We have 12 games going today split into two slates. We have four games this afternoon and eight games tonight, so you have plenty of options to choose from. Let’s jump right into things and 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.
Michael Wacha vs. Milwaukee Brewers(-218) – Wacha has quietly been putting together a solid 2015 campaign. Coming into tonight with a 3.08 ERA to go with a 1.18 WHIP and a K/9 of 7.7, Wacha has a good matchup with the Brewers. The Brewers own a .313 wOBA in the second half of the season, which ranks 22nd in the league. Their K% is also high in that same time span, at 22.1%, which is 8th in the league. In simple terms, this should be a solid start for Wacha. What I also like about this, is that his price tag sits at just $9,300. Personally, I think he’s underpriced for this start, which makes it all the more enticing. He has struggled a bit lately, scoring -4.4, 18.7 and 11.3 points in his last three starts. The -4.4 and 11.3 were against the Cubs, who are truly hitting so well right now. The 18.7 came against the Reds, who aren’t hitting well. So needless to say, if I were to guess where Wacha would land tonight, that game against the Reds is a perfect example. Averaging 18 points per start, I think this is right about where Wacha will land tonight, which makes his price tag worth paying for.
Clayton Kershaw vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (-208) – Surprised to see Kershaw not get the nod as the most favored pitcher of the night. When you look at the Diamondbacks, they do hit left handed pitchers well. On the season, they own a .323 wOBA against them, which ranks 8th in the league. Their strikeout percentage against them sits right about in the middle of the league in 16th place, at 21.1%. So this now begs the question, is Kershaw worth his high price tag tonight? He checks in tonight at $14,700, which is cheaper than last week, but still, a huge number. Lately, Kershaw hasn’t been hitting his value for what he costs on a particular night. In his last two starts against the Rockies and Pirates, Kershaw has scored 24.8 and 20.4 points respectively. On a normal basis, that’s great. However, with Kershaw, you could score in that area with a pitcher in the 9-10K range, like with Wacha (hopefully) tonight. If I’m throwing Kershaw in my lineup, I’m looking for a MINIMUM of 30 points. I’m not sure if Kershaw will reach that point tonight, so I consider him a fade for me. Some might disagree, because it IS Clayton Kershaw, I just don’t think he’s worth it tonight in a tough matchup, at least on paper.
*Johnny Cueto vs. Seattle Mariners (-166) -*Cueto falls into the same category as Max Scherzer for me lately. I know he’s a quality pitcher, but I’m just having a hard time trusting him lately. Cueto is strictly a GPP pitcher for me, and I’m sure a lot of other people right now. Like Scherzer, Cueto continues to see his price drop, and it’s not because DraftKings is putting him on sale, it’s due to his recent performance. In his last two starts, Cueto has earned a whopping -1.0 against Baltimore and 14.4 against Detroit. Not exactly Cueto type numbers if you ask me. Since getting traded to the American League, Cueto owns a 4.45 ERA with a .343 wOBA against him. Even worse, in his last five starts, Cueto owns a ugly 9.57 ERA. No thank you. He has a tough matchup against the Mariners tonight, who own the second highest wOBA in the second half of the season at .341. I’ll be staying far away from Cueto tonight. If anything, I’d be taking a look at the right handed batters on Seattle, who Cueto is giving up a .323 wOBA against.
Top Overall Game Over/Unders
Pittsburgh Pirates at Colorado Rockies 11 Over/Under – Anyone getting sick of talking about Coors Field yet? I am. I know, tough life I live. Anyways, Jeff Locke and Chad Bettis go head to head in this one tonight. Both pitchers have been having their struggles, as neither pitcher has a wOBA split lower than 312. This is one of those Coors Field games that I would be looking at for all types of hitters. Neither pitcher has been able to lock down against any type of hitter and I expect the ball to be flying in this one. Locke has given up 15 home runs on the season and Bettis with 11. I will say though, Bettis has probably been one of the Rockies best pitchers, but that isn’t saying much.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Patrick Corbin vs. LA Dodgers- Corbin has pitched extremely well against lefties this season. Coming into his start this afternoon, Corbin owns a .247 wOBA against them.
Erasmo Ramirez vs. Kansas City Royals- Ramirez checks into tonight’s start with a .248 wOBA against lefties on the season.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Clayton Kershaw vs. Arizona Diamondbacks- No surprise here that Kershaw has been almost unhittable against right handed batters. He comes into his start this afternoon with a .230 wOBA when facing those righties.
Cody Anderson vs. Minnesota Twins- This was certainly not the person I expected in this section, but this is why we do our research. Anderson owns a .250 wOBA against righties.
Best Left/Right Matchups
Easiest Pitcher vs. Left Handed Batters.
Josh Smith vs. New York Mets- Wow. This one is…..just flat out putrid. Granted, Smith has only made a handful of starts in 2015, but his .514 wOBA against lefties is one of the worst I’ve seen all season.
Alec Asher vs. Miami Marlins- It just goes to show how poorly the Phillies rotation is, when a guy like Asher is one of your top five. Asher enters tonight’s start with a .451 wOBA against lefties.
Easiest Pitcher vs. Right Handed Batters.
Alec Asher vs. Miami Marlins- It also doesn’t help that he can’t get out almost anyone. His splits are almost identical, as he owns a .450 wOBA against righties.
Josh Smith vs. New York Mets- Then we have our buddy Josh Smith, who returns with another stellar wOBA, as this one is against righties, checking in at .355.
Matt Carpenter 3B ($4700) – After showcasing Carpenter the other day, he’s suddenly on a tear. I fully believe that seeing himself in print on the DraftKings Playbook gave him that extra boost to perform. Carpenter is 11-27 with four home runs, seven RBIs and eight runs scored.
Kendrys Morales OF ($4200) –Morales has been quite selfish lately. He’s been hitting a bunch of home runs, but they’re all solo. Morales is 9-24 with four home runs, four RBIs, and eight runs scored.
Starling Marte OF ($5300) – I think it’s safe to say that Marte has enjoyed himself playing in Coors Field. He’s been on fire lately. Marte is 12-31 with two home runs, eight RBIs, five runs scored and two stolen bases.
Best Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups
Buster Posey vs. Ian Kennedy- Today is quite a disappointing day for BvP. Not a lot of options to choose from, so I tried to select the best three I could find. Posey is 17-44 against Kennedy with four extra base hits, one of them being a home run, and a .983 OPS.
Marlon Byrd vs. Ian Kennedy – I usually like to showcase more than one pitcher in this section, but again, the picks were quite slim today. Byrd is 8-22 against Kennedy with three extra base hits, two of them being home runs, and a 1.082 OPS.
Justin Upton vs. Madison Bumgarner- Well, we’re just focusing on one game apparently. Upton is 12-36 against Bumgarner with two extra base hits, one of them being a home run, and a .859 OPS.
Clear night of baseball!
One Pitcher To Build Lineups Around
Michael Wacha ($9300) – I really gave this one some thought, because we certainly have some quality pitchers going today and tonight. But, I kept finding myself turning to Wacha and his price tag. Besides the reasons I gave earlier, I’m not a fan of some of the other matchups tonight either. Kershaw has a tough matchup tonight against the Diamondbacks, Hamels has a good matchup against Oakland, but they’re extremely tough to strike out, thus limiting his upside. Chris Sale faces the Yankees tonight in Yankee stadium, so no thanks. I won’t keep repeating my reasons with Wacha, I just think has the most upside here against a team that strikes out a lot and isn’t hitting the ball well at all with some low power. Wacha will be my guy tonight.
Superstar Worth Paying For
Yoenis Cespedes($4800) – Cespedes gets a cake matchup against Josh Smith tonight, who’s allowing a .355 wOBA to right handed batters this season. It just so happens that Cespedes has been crushing RHP this season, as he owns a .388 wOBA with a .270 ISO on the year. If Smith pitches anything like he has been lately, this should be a very short outing for him. With the amount of power Cespedes owns, if he can get some runners on ahead of him tonight, he could be in for a big one.
Save Big Bucks By Drafting…
Justin Bour ($3400) –Going with my boy Bour one more time tonight. He worked out quite well last night, grabbing us 14 points on the solo shot he had. If anything, his price actually went DOWN $200, so he’s even cheaper for tonight. Going against Asher on the Phillies, who allows a .451 wOBA to right handed batters, Bour has yet another chance to go yard tonight. How can you not love the potential and price here!?