With a full slate of games on tap today, we have plenty of baseball to hold you over. We have a ton of info to get into, so let’s jump right it. As always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Heaviest Pitcher Favorites
This section is to showcase who the Vegas favorites are on the night. Not my own personal choices.
Logan Verrett vs. Atlanta Braves (-261) – Verrett has become a spot start extraordinaire, as his one mission in life is to preserve the innings of Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom. A tall task indeed, but something that Verrett thus far as done successfully. Coming into tonight, Verrett owns a 2.89 ERA with a 0.94 WHIP in just two starts. Verrett has pitched only 37 innings this season, but he looks like he’s locked in. Getting a matchup tonight against the Braves is about as good as you could ask for with Verrett. He’s going to cost you next to nothing, priced at just $4,500. Even if Verrett only goes five solid innings, he will certainly be worth the price of admission. Verrett has only allowed two runs in his two starts this season and his looked great in doing so. Without much to go on in the majors, Verrett is someone who’s shown in a short amount of time that he can be a viable option for you tonight. I mean really, can you complain about a pitcher that is just above the minimum?
John Lackey vs. Cincinnati Reds (-210) – Moving onto someone we’ve seen plenty of this season, Lackey gets a start against the Reds. Lackey enters tonight with a 2.79 ERA to go with a 1.22 WHIP and a K/9 of 7. Going against a team that owns a .316 wOBA in the second half of the season with a K% of 20.8%, Lackey looks primed for another solid start. Owning a career best ERA at this time, Lackey goes against a Reds team who he dominated two starts ago. In that matchup, Lackey went seven innings, giving up two runs on seven hits while striking out 10, scoring 25.8 in that start. His price tag certainly matches his production, as I think this is the highest I’ve seen it for Lackey at $10,300. As the fourth most expensive pitcher on the night, I think Lackey would need some serious consideration to be in your lineup tonight. To be honest, if you’re thinking about rostering Verrett, you have no excuse to not fit ANY of the pitcher going in tonight, seeing as how much you’ll be saving with his $4,500 price tag.
Lance McCullers vs. LA Angels (-170) – I’ve been a big fan of McCullers since he’s got the call to the big leagues. Coming into tonight, McCullers owns a 3.18 ERA to go with a 1.22 WHIP and a K/9 of 8.9. McCullers gets matched up with a truly weak Angels lineup, a lineup that owns a .291 wOBA in the second half of the season, good for the lowest in the league besides the Braves. A truly baffling stat if you think about the amount of talent this team possesses. They’ve kept the strikeouts down, which is course is disappointing to hear if you’re rostering an opposing pitcher like McCullers. Their 19.5 K% ranks 22nd in the league. However, at this point, the Angels are entering a territory where no matter who is starting against them, I at least give them a look. Out of sheer curiosity, I looked up what the Angels have done over the past week, and things don’t get much better. The Angels own a .310 wOBA over the last seven day with a 20.6 K%. Things aren’t looking up for the Angels. With a nice price of $9,400, McCullers should be another pitcher you should be looking into.
Top Overall Game Over/Unders
Pittsburgh Pirates at Colorado Rockies 11 Over/Under – The Rockies remain at home, so we’re lucky enough to talk about how they’re the highest projected run total of the day, again. This matchup intrigues me. We have a leftie on leftie matchup, with both teams not exactly hitting LHP all that well. On the season, the Pirates own a .306 wOBA against lefties, which ranks 20th in the league. The Rockies are at .283 which is LAST in the league for wOBA. Soooooo, what should we do here? If this game was at Pittsburgh, I would be loading up on Happ so fast. But we have to give some respect to Coors Field here. Can the Rockies overcome their woes against lefties with their home field advantage? It truly brings up a tough question. Overall, I don’t think Happ is someone that should scare you off too much. He has his stretches which he pitches great, but also can do the complete opposite in a heartbeat, evident by his 3.84 ERA and 1.31 WHIP. I think if anything, if you want to play it safe tonight, the Pirates will be the way to go. Rusin owns a 5.11 ERA with a 1.56 WHIP. This will be quite the strange game in Coors tonight, one that I will certainly be watching. Maybe even sweating my lineup with Happ……..
Toughest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Jake Arrieta vs. Milwaukee Brewers – With the season coming down to the wire, and Cy Young chatter very prominent, Arrieta couldn’t have asked for a better start than against the Brewers tonight (well, the Braves or Phillies would work as well.) Coming into tonight, Arrieta has been lights out against lefties, holding them to a .213 wOBA on the season.
Alex Wood vs. Arizona Diamondbacks – Wood has been alternating good and bad starts lately, with a brilliant start his last time out against the Rockies. Hence, he’s a left handed pitcher. Coming into tonight, he’s been electric against lefties, holding them to a .228 wOBA.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Tyson Ross vs. San Francisco Giants – Ross has really settled down this season, as he was no where close this mark a few months ago, nor did he ever look like he’d get to this point. Now, he leads all of tonight’s starters against right handed batters with a .259 wOBA.
Jake Arrieta vs. Milwaukee Brewers – Sounds to me like this might be a tough game for the Brewers. I don’t know, just a hunch I have. Arrieta owns a .260 wOBA against righties.
Best Left/Right Matchups
Easiest Pitcher vs. Left Handed Batters.
Matt Wisler vs. New York Mets – Wisler is REALLY bad when facing left handed batters. Really, he needs to work on that, like yesterday. Wisler comes into tonight with a .463 wOBA against those lefties.
Keyvius Sampson vs. St. Louis Cardinals – It truly boggles my mind that we have Henry Owens, who is pitching tonight with a .403 wOBA against lefties, doesn’t even make this list! We have two pitchers going tonight with wOBA worse than .403. That’s something else I’ll tell you. Sampson owns a .430 wOBA against lefties.
Easiest Pitcher vs. Right Handed Batters.
Matt Moore vs. Boston Red Sox – Last time I was crapping all over Moore, he went out and threw a gem against the Orioles. That shut me right up. However, the numbers are still the numbers, as he owns the worst wOBA against righties on the night at .396.
Chris Rusin vs. Pittsburgh Pirates – I knew Rusin had to pop up on here somewhere. On the season, Rusin has been “holding” right handed batters to a .363 wOBA.
Tommy Pham OF ($5500) – Why wasn’t this kid called up earlier again? Pham continues to torture major league pitching as he’s 12-22 with four home runs, nine RBIs, and 10 runs scored. Doesn’t hurt that he’s still cheap either.
Anthony Rizzo 1B ($4300) – Rizzo is starting to get into one of those grooves again, doesn’t hurt that playoffs are approaching either. Rizzo is 12-28 with a home run, seven RBIs, six runs scored, and two stolen bases. He’s just showing off now.
Xander Bogaerts SS ($3700) – Bogaerts has been hyped up and hyped up, but it actually looks like the hype is real. Coming into tonight, Bogaerts is 9-24 with two home runs, seven RBIs, seven runs scored and a stolen base. Kid is making it look easy.
Best Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups
David Ortiz vs. Matt Moore – Ortiz will always remember Moore, the man who gave up his 500th home run. The reason alone, Ortiz will always crush Moore when he’s on the mound. What stats back that up? Zero. That was just a hot take. Good one, eh? Ok, Ortiz is 8-18 against Moore with five extra base hits, three of them being home runs (including a 500th) and a 1.529 OPS.
Brian Dozier vs. Danny Salazar – Dozier has seen Salazar in a small sample, but he’s done quite well for himself in that time. Dozier is 8-15 against Salazar with five extra base hits, two of them being home runs, and a 1.722 OPS.
Miguel Cabrera vs. Jose Quintana – I was talking about this the other day. If it wasn’t for the high batting average for Cabrera, could I actually consider this season a bust for him? I think that may just be the case. At the least, he has a good matchup tonight against Quintana, who he’s 11-30 against with five extra base hits, one of them being a home run, and a 1.041 OPS.
Looks like a clear day ahead for baseball!
One Pitcher To Build Lineups Around
Danny Salazar ($11,100) – Salazar has two things I look for when picking my starting pitching for the night. A weak offense, and a high strike out ceiling. Check and check. Facing the Minnesota Twins tonight, Salazar is certainly in line for a quality start in this one. The Twins own a .307 wOBA in the second half of the season, good for 26th in the league. Add on the fact that they also have the 3rd highest K% in that same time span at 22.7 and you suddenly have a good start lined up. Salazar comes into tonight with a 9.7 K/9 on the season, which has me licking my chops for this one. After a couple of disaster starts for Salazar against Detroit, which saw him give up nine runs in nine innings, he bounced back nicely against the Royals. In that start, Salazar went seven innings giving up one run on four hits while striking out six, which is impressive, as the Royals are the toughest team in the league to strikeout. Even with the expensive price tag, Salazar is certainly worth the price of admission with this start tonight. I mean, you can always pair him with Logan Verrett.
Superstar Worth Paying For
Matt Carpenter ($4900) – Carpenter, going against Keyvius Sampson, batting leadoff. I could end it right here if I wanted to. But, I’ll give you my reasons. Carpenter batting leadoff against a pitcher who’s allowing a .430 wOBA to left handed batters is a huge reason in itself. Carpenter hits right handed pitching well, with a .328 wOBA and an ISO of .233. In a game that should provide plenty of offense for the Cardinals, Carpenter is in a perfect positon tonight to be a table setter. He’s been hitting extremely well lately and I don’t see that slowing down tonight.
Save Big Bucks By Drafting…
Mikie Mahtook ($3100) – Mahtook has been fantastic since his callup. Batting .289 with four home runs and nine RBIs in his short stint in the majors is about as much as you can ask for (unless your Tommy Pham.) Mahtook hit left handed pitching really well and faces Henry Owens tonight. Owens does fairly well against righties, with a .303 wOBA. However, it’s the .403 wOBA against lefties for Mahtook that really entices me. He’s dirt cheap and his some pop in his bat, something I like to target with my low tiered priced guys. I think you can find a way to squeeze Mahtook into your lineup