“Expletive word.” That was my direct quote when I saw the pitching matchups for tonight. It is by far, the best day I’ve seen in terms of quality pitching. Which makes my job is a whole hell of a lot tougher to give you the best information I can possible. But dammit, I’m going to do it! Ha. So dramatic. Just…..don’t go down to the “Pitcher to build you lineup around” section yet, it’s giving me anxiety (it’s really isn’t.) As always, you can get me on the Ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Heaviest Pitcher Favorites
Francisco Liriano vs. Milwaukee Brewers (-205) – Well, here’s who Vegas likes the most. Liriano does indeed have a fantastic matchup against the Brewers tonight, and rightfully so. The Brewers are horrible on the road, and they whiff a lot, two things that go in Lirianos favor. The ONLY aspect that worries me about this matchup, is Liriano has struggled at home. He has a 6.04 ERA at home compared to a 1.52 on the road. Now, is that enough to keep me away from him? Certainly not. But! It’s enough that maybe it knocks him down a couple of options. The options tonight are vast. Let’s continue….
Sonny Gray vs. Texas Rangers (-189) – Vegas second choice, and currently my potential pick tonight, is Gray. This one is obviously a tougher matchup then the Brewers, sure. But Gray has been tremendous this season. His splits are fantastic, righies are hitting .199 against him and lefties .178. He owns a K/9 of 8 and the Rangers strike out a lot, as they’re 5th in the league in that category. Gray has been great on the road and at home, it almost doesn’t matter.
Corey Kluber vs. Seattle Mariners (-183) Just when you think you might have your mind made up, you have to go and throw Kluber in the mix. Kluber faces the Mariners, to throw in a monkey wrench in our plans. The Mariners are near the bottom of the barrel in almost every offensive category except home runs. Luckily, Kluber has only given up six on the season, with only two of those coming at home. His splits are much better at home then on the road and of course, the Mariners strikes out a lot, 4th in the league in that category. Rumor has it, Kluber can strike out a few guys. His K/9 is at 11.2 this season.
Top Overall Game Over/Unders
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Colorado Rockies (Coors Field) – 9.5 Over/Under- A lot of games are in the 7 or 7.5 range in terms of runs because of the quality of pitching tonight. The Coors Field game gets a bump, of course. Yesterday, Lackey continuted his dominance…..of getting crushed at Coors Field. Tonight, Michael Wacha and his 1.58 road ERA takes on Jorge De La Rosa. You know what to do here.
Miami Marlins vs. Toronto Blue Jays (Rogers Centre) – 8.5 Over/Under – Another game that had a ton of runs was the Blue Jays and Marlins. The Blue Jays really helped their cause by destroying Brand Hand last night, as he gave up six runs on six hits. Tonight, Dan Haren goes up against Mark Buehrle in a battle of non dominating pitchers. Believe it or not, Buehrle actually has a 17 inning scoreless streak going on, but I have a funny feeling that will change tonight. Both offenses are the real deal and runs will be had tonight.
Toughest Left/Right Matchups
Toughest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Dallas Keuchel vs. Chicago White Sox- Oh, so you had your mind made up on who you were going to pick tonight right? You didn’t realize Keuchel was going against the White Sox did you? I told you tonight was tough! Keuchel goes up against an extremely weak White Sox offense. On the year, lefties are only hitting a microscopic .123 against him. His K/9 is a bit low at 6.9.
Sonny Gray vs. Texas Rangers – As I mentioned above, Gray has been fantastic against lefties are righties, as both can’t seem to figure him out. Gray is allowing a .178 average against lefties, good for second best tonight.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Chris Young vs. Minnesota Twins- Somehow, someway, with all the aces going tonight, Chris Young is the headliner 0f this section, because….baseball. Righties are only hitting .139 against him this season. His K/9 sits at 6.7.
Masahiro Tanaka vs. Washington Nationals – Tanaka makes his second start since coming off the diasbled list, taking on the Nationals. Against righties, he’s doing what he normally does, and that’s keeping hitters in check. They’re only hitting .156 against him this season. He owns a 10.1 K/9.
Best Left/Right Matchups
Easiest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Carlos Frias vs. Arizona Diamondbacks – Finally! Someone I can say with confidence that I will not be picking tonight. Sorry Carlos, maybe some other time. Lefties have been mashing against him this season, as they’re hitting him to a tune of .379! Yeesh.
Jon Lester vs. Detroit Tigers– Welcome back to the American League, Lester. He comes into tonight’s matchup, still getting crushed by lefties. They’re hitting him to a .339 average on the year. His K/9 is still looking good though at 8.6.
Easiest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Nick Martinez vs. Oakland A’s – Martinez comes into today the worst against righties. Although it’s not great, at .313 to be the worst with a full slate of games today, I’ll say that’s definitely not the worst I’ve ever seen. If you think this is a hint that I’m taking Martinez tonight, please play me heads up.
Anibal Sanchez vs. Chicago Cubs – I honestly thought the numbers against Sanchez were going to be much higher, as it feels like every start he has lately, he’s giving up around 20 runs. But, he’s at least kept the average against under .300. Righties are hitting .292 against him on the season while his K/9 sits at 8.4.
Kevin Pillar ($3900) – Don’t let the overall numbers fool you, Pillar is crushing it right now. Go ahead, check his game log for the month of June. Or, just read the next sentence. Pillar is 10 for his last 23 with two home runs, nine RBIs, a stolen base and five runs scored.
Cameron Maybin ($3300) – Maybin has actually really brought his overall numbers up this season, so although this might not be an obvious pick it’s a lot more defined then Pillar. Maybin is 13 for his last 24 with five RBIs, three stolen bases and five runs scored.
Anthony Rizzo ($5000) – Rizzo is back to doing Rizzo things. He’s 10 for his last 22 with two home runs, five RBIs, a stolen base and six runs scored. Rizzo, man.
Best Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups
Jose Bautista vs. Dan Haren – Besides the fact that this game is the second highest run total of the night, Bautista has great numbers against Haren. He’s 6-20 against him with three home runs and a 1.083 OPS.
Carlos Gomez vs. Francisco Liriano – Gomez has owned Liriano in his career. He’s 9-18 against him with two home runs, a 1.000 SLG and a 1.571 OPS. Ok, that’s it, I’m off Liriano! (not really.)
Miguel Cabrera vs. Jon Lester – Ohhhhhh, I like this one. I also remember Lester used to have trouble against Cabrera because I’m a Red Sox fan. But now, I can enjoy watching it. Cabrera is 12-23 against Lester with a home run, five extra base hits, and a 1.459 OPS.
The Baseball God’s want to see an epic night of baseball so as of this morning, it looks like we could see a clear night.
One Pitcher To Build Lineups Around
Sonny Gray ($10,100) – Boy, I really, really, RELLY wrestled with this choice. And to be quite honest, we could have three other pitchers here in this section and I could be ok with it. So, let me explain my logic a bit here and after, I’ll rank my top four pitchers below. Gray, truly has fantastic splits between righties and lefties as I already mentioned. .199 and.178. His K/9 is at 8, which won’t blow you away, but Texas does strike out a lot. Gray is at home, which of course is a pitchers park. BUT, I will say this, if you made an arguement for Keuchel or Kluber or even Liriano tonight, I would not disagree with you. Personally, I’m rolling out Gray with Kluber a VERY close second. Below, I’ll rank my top four.
4. Liriano (He’d be higher if the home splits were better. Fantastic strikeout potential tonight, however.)
Superstar Worth Paying For…
Jose Bautista ($5700) – Man, Bautista is expensiveeeeeee. But, I love the matchup tonight against Haren, in a highly procjeted run total game. One more time, Bautista is 6-2o against Haren with three home runs, and a 1.083 OPS. We have to feast against the lower tiered pitchers tonight, and Haren could be one of them.
Save Big Bucks By Drafting…
Will Venable ($3300) – I like that Venable has been batting leadoff as of late, which really gives him an extra boost to his value. He faces Mike Foltynewicz, who is allowing a .298 average to lefties. Venable has seen all four of his home runs come against righties, and I think he could be a real sneaky play tonight. More than likely, you’re going to be spending big on pitching, so you’ll have to save somewhere.