With a full slate of games on tap today, we have plenty of baseball to hold you over until football Sunday. 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.
Stephen Strasburg vs. Philadelphia Phillies (-263) – Strasburg gets a cake matchup against the Phillies this afternoon. Actually, let me back track that. Who know’s what kind of matchup Strasburg has today. After a night where Jose Fernandez, Jordan Zimmermann, and Carlos Martinez (he only threw seven pitches before getting injured) struggled, it’s been hard to predict anything with pitchers this season. So let’s say this, ON PAPER, Strasburg has a nice matchup. The Phillies come into today with a .308 wOBA in the second half of the season, ranked 25th in the league. They also have the second highest strikeout percentage during that same time at 23.2%. With Strasburg owning a 10.7 K/9 on the season, this could be a perfect game for Strasburg to rack up some strikeouts. Obviously, Strasburg is a much more talented pitcher than Zimmermann, so I do expect things to go much smoother for Strasburg. Strasburg is the 5th most expensive pitcher on the day, which isn’t too shabby considering his matchup.
Jaime Garcia vs. Milwaukee Brewers (-230) – Garica continues to hover under the 10K price range, as he gets a matchup against the light hitting Brewers. After a couple of disappointing starts, Garcia bounced back nicely his last time out against another team that isn’t exactly lighting the offensive world on fire, the Reds. In that start, Garcia went seven innings, giving up one run on five hits and striking out five. Garcia been consistent for 90% of the season and that trend should once against continue tonight. The Brewers have a .310 wOBA in the second half of the season with a strikeout percentage of 22.1%, which ranks 7th in the league. Garcia is the third most expensive pitcher on the night slate tonight, but that’s really not saying much. That slate has a very unimpressive bunch of pitchers, so Garcia honestly looks like one of the most attractive options. I don’t think you can go wrong here.
David Price vs. Tampa Bay Rays(-170) – Ah yes, the matchup of Price going up against his former team. Narrative street! Price checks in as the most expensive pitcher of the entire day at $12,100. His numbers certainly warrant it, as he owns a 2.34 ERA to go with a 1.07 WHIP and a K/9 of 9.1. The Rays are actually one of the best hitting teams against left handed pitching this season, as they own the fourth highest wOBA against them at .328. Just to make our decision making difficult, they do strikeout a ton against lefties, with a 22.1 K%, which ranks 9th in the league. Price has been fantastic lately, posting a score of 21.1, 30.4 and 32 in his past three starts. Price is absolutely locked in and I think he should be a stellar option this afternoon. With Tampa having nothing else to play for, we could also see a weaker than normal lineup.
Top Overall Game Over/Unders
LA Dodgers at Colorado Rockies 11 Over/Under – Oh weird, Coors Field has the highest projected run total of the day. Brett Anderson and Kyle Kendrick get matched up in this one. Anderson comes into tonight with a 3.51 ERA to go with a 1.33 WHIP and a K/9 of 5.9. It’s been well documented that the Rockies really struggle against left handed pitching. They own the lowest wOBA against left handed pitching this season with a .283 wOBA. When you throw in the fact that they own the fourth highest K% against lefties at 23.2, it makes Anderson at least an intriguing option. I wouldn’t say go as far as use him in your cash game, but in a GPP, he could be a sneaky play. As for Kendrick, he’s the last person I’d use as a sneaky play. Kendrick comes into tonight with a 6.37 ERA with a 1.53 WHIP. He’s one of the kings of giving up home runs, as he’s given up a whopping 32 on the season. His last start against the Padres at Coors Field, Kendrick gave up four home runs in four innings. Truly, this is a game you want to take a hard look at the Dodgers. Especially the guys with power, a la Adrian Gonzalez.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Josh Tomlin vs. Kansas City Royals- Tomlin has been great since coming up to the majors earlier this season. Even with his struggles against righties, he’s essentially been able to shut lefties down this entire season. Tomlin comes into tonight with a .140 wOBA against lefties.
Wei-Yin Chen vs. Boston Red Sox- Chen isn’t that great against lefties, he kind of just got this positon by default. Even though his .252 wOBA against them is certainly respectable, it usually is lower on a normal basis for pitchers in this section.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Matt Harvey vs. Cincinnati Reds- When Harvey isn’t too busy flooding the headlines about how many innings he was slated to pitch, his other hobbies include mowing down right handed hitters. Harvey owns a .241 wOBA on the season.
Jaime Garica vs. Milwaukee Brewers- Garcia has had plenty of success against right handed batters this season. On the season, he comes in with a .244 wOBA.
Best Left/Right Matchups
Easiest Pitcher vs. Left Handed Batters.
John Lamb vs. New York Mets- Lamb continues to confuse me with what type of pitcher he is. I personally haven’t seen him pitch in person, but his splits confuse me. He owns a .436 wOBA against lefties, yet his K/9 is quite high at 10. Who are you!?!
Kyle Kendrick vs. LA Dodgers- As if the home runs weren’t enough, Kendrick makes it as easy as possible when it comes to left handed batters. Kendrick is allowing a .421 wOBA on the year.
Easiest Pitcher vs. Right Handed Batters.
Kyle Kendrick vs. LA Dodgers- I mean, if were going to make things easy for the left handed batters, we have to make it easy for the righties as well. They’ve tagged Kendrick for a .371 wOBA this season.
Josh Tomlin vs. Kansas City Royals – As I mentioned earlier, Tomlin has been a force against left handed batters, just not so much against those righties. On the season, Tomlin owns a .364 wOBA.
Starling Marte OF ($4700) – Marte has carried his success in his last series against the Rockies over to his time against the Cubs. Marte is 15-32 with two home runs, with nine RBIs, six runs scored and two stolen bases.
Kevin Pillar ($3700) – It’s bad enough for opposing teams that the Blue Jays are just ripping everyone a part. It gets even worse when their mid tier players really start to tear it up as well. Pillar is 8-21 with two home runs, four RBIs, four runs scored and five stolen bases.
Xander Bogaerts 3B/SS ($4600) – Bogaerts is really starting to mold into the player we heard so much about in the minors. He has very impressive overall numbers, which is further being padded by his current hot streak. He’s 12-29 with two home runs, eight RBIs, and nine runs scored.
Best Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups
Mike Trout vs. Felix Hernandez- It’s our usual, showcase Trout when he’s facing Hernandez section! Trout is one of a few batters that don’t mind when they face King Felix in a game. Trout is 22-63 with nine extra base hits, four of them being a home run, and a 1.028 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.
Adrian Gonzalez vs. Kyle Kendrick- I was honestly shocked when I saw that Gonzalez had good numbers against Kendrick but not a home run. I think this would be a perfect night to change that. Gonzalez is 10-20 against Kendrick with five extra base hits and a 1.333 OPS.
No threat of rain throughout the day!
One Pitcher To Build Lineups Around
Francisco Liriano ($9700) – This start intrigues me a lot. With the Cubs clinching a playoff spot last night, it makes me wonder if they’ll start to rest some of their starters. Granted, they only clinched a berth, so they still have a little something to play for. I would certainly check the lineup for the Cubs today to see what it looks like. Even if they do put in their normal lineup, the Cubs have not been a good team against left handed pitchers. They have the highest strikeout percentage in the league at 25.9%. Their wOBA against lefties is also nothing to write home about, as that sits at .304, which is 21st in the league. Liriano comes into today’s start with a 3.41 ERA to go with a K/9 of 9.8 If he’s able to solidify his command today, he could certainly be in line for good start here with a decent amount of strikeouts. The afternoon slate is full of good pitchers, so I can see Liriano being overlooked in this one. I’ll be taking a flier on him myself.
Superstar Worth Paying For
Adrian Gonzalez ($4400) – Honestly, for a “superstar worth paying for” Gonzalez is a steal today. When playing at Coors Field, prices always skyrocket for all the batters in that game. If this is how much Gonzlaez is going to sky rocket, I’ll take that all day. Gonzalez is facing Kyle Kendrick today, who is the king of giving up home runs with 32 on the season. Gonzalez has yet to tag him with one yet, but today is a perfect time to do so. Gonzalez owns a .365 wOBA against right handed pitching with an ISO of .237.
Save Big Bucks By Drafting…
Derek Dietrich ($2600) – Dietrich is a nice source of some cheap power who hits RHP well. On the season, Dietrich owns a .384 wOBA against right handed pitching with an ISO of .243. Going up against Julio Teheran, who really struggles against left handed batters, allowing a .384 wOBA to them, Dietrich is an extremely option that you can slot into the third base or outfield spot. He is certainly someone that will be looked over, or not even looked at, with how low his price point is. Advantage, you!