Even with football being the main focus of the day, we still have plenty of baseball to get to today. A full slate of games will be played throughout the day, so let’s jump right into things. As always you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.h2. Heaviest Pitcher Favorites
This section is to showcase who the Vegas favorites are on the night. Not my own personal choices.
Stephen Strasburg vs. Miami Marlins (-261) – Even though his overall numbers may not reflect it, I think it’s safe to say that Stephen Strasburg is back. Scoring a combined 81.7 points in his last two starts, Strasburg looks ahead to his start against the Marlins today. Checking in with a 3.98 ERA to go with a 1.16 WHIP and a K/9 of 10.5, the start sounds about as enticing as you can get. Coming into today, the Marlins own a .302 wOBA in the second half of the season, ranked 28th in the league. As always, their strikeout total is quite low, so striking them out can be a difficult task. Their 17.1 K% ranked second to last in the league, trailing only the Kansas City Royals. With a slate that’s not exactly filled with stellar pitching, Strasburg looks like the most attractive option on the day/night, even with the potential of some lower than usual strikeouts. I wouldn’t go so far as to think Strasburg will only net say, three or four, but a game with six strikeouts seems to be a logical pick. At $10,400, I think Strasburg will still be worth the pick, as he’s only the 5th most expensive pitcher on the night.
Colin McHugh vs. Oakland Athletics (-220) – I feel like we’re still at that point where no matter who is going up against Oakland, you at least take a glance at their overall numbers. The A’s come into today with a .308 wOBA in the second half, good for 26th in the league. They take on Colin McHugh today, who owns a 4.06 ERA to go with a 1.31 WHIP and a K/9 of 7.4. Again, we have another tough matchup today in terms of strikeouts, as the A’s are 27th in K% with a 18.7 K%. On top of that, McHugh has gone back to his struggling way as of late, as he’s given up 10 runs on 14 hits and five walks over his last two starts against the Rangers and coincidently, the A’s. In that start against Oakland, McHugh went five innings, giving up five runs on six hits and striking out five. So it makes you wonder, if McHugh going to be a good pick or not tonight? If you base it just on salary, he would be. At just $8000 this afternoon, you can’t get a better price for a guy who truly does have some good stuff going up against a weak offensive team. On the flip side, Oakland was able to handle him when they last faced each other earlier this month. I think McHugh is strictly a GPP play today, as you assume the risk of rostering him. He could surprise you with a nice start today, or he could go down the route he has been for the past two weeks. McHugh has truly had some serious ups and downs lately, let’s just hope today is the start of an up.
Mark Buehrle vs. Boston Red Sox (-205)- I’m certainly not sure I understand this one. Anyone who does, please feel free to explain. Buehrle comes into today with a 3.66 ERA to go along with a 1.22 WHIP and a K/9 of 4.1. I totally understand that Vegas odds don’t count fantasy implications by any means, but the Red Sox are a damn good hitting team and Buehrle isn’t exactly a power pitcher to shut them down. In fact, these two just met earlier this month and the results weren’t good. Buehrle went three innings, giving up five runs on nine hits and striking out zero. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a big failure to me. Buehrle is dirt cheap, running you for only $6000, but you truly will get what you pay for. Averaging 12.8 points per start, Buehrle will honestly nab you five or six innings on a normal basis with a couple of strikeouts and that’s about it. Nothing to really see here. The Red Sox own the second highest wOBA in the second half of the season at .338. I can’t imagine this start going well for Buerhrle. I will have zero have him today.
Top Overall Game Over/Unders
San Diego Padres vs. Colorado Rockies 10.5 Over/Under – So today’s Padres Rockies game checks in at 10.5 runs for today, down a half of run from yesterday’s 11 total projected runs. This matchup features two pitchers who love to give up home runs. With a combined 57 home runs given up between the two, this is not a Coors Field matchup you want to fade. James Shields takes the mound for the Padres today, as he comes into today with a 3.80 ERA to go with a 1.33 WHIP and a K/9 of 9.5. Obviously, we don’t really have a lot of appeal for pitchers who pitch in Coors Field, but if you wanted to get crazy, Shields is one of those guys who could potentially see some success here. Even with this higher ERA, the strikeout potential here is certainly a big one. With Shields owning a 9.5 K/9 against a Rockies team who has the 8th highest K% in the second half at 21.8%, that is one factor I would consider rostering Shields. You would certainly have him at a low cost and low owned percentage across the board. As for Kendrick, I would roster him if you’re looking to donate your buy in to the DraftKings prize pool today. His 6.15 ERA to go with a 1.52 WHIP is certainly something I’d be looking for if I was feeling charitable. Stack those Padres all day.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Josh Tomlin vs. Chicago White Sox- Tomlin is a perfect example of someone who has some extreme splits when it comes to facing a left handed batter or a right. When it comes to lefties, he’s truly fantastic, holding them to a .143 wOBA on the season.
CC Sabathia vs. New York Mets- Even with this number going up lately, Sabathia is still holding it down as one of the best on the day against lefties. Sabathia is holding them to a .239 on the season.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Matt Harvey vs. New York Yankees- Harvey has been getting a lot of grief from fans lately about his innings limit and how much he will be available come playoff time. It’s certainly the elephant in the room when he pitches, and will continue to be going forward. One thing is for sure though, Harvey has been great against right handed batters, holding them to a .241 wOBA on the year.
Julio Teheran vs. Philadelphia Phillies- Truly, I checked this two, three, four time to makes sure it was correct. I really didn’t believe that Teheran was going to be the second best against righties on the day. Well, I was proved wrong as he actually is. Teheran owns a .264 wOBA when facing those righties this season.
Best Left/Right Matchups
Easiest Pitcher vs. Left Handed Batters.
Kyle Kendrick vs. San Diego Padres- Boy, Kendrick just makes it THAT much easier for lefties doesn’t he? As if his .366 wOBA against righties wasn’t bad enough, he has to own a .411 wOBA against lefties on the season.
Julio Teheran vs. Philadelphia Phillies- Any good feelings I had about Teheran are back out the window. It didn’t take much, to be honest. A .391 wOBA against lefties will certainly do that to you.
Easiest Pitcher vs. Right Handed Batters.
Aaron Brooks vs. Houston Astros- Brooks really isn’t that good of a pitcher in 2015. When you’re coming into your start with an ERA heading toward eight, it usually indicates you’re having some issues. Either that or his .410 wOBA against righties will be a good guess.
CC Sabathia vs. New York Mets- Sabathia certainly doesn’t have the worst wOBA I’ve ever seen, he just drew the short straw in this instance. But believe me, a .370 woBA against righties is nothing to be proud about either.
Mike Trout OF ($5500) – It was only a matter of time before Trout busted out of that slump that plagued him for most of the second half of the season. I’ve tried many time to roster him in hopes of catching him on the right day to no luck. Of course, now that ship as sailed. Trout is 7-25 with five home runs, nine RBIs, and six runs scored.
Dee Gordon 2B ($4300) – The second base position is usually a tough one to fill. We don’t have a lot of stellar second baseman to fill our roster with. Gordon is usually my go to. Lately, he’s been doing a little of everything for the Marlins. Gordon is 12-28 with a home run, five RBIs, six runs scored and two stolen bases.
Torii Hunter OF ($3700) – Cleary age is not a factor when it comes to Hunter. He might be one of those guys that will play into his 50’s at this rate. Hunter comes into today 10-24 with two home runs, nine RBIs, and four runs scored.
Best Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups
Ryan Raburn vs. John Danks- This is now the third day in a row Raburn has been showcased in the Cheat Sheet article. Clearly, his usefulness against lefties is a big deal. You certainly won’t see him here if he’s facing a right handed pitcher. Against John Danks, Raburn is 17-50 with 11 extra base hits, four of them being home runs, and a 1.124 OPS.
Mark Trumbo vs. Derek Holland- Trumbo has seen a lot of Derek Holland in his career, I think it’s safe to say he doesn’t mind. Trumbo is 14-44 against Holland with eight extra base hits, five of them being home runs, and a 1.075 OPS.
Nolan Arenado vs. James Shields- Arenado hasn’t seen a ton of Shields in his short career thus far, however, when he does, he makes sure it counts. Arenado is 10-17 against Shields with four extra base hits, three of them being home runs, and a 1.788 OPS.
Looks like a clear day ahead for baseball!
One Pitcher To Build Lineups Around
Carlos Martinez ($9,300) – Man, this is a tough one today honestly. I’m going to go with Martinez here today because of the strikeout potential. Obviously, Strasburg sounds like the more logical choice, but with saving $1,100 to face the team that has the highest strikeout percentage in the second half of the season, I’ll take my chances. Martinez enters tonight with a 9.2 K/9 against the Cubs who own a 25.1 K%. Do I think he’ll be the highest scoring pitcher of the day? I don’t know about that. However, if he can keep the Cubs bats in check, he could certainly rack up a good amount of strikeouts and make him worth the pick. I love the price of $9,300 for him as well. It seems pretty damn cheap for someone who own a 3.02 ERA to go with a 1.29 WHIP and that 9.2 K/9. The downfall here is that the Cubs are hitting very well right now, with a wOBA at .333. But again, the choices today are ugly, we have a good potential here and you aren’t crushing your salary cap. If Martinez goes down today, just know I’ll be going down with him.
Superstar Worth Paying For
Justin Upton ($5300) –Looking to get some exposure to Kyle Kendrick here, Upton is my pick to do well in Coors today. Upton has 26 home runs on the season and owns a .369 wOBA and a .216 ISO against right handed pitching this season. Kendrick is one of the home runs kings, giving up 28 bombs on the season. Upton has also been hitting really well lately, scoring at least five points in six of his last seven games. Three of those games saw double digits in scoring. Kendrick is honestly throwing batting practice on the mound, with someone like Upton at the plate, I can’t see him having much trouble against Kendrick.