I had a good lesson learned yesterday that I might have gotten away from a bit. After making my lineups, I checked again later on, of course to make sure everyone was actually playing, and to see what the other teams looked like. I couldn’t help but notice how weak the Detroit Tigers lineup was. Miguel Cabrera was sitting and with a couple injuries, it looked like a September expanded roster lineup. So I changed a few things around and started Jesse Hahn. Worked out perfect. I ended up placing in 30th in the 40K Moonshot event. So just remind yourself to always take the time to fully look over the lineups, not just for your own players.
Looks like we have a full slate of games today, let’s get to it! As always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Heaviest Pitcher Favorites
Clayton Kershaw vs. Atlanta Braves (-245) – Kershaw is the real heavy favorite tonight as he matches up against the Braves. This will be a good start to really see where Kershaw is at. He’s been struggling a bit this season as we near the end of May and his ERA sits at 4.32. I’m curious if this, plus the high price tag, will really keep people off of him tonight. He’s still striking batters out at a ridiculous pace, with 73 in 58 innings pitched. I’m still on Kershaw unless I see a couple more bad starts.
Jacob deGrom vs. Philadelphia Phillies (-190) – Onto someone who certainly is not struggling, deGrom gets a tasty matchup against the Phillies tonight. It’s going to be hard to stay away from deGrom, who spun a gem last time out against the St. Louis Cardinals giving up only one hit and striking out 11. If he can do that to the Cardinals, it’s scary to think of what he can do against these Phillies.
Danny Salazar vs. Texas Rangers (-160) – The Rangers are starting to turn things around as of late, which might not make it out to be as easy of a start for Salazar then initially thought. The Rangers are hitting more, as they are 18th in the league. The last time out against the Rangers, Salazar only made it through four innings giving up seven runs on nine hits. Other then that lone start against the Rangers, Salazar has been solid this season. I’m thinking he’ll yield better results this time around.
Top Overall Game Over/Unders
Chicago White Sox at Toronto Blue Jays (Rogers Centre) – 9 Over/Under – Once again these two teams matchup and are projected to have the highest run total of the night. John Danks goes up against R.A. Dickey in this one. Danks is getting hit hard against righties, at .300 for the year. Dickey always feels like he’s one inning away from an implosion. Can’t disagree with Vegas here.
Houston Astros at Baltimore Orioles (Camden Yards) – 8.5 Over/Under – As usual, we had multiple games coming in at 8.5 runs, so I wanted to highlight one in particular. Scott Feldman goes up against Chris Tillman in this game. Tillman has been getting rocked by lefties, as they hit him at .312. A perfect game to start Jose Altuve. Feldman is getting hit hard by righties at .321. I would expect a lot of runs in this one.
Toughest Left/Right Matchups
Toughest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Archie Bradley vs. St. Louis Cardinals- Sure, the sample size is a bit smaller compared to other starting pitchers because Bradley was injured. But when I put a pitcher in this section, I need at least 10 innings minimum to showcase someone. Bradley falls into that category. Against lefties, they’re only hitting .174 against him.
Adam Warren vs. Kansas City Royals – It amazes me that the Royals are still one of the best hitting teams in the league. Not for lack of talent, but for the fact that I wouldn’t have expected this to last as long as it is. For what it’s worth, Warren has been one of the best against lefties, as they’re hitting .194 off of him.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Clayton Kershaw vs. Atlanta Braves- Kershaw will ultimately turn things around, I truly have no doubt in my mind. The strikeouts are still in tact, he’s just giving up more homeruns at this point then he’s ever before (0.98 per 9 innings, a career high.) Against righties, they’re still only hitting .207 against him.
Jacob deGrom vs. Philadelphia Phillies- deGrom might be my favorite tonight (hot take.) At the price range, the matchup, and how he’s pitching, it’s hard to pass up. Righties are only hitting .216 against him.
Best Left/Right Matchups
Easiest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Wandy Rodriguez vs. Cleveland Indians- Give him credit where credit is due, Rodriguez hasn’t been horrible like I’ve been expecting lately. But you’re a mad man if you think it’s going to keep up. A good example of this is his .326 average when facing a leftie. It’s going to come crashing down soon enough!
Jerome Williams vs. New York Mets– The Phillies don’t exactly have an ace to matchup against deGrom tonight, so they send out Jerome Williams. Williams isn’t the biggest fan of facing lefties, as they hit him to a tune of .298.
Easiest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Mike Pelfrey vs. Boston Red Sox- The Red Sox need a matchup like this to get things going, as they continue to struggle. Pelfrey truly gets knocked around by righties, as they hit him at .365. But, in true Red Sox fashion, I’m sure they’ll make him look like an ace tonight.
John Danks vs. Toronto Blue Jays – As I mentioned earlier, Danks has been having issues with righties this year, as they’re hitting him at a .300 clip. That Blue Jays lineup is stacked, I’d hate to be Danks tonight. Or any night, actually. I’m sure he’s a nice guy.
Prince Fielder ($4500) – One of the big reasons the Texas Rangers are on a five game winning streak is due to the fact that Fielder is on fire right now. He’s 14 for his last 30 with four home runs, 12 RBIs, and eight runs scored. The heart of the Rangers lineup can be deadly if they’re clicking. That’s exactly what’s going on right now.
Kris Bryant ($4500) – Who doesn’t love Bryant? Since he got the monkey off his back and hit his first major league home run, he’s been getting them much more easily. He’s 7 for his last 28 with two home runs, six RBIs, three stolen bases and six runs scored. The average might not remain high, but the power and occasional speed will come into play.
Pedro Alvarez ($3900) – Alvarez kind of reminds me of a Mark Reynolds type player. He’s never going to win a batting title, but he will certainly win you games with his power. He’s 7 for his last 19 with three home runs, five RBIs, and seven runs scored. The cheap price tag helps fitting him into your lineup as well. Just don’t be expecting a 4-4 outing.
Best Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups
Kurt Suzuki vs. Clay Buchholz – Can’t say I ever expected to start off a section with Kurt Suzuki. Regardless of what I think, he’s had great success against Buchholz. He owns a .533 average against him with a 1.133 OPS. A pretty sneaky addition to your lineup if you ask me.
Giancarlo Stanton vs. Jeff Locke – I stated yesterday that Stanton had great numbers against Charlie Morton and it was only a matter of time until he took him deep. Boom. It happened. Against Jeff Locke tonight, we don’t have to worry about that since he’s already done so twice in his career. He’s hitting .500 against him as well with a 1.655 OPS. Oh my.
Alexi Ramirez vs. R.A. Dickey – Ramirez knows the old saying. If a knuckleball is high, you let it fly, if it’s low, you let it go. He’s most likely repeating that sentence over and over while he’s at bat because he’s hitting .400 against Dickey with two home runs and a 1.600 OPS.
The Washington Nationals and Chicago Cubs have a 50% chance of rain near the middle of the game. It’s not enough to cancel it but maybe a delay. As always, it’s better to have hitters in your lineup then pitchers due to the fact that if the delay is long enough, starting pitchers may get removed.
One Pitcher To Build Lineups Around
Madison Bumgarner vs. Milwaukee Brewers ($9600) – Ha! You thought I was going with deGrom didn’t you? I dropped that little hint earlier in the article and you thought you knew everything. Bumgarner is priced really well tonight against the light hitting Brewers. While deGrom is 100% a good play tonight, I think Bumgarner will have a bit more upside tonight.
Superstar Worth Paying For…
Giancarlo Stanton ($4900) – If any team could trade for any player in the league, who do you think it would be? It’s either Mike Trout or Stanton. Sure, a lot of that doesn’t equate into fantasy baseball, but Stanton is just that kind of player. With his numbers against Locke tonight, I’m rolling with the big man and hoping he goes deep again.
Save Big Bucks By Drafting…
Kurt Suzuki ($3000) – You should never be expecting big things from guys in this section, it’s more of a “fingers crossed” mentality when rosterting them, but at least we can somewhat back it up with numbers. As I said earlier, Suzuki hits Buchholz well and if he starts, for the price tag, you’d be crazy not to fit him in. At the least, it will give you some nice salary relief.