With a nine game slate tonight, we have some excellent matchups on tap. Let’s jump right into all the information, and as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
PIT (-180) vs. ATL – Jeff Locke – We spoke yesterday about how pathetic the Braves were against left-handed bats, well wouldn’t you know, they pulled off their 10th victory of the season. It still doesn’t take away from the fact that this team can’t really hit anything consistently, so targeting against them will continue. Coming into tonight, the Braves own a .247 wOBA against lefties with a .067 ISO and a .282 SLG. Locke hasn’t exactly been the poster child for solid starting pitching, owning a 5.45 ERA with a 1.66 WHIP. Nonetheless, it’s hard to go against these numbers that Atlanta is posting against left-handed pitchers. Like Liriano, I don’t expect Locke to get smoked here, but I’m not expecting him to go out of his element and post a huge score.
CHW (-180) vs. HOU – Chris Sale – Sale is by far the most talented pitcher on this slate, as evidenced by his $13,800 salary. It’s going to be interesting to see how much exposure people will have to Sale, as it’s easier to fit him in on a nine game slate than it would be on a full 15. So far this season, the Astros have been hitting lefties well, owning a .329 wOBA with a .164 ISO and a .412 SLG. The obvious appeal here is the strikeouts, with Houston owning a 25.7 K% against lefties, which ranks third in the league. Sale hasn’t been striking out as much as usual, with his 8 K/9 in eight starts, but he’s still vastly appealing against one of the top strike out teams in the league.
TOR vs. MIN – 8.5 runs – We have a number of games slated at 8.5 runs for today, so I landed on TOR taking on MIN. This one is a bit interesting to me because both of these teams aren’t exactly lighting the offensive world on fire, and yet, it’s one of the highest projected run totals of the night. Marco Estrada and Ervin Santana will do battle in this one with both pitchers holding their own on the mound. Estrada comes in with a 2.89 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP while Santana has a 3.38 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP. The appeal in this game should be lefties against Santana, as he owns a .342 wOBA against them. Righties haven’t been terrible against Santana either, as he has a .319 wOBA against them. I don’t know if this game will live up to the projected run total, but I think it will be an interesting one to look at.
|Targets||Read More||Cheat Sheet|
The only weather concern, if you want to call it that is a high window blowing out to right field in the NYY @ OAK game. With 21 mph winds, this will be an obvious boost to hitters in a historically pitchers’ park.
Park Factors are rated on a scale of 1.000. Any offensive category at or above 1.000 favor hitters. Anything below that mark favor pitchers.
- Great American Ballpark – CLE vs CIN – Both of these teams play in very hitter friendly ballparks, so no real advantage either way here. The Great American Ballpark favored hitters in every offensive category except triples.
- Target Field – TOR vs MIN – Target Field gets the nod for the second best hitting ballpark basically by default. Ranked 13th overall last season, it favored hitters in home runs and singles.
- Angels Stadium of Anaheim – LAD vs LAA – Angels Stadium was ranked the second worst ballpark for hitters in 2015. The only category that favored hitters was walks.
- Citi Field – WAS vs. NYM – Citi Field was also a park that didn’t exactly excite hitters last season. In 2015, it did not have a single category that favored hitters.
Splits to Start
Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
|Worst vs. LHB||OPS||AVG||Best vs LHB||OPS||AVG|
|Colin McHugh||.926||.319||Chris Sale||.416||.171|
|Jeff Locke||.865||.324||Stephen Strasburg||.479||.169|
|Michael Wacha||.815||.237||Ross Stripling||.613||.192|
Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
|Worst vs. RHB||OPS||AVG||Best vs RHB||OPS||AVG|
|Kendal Graveman||.989||.333||Chris Sale||.481||.167|
|Colin McHugh||.904||.359||Jon Gray||.583||.241|
|Jeff Locke||.841||.277||Marco Estrada||.615||.205|
Batter vs. Pitcher Splits
|Josh Donaldson||Ervin Santana||14||3.30|
|Jose Bautista||Ervin Santana||29||2.03|
|Josh Reddick||Ivan Nova||11||2.27|
- We have two Blue Jays hitters that have hit Santana well in their career. We start off with Josh Donaldson, who is 5-14 with two doubles, 2 home runs and four RBIs.
- Next is Jose Bautista who is also facing Santana. Bautista is 8-29 with three doubles, two home runs, four RBIs and eight walks.
- Finally, Josh Reddick will round out our BvP with a small sample against Ivan Nova. Reddick is 4-11 with two doubles and a solo home run.
Pitcher to Build Around
Stephen Strasburg – WAS vs. NYM – $12,900 – I think Chris Sale is the obvious choice on the slate, so I might as well mix it up a bit and go with the second obvious choice on this slate. Even though the Mets have been hitting right-handed pitchers extremely well with a .328 wOBA, they also own a 22.1 K%, which is something that will play in Strasburg favor. Strasburg owns a 10.6 K/9 on the season and has reached double digits in strikeouts three times this season. Pitching in the friendly Citi Field, Strasburg should be a nice pivot to Sale if you’re looking to save some salary.
Heavy Hitter to Pay For
Gregory Polanco – PIT vs. ATL (Mike Foltynewicz) – $5,200 – Polanco has been doing it all for the Pirates so far this season. Coming into tonight, Polanco is averaging 9.4 FPPG with a .305 average, four home runs, 20 RBIs and a .923 OPS. He takes on Mike Foltynewicz who has struggled in his short major league career against lefties. Owning a .412 wOBA with a .606 SLG, it plays nicely into Polanco and his .402 wOBA against righties this season.
Save Big by Drafting…
Zack Cozart – CIN vs. CLE (Josh Tomlin) – $3,200 – At just $3,200, Cozart feels awfully cheap for someone averaging 7.8 FPPG, batting .320 with four home runs, 15 RBIs and a .828 OPS. On top of all this, he’s doing it at the shortstop position. He faces off against Josh Tomlin, who owns a .333 wOBA against righties this season allowing five home runs and a .506 SLG%. Batting leadoff for the Reds almost on a nightly basis, you won’t find value like Cozart tonight.
Stack Em Up
PIT vs. ATL (Mike Foltynewicz) – I think the Pirates turn it around after a dud last night. With some great left-handed bats that get sprinkled in with the likes of Andrew McCutchen, they should be able to handle Foltynewicz tonight. On the season, the Pirates own the fifth highest wOBA against righties at .339 with a .422 SLG and a .778 OPS. Tonight should be a fine play for this stack.