eight RBIs, three stolen bases and four runs scored.
Gerorge Springer ($4600) – Springer is starting to go back on a power surge. He’s 14 for his last 31 with four home runs, five RBIs, and eight runs scored
Best Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups
Torii Hunter vs. John Danks – Hunter has seen a lot of John Danks, which is usually a good thing for the hitter. It usually boosts their numbers. Hunter is 17-52 with four home runs and a .993 OPS against Danks.
Joe Mauer vs. John Danks – Oh look, another hitter with a lot of success against Danks. I can’t believe it. Mauer is 23-60 with a .456 OBP and an .889 OPS.
Mike Trout vs. Brett Oberholtzer – A much smaller sample size then the previous two, but regardlesss, it’s still good numbers. Trout is 5-10 against Oberholtzer with three extra base hits and a 1.383 OPS.
The Dodgers and Cubs have a chance of thunderstorms that looks to get worse as the game goes on. But again, I’m not a weather man, I just report what the app tells me (give me $10 and I’ll give out the app, its expensive to live these days.) Make sure to check this closer to game time.
One Pitcher To Build Lineups Around
Clayton Kershaw ($12700) – NO WAY! KERSHAW!?!?! STEVE, HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THIS!? Look I get it, when you come here, you’re hoping for some insight and some hard hitting hot takes that burn your eyes from reading them because they’re so good. But the (obvious) play here tonight is Kershaw. And yes, I’m sure he’s going to be 84.7% owned tonight. But I mean, his 11.8 K/9 vs. the 627 strikeouts by the Cubs, good for second in the league, is one tasty matchup. They don’t hit a lot of fly balls, as they’re 26th in the league in that department. I could go on and on, but we all know what Kershaw can do and that’s that. If you want to try and be the hero and fade him, by all means, you proubly won’t cash. He’s just that good. Now, if you want me to give you a not obvious pick, I will. If you want to be real bold tonight and pick a potential “dark horse” look at Joe Blanton. Yup. I’ve said too much!
Superstar Worth Paying For…
Jose Reyes ($4400) – He’s a little bit on the cheaper side then I normally showcase superstars to pay up for, but I love his numbers going up against Andriese tonight. Reyes is of course a switch hitter, so if he bats as a left hander against him tonight, which I would assume he will, he could be in for a good night. When he’s batting leftie for a rightie, he’s hitting .333 with two home runs with 16 RBIs, and a .369 OBP. Hitting at the top of this deadly Blue Jay order, he has plenty of opportunities to score some runs and steal some bases as well.
Save Big Bucks By Drafting…
Andre Ethier ($3100) – Ethier goes up against Tsuyoshi Wada, who as I said earlier, is awful against left handed batters. They’re hitting .348 against him and wouldn’t you know, Ethier is a left handed batter. For the price DraftKings is asking you to pony up for him and with such a short slate, do you really need that much information to make a decision on this?