With an eight game slate on tap tonight, we’ll need to find some ways to get more creative with our lineups. There are some solid matchups to exploit, which I will do my best to showcase here. As always, you can grab me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.

Game Notes

Biggest Favorites

LAD (-190) vs. LAA – Kenta Maeda – Maeda gets the nod on this eight game slate tonight. He came back down to earth to bit in his last start against the Mets, where he pitched five innings (his shortest outing) allowing four runs on six hits with a 3:2 K:BB ratio. Tonight he faces off against an Angels team that’s been hitting better as of late, as their wOBA vs. righties sits at .305, ranked 21st in the league. Their power sits near the bottom, as the Braves are the only team with an ISO smaller than the Angels. As we always state with any team going up against the Angels, they’re a very tough team to strike out, owning a K% of 16, which is second to last in the league. I don’t doubt Maeda can do some damage here, especially with no DH role for the Angels, we just don’t get a ton of upside.

DET (-175) vs. MIN –Jordan Zimmermann – Another pitcher who is coming back down to Earth a bit is Zimmermann. Over his last to starts against the Rangers and the Nationals, Zimmermann has pitched 15 innings allowing six runs on 14 hits with a 5:4 K:BB ratio. In those two starts, Zimmermann is pitching a lot more like I’d expect, going deep into a game, giving up a few runs and calling it a day. He has a much easier matchup on tap against the Twins who own a .305 wOBA against righties with a high 23.2 K%. The issue is that Zimmermann isn’t striking out a lot of guys, owning a 5.2 K/9 through seven starts. Needless to say, Zim will be one of the top options today in a relatively thin group of pitchers to choose from.

Highest Totals

NYY vs ARZ – 9 runs- The only game on this slate projected with at least nine runs, the Yankees and Diamondbacks face off in Arizona. Chad Green gets the starts for the Yanks and Robbie Ray does for the D-Backs. The Yankees have struggled immensely against lefties this season, owning a 24th ranked .296 wOBA. Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks rank 12th in wOBA against righties at .324. Even with the Yankees struggles against lefties, Ray is allowing a .448 wOBA at home. Chad Green will be making his major league debut coming up from Triple A. Green pitched seven games owning a 1.22 ERA with a 1.11 WHIP.

BOS vs. KCR – 8.5 runs – The Red Sox are on the road as they leave Fenway Park, or Coors Field Northeast after that home stand. The Red Sox have been hitting out of their minds lately, the past week was a real eye opener. In that span, the Sox own a .448 wOBA with a .628 SLG, a .430 OBP and a team batting average of .369. The Sox take on Yordano Ventura, who has really struggled in his last three starts. Ventura has allowed 13 runs in 14 innings with a 5:14 K:BB ratio. At this point, avoiding the Sox players is not a smart move as they continue to mash the ball and should do so again tonight. Rick Porcello gets the start for the Sox against a Royals team ranked 23rd against righties with a .304 wOBA.

Weather Concerns

Not as bad as yesterday, but we do have some wind concerns once again. Let’s take a look at those games first.

MIA @ PHI: 13 mph out to right field

BOS @ KCR: 13mph blowing in from right field

MIN @ DET: 17mph blowing from right to left

TEX @ OAK: 12 mph blowing out to right center field

Now for a couple of rain concerns –

BOS @ KCR: rain throughout the night. Could end up being PPD

MIN @ DET: Chance of rain throughout the night. Monitor this one closer to game time.

Park Factors

Park Factors are rated on a scale of 1.000. If an offensive category has a rating of 1.000 or higher, it favors the hitters. Anything below 1.000 favors pitching.

  • Progressive Field – MIN vs CLE – In 2015, Progressive Field was the second ranked ballpark for hitters.  Progressive had favorable ratings in runs, singles, doubles and walks.
  • Chase Field – NYY vs ARZ – In 2015, Chase Field had a number of categories that favored the hitters. Runs, single, doubles, triples and walks were all in favor.
  • Rogers Centre – TBR vs TOR – Rogers Centre was one of the worst ballparks for hitters in 2015. The only good aspect was that the categories that are favored go for extra bases with home runs and doubles being the two.
  • Dodger Stadium – STL vs LAD – Dodger Stadium was in the bottom 10 last season for hitters. It only carried a favorable rating in home runs, which checked in at the bare minimum of 1.000.


Splits to Start

Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters

Worst vs LHBOPSAVGBest vs. LHBOPSAVG
Adam Conley1.007.370Rick Porcello.561.202
Jerad Eickhoff.921.337J.A. Happ.578.237
Matt Shoemaker.912.295Derek Holland.583.250

Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters

Worst vs RHBOPSAVGBest vs. RHBOPSAVG
Matt Shoemaker1.040.391Martin Perez.423.171
Jonathon Niese.928.309Kenta Maeda.567.213
Robbie Ray.892.305Drew Smyly.571.188

Batter vs. Pitcher Splits 

HitterOpposing SPABFP/AB
Josh DonaldsonDrew Smyly144
Steve PearceJ.A. Happ242.95
Eric HosmerRick Porcello262.11

  • We start off with some big numbers from Josh Donaldson. Against Drew Smyly, Donaldson is 7-14 with two doubles, three home runs and four RBIs.   
  • Next up is Steve Pearce against J.A. Happ. Pearce is 8-24 with two doubles, three home runs, nine RBIs and two walks. 
  • Finally, Eric Hosmer against Rick Porcello. Hosmer is 6-9 with a double, two home runs, three RBIs and three walks


Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Adam Conley – MIA vs. PHI – $8,200 The problem with a slate like tonight is that even with a couple of top names on the board, they don’t have solid matchups. Conley is in a good spot here against the Phillies who own a .298 wOBA against lefties, which ranks 24th in the league. Conley has been doing a nice job with striking guys out as well, owning a 9.4 K/9 through seven starts. That sounds pretty solid to me against a Phillies team that owns a 21.9 K%. With the Phillies being a heavy right-handed team, whom Conley owns a career .293 wOBA against, I like this spot on the cheap.

Heavy Hitter to Pay For

Christian Yelich – MIA vs. PHI (Jerad Eickhoff) – $4,600 – Yelich has quietly put together a solid season for the Marlins. Coming into tonight’s game, Yelich owns a .308 average with five home runs, 18 RBIs, and a .920 OPS. With a .411 wOBA against righties, Yelich matches up nicely against Eickhoff who is really struggling against lefties. On the season, Eickhoff is allowing a .388 wOBA to lefties as they SLG .554. With a left-handed batter stack against Eickhoff most likely being a popular one, Yelich should be in the center of the action.

Save Big by Drafting…

Danny Valencia – OAK vs TEX (Derek Holland) – $3,300 – What if I told you that a player batting .342 with five home runs, 10 RBIs, an OPS of .966 and averaging 8.4 FPPG only cost you $3,300 tonight? What if I also told you, this player owned a .573 wOBA against lefties this season and a career .378 against them? Sound enticing? Perfect, here’s Valencia against Derek Holland tonight. On top of these numbers, Holland owns a .361 wOBA against righties so far this season with a career .338 wOBA.

Stack Em Up

DET vs MIN (Jose Berrios) – The prized prospect for the Tigers hasn’t seen much success in the majors so far, owning a 6.28 ERA in three starts with a 1.74 WHIP. He faces off against the Tigers today, who own a .319 wOBA against right-handed pitching and a .415 SLG%. Berrios has allowed four home runs in his last two starts and could run into trouble in this one as well. Even though it’s just three starts, Berrios owns a wOBA of over .400 against both lefties and righties.