Today is one of those days where the slate of games is just…weird. The afternoon is full of games, while tonight we only have four and it starts at 8. So if you can wrap your head around this nonsense, you’ll have plenty of baseball to play today. So instead of me making small talk, let’s get right to things. As always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Heaviest Pitcher Favorites
Zack Greinke vs. Atlanta Braves (-230) – One night removed from Clayton Kershaw being the days favorite, Greinke is our newest favorite of the day. Greinke has truly been lights out this season. In 61 innings, he’s only given up ten runs! He’s got a 7.2 K/9 on the year and isn’t letting the ball leave the park.
Noah Syndergaard vs. Philadelphia Phillies (-171) – First things first, if Syndergaard came up in a spelling bee, I’d be out. Second, Syndergaard is making his fourth start in the majors against Vegas favorite team to crap on, the Phillies. Syndergaard has done fairly well so far this year. Owning a 3.63 ERA on the year in his three prior starts against the Pirates, Brewers, and Cubs. He’s had at least five strikeouts in each of these starts, with six being his highest against, shockingly, the Cubs. His problem has been his short starts, as he hasn’t seen past the 6th inning yet.
Lance Lynn vs. Arizona Diamondbacks(-162) – Lance Lynn is having a Lance Lynn year. His ERA is hovering around his career average at 3.46. His strikeouts are up so far this year, as he owns a 10.2 K/9 on the year thus far. He’s had at least 4 strikeouts in every one of his starts this season. He could be a sneaky play tonight.
Top Overall Game Over/Unders
Chicago White Sox at Toronto Blue Jays (Rogers Centre) – 9 Over/Under – These two teams just don’t quit. Last night they scored 19 total runs. Today they’re once again the highest projected game on the day. Jeff Samardzija goes up against Marco Estrada in this one. Estrada has been pretty solid, as hitters are only hitting .213 against him. Samardzija is struggling a bit more, as hitters are hitting .267 against him. Regardless, Vegas is liking the runs in this one.
Boston Red Sox at Minnesota Twins (Target Field) – 8.5 Over/Under – Rick Porcello takes on Phil Hughes in a real pitchers duel today. I hope you sense the sarcasm. Slated for 8.5 runs, Hughes might be in for a tough one. If you’re a fan of BvP stats, you’ll be happy to know that current Red Sox hitters that have faced Hughes are hitting a combined .330 against him with a .946 OPS.
Toughest Left/Right Matchups
Toughest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Garret Richards vs. San Diego Padres- Richards has been fantastic this season, which proves he’s fully healthy. He has a 2.98 ERA on the year and he’s been fantastic against lefties as they’re only hitting .181 on the year.
Felix Hernandez vs. Tampa Bay Rays- The King has been doing what he always does. He’s been striking out everyone and their mother, as he owns a 9.2 K/9 on the year. Against lefties, they’re only hitting .191 against him.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Max Scherzer vs. Chicago Cubs- This could be a big game for Scherzer. We all know how dominating he is, but tonight he gets a matchup against the Cubs, who have the most strikeouts in the majors. Besides the fact that Scherzer has a K/9 of 10, righties are only hitting him at .157 on the year. Keep in mind though, you’ll be paying the high price tag on Max.
Chris Archer vs. Seattle Mariners – Archer goes up against Hernandez tonight in what will be a true pitchers duel. He’s been basically lights out this season, especially against righties who are only hitting .190 against him. His K/9 on the year sits at 10.5.
Best Left/Right Matchups
Easiest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Jon Lester vs. Washington Nationals- I’m surprised Lester is in this section, but when you remember his early season struggles, it makes some sense. Against lefties, they’re hitting him to a .319 average. His K/9 is looking good though, at 8.2.
Josh Collmenter vs. St. Louis Cardinals– Collmenter doesn’t far well against hitters, period. Against lefties, they’re hitting him to a tune of .319. Righties isn’t much better either, as they hit him to an average of .300. Against the Cardinals, it could be a long (short) night for him.
Easiest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Alex Wood vs. L.A. Dodgers- Wood is someone who will give you 6 innings or so, maybe 5 or 6 strikeouts and give up 3-4 runs. He’s been pretty average at best this season. However, when it comes to righties, they’ve been knocking him around. Against righties, they own a .326 average against him.
Phil Hughes vs. Boston Red Sox- Hughes has been much better against righties. They’re hitting him to a tune of .320 on the year. He’s up against a struggling Red Sox offense, but taking a quick look at some numbers, the Red Sox do have some good numbers against him,
Kyle Seager ($4100) – Seager certainly has his power stroke going for him right now. He’s 11 for his last 26 with four home runs, eight RBIs and seven runs scored. It’s about time someone other then Nelson Cruz started providing something in Seattle.
Paul Goldschmidt ($4900) – It’s scary to think that Goldschmidt has “cooled” off a bit these past couple weeks when in reality, he’s doing just fine. He’s 9 for his last 22 with two home runs, six RBIs, two stolen bases and four runs scored.
Mitch Moreland ($3700) – The Rangers are on fire right now. A lot of it has to do with Prince Fielder, but don’t discount Moreland’s contributions. He’s 10 for his last 29 with three home runs, six RBIs,mans five runs scored.
Best Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups
A.J. Pierzynski vs. Zack Greinke – This matchup falls under the late slate, but if you’re playing, it’s a great one. Pierzynski has faced Greinke A LOT and he’s been quite successful. He’s hitting .404 against him in 52 at bats with three home run and a 1.050 OPS. Terrific value.
Mike Moustakas vs. Michael Pineda – Moustakas has been having a terrific 2015 and he looks to continue that against Pineda tonight. He’s 5-10 lifetime against him with a home run and a 1.700 OPS. Of the five hits he has against Pineda, four of them have gone for extra bases.
Dustin Pedroia vs. Phil Hughes – Pedroia has enjoyed some success against Hughes. He’s 11-35 against Hughes with six of those hits going for extra bases. His 1.008 OPS isn’t anything to sneeze at either.
The Houston Astros and Baltimore Orioles are looking at a 50% chance of thunderstorms throughout the game. Watch this one closely but as always, take a look at all games before you submit those lineups.
One Pitcher To Build Lineups Around
Chris Archer vs. Seattle Mariners ($9200) – I can’t lay off my man Archer. He faces a Seattle Mariners team that is hitting .239 as a team scoring 165 total runs, good for 27th in the league. They do hit a lot of home runs, as they’re 4th in the league in that aspect, but Archer hasn’t been giving up many, 0.6 per 9 innings. For the price that he’s at, it’s hard to pass up on him.
Superstar Worth Paying For…
Todd Frazier ($4800) – Frazier has been mashing this season. He’s hitting .258 with 13 home runs, 26 RBIs and a .900 OPS. He’s facing Kyle Kendrick this afternoon, whom he only has one hit against in his career. Kendrick is really struggling this year and is giving up around 2 home runs per nine innings right now. With the that being the case, I think today would be the perfect game for Frazier to improve those numbers against Kendrick.
Save Big Bucks By Drafting…
A.J. Pierzynski ($2600) – Pierzynski is playing in the might cap tonight and costs next to nothing. Of course, make sure he’s starting, but batting .404 against Greinke with a huge sample size of 52 at bats makes me quite confident that he can have a successful night. You truly aren’t going to find anyone cheaper with numbers like that against a particular pitcher.