Almost a full slate of games (Cubs and Phillies had to be difficult and play this afternoon) will kick off Memorial Day weekend. We have plenty of fantastic match ups on tap for tonight, so let’s jump right into all the information. As always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.

Game Notes

Biggest Favorites

SEA (-220) vs. MIN –Felix Hernandez – Hernandez has quite the tasty matchup against the Twins at Safeco. Sporting a 2.21 ERA with a 1.19 WHIP, Hernandez is going to be quite the popular pick tonight, even with his price tag at $11,900. I’m still a bit concerned about the walks that Hernandez is issuing, as he owns a 3.95 BB/9 in nine starts this season. Couple that with his K/9 going down to 7.4, he hasn’t been as dominant as we’ve seen in the past. Nonetheless, the Twins have been putrid against right-handed pitching, owning a .303 wOBA with a .390 SLG and a .695 OPS. The Twins have also been striking out a ton, with a 23.3 K% which ranks 7th in the league. In my opinion, this matchup is as good as it gets for Hernandez, pitching in cozy Safeco field against the poor hitting Twins.

ARZ (-161) vs. SDP –Robbie Ray – The Diamondbacks are the second heavy favorite on the night going up against the Padres. I mean, who doesn’t like picking against the Padres? As far as starting pitching goes, I can’t say I’m overly excited to get Ray on my roster. Ray does have fantastic strikeout potential, owning a 9.8 K/9 in nine starts this season.  That’s certainly a huge plus as the Padres owns a 26.5 K% against lefties which ranks third in the league. However, Ray can’t seem to get out of his own way as he owns a 4.5 BB/9 as well. Ray has walked a batter in every start this season and has walked at least three batters four times this season. This is a huge reason why someone with a K/9 a hair below 10 only averages 14.2 FPPG. He could come away with a fantastic score if he can keep the walks down, just be prepared to stomach the ups and downs that come with a Robbie Ray start.

Highest Totals

SFG  vs COL – 10.5 runs- Ah yes, here we are again, Coors Field. The Giants will take on the Rockies in this matchup, sending Matt Cain and Tyler Chatwood to the mound. Both of these pitchers have faced each other at Coors Field this season with some less than stellar stats. Chatwood pitched six innings allowing five runs on 11 hits with a 2:1 K:BB ratio. Cain wasn’t much better, going four innings allowing six runs on six hits but he did salvage the start somewhat by striking out seven. Not much more can be said about Coors Field games, as fading them always becomes a risky task. Personally, this is one I’m going all in on and would need a REAL good reason to fade. The pitching coming from both sides is less than stellar and the runs should be coming at a high rate in this game.

Weather Concerns

PIT vs TEX (Globe Life Park) – They should be able to squeeze this game in, as the threat of thunderstorms will only be prominent around first pitch. After that it should clear up, although I would double check as we get closer to game time just to be sure.

CHW vs KCR (Kauffman Stadium) – Second day in a row that this game as a legitimate chance to be postponed. Thunderstorms will be active all night in KC, so it may be wise to fade this game.

Park Factors

Park Factors are rated on a scale of 1.000. If an offensive category has a rating of 1.000 or higher, it favors the hitters. Anything below 1.000 favors pitching.

* Coors Field – SFG vs COL* – With just about two months under our belt, we finally switch over to the 2016 ratings for Park Factors. No surprise that Coors Field remains the number one ballpark for hitters, owning a plus rating in every offensive category.

  • Globe Life Park – PIT vs TEX – Globe Life Park currently ranks number two for hitters this season. It currently favors in every offensive category with triples dominating with a 2.156 rating.

Oakland Coliseum – DET vs OAK – The Coliseum currently ranks as the second worst park for hitters and number one on our list tonight. It does not have a single category favoring hitters so far in 2016. 

  • Tropicana Field – NYY vs TBR – Tropicana ranks as the third worst overall park this season. Just like Oakland, Tropicana completely favors pitchers in the early going.

Splits to Start

Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters

Zack Davies1.060.356Sean Manaea.374.130
Mike Wright1.017.368 Jaime Garcia.465.209
Max Scherzer1.016.305Carlos Rodon.540.214

Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters

Michael Fulmer1.005.311Max Scherzer.458.151
Sean Manaea.944.346Williams Perez.505.196
Matt Shoemaker.922.343Felix Hernandez.571.184

Batter vs. Pitcher Splits

HitterOpposing SPABFP/AB
Adrian GonzalezJacob deGrom104.3
Jacoby EllsburyChris Archer242.95
Josh DonaldsonJoe Kelly172.9

BatterOpposing SPABFP/AB
Hanley RamirezDavid Price301.250
Jake SmolinkskiMax Scherzer301.250
Edwin EncarnacionRick Porcello301.250
Jake SmolinkskiMax Scherzer301.250
Edwin EncarnacionRick Porcello301.250

  • Some good BvP on this slate for tonight. We start off with a small sample size of Adrian Gonzalez taking on Jacob deGrom. A-Gon is 5-10 with two home runs and six RBIs
  • Up next is one I was certainly surprised about. Jacoby Ellsbury is 16-24 against Chris Archer with a double, a home run and three RBIs.
  • Finally, we have Josh Donaldson who continues to struggle a bit at the plate overall. Tonight he gets Joe Kelly, in a matchup he has gone 9-17 with a home run and six RBIs.  

Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Masahiro Tanaka – NYY vs. TBR – $10,400 I love this spot for Tanaka as his price isn’t too shabby and his matchup is quite a juicy one. Facing a Rays team that is second in the league in K% against righties with a 26.3 K%, Tanaka brings his 7.7 K/9 to this one. He’s been quietly putting together a solid season, continuing to showcase his fantastic command with a 1.8 BB/9 and allowing less than a home run a start. He’s been absolutely dominant at home, holding opposing hitters to a .217 wOBA with a .216 SLG and a .255 OBP. I have no doubt in my mind that the Rays will have trouble with Tanaka in this spot as they have once already this season. In that start, Tanaka went seven innings allowing two runs on five hits with a 7:1 K:BB ratio for 22.2 points.

Heavy Hitter to Pay For

Charlie Blackmon – COL vs SFG (Matt Cain) – $4,900 – As I mentioned earlier, this is one game at Coors Field that I won’t be fading. One of the biggest reasons for that is the Rockies taking on Matt Cain. Cain has been destroyed by lefties this season especially on the road. Coming into this start, Cain owns a .499 wOBA against lefties with a .690 SLG and a .485 OBP. Blackmon has been fantastic against righties at Coors, with a .342 wOBA and a .406 SLG. Hitting leadoff for the Rockies, Blackmon should have at least a few chances to do some damage against Cain in what should be a high scoring affair.  

Save Big by Drafting…

Brett Lawrie – CHW vs KCR (Danny Duffy) – $3,100 – Couple of reasons I like this matchup. First, if they CAN get this game in, his ownership will be even lower than if we didn’t have any weather issues to begin with. Second, Lawrie has been hitting lefties extremely well, owning a .392 wOBA with a .235 ISO and a .559 SLG. Be wary of the weather concerns, but Lawrie could be a nice contrarian selection.

Stack Em Up

COL vs. SFG (Matt Cain) – Ugh, I hate going with the Rockies stack because it’s expensive, and it’s not anything groundbreaking. Of course taking the Rockies at home is the play! But, against Matt Cain it really should be the play tonight. Cain has been so bad on the road this season, owning an overall wOBA of .363 and being crushed by lefties, that this Rockies stack makes the most sense. You’ll have to pay down at other positions to make this stack fit, but I think the Rockies will be worth paying up for tonight.