We have a ten game slate on tap for today. The pitching selection is going to be a bit unimpressive, which means the hitting should be chalk full of good match ups. Let’s jump right into all the information, and as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
STL (-210) vs. PHI – Adam Wainwright – Hmmmmm. Has anyone seen Wainwright pitch, or have they been viewing videos of him from 2013? Wainwright comes into tonight with a 7.16 ERA to go with a 1.70 WHIP and a K/9 of 4.5. Wainwright had his “best” start of the season his last time out against the Diamondbacks, where he threw 5.1 innings allowing four runs on seven hits while striking out five. Yeah, if you don’t find that impressive, that’s because it isn’t. The Phillies aren’t the greatest hitting team, owning a .295 wOBA against right-handed pitching, but I just can’t bring myself to trust Wainwright yet. He’s 100% a GPP play only for me.
HOU (-190) vs. MIN – Dallas Keuchel – Like many of the big named starting pitchers, Keuchel has gotten off to a bit of a slow start. Keuchel enters tonight’s start against the Twins with a 4.41 ERA to go with a 1.41 WHIP and a K/9 of 7.44. Getting the Twins tonight should help with his numbers, as they are one of the worst teams in the majors against left-handed pitching, owning a .269 wOBA. On top of that, they own a 25.9 K%, which ranked fourth in the league. Keuchel is the second most expensive pitcher on the night and in my opinion, may just be the most popular as well.
TEX vs. TOR – 9 runs – This game features a pitcher who, prior to this season, hasn’t pitched in a major league game since 2013 and a knuckleballer. After a rough first start of the season, Griffin has had three solid starts in a row, averaging 21.3 points per game in those. He isn’t striking out a ton of batters with his 6.1 K/9, but he is facing a Toronto team that’s third in the league. This TOR team is still struggling at the plate, hitting .212 over their last seven games with a .296 OBP. If anything, I have more faith in TEX getting to Dickey than I do TOR getting Griffin at this point. Regardless, this game should feature some offense. You know what to do.
LAA vs. MIL – 8.5 runs – The Brewers put on a hitting clinic yesterday against the Marlins, putting up 14 runs on 18 hits. They face Jered Weaver tonight in what is touted as the second highest projected run scoring game of the night. Weaver has been decent thus far, owning a 3.86 ERA with a 1.41 WHIP through four starts. The Brewers have hit righties at a decent clip, with a team .317 wOBA and a .165 ISO. The Angels, meanwhile, continue to struggle and face Jimmy Nelson. Owning a .282 wOBA against righties, the Angels continue to be a hard team to trust when it comes to offense.
After filling this section to the brim yesterday, we don’t have any threat of rain for tonight. Breath easy, folks!
Park Factors are scored on a scale of 1.000. A offensive category that has a rating of 1.000 or higher favors the hitter. Anything below 1.000 is for the pitcher.
- Great American Ballpark – SFG vs. CIN – Ranked the sixth best hitters ballpark in 2015, the Great American Ballpark had favorable ratings for hitters in every offensive category except triples.
- Miller Park – LAA vs. MIL – Coming in at seventh last season, Miller park favored hitters in every offensive category, with singles and walks just making it over the minimum of 1.000.
- Citi Field – ATL vs NYM – Citi Field ranked as one of the worst ballparks for hitters last season, as it did not have one offensive category favoring the hitters.
- Rogers Centre – TEX vs TOR – Rogers Centre was ranked 24th last season, favoring hitters in home runs and doubles.
Splits to Start
Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
|Worst vs LHB||OPS||AVG||Best vs. LHB||OPS||AVG|
|Kendall Graveman||1.273||.417||Nathan Karns||.279||.087|
|Jered Weaver||1.127||.360||Jeremy Hellickson||.336||.091|
|R.A. Dickey||1.013||.333||A.J. Griffin||.339||.154|
Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
|Worst vs RHB||OPS||AVG||Best vs. RHB||OPS||AVG|
|Adam Wainwright||.929||.327||Gio Gonzalez||.489||.196|
|R.A. Dickey||.882||.306||Jason Hammel||.551||.195|
|Jered Weaver||.877||.286||A.J. Griffin||.596||.189|
Batter vs. Pitcher Splits
|Nolan Arenado||James Shields||23||3.47|
|Alex Gordon||Gio Gonzalez||10||3.35|
|Carlos Gonzalez||James Shields||25||2.56|
- Well, today is a day for the Rockies to beat up on Shields. Coming into tonight Arenado is 12-23 against Shields with a double, four home runs, six RBIs and a walk.
- Alex Gordon has only faced Gio Gonzalez ten times, but he’s made those at bats count. Gordon is 4-10 with two doubles, a home run, four RBIs and two walks.
- Finally, Gonzalez has also seen some success against Shields, going 9-25 with two doubles, three home runs, four RBIs and two walks.
Pitcher to Build Around
Dallas Keuchel – HOU vs. MIN – $9,900 – Even with Keuchel looking less than stellar in the month of April, he should be in prime spot here today. Facing a Twins offense that ranks almost dead last in wOBA against left-handed pitching at .269, you have to love the spot here for Keuchel. I fully expect him to be highly owned tonight, but this matchup brings one of the situations where I’d much rather have his points and try to beat everyone else with my hitters, rather than try and catch up to Keuchel. On this 10 game slate, Keuchel makes the most sense.
Heavy Hitter to Pay For
Brandon Belt – SFG vs CIN (Brandon Finnegan) – $4,600 – Belt has been my go to more often than not this season. He’s someone who consistently flies under the radar and has been hitting well this entire season. Going against Brandon Finnegan, Belt has been hitting lefties to a tune of a .432 wOBA with an ISO of .273. Finnegan has been struggling with lefties, as they’ve gotten him for a .351 wOBA. In the hitter friendly confides of the Great American Ballpark, I think Belt is in line for a solid game.
Save Big by Drafting…
Carlos Gonzalez – COL vs SDP (James Shields) – $3,800 – First and foremost, Gonzalez is a steal tonight at $3,800. Before I even checked his salary, I knew I was going to pencil him into the heavy hitter to pay for spot. So you’ll have to understand my shock when I saw how low he was priced today, and thus, I had to move him down a spot to the “save big by drafting” section. BvP stats aside, this is a fantastic spot for CarGo. Shields allowed a whopping .380 wOBA against lefties last season, allowing 23 of his 33 home runs. CarGo is crushing right-handed pitching, owning a .434 wOBA with an ISO of .242. I loved Gonzalez in this spot, but after seeing his salary, I love him even more.
Stack Em Up
COL vs. SD (James Shields) – “Big Game” James still lives up to the nickname, it just has a different meaning now. Instead, opposing hitters are the ones having “big games.” The Rockies own a .339 wOBA against right-handed pitching and have multiple players in their lineup like Arenado, Gonzalez and Charlie Blackmon, who have solid numbers against Shields. With his inability to keep the ball in the park, Shields could be in for a nightmare of a start today.