It’s Friday folks, so that means you have lots to be happy about. As I always do on Friday’s, I’m giving away a $5 DraftKings ticket, so make sure you read this article over and over. Once you memorize it word for word, you can follow me on Twitter to find out how to win one of these bad boys. So let’s get to it. As always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Heaviest Pitcher Favorites
Matt Harvey vs. Miami Marlins (-176) – Ah yes, the Dark Knight is upon us. Harvey goes up against the Miami Marlins, a team who’s ranked 9th in batting average at .258, but only 24th in runs. They’re lacking power as a team as well, as they’ve only hit 31 home runs on the year. Harvey is coming off his worst start of the season, when he gave up seven runs to the Pittsburgh Pirates in just four innings. This is a terrific bounce back opportunity for Harvey.
Tim Hudson vs. Atlanta Braves (-168) – Yeah I’ll be honest, I don’t get this at all. Hudson comes into today’s start with a 5.04 ERA with a 1.37 WHIP. He’s giving up a lot of home runs, on average, 1.3 per game, which is high even for Hudson. Luckily for him, the Braves are second to last in home runs, only hitting 27. They play in San Francisco, where Hudson has pitched slightly better. I’m just finding this pick to be a tough one to agree with.
Cole Hamels vs. Colorado Rockies (-161) I would take Hamels against one of the best offenses over Hudson against a middle of the pack offense, any day. Hamels gets a home start against the Rockies, who are hitting .267 as a club and ran 12th in home runs with 46. Hamels has been terrific this year with a 9.1 K/9 and should be able to stifle the Rockies tonight.
Top Overall Game Over/Unders
Boston Red Sox at Texas Rangers (Ballpark in Arlington) – 9 Over/Under – I’m starting to think these teams are playing in Coors Field, but then I look at the pitching matchup and realize, it”s just the pitching. Steven Wright and his knuckleball go up against Yovani Gallardo and his…..fastball? Wright did have a decent outing against the L.A. Angels his last time out, but as you know, if the knuck isn’t working, neither is the start. Gallardo gets the struggling Red Sox offense, but Gallardo hasn’t exactly but cruising through his starts either.
Toronto Blue Jays at Minnesota Twins (Target Field) – 8.5 Over/Under – Two pitchers in this one that are fully capable of imploding and giving up some runs. Mark Buehrle and Trevor May go in this one. Buehrle has been pitching better as of late, but he’s only had two quality starts in six outings. May had a nice start against the White Sox his last time up, but they’re no Blue Jays. This would be a great game to focus on hitters.
Toughest Left/Right Matchups
Toughest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Cole Hamels vs. Colorado Rockies- Hamels has been lights out against lefties this year. They’re only hitting .127 off of him and as I mentioned, his K/9 on the year sits at 9.1. The Rockies are a good offense, but I think they run into trouble tonight.
Hector Santiago vs. Detroit Tigers- Santiago has great splits on the year. Lefties are only hitting .176 off of him and righties, .246. Add in the fact that his K/9 is 8.2, and you have a potential sneaky pick for a pitcher tonight. The Tigers offense is a good one, but Santiago has been solid this season.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Anthony DeSclafani vs. Washington Nationals- DeSclafani is surprisingly the toughest against righties today. I must say I was shocked when I saw they were only hitting .141 off of him. Lefties are hitting him must harder, at .276, but that’s come down a lot this season. His K/9 is at a respectable 6.9.
Mike Bolsinger vs. St. Louis Cardinals- Tonight really is full of great pitching going up against tough offense. Bolsinger has been dominating in the early going with a .71 ERA and 22 strikeouts in 25 innings. The Cardinals are one of the best offenses in the league, but righties are only hitting .163 off of Bolsinger.
Best Left/Right Matchups
Easiest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Taijuan Walker vs. Cleveland Indians- Walker has been having a tough go of it against lefties this season. They’re hitting him at a .333 clip. However, in the case of an extreme splits, Walker has a 3.31 ERA at home, which is where he is tonight. On the road, it jumps all the way up to 9.79.
Trevor May vs. Toronto Blue Jays– May has been having nightmares about lefties. They’re crushing him with a .328 average. Which is a huge different from righties, who only hit him at .228. If he can right the ship on this one, May could end up being a great pitcher.
Easiest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Stephen Strasburg vs. Cincinnati Reds- Never thought I’d see this day. But Strasburg is getting hammered and not in a good way. Righties are hitting an astounding .337 off of him this year. Lefties, just as well at .303. The good news is that his K/9 is still holding strong at 9.1, which makes me think we still have some hope. At this rate though, I’m staying far far away.
Anibal Sanchez vs. L.A. Angels– I knew Sanchez was struggling this season, but I didn’t realize it was this bad. Against righties, they’re hitting .312 off of him. Luckily, he’s going up against one of the worst offenses in the league in the Angels, but then again, he had one of his worst start against the Brewers.
Josh Donaldson ($5600) – If you got points on DraftKings for being clutch, Donaldson would have all the points. He’s been absolutely crushing the ball lately as he’s 8 for his last 21 with four home runs, seven RBIs and 10 runs scored. He can’t be stopped.
Nolan Arenado ($4000) – Arenado has been great for the Rockies, especially with the injury to Corey Dickerson. He’s 10 for his last 27 with three home runs, 11 RBIs, and six runs scored. Don’t forget though, he’s up against Hamels tonight.
Andrew McCutchen ($4500) – Early season struggles are a thing of the past for McCutchen. He’s 12 for his last 26 with two home runs, six RBIs, a stolen base and seven runs scored. He also has a tough matchup today against James Shields.
Best Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups
Wilson Rosario vs. Cole Hamels – Rosario tells Hamels he’s a wimp. Against Hamels, Rosario is 6-15 with two home runs and a 1.200 OPS. If he’s in the lineup for the Rockies, I love this pick even more because he’s only $3100.
Yoenis Cespedes vs. Hector Santiago – Cespedes should be flourishing in the Tigers lineup, but he’s been a bit of a disappointment. Against Santiago, however, he could be in line for a nice game. He’s 4-11 against Santiago with 2 home runs and a 1.371 OPS.
Dexter Fowler vs. Edinson Volquez – Fowler has seen a good amount of Volquez and has given him a lot of trouble. He’s 8-25 against him with a home run, a .414 OBP and a .974 OPS. (this is a day game that will only be available during the all day events)
A chance of thunderstorms during the Dodgers and Cardinals game seems to be the only threat today thus far. However, always keep your eyes on the weather as the day progresses.
One Pitcher To Build Lineups Around
James Shields ($9800) – Lots to love about Shields tonight.Priced at 9800, he gets a Pirates offense that has certainly been picking it up as of late, but Shields has great splits on the year. Lefties are only hitting .222 against him and righties .265. His 11.8 K/9 is what entices me the most as he leads the league in strikeouts with 86. Shields also has the most swings and misses in the league at 157. Did I mention they’re at Petco Park?
Superstar Worth Paying For…
Josh Donaldson ($5600) – Oh my god Steve, how did you come up with this?! You’re brilliant! Yeah yeah, go ahead and give me crap for an obvious choice, but I still like it. He’s hit nine of his 13 home runs against right handed pitching and tonight he matches up against Trevor May. May hasn’t given up a lot of home runs this year, at three, but I think this is a great matchup for Donaldson.
Save Big Bucks By Drafting…
Wilin Rosario ($3100) – As I mentioned earlier, this is a great matchup for Rosario against Cole Hamels. I guarantee Rosario is going to be low owned tonight and hopefully that’s good news for all of my avid, loving readers. So as a quick reminder, Rosario is 6-15 with two home runs against Hamels.