It’s Saturday, so we have a split slate of games today. This afternoon is where the majority of the games will be played, 11 of games will be played with only four tonight. We’ll have you covered for all of these games, because that’s just the kind of guy I am. Let’s get you right into everything and as always, you can reach me on the ol’ Twitter machine, @Sbuchanan24.
Heaviest Pitcher Favorites
Clayton Kershaw vs. Miami Marlins (-190) – You aren’t going to find a day where Kershaw is pitching and he isn’t in the top three favored pitchers. Kershaw is on the way to another great season, however, he’s being haunted by the home run ball lately. Kershaw has already let up 11 this season, which is a bit concerning since he’s already let up more then he did all of last year. Luckily for Kershaw, the Marlins don’t hit a ton of home runs, as they’re 20th in the league in that category. Regardless, Kershaw is one of the best pitchers in all of baseball and I wouldn’t be fading him if I had the choice. His $12,300 salary seems like a bargain compared to the one Max Scherzer had last night that was $14000.
Gio Gonzalez vs. Philadelphia Phillies (-175) – The Phillies managed to tag Scherzer for two runs last night, which is truly amazing if you think about how well Scherzer has pitched lately. This afternoon they get Gonzalez, who has been all over the map this year in terms of consistency. He comes into today’s start with a 4.41 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP to go along with 72 strikeouts in 81 innings pitched. Numbers wise, this should be an easy matchup with Gonzalez, but it’s still hard to trust him right now seeing how inconsistent he’s been. His salary is at a fantastic price point however, at only $7900. If you can get past the fact that he isn’t a lock today, you could get some real value out of him for a low price. It would also certainly help you fit Kershaw into your lineup if that’s the route you want to go.
Charlie Morton vs. Atlanta Braves (-170) – Morton had some really nice numbers coming into his last start against the Nationals, but boy did he get shelled. Posting a -19.9 for that game Morton, gave up nine runs on eight hits in just 2/3 of an inning. Ouch. That horrific start skyrocketed his ERA all the way up to 3.97 on the season. The only advantage to this though, is that he’s pitched MUCH better then it looks, so this may scare some people off of him today. Mostly, people who don’t read this article. Poor, poor people. The Braves have a pretty weak lineup right now without Freddie Freeman and rank dead last in the league in home runs. Once again, his price point is fantastic at only $6200. I wouldn’t say don’t do this, but matching Morton and Gonzalez could give you two cheap and quality starts that could see you really load up on hitters.
Top Overall Game Over/Unders
Chicago White Sox at Detroit Tigers (Comerica Park) – 9 Over/Under- Boy oh boy, this one should get ugly. John Danks matches up against Kyle Ryan in this one, which is going to be the furthest game from a pitchers duel that I’ve ever seen. Danks is sporting a 5.38 ERA on the season after giving up nine runs in his last start against the Twins. Danks has given up 14 home runs and 97 hits in just 80 1/3 innings! That’s honestly just baffling. A team still thinks it’s ok to send him out there. Advantage: Tigers. As for Ryan, he won’t be sticking around the major leagues much longer either. He owns a 4.56 ERA, which isn’t that great of course, but it’s the contact against him that’s killing him. In his last start, off of 60 pitches, he only managed one swinging strike. With a stat like that, it just goes to show that hitters are making contact with almost everything he throws. This game may be projected at nine runs, but I’m thinking maybe 90.
Texas Rangers at Toronto Blue Jays (Rogers Centre) – 9 Over/Under- Yovani Galladro and Matt Boyd take the mound for this contest. Gallardo has actually been fantastic his past few starts, as he’s currently riding a 12 inning scoreless streak and hasn’t allowed more than two runs since May 19th. While these stats are great, he is going up against one of the best offenses in the majors. Boyd is making his major league debut today. The young rookie was briefly with the Triple-A club before being called up today. For what it’s worth, he owned a 1.10 ERA in Double-A ball, but the talent level is obviously vastly different.
Toughest Left/Right Matchups
Toughest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Michael Wacha vs. Chicago Cubs – Wacha is looking to put his last start against the Phillies behind him as he takes on the Cubs today. He’s been great against lefties this season, as they’re only hitting .204 of of him.
Tim Lincecum vs. Colorado Rockies – Lincecum has a tough match up today against the Rockies, but overall, he’s been great when facing a left handed batter. They’re only hitting .207 off of The Freak this season.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Chris Young vs. Oakland A’s – Even after getting knocked around by the Red Sox his last start, Young still manages to be the top dog against right handed batters. I’m honestly amazed. Right handed batters are only hitting .167.
Masahiro Tanaka vs. Houston Astros – Tanaka comes into today against the Astros as the second toughest pitcher against right handed batters. They’re only hitting .202 against Tanaka this season. He’s been fantastic since coming off the DL.
Best Left/Right Matchups
Easiest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Matt Andriese vs. Boston Red Sox – Honestly, we have quite a few pitchers today who struggle against left handed batters. These next two are just the worst of the worst today. Andriese is allowing a .343 against them.
Brett Oberholtzer vs New York Yankees – Oberholtzer isn’t much better here folks, as lefties are hitting .333 against him. The Yankees might have a field day with this one.
Easiest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
John Danks vs. Detroit Tigers– Oh shocking, I didn’t expect Danks to make this list at all. Danks is allowing a .321 average against right handed batters this season. After this start, it might be over .400. Half kidding.
Matt Garza vs. Minnesota Twins – I’ve never seen the fascination with Garza to be quite honest. This season is a great reason why I was never a big fan, as he’s allowing a .301 average to right handed batters.
Nolan Arenado ($4800) –Arenado continues to crush the ball hitting in the heart of the Rockies lineup. He’s 9 for his last 23 with six of those hits being home runs to go along with 11 RBIs, and nine runs scored. Arenado is almost match up proof at this point and needs to be in your lineups.
J.D. Martinez ($5200) – I usually don’t showcase players in this section two days in a row, but Martinez continues to absolutely crush everything in his path. He’s 9 for his last 25 with six home runs, 12 RBIs, and eight runs scored.
Curtis Granderson ($3900) – Granderson has been a great source of cheap power as of late. He’s 9 for his last 21 with four home runs, four RBIs, a stolen base and five runs scored. He bats lead off for the Mets, which hurts his RBI value, but 14 points for a home run is still 14 points.
Best Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups
Edwin Encarnacion vs Yovani Gallardo -Gallardo may be pitching well as of late, but he runs into someone who’s hit him well today. Encarnacion is 4-11 against him with three home runs and a 1.682 OPS.
Ian Kinsler vs. John Danks – You had to expect that I would put somone on here against Danks, right? Kinsler has seen a lot of him in his career and is 15-44 against him with eight extra base hits, four of them being home runs. Kinsler also has a 1.074 OPS against Danks.
Andrew McCutchen vs. Julio Teheran – Teheran has really been struggling this season, and today he goes up against McCutchen, who’s seen some good success against him. McCutchen is 5-12 against him with two home runs and a 1.462 OPS.
Quite a few games have some rain in the forecast today. So make sure you watch the following games:
Nationals at Phillies (delay very possible)
Braves at Pirates
White Sox at Tigers (very high chance of a delay)
Indians at Orioles (high chance of rain)
One Pitcher To Build Lineups Around
Masahiro Tanaka ($10600) – Tanaka struggled in his last start against the Tigers, as he let up five earned runs on 10 hits through five innings. But if you take out that start, he’s been fantastic this season. Today, he gets a start against the Astros, who now lead the league in strikeouts and are ranked 26th in batting average. The Astros do have the most home runs in the league, which could be the only drawback, in my mind, in rostering Tanaka, as he’s already given up seven on the season. However, with the strikeouts and low batting average, I really feel like Tanaka is going to have as solid start here. With how poorly he pitched in his last start, I think he won’t be highly owned today.
Superstar Worth Paying For…
J.D. Martinez ($5200) – This really could be, the Tigers lineup in this section today. Martinez is completely tearing the cover off the ball lately and he gets that juicy match up against John Danks today. As I mentioned earlier, Danks has given up 14 home runs on the season and 97 hits in only 80 1/3 innings. With how well Martinez has been hitting combined with how poorly Danks pitches every start he has, I think the Tigers as a whole are suited for a huge game. Stack those hitters and enjoy the ride.
Save Big Bucks By Drafting…
Darin Ruf ($2800) – Are you a fan of BvP? I sure am. Lately, I’ve been crushing it with BvP plays and I’m not going to stop now, so take it for what it’s worth. Ruf has great numbers against Gonzalez and is dirt cheap today. Ruf is 7-2o against Gonzalez with four extra base hits, two of them being home runs and a 1.212 OPS. He costs next to nothing, you don’t have much to lose.