Memorial Day is officially (at least to me) the kick off of summer. Baseball is in full force and if you’ve been in the fence of playing, today is a perfect day to jump into it. Besides, I’m doing all the research for you. So put down that beer for 2 minutes, and let’s get to today’s Cheat Sheet. Ha, who am I kidding, don’t put down your beer.
Don’t forget, today is a split slate of games, with this afternoon carrying the majorety. As always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Heaviest Pitcher Favorites
Brett Anderson vs. Atlanta Braves (-190) – Well, it’s going to be one of those days. Anderson is the heavy favorite on Memorial Day, something I wouldn’t guess at all. He goes against the Braves tonight who are hitting .253 as a team, good for 13th in the league. Anderson has been struggling against lefties, as they hit him at .357.
Bartolo Colon vs. Philadelphia Phillies (-163) – As the season pushes forward, Colon has finally been solved by hitters. Even though, the only thing to solve is that he throws fastballs. He’s had two rough starts in a row now, one against the Milwaukee Brewers, who are the worst hitting team in the majors. The other was against the St. Louis Cardinals, who are 12th in terms of hitting. I do like Colon because of the matchup and the price. Just understand your expectations shouldn’t be the Colon of April.
Carlos Martinez vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (-160) – Another game this afternoon, Martinez brings his 9.3 K/9 against the Diamondbacks. The Diamondbacks don’t strike out a ton, but I do like this matchup for Martinez. On paper, it might not look like the greatest matchup, but the pitchers offers in the early slate don’t exactly blow you away either.
Top Overall Game Over/Unders
Chicago White Sox at Toronto Blue Jays (Rogers Centre) – 9 Over/Under – You always know when the Rockies are on the road when they aren’t at the top of this list. This game falls under the late slate and features Hector Noesi and Drew Hutchison. Two pitchers who I wouldn’t start in a whiffle ball game. Truly, expect a lot of runs in this one. Righties crush both pitchers. (hint, hint)
Colorado Rockies vs. Cincinnati Reds (Great American Ball Park) – 8.5 Over/Under – I had a few games to pick from but I wanted to highlight this one. Honestly, I’m surprised the run total isn’t higher. Eddie Butler and Jason Marquis combined would cost you 9000. Or one Dallas Keuchel. It’s insane. Looking at Marquis splits, righties hit him at .355 and lefties .293. Butler isn’t much better. Righties are at .286 and lefties .333. So I’m adjusting Vegas projections and saying this one as an over/under of 14.
Toughest Left/Right Matchups
Toughest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Dallas Keuchel vs. Baltimore Orioles- Keuchel is one of the only real bright spots today in terms of pitching. He’s been absolutely phenonmal this season and showing no signs of slowing down. Lefties are only hitting him at a .220 clip.
Roenis Elias vs. Tampa Bay Rays – Elias is also having a nice year, but without the fanfare that Keuchel has been getting. He gets a matchup against the light hitting Rays tonight. Lefties are only hitting .222 against him.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Shane Greene vs. Oakland A’s- I remember going over this the last time Greene was pitching. He’s fantastic against righties, but absolutely miserable against lefties. Still remains true today. Righties are only hitting .208 against him.
Jered Weaver vs. San Diego Padres- Weaver has lost a decent amount of velocity on his fastball in the last few years. But he’s still finding a way to get guys out. His ERA is a bit deceiving at the moment, at 4.37, because he’s turned in three quality starts in a row now. Righties are only hitting him at .219.
Best Left/Right Matchups
Easiest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Eddie Butler vs. Cincinnati Reds- As I said earlier, Butler is horrible against lefties, as they hit him at .333. I really think that game is going to be a high scoring one so make sure to get those lefties against Butler.
Brett Anderson vs. Phildelphia Phillies– He’s not good against lefties, but Vegas still likes him the most today. Like Butler, lefties are hitting .333 against him. Rumors of Anderson and Butler forming the Leftie 333 club are still unconfirmed.
Easiest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Jason Marquis vs. Colorado Rockies- No chance this game goes well for Marquis today. No chance. Righties are hitting .355 against him, which is mind boggling in itself. I’m so confident that he’s going to get rocked, that if he doesn’t, I’ll eat a whole avocado. I dispose avocado.
Hector Noesi vs. Toronto Blue Jays – Another game that’s projected to have a lot of runs, Noesi is getting hit by righties to a .318 clip. I’m sure the Blue Jays should be able to handle this one.
Mike Napoli ($4200) – A week ago, Napoli would have been featured on the “Who’s dead in the water” section. But he’s risen from the dead in a huge way lately. He’s 9 for his last 21 with five home runs, 10 RBIs and six runs scored. For 4200, he’s hard to keep off your roster right now.
A.J. Pollock ($4300) – Pollock could be on the verge of a breakout season if he continues this up. He’s 12 for his last 30 with a home run, three RBIs, eight runs scored and four stolen bases. He’s doing it all right now and would fit perfectly into your lineup.
Ryan Braun ($5100) – What ever the reason was that Braun took PEDs, it was so unnecessary. Braun is killing it right now as he’s 8 for his last 21 with three home runs, 11 RBIs and four runs scored.
Best Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups
David Ortiz vs. Ricky Nolasco – (Early slate) Against Nolasco, Ortiz is hitting .400 with three home runs in ten at bats. Throw in a 1.762 OPS and the fact that Ortiz absolutely crushes it when he faces the Twins and you have a match made in heaven. BONUS STATS: Lifetime against the Twins, Ortiz is hitting .345 with 20 home runs, 50 RBIs, an OBP of .432 and a .686 OPS. Yup.
Brett Gardner vs. Jeremy Guthrie (Early slate) – Gardner is hitting .353 in 17 at bats against Guthrie. He also owns a .929 OPS against him. He’s been batting lead off with the injury to Jacoby Ellsbury, which really gives him more value.
Giancarlo Stanton vs. Charlie Morton (Late slate) – Stanton hasn’t had a great average this year, but the power is certainly still around. Against Morton, he’s batting .467 with surprisingly no home runs, yet. That will change soon. Let’s not forgot about the 1.156 OPS Stanton has against him.
Enjoy a nice, clear Memorial Day!
One Pitcher To Build Lineups Around
Tim Lincecum vs. Milwaukee Brewers ($8700) – Yes, Dallas Keuchel is pitching in the same slate. If you came here for obvious opinions, what’s the point? Lincecum is pitching lights out right now and gets a matchup against the helpless Brewers. They strikeout a ton, they can’t score runs and they have one of the lowest OPS in the league, at .663. I’m firing up Timmy for sure.
Superstar Worth Paying For…
Brett Gardner ($4700) – I think today is a perfect storm to take Gardner. With Jacoby Ellsbury out, Gardner has been leading off. He has great numbers against Guthrie which further adds value. He’s also been slumping a bit, as he’s just 3 in his last 19, which could really keep him off people’s rosters. I think today will be well worth the investment.
Save Big Bucks By Drafting…
Chris Coghlan ($3400) – Coghlan has been struggling with the Cubs as of late, but he faces someone he’s had good success in the past against. He’s 5 for 10 against Tanner Roark with a 1.100 OPS. Add in the fact that he’s always a threat to go deep, I’ll take the chance on the low price tag.