I’m just happy we got through that ugly slate yesterday. We had a few guys that worked out yesterday but overall, it was a messy night for pitching. Tonight we get back to a normal slate of games and everyone won’t be all up in arms about how atricious the pitching is tonight. Let’s get right into things and as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Heaviest Pitcher Favorites
Sonny Gray vs. Colorado Rockies (-168) – Sonny Gray has quietly become one of my favorite pitchers. I feel like he’s rarely talked about when he owns a 2.09 ERA on the season to go along with a 0.99 WHIP and 97 strikeouts in 107 innings pitched. He draws a tough matchup tonight against the Rockies, but Vegas is liking him tonight as the favorite. Gray isn’t matchup proof just yet, but he’s getting to that point. I wouldn’t hate starting or sitting Gray, only because the Rockies are indeed a tough ballclub. Gray does have the pitcher friendly home park in his favor though.
Cole Hamels vs. Milwaukee Brewers (-148) – I’m loving this matchup tonight for Hamels. He’s coming off one of his worst starts this season, where he only lasted 5 innings against the Yankees, giving up five runs on eight hits and striking out only three. Luckily for Hamels, he gets the light hitting Brewers tonight. As we always mention, they’re near the bottom of the barrel in batting avearge, runs scored and team OPS. They are however, in the middle of the league with home runs, as they rank 15th in that category. Hamels has given up 11 on the year, with seven of them coming at home. Regardless, Hamels deserves some serious consideration tonight.
Dallas Keuchel vs. Kansas City Royals (-148) – Keuchel is looking to grab some of that magic that McCullers had last night, as McCullers held the Royals to one run in seven innings while striking out six. The Royals still have the second highest batting average in the league, but the rest of their offensive categories are starting to slip a little bit. Keuchel has been down right nasty this season as he comes into tonight with a 2.17 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP with 95 strikeouts in 116 innings pitched. After seeing McCullers handle the Royals last night, I have a bit more confidence in Keuchel then I did last night.
Top Overall Game Over/Unders
L.A. Dodgers at Arizona Diamondbacks (Chase Field) – 9 Over/Under- Projected at the highest run total of the night, Carlos Frias takes on Ruby De La Rosa in this one. Clearly not a game you turn to for a pitching duel, both of these pitchers have seen their struggles, especially against left handed batters. Frias is allowing a .371 avearge to lefties while De La Rosa is at .300. These two had a very high scoring affair last night, when they scored 16 runs. I think it would be safe to say that tonight will be more of the same.
Texas Rangers at Baltimore Orioles (Camden Yards) – 8.5 Over/Under- Basically a repeat of yesterday, as both these games have the highest projected runs on the night. Colby Lewis and Miguel Gonzalez go up against each other in the hitter friendly confines of Camden Yards. Prior to his last start against Oakland, Lewis had posted three straight quality starts before the A’s got him for three runs in just five innings. Overall, Lewis owns a 4.10 ERA heading into tonight. Gonzalez goes for the Orioles tonight after an unimpressive return from the disabled list against the Red Sox. He only lasted five innings giving up eight hits and four runs. The home run ball is a problem for Gonzalez, as he’s already given up 12 in 78 innings this season, with right handers getting eight of those (hint hint.)
Toughest Left/Right Matchups
Toughest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Dallas Keuchel vs. Kansas City Royals- Keuchel has been straight up nasty when he faces left handed batters. They’re only hitting .136 against him this season. Truly, that’s one of the lowest marks in the majors.
Cole Hamels vs. Milwaukee Brewers- Not to far behind is Cole Hamels, who is holding left handed batters to a .156 average.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Shelby Miller vs. Washington Nationals- Man, Miller continues to hold things down over in Atlanta. Thankfully, Braves fans have something to look forward to every five days. Miller is holding right handed batters to a measly .164 average on the year.
Mike Montgomery vs. San Diego Padres- Montgomery has been doing his part in the rotation by shutting down right handers. They’re hitting .194 off of him thus far in Montgomery’s first go around in the majors.
Best Left/Right Matchups
Easiest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Carlos Frias vs. Arizona Diamondbacks– I don’t think it was a coincidence that when I went to look up Frias stats, my iPhone wanted to auto correct his last name to “gross.” That is 100% a true story. But, I’m sure it has nothing to do with his .371 average that lefties are hitting him at, right?
Jorge De La Rosa vs. Oakland A’s- De La Rosa seems like he’s always struggling, doesn’t he? He’s allowing a .333 average to lefties so far this season. I don’t anticipate that getting much better tonight.
Easiest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Danny Duffy vs. Houston Astros– The Astros may not be the best hitting team in the league, but right handers might get an extra boost tonight. Duffy is allowing a .305 average against him this season.
Jonathan Niese vs. Chicago Cubs- Niese is at least holding right handed batters to an under .300 average. They’re hitting him at a .298 clip on the season.
Curtis Granderson ($4100) – Granderson is over the $4000 threshold, so you know things are going down lately. Granderson is 11 for his last 24 with four home runs, six RBIs, a stolen base and four runs scored.
Jose Altuve ($4900) – Altuve is starting to make some noise after being quiet for quite some time. He’s 9 for his last 26 with two home runs, two RBIs, four stolen bases and eight runs scored.
Billy Hamilton ($4000) – If Hamilton is on here, you now it’s bascially because he does one thing really REALLY well, and that’s steal bases. He had a huge night last night and that helps land him here for today. Hamilton is 6 for his last 24 with nine stolen bases annd six runs scored.
Best Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups
Ryan Braun vs. Cole Hamels -I was surprised how well Braun has hit Hamels in his career. Braun is 10-31 lifetime against Hamels with three home runs and a .989 OPS.
Logan Morrison vs. Ian Kennedy – Here’s a completely random BvP stat for you. Morrison is 4-11 against Kennedy with three extra base hits, two of them being home runs, and a 1.552 OPS.
Howie Kendrick vs. Ruby De La Rosa – De La Rosa hasn’t been in the major THAT long, but he’s found an enemy in Kendrick. Kendrick is 8-15 against De La Rosa with a home run and a 1.276 OPS.
We have a few games that have some chance of a thunderstorm tonight, so make sure to monitor these ones closely.
Rangers at Orioles
Pirates at Tigers
Nationals at Braves
One Pitcher To Build Lineups Around
Cole Hamels ($10,300) – For me, it’s hard not to love this matchup tonight. Hamels bring his 9.6 K/9 tonight against the Brewers team that strikes out the 9th most in the league. Hamels has some great splits on the year, as right handed batters are only hitting .237 against him and lefties are at .156. The Brewers as I mentioned are fairly decent when it comes to hitting home runs, but Hamels has been right around his career avearge of letting up a home run a start. Finally, if you’re hoping maybe the Brewers will be patient against Hamels tonight, I think you’re going to be out of luck seeing as the Brewers are also one of the worst teams at drawing walks. Hamels is going to be in all my lineups tonight.
Superstar Worth Paying For…
Prince Fielder ($4800) – Fielder is CRUSHING right handed pitching this season and tonight he goes up against Miguel Gonzalez. Gonzalez has given up twelve home runs on the season, four of those to left handed batters. Fielder is hitting righties to a tune of.387 with seven home runs. In a game that has the second highest run total of the night, you would have to be crazy to not pay the $4800 for Fielder.
Save Big Bucks By Drafting…
Logan Morrison ($3100) – BvP baby! First, make sure Morrison is playing tonight as he’s currently listed as DTD. Second, as I mentioned, Morrison is 4-11 off of Kenned with three extra base hits, two of those being home runs and a 1.552 OPS. Morrison, overall, does have some pop in his bat, as he already has nine home runs on the season. I like this pick because I know Morrison won’t be highly owned and quite honestly, he could be a real sneaky play tonight. Sure the sample size is small, but at 3100 you can’t go wrong with what could be a nice investment.