Monday brings us a nine game slate with a couple of the top pitchers in the game going. Let’s get you ready for this slate and all the match ups you should be looking for. As always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.

Game Notes

Biggest Favorites

LAD (-350) vs. CIN – Clayton Kershaw – As the biggest favorite I’ve seen this season, Kershaw comes into this matchup tonight with a 1.67 ERA to go with a 0.70 WHIP and a K/9 of 11.3.  Kershaw has been pitching out of his mind lately, averaging 34.6 FPPG and reaching double-digit strikeouts in six straight starts. He faces a Reds team that is hitting lefties fairly well with a .332 wOBA and a K% of 18.3%. Both of these numbers are good, and on a normal basis, I might question if I should start whomever this pitcher is taking on the Reds. With how Kershaw has been pitching this season, he’s essentially matchup proof. The biggest down fall with Kershaw tonight, is that his salary has now creeped up even more and sits at $14,000.

SFG (-179) vs. SDP – Johnny Cueto – Cueto must love being back in the National League, I mean it’s May 23rd, and he’s about to pitch against the Padres for the third time this season. Besides the Padres, Cueto has been fantastic in his first season with the Giants, compiling a 2.70 ERA with a 1.10 WHIP and a K/9 of 8.2. As I mentioned, Cueto will face the Padres for the third time tonight, and he’s put up his two best games against this team. In his two starts, Cueto has gone the distance in both, allowing one run on 11 hits with a 19:3 K:BB ratio. Needless to say, he’s in a fantastic spot to have any game like this once again. He gets an even bigger boost for this start being in AT&T Park.

Highest Totals

LAA vs. TEX – 9.5 runs – Only one game with a projected run total of 9.5 runs tonight, being the Angels and the Rangers. Nick Tropeano and Derek Holland will take the mound tonight with both of these pitchers equally having their struggles. Tropeano owns a wOBA of .371 on the road this season, allowing four of the seven home runs he’s given up. Righties have been hurting him the most on the road with a .416 wOBA and .649 SLG. With Holland, home has not been where the heart is, owning a .340 wOBA compared to his .318 wOBA on the road. Holland has yet to give up a home run at home, but has let six leave the park on the road this season. Both of these clubs aren’t exactly crushing the ball at this point, but as the highest projected run total of the night, it would be wise to have at least some exposure to this game.

TargetsRead MoreCheat Sheet
PitchersWeatherHot Hitters

Weather Concerns

NYM vs WAS (Nationals Park)- This game could get a bit tricky, as we have thunder storms looming right around first pitch. It clears up later in the night, so if they wait it out they could essentially fit this one in. Watch this one closely.

KCR vs MIN (Target Field)- This one won’t be as tricky as we’ll have a chance of thunderstorms all throughout the night. This game will have a good chance of being postponed as I write early in the morning.

LAA vs TEX (Globe Life Park)- No rain to worry about in this one, but it will feature a 14 mph wind blowing in from right field.

Park Factors

Park Factors are rated on a scale of 1.000. Anything at or above 1.000 favors hitters, anything below it favors pitchers.

  • Globe Life Park – LAA vs TEX Globe Life Park was ranked the fifth best ballpark for hitters last season and gets the nod for number one today. Last season, Globe Life Park had favorable ratings in every offensive category except triples.
  • Nationals Park – NYM vs WAS – Nationals Park was ranked 12th overall last season but gets the nod for number two. Last season, Nationals Park had favorable ratings in runs, home runs and doubles.
  • AT&T Park – SDP vs SFG – Last season was not a very fun place to play at this stadium, as it was the lowest ranked park in all of baseball. AT&T Park only favored triples in 2015.
  • Safeco Field – OAK vs SEA – No real difference for either team here, as they both play in unfavorable parks for hitters. Safeco did not have a single category that favored hitters in 2015.

Splits to Start

Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters

Cody Anderson1.036.347Clayton Kershaw.343.145
Mike Pelfrey1.031.391Rich Hill.469.175
Nick Tropeano.886.301Gio Gonzalez.476.176

Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters

Cody Anderson.997.373Clayton Kershaw.483.192
Adam Wainwright.914.325Drew Pomeranz.542.170
Mike Pelfrey.805.272Johnny Cueto.577.232

Batter vs. Pitcher Splits

BatterOpposing SPABFP/AB
Hunter PenceDrew Pomeranz144
Alexi RamirezJohnny Cueto172.82
Ryan HowardMike Pelfrey451.55

  • I love this BvP for Pence against Pomeranz. In 14 at-bats, Pence has four hits against them, ALL of them are home runs. Pence is 4-14 with four home runs and eight RBIs. Awesome.
  • I threw in this Alexi Ramirez BvP because this is one of those classic situations where you have an unlikely player getting on base against a tough pitcher. Ramirez is 10-17 with two doubles, a home run and two RBIs.
  • This Ryan Howard BvP isn’t very big in FP/AB, but I think it’s still impressive regardless. Howard is 16-45 against Pelfrey with two doubles, three home runs, seven RBIs and eight walks.

Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Johnny Cueto – SFG vs SDP – $12,600 Look, we all know Kershaw is your top option for tonight, and if you can fit him onto your roster, more likely than not you’ll be in a great spot to rack up some points. I’ll showcase my other favorite pitcher on the night, which is Cueto. As I mentioned earlier, he’s been fantastic in his prior two starts against the Padres, who still can’t seem to figure him out.  Cueto owns a 0.50 ERA against them this season with a 0.77 WHIP and a 9.5 K/9. He’s gone the distance in both of these games and has looked fantastic in doing so. You get a $1,400 saving taking Cueto over Kershaw, and quite frankly, have the potential to grab 30+ points with either of these pitchers.

Heavy Hitter to Pay For

Marcell Ozuna – TBR vs. MIA (Matt Moore) – $5,000 – Giancarlo Stanton is in the midst of a horrific slump right now, striking out a whopping 20 times in the past 10 games. Thankfully for the Marlins, Marcell Ozuna has been picking up the pieces in the meantime. Averaging 10.4 FPPG over his last 10, Ozuna has a fantastic matchup ahead of him against left-handed pitcher Matt Moore. On the season, Ozuna owns a .523 wOBA against lefties at home with a .778 SLG%. Moore has equally struggled on the road, with a .357 wOBA allowed. Ozuna is flying under the radar still somehow, so I think he would be a fantastic pick for tonight.

Save Big by Drafting…

Trayce Thompson – LAD vs. CIN (Brandon Finnegan) – $3,300 – Don’t let the small price fool you, Thompson has been hitting well so far this season. Averaging 9.7 FPPG in his last ten games, Thompson is batting .280 on the season with seven home runs, 19 RBIs, and a .902 OPS. Tonight he goes up against Brandon Finnegan with a RHB v LHP matchup on the horizon. Thompson owns a .389 wOBA against lefties this season to go with a .583 SLG%. Even better, Thompson bumps that wOBA against lefties to .400 at home. For such short money, and most likely you’ll need it if you’re taking some of the top pitchers, he’s a solid investment for tonight.

Stack Em Up

CHC vs. STL (Adam Wainwright) – Honestly, no one really jumps out at me as a MUST stack on the night. We certainly have a couple of options I’d consider, like MIA against Matt Moore, or LAA against Derek Holland, but Chicago against Wainwright feels like the best option. Sure, Wainwright came away with a nice start his last time out against the Rockies, and maybe I’m still slightly bitter about that. Against righties this season, the Cubs owns the fourth highest wOBA at .341 with a .434 SLG, ranked 7th. One good start from Wainwright isn’t going to convince me that he’s back yet, so until that day comes, it’s business as usual for me targeting hitters against him.