We have 14 games going tonight as we get ready for the weekend. One game is going this afternoon, but we’ll be focusing just on the huge night slate on tap. 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.
Jordan Zimmermann vs. Philadelphia Phillies (-245) – Zimmermann comes into tonight with an extremely low salary for the matchup he’s going up against tonight. At just, $8,600 going against the Phillies, Zimmermann is someone you’re going to really take a look at for tonight. The only problem is, his last start against the Phillies was anything but stellar. Scoring just 12.1 points, Zimmermann give up six runs on seven hits in just six innings. However, the saving grace here was that he struck out eight. So this begs the question, if Zimmermann can straighten out his command, what kind of start would he really have had? I think it’s worth paying the price to find out. If we just take out the six runs that Zimmermann gave up, he ends up with a 24.1 score, which would very well exceed his price point. The Phillies have been brutal in the second half of the season, owning a .306 wOBA, which ranks 26th in the league. I really don’t think they’ll get Zimmermann twice in a row. But then again, we live in a world where Honey Boo Boo once had a show of her own. So I mean, anything is possible.
Carlos Martinez vs. Milwaukee Brewers (-230) – Well, things didn’t work out to well for Wacha last night. I took a night off from playing for just the second time this season, however, I was getting angry play by play messages from people who took Wacha. Truth be told, I’d make that pick 100 more times if I could. So tonight, Vegas is going with Martinez. Once again, I agree. The Brewers are STILL not a good hitting ball club. Baseball is all about peaks and valleys, every team and player has them. Maybe they’re hitting a peak right now. Statistically, they’ll come crashing back down, as it’s evident by their .312 wOBA in the second half of the season. A team ranked 23rd in wOBA isn’t going to sustain any type of steak. To be honest, they only got three runs off of Wacha, nothing huge. Martinez comes into tonight with a 3.01 ERA to go with a 9.2. K/9. Numbers wise, it’s a good spot for Martinez. His price tag is pretty cheap as well, coming in just under the 10K range at $9,800. His last time out against the Brewers, Martinez scored 30.4 points, giving up one run on four eights in eight innings pitched while striking out nine. Martinez will be seriously considered tonight.
*Jose Fernandez vs. Atlanta Braves(-225) -*I personally am a huge fan of Fernandez. He is as dynamic as it gets and he’s going to be a force in this league if he can stay healthy. Let’s just get him on a team where it actually matters, right!? He gets a cake matchup tonight against the Braves, who own the lowest wOBA in the second half of the season at .285. However, as many of you know, the less appealing factor here is that the Braves are a tough team to strike out. With an 18.7 K%, the Braves rank as 6th toughest team in the league to strike out. I’ll be curious to see what Fernandez can pull off here, as his 11.4 K/9 is one of the highest in the league. Even with the potential for low strikeouts, Fernandez is always in line for a spot on your roster. He’s going to be expensive with his $12,700 price tag, but you at least have to think about it. Going against the worst hitting team in the league, how can you not love it?
Top Overall Game Over/Unders
LA Dodgers at Colorado Rockies 11 Over/Under – I was excited because I thought the Rockies were going on the road after their series with the Pirates. Boy, I was dead wrong. Now we have the Dodgers coming into town, which means the Rockies have a stranglehold on the highest projected run total throughout the weekend. At least this game warrants that title. Mike Bolsinger and David Hale will get the start in this one. Bolsinger has been solid this season, posting some good splits with a .277 wOBA against righties and .314 against lefties. Only problem is, it doesn’t really translate in the DFS world, as he averages only 14.6 points per game. He hasn’t been going deep lately either, pitching only seven innings in his last two starts. As for Hale, well, he’s a mess. Hale has a 6.32 ERA and some ugly splits. Owning a .373 against righties and .369 against lefties, Hale is in line to get whacked around tonight. He’s also given up a bunch of home runs, 14 in just 68 innings pitched. This would be a great game target the Dodgers hitters, as Hale is in line for another disaster of a start.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Carlos Rodon vs. New York Yankees- This game will feature dueling pitchers who are the toughest against lefties on the night. First off, we have Rodon, who owns a .227 wOBA against lefties. Then, we have his opponent.
CC Sabathia vs. Chicago White Sox- This is certainly not a game where you want to be going heavy on left handed batters. Coming into tonight, Sabathia owns a .237 wOBA. I will say one thing, both of these pitchers are BRUTAL against right handed batters.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Jose Fernandez vs. Atlanta Braves- Wow. Fernandez is absolutely dominating right handed batters. I’m so glad he’s healthy, he is so much fun to watch. Fernandez comes into tonight with a .176 wOBA against righties.
Jerad Eickhoff vs. Washington Nationals- Eickhoff can’t get out a left handed batter if his life depended on it, but he’s been a real tough pitcher against righties. He’s held those righties to a .199 wOBA on the season.
Best Left/Right Matchups
Easiest Pitcher vs. Left Handed Batters.
Matt Boyd vs. Minnesota Twins- Hey! Look who’s pitching today! He’s now become a “easiest pitcher against” regular! Boyd comes into tonight with a .482 wOBA against lefties.
Ariel Pena vs. St. Louis Cardinals- Pena has only made a few starts in the major this season, so this number will certainly go up or down rather quickly as time moves on. Regardless, Pena enters tonight with a .414 wOBA against lefties.
Easiest Pitcher vs. Right Handed Batters.
Matt Boyd vs. Minnesota Twins- If I have one nice thing to say about Boyd, it’s that this wOBA has at least been going down. It’s been a lot higher than the .383 he has coming into tonight’s start. Progress!
David Hale vs. LA Dodgers- Hale is your typical Rockies starter. Really bad at getting out hitters. You know, the Rockies philosophy. Hale enters tonight with a .373 wOBA against righties.
Carlos Beltran OF ($3700) –Here’s someone I don’t think I’ve talked about once this entire season. Beltran is heating up for the Yankees at a perfect time. He’s 8-25 with three home runs, 10 RBIs, and six runs scored.
Steve Pearce 2B/OF ($4200) –Pearce is a nice under the radar guy that I like to play when he has a good matchup on the night. No one is ever on him and he’s certainly helped me cash a few nights this season. Coming into tonight, Pearce is 8-20 with three home runs, six RBIs, and six runs scored.
Jay Bruce OF ($4100) – Bruce has just been hitting a ton of solo home runs lately. I think it’s a good indication of how well the Reds offense is doing lately. Bruce is 6-27 with five home runs, five RBIs, and seven runs scored.
Best Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups
Asdrubal Cabrera vs. RA Dickey- I was surprised with how well Cabrera is hit Dickey in his career. I mean, it’s not like you can have a read on his knuckle ball, it is what it is. Cabrera is 6-16 against Dickey with four extra base hits, two of them being home runs, and a 1.411 OPS.
Dustin Pedroia vs. Wei-Yin Chen- Pedroia has a bunch of hits against Chen, but no home runs. I think tonight would be a perfect time to change that. Pedroia is 17-35 with seven extra base hits and a 1.241 OPS.
Anthony Gose vs. Mike Pelfrey- I like this one because Gose usually bats leadoff for the Tigers, which will hopefully give him more exposure to Pelfrey. Gose is 5-12 with two extra base hits and a 1.083 OPS against Pelfrey.
Clear night of baseball!
One Pitcher To Build Lineups Around
Jordan Zimmermann ($8600) – Do I think Zimmermann will be the highest scoring pitcher on the night? I don’t think so. I do however think he’ll be the best value on the night. With a matchup against the Phillies, Zimmermann will give you some great wiggle room to fill out the rest of your lineup. At just $8600 for this matchup, he could be a steal tonight. Even though his last start against the Phillies was less than ideal, he did strike out eight, which at least give you some promise here. Zimmermann has been much better as of late that I think he should be able to turn things around and come out with a solid start. If anything, he will give you plenty of flexibility with the rest of your lineup.
Superstar Worth Paying For
Bryce Harper ($6100) – Harper against anyone is usually a reason to pay up for him. Harper against a right handed pitcher who is absolutely brutal against left handed batters is an added incentive to get Harper into your lineup. With a .493 wOBA and .368 ISO against right handed pitching, Harper could have a field day against Eickhoff, who’s allowing a .382 wOBA to left handed batters this season. Harper is going to be extremely expensive tonight, however, if you end up throwing in someone like Zimmermann into your lineup, it’s still very doable to build a solid lineup around these guys.
Save Big Bucks By Drafting…
Yangervis Solarte ($3300) –Solarte is quietly putting together a solid season with the Padres. He’s quietly doing so because who really pays attention to the Padres when they’re out of playoff contention? Solarte is a switch hitter who gets Rubby De La Rosa tonight. De La Rosa is a mess when it comes to left handed batters. Naturally, I expect Solarte to bat from the left side tonight. When facing a right handed pitcher from the left side, Solarte owns a .336 wOBA with an ISO of .165. So good numbers for someone that isn’t going to run you for much in the salary department.