It’s the Thursday edition on the MLB Cheat Sheet. As always, in the middle of the week, we have a split slate today with five games this afternoon and six games tonight. We’ll cover both ends of that here, because I am just that good to you all. Please, hold your applause! Good luck tonight, and as always, you can get me on the Twitter machine @SBuchanan24
Another Early and Late slate of games today. Get in on the action!
Heaviest Pitcher Favorites
Mike Fiers vs. L.A. Dodgers (-177) – Yeah, Vegas? Fiers is the heavy favorite today as he takes on the Dodgers. Fiers has been struggling this season with the exception of his last start where he only gave up one run in six innings and struck out 12. Maybe it’s the beginning of a good run for him.
A.J. Burnett vs. Cincinnati Reds (-162) – This one, I can get on board with a little more then Fiers. Burnett has gotten off to a great start and has compiled a 1. 45 ERA to go with a 7.8 K/9. The Reds are hitting .230 as a team, not exactly a great number.
Chris Archer vs. Texas Rangers (-160) – Archer has been absolutely dominent this year with a 1.64 ERA and 42 strikeouts in 38 innings pitched. He had a rough game his last timem out against Baltimore so I’m curious if that will steer people away from him. Nah, I doubt it.
Top Overall Game Over/Unders
Oakland A’s at Minnesota Twins (Target Field) – 10 Over/Under – This is the game of the guy with a 10 ERA (Ricky Nolasco) against the guy who can’t score over 10 DK points (Drew Pomeranz) slated for 10 runs today. Great game for offense.
Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees (Yankee Stadium ) – 8.5 Over/Under – Another game that could be great for some offense tonight, Chris Tillman goes against Nathan Eovaldi. Both pitchers have been struggling this year and in such a hitter friendly park like Yankee stadium, I couldn’t agree more with Vegas on this one.
Toughest Left/Right Matchups
Toughest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Jake Arrieta vs. St. Louis Cardinals – Arrieta continues to see success against lefties as his ERA stands at 2.18. His K/9 makes him such a coveted option, as it comes in at 10.75.
Mike Fiers vs. L.A. Dodgers – Regardless of his struggles this season, Fiers has been able to handle lefties. His ERA against them is 2.23. He owns a fantastic 9.46 K/9 against them, which is such an important stat when choosing pitchers for the night.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Mike Fiers vs. L.A. Dodgers – If you’re going to make two appearances in this section of the article, you want it in the toughest section. The ladies will be impressed as well. Fiers against righties owns a 2.06 ERA with, once again, a nice K/9 at 9.61.
Corey Kluber vs. Kansas City Royals – Coming into today, the Royals have the best team average in the majors, so Kluber and his 2.34 ERA against righties will be put to the test. He does own a 10.10 K/9 against them. Can’t hate that.
Best Left/Right Matchups
Easiest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Carlos Frias vs. Milwaukee Brewers – Not to be mixed up with Fiers, Frias will be taking on the Brewers with his 9.22 ERA against lefties. His K/9 doesn’t really save him either, as that comes in a 6.59.
Anthony DeSclafani vs. Pittsburgh Pirates – This kid could be a major player in baseball someday if he can just minimize the damage. Against lefties, he owns a 6.89 ERA, but as I eluded to the talent, he does own a 8.04 K/9.
Easiest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Anthony DeSclafani vs. Pittsburgh Pirates – C’mon man, get better! His 5.71 ERA is the worst on the day, but I’ve seen A LOT worse. His K/9 does dip against righties, as it’s only 6.23.
Ricky Nolasco vs. Oakland A’s – I can’t believe he still pitches. Against righties, he owns a 5.38 ERA. His K/9 is decent at 7.46. Maybe that’s why he still pitches.
Justin Upton ($5200) – The Padres went out last off season and spent a TON of money to get big named players who can produce. Upton is doing just that right now. He’s 9 for his last 21 with a homerun, seven RBIs, and four stolen bases. When Upton is hot, he’s hot.
Anthony Rizzo ($5100) – The anchor of the Cubs lineup is seeing the ball really well right now. He’s 9 for his last 23 with three homeruns, six RBIs, and six runs scored. Now if only that other guy would hit his first homerun already……
Kyle Blanks ($4100) – He’s not an everyday starter, nor will these numbers sustain, but for now, feel free to enjoy the ride. Blanks is 10 for his last 25 with three homeruns, five RBIs, and six runs scored.
Best Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups
Alex Rodriguez vs. Chris Tillman – Rodriguez enjoys taking Tillman deep. In ten at bats, Rodriguez has three homeruns off him. His OPS against him is 1.945. Poor Tillman.
Joey Votto vs. A.J. Burnett – I want to showcase this one for a reason. Votto is hitting .348 against Burnett, which is great on it’s on. It’s the one homerun against him that I want to point out. Votto has been hurt for so long, for someone he has great numbers against, I would take a bet tonight would be a good night for Votto to take Burnett deep.
Mike Moustakas vs. Corey Kluber – I always try to find at least one batter who will give an ace trouble. The moose has hit Kluber to a tune of .440 with a 1.241 OPS. The Royals are the best hitting team in baseball, folks!
The following game have at least a 50% chance of rain today:
Oakland at Minnesota has a chance of thunderstorms this afternoon. I don’t think it’s enough to get cancelled, but at least a delay is in play here. Either that or they just don’t want Nolasco pitching.
One Pitcher To Build Lineups Around
Chris Archer vs. Texas Rangers ($9400) – This is a perfect game for Archer to get back on track. Texas is last in hitting in all of baseball at .220. They strikeout a good amount, at 14th in the league. At the pace that Archer has been striking guys out, I’d have a hard time believing that Archer would have anything less than a great start.
Superstar Worth Paying For…
Miguel Cabrera ($5400) – This section is saved for a superstar worth paying for and let me tell you, you’ll be paying for him alright. Aside from the fact that Cabrera is off to another torrid start, hitting .351 with six homeruns and 19 RBIs, he has great numbers against Jose Quintana. Lifetime he’s hitting .348 with a homerun and a .986 OPS.
Save Big Bucks By Drafting…
Stephen Drew ($3200) – This is painful to feature Drew in any of my articles, so let’s make this quick. His overall numbers aren’t good (shocking) but his numbers against Chris Tillman are. He’s hitting .333 lifetime against him with a 1.145 OPS. He’s cheap, and he can get you some points.
Good luck tonight!