Today is a really strange split slate of games. We have 11 total games going today and eight of them start this afternoon while the remaining three go tonight. We’ll be focusing mostly on this afternoon, but we will mix in a little for tonight. Let’s get into things and as always, you can follow me on Twitter @SBuchanan24.
Heaviest Pitcher Favorites
Doug Fister vs. Atlanta Braves (-170) – Fister may be the heavy favorite according to Vegas, but I wouldn’t give him this mark if I had to choose. Fister has been having a real inconsistent season as he comes into today with a 4.80 ERA with a 1.44 WHIP and 21 strikeouts in 45 innings pitched. Fantasy wise, Fister is not a good option. With a K/9 of 4.2, you aren’t going to be getting many points from strikeouts. Normally, Fister can get through a start and net you around 14-16 points, but this he’s only averaging 6.4. I would highly recommend fading the Vegas favorite today.
A.J. Burnett vs. Cincinnati Reds (-160) – This game falls into the night slate that only features three games. The pickings are extremely thin, so I’m thinking Burnett is going to be the second highest owned pitcher tonight besides Dallas Keuchel. Burnett continues his stellar season as he comes in with a 2.05 ERA, to go along with a 1.21 WHIP and 81 strikeouts in 92 innings pitched. The Reds are a very inconsistent offense that contains a lot of power, but if Burnett can limit the mistakes, he could easily cruise to a 20-25 points tonight.
Dallas Keuchel vs. New York Yankees (-150) – Keuchel has been fantastic this season and he tonight he takes on the Yankees in the hitter friendly Yankee Stadium. Keuchel, a ground ball pitcher, has been huge for the Astros this season coming into tonight’s start with a 2.35 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP to go along with 83 strikeouts in 107 innings pitched. This will be a real test for Keuchel as the Yankees have really moved up in the offensive rankings as they’re now second in home runs and runs scored. Keuchel is going to have to induce a lot of groundballs tonight if he’s hoping for a good outing.
Top Overall Game Over/Unders
Arizona Diamondbacks at Colorado Rockies (Coors Field) – 10.5 Over/Under- Same old song and dance here. In an epic turn of events Ruby De La Rosa will take on Jorge De La Rosa. The battle of the De La Rosa’s will feature a lot of runs and I’m sure at least a short outing for a De La Rosa. As always, this will be a great game to target some offense, especially lefties on both teams, as both De La Rosa’s are allowing a .300+ average to left handed batters this season.
Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox (Fenway Park) – 8.5 Over/Under- This game truly has the potential to be a highly offensive matchup, or a low scoring affair. Super intelligent sports take right there. But really, Miguel Gonzalez and Eduardo Rodriguez take the hill this afternoon and both are very capable of producing a good game. However, we’ve seen them both completely come unglued this season as well. Gonzalez is coming off the disabled list for this start, while Rodriguez is coming off another quality start against the Royals. Watch the Boston lineup with this one, as both Hanley Ramirez and Dustin Pedroia could be out in this one, which would drastically change the way I feel about this game. The Boston lineup would be looking quite weak if they both had to sit.
Toughest Left/Right Matchups
Toughest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Dallas Keuchel vs. New York Yankees – Keuchel is been phenonmal against left handed batters this season. They’re hitting only .141 off of him. Keuchel owns a K/9 of 7.
Eduardo Rodriguez vs. Baltimore Orioles – If you throw out the start he had against the Blue Jays, it would be scary to think how much lower his numbers would be right now. Left handed batters are only hitting .192 against him this season. His K/9 sits at 7.7.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Jacob deGrom vs. Milwaukee Brewers – deGrom has a great matchup today against this Brewers club. He’s been awesome against righties, as they only have it .186 off of him this year. deGrom owns a 9.1 K/9, which should show in his start this afternoon.
Dan Haren vs. St. Louis Cardinals – He’s only one of six pitchers going tonight, so he wouldn’t be the worst pick in the world. He’s been great against right handed batters, as they’re only hitting .187 against him. His K/9 is at 6.6.
Best Left/Right Matchups
Easiest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Carlos Frias vs. Chicago Cubs – Frias, why? Against lefties, Frias seems to fall asleep at the wheel, as they’re hitting .355 against him. Frias would be a great pick this afternoon if you owe someone money.
Jorge De La Rosa vs. Arizona Diamondbacks – I’m going to be staying away from all De La Rosa’s today, as they’re both horrible against lefties. Jorge is the worst of the two, as they’re hitting .326 against him.
Easiest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Doug Fister vs. Atlanta Braves– Another reason I’m off of Fister today, he struggles against righties.What’s he going to do, strike them out? I don’t think so. Righties are hitting .333 off Fister this season.
Carlos Rodon vs. Detroit Tigers – Rodon is one of the top prospects in the White Sox organization, he just has to learn to get right handed batters out. They’re hitting .306 of the kid this season.
Charlie Blackmon ($4800) – I mean when you’re batting leadoff for the Rockies in Coors Field, you have to be on your A game. Blackmon is on his A++ game right now. He’s 10 for his last 24 with a home run, nine RBIs, four stolen bases and six runs scored. If I’m getting some Rockies exposure on the night, I always try to fit in Charlie.
Jason Heyward ($3900) – Here I was thinking Heyward was dead in the water this season. He’s 11 for his last 25 with four home runs, eight RBIs, a stolen base and six runs scored. I didn’t even know he was hitting well, so maybe other people don’t either. He could be a sneaky play tonight, maybe…..
Justin Turner ($3600) – He’s a man of many positions, and he can hit. Turner is 7 for his last 19 with four home runs, nine RBIs and six runs scored.
Best Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups
Nick Markakis vs. Doug Fister – Markakis has seen some good success against Fister in his career. He’s 9-26 against him with a home run and a .972 OPS.
Hanley Ramirez vs. Miguel Gonzalez – Overall, no one really has great numbrs against a particular pitcher today or tonight, so these picks are a little slim. Ramirez, if he plays, is 3-7 off of Gonzalez (see what I mean, this is considered good numbers from the selection I have today) with two home runs and a 1.786 OPS.
The following games have at least a 50% chance of rain today:
White Sox at Tigers
Dodgers at Cubs
Reds at Pirates
One Pitcher To Build Lineups Around
Eduardo Rodriguez ($7600) – I refuse to make the obvious choice again two days in a row, so I’m rolling with Rodriguez today. After getting completely shelled by the Blue Jays two starts ago, Rodriguez was tasked with the Royals in his next start. For me, I was really intersted to see how the kid responded. The outcome was very good, as Rodriguez scored 21.5 points with six innings pitched allowing only one run on six hits and striking out five. This will be the second time around for Rodriguez and the Orioles, a game in which Rodriguez shut out the Orioles in six innings and struck out seven. The Orioles have a good offense, but Rodriguez has handled every team he’s faced and his price point offers him so much upside. Pairing him with deGrom this afternoon could be a great idea.
Superstar Worth Paying For…
Charlie Blackmon ($4800) – Yup, I’m going to be a bit obvious when it comes to who to pay up for this afternoon. Blackmon, as I mentioned above, has been hitting the ball really well lately and has been batting leadoff. The stolen bases are a nice added bonus to his game and he’s been a real table setter for the Rockies. Typically, lead off hitters don’t get a ton of RBI opportunities, so the stolen bases have been a nice compensation for that. Tonight he faces a De La Rosa, as are all players in this game, who is allowing a .316 avearge to left handed batters. I like this matchup for Blackmon, in Coors field of course.
Save Big Bucks By Drafting…
Chris Young ($3200) – Not a huge fan of this pick honestly, but again, the picks are kind of slim today so I’m busting out a BvP stat and throwing Young into the mix here. First, make sure he starts because it’s been very sporatic. If he doesn’t then I’ll throw Mark Reynolds into this section. Now, if he does start, he is hitting .308 against Keuchel as he’s 4-13. Not super impressive, I get it, but nothing blew me away to put here. So, deal with it.