We’re back to a nice normal slate of games today. As always on Tuesday, DraftKings is holding the $300K Tuesday Slugfest contest where first place earns a cool $30,000. Not a shabby little payday. Tomorrow is the big one, as someone is going to turn a $3 dollar entry into $100,000, which is absolutely insane. It might be the coolest story I’ve ever heard. Anyways, let’s get you ready for tonight and as always, you can follow me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Heaviest Pitcher Favorites
Anibal Sanchez vs. Milwaukee Brewers (-160) – The Brewers are becoming the new Twins, at least in the eyes of Vegas. It seems as if no matter who’s going up against them, they’re quite a heavy favorite. But that doesn’t take anything away from Sanchez. He has 46 strikeouts in 51 innings and hey, guess what? The Brewers strike out a lot! I agree with Vegas, I like Sanchez.
Francisco Liriano vs. Minnesota Twins (-148) – Well, that didn’t take long. The Twins make their long anticipated appearance. Liriano has been on a tear thus far, with 50 strikeouts in 45 innings pitched. He’s also coming into tonight with a 2.96 ERA and a WHIP that’s almost under 1. Between Sanchez and Liriano, you could have a serious duo tonight.
Gio Gonzalez vs. New York Yankees (-146) – Gonzalez is coming off his worst outing of the year against the Diamondbacks, giving up five runs in five innings. Don’t let that scare you off. Gonzalez has been solid otherwise. The Yankees have been quite streaky this year, but I think Gio can handle it.
Top Overall Game Over/Unders
Philadelphia Phillies at Colorado Rockies (Coors Field) – 10.5 Over/Under – Ah yes, the “Coors Effect” is alive and well. Aaron Harang, who’s still pitching over his head, goes up against Chad Bettis (who?) Bettis had his first start this year against the Dodgers, and that didn’t go very well. All in all, Harang is honestly due to get crushed and Bettis, I didn’t even know who he was before I wrote this. Stack those hitters!
L.A. Angels at Toronto Blue Jays (Rogers Centre) – 9 Over/Under – These two teams can certainly score some runs. Yesterday, they were the only team who played in the afternoon slate and they scored a combined 16 runs. Today, Vegas is thinking more of the same. Hector Santiago and Aaron Sanchez go toe to toe in this one.
Toughest Left/Right Matchups
Toughest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Johnny Cueto vs. Kansas City Royals- Against lefties, hitters are hitting .190 off Cueto. As to no surprise to anyone, his K/9 is also at a great number, at 8.60.
Sonny Gray vs. Houston Astros – Gray is really emerging as one of the top pitchers in 2015. Against lefties, he usually has no issue with as they’re hitting .210 against him. His K/9 sits at 7.77
Toughest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Aaron Sanchez vs. L.A. Angels – I usually don’t think of Sanchez as an overly tough pitcher, but clearly, he gives righties some trouble. They’re hitting .125 against him while he owns a 6.80 K/9
Francisco Liriano vs. Minnesota Twins – As Liriano makes a start against his former team, righties are hitting .191 against him. His K/9 is always at a good number, at 9.61.
Best Left/Right Matchups
Easiest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Carlos Frias vs. San Francisco Giants- Oh boy, Frias struggles against righties. They’re hitting him to a tune of .338, which according to my math, is not very good at all. He does have a high K/9 against them however, at 10.69.
Ricky Nolasco vs. Pittsburgh Pirates – Well, here he is. My arch nemesis. Last time Nolasco pitched, I ripped him up and down and he goes out and shows me up with a good start. This time, I’m just simply reading the facts, Ricky. Lefties are hitting .322 against you! So, argue that!
Easiest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Ricky Nolasco vs. Pittsburgh Pirates- Oh, and another thing. Righties are hitting .302 against you!
Jeremy Hellickson vs. Miami Marlins – Hellickson is going up against a struggling Marlins team tonight. Righties hit him for a .301 average, but the Marlins are in desperate need of a spark. If that comes tonight, is yet to be seen.
Bryce Harper ($5600) – Boy, has that price skyrocketed or what? Harper is now the most expensive outfielder on DraftKings and has a good chance of staying there for awhile. He’s 11 for his last 19 with three home runs, eight RBIs, two stolen bases and nine runs scored. Need I say more?
Brandon Belt ($4500) – Belt makes his first appearance on this list with the nice run he’s on right now. He’s 10 for his last 27 with three home runs, seven RBIs, and nine runs scored. The Giants are in a good spot to score some runs tonight.
Brandon Crawford ($4000) – Two Giants that are on fire right now, Crawford joins the list. He’s 10 for his last 24 with a home run, nine RBIs, a stolen base and seven runs scored. He’s cheap, as well.
Best Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups
Gerardo Parra vs. Anibal Sanchez – Parra has seen good success against Sanchez, as his .571 average is a good indication. He hasn’t had any home runs, but that at least tells you he sees Sanchez well. The 1.286 OPS doesn’t hurt either.
Jason Heyward vs. Jon Niese – Heyward has been struggling since coming over to the Cardinals from the Atlanta Braves. Maybe this is the game that can get him on a run. Against Niese, Heyward is hitting .321 with two home runs, and a .994 OPS.
Michael Brantley vs. Jose Quintana – Brantley seems to hit a lot of people well, so why would Quintana be an exception? Brantley has a .500 average against him with a home run and a 1.342 OPS. Brantley is expensive, but could be worth it tonight.
*The Phillies and Rockies have a chance of a thunderstorm in the beginning of the game, but the weather looks better as the game goes on. *
One Pitcher To Build Lineups Around
James Shields ($9700) – I was happy to see that my recommended pitcher, Chris Sale, had a good game last night. Nice to get back on track a bit. I’m going with Shields tonight on the prospect that he’s going to (hopefully) rack up some strikeouts tonight againist the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs are still the highest in the league in strikeouts and Shields has the third most in the majors. So the matchup should be a good one. If you want to be bold and pair him with Sonny Gray tonight, who faces an Astros team that strikes out the most besides the Cubs, ohhhhh baby!
Superstar Worth Paying For…
Bryce Harper ($5600) – When it comes to the debate of, do you take stock into a players hot streak, people will go on and on about this. In the game of baseball, what you did yesterday doesn’t matter the next. Harper is trying to make his case that it does. He leads the league in almost every offensive category, which makes it hard to keep him off your team. If you believe in hot streaks, no one is on fire more than Harper.
Save Big Bucks By Drafting…
Mike Aviles ($3300) – Aviles was recently activated from the restriced list Monday after attending to a family issue for a couple of weeks. If he’s in the starting lineup tonight, he has a great matchup to get back in the groove. Against Jose Quintana, he’s batting .429 with an .883 OPS. For cheap money, you can’t complain.