Who says you can’t sweat your baseball lineups while you do the same for football? With a full slate of baseball games on tap, we have plenty of baseball to still be played. 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.
John Lackey vs. Milwaukee Brewers(-245) – The solid John Lackey takes the hill to take on the weak hitting Milwaukee Brewers. Coming into this afternoon with a 2.74 ERA with a 1.22 WHIP and K/9 of 7.1. Lackey has seriously been on a roll lately. In his last six starts, Lackey owns six quality starts with a 50:13 K:BB ratio in 47.1 innings pitched. With a Brewers team coming into tonight owning a .311 wOBA in the second half of the season with a K% of 22.2%, which ranks 8th in the league. Lackey has truly been flying under the radar this season, and is someone who is in prime position to pick up his seventh straight quality start. As the fifth most expensive pitcher on the night at $10,000, you have to wonder how highly Lackey will be owned tonight. With the names of Jake Arrieta, Dallas Keuchel, and Jacob deGrom at the top of the list, I think this could end up being another start where Lackey is looked over. I think this is a perfect day to get all the Lackey and hope for the low ownership.
Dallas Keuchel vs. Texas Rangers (-245) – After arguably one of his worst starts in his career against the Rangers his last time out, Keuchel rebounded nicely against the Angels in his last start. Keuchel went seven innings giving up one run on six hits and striking out six in the nice bounce back performance. Now the real test will come today, as he faces the Rangers one more time. In that start, Keuchel only pitched four innings giving up nine runs on 11 hits, although he did strike out five. I think we should take this one as an off night for the normally solid Keuchel, as his start against the Angels proved just that. On the season, Keuchel owns a 2.51 ERA with a 1.02 WHIP with a 8.3 K/9. He’s quite expensive today with a salary of $11,200, which is the second most expensive on the day. I think Keuchel will be a fine play today, maybe even a little extra boost to redeem his last start.
Jake Arrieta vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (-215) – I mean, would you ever go against Arrieta at this point? Coming into the night game with a 1.88 ERA with a 0.90 WHIP and a K/9 of 9.1, Arrieta has just been on a filthy run. Arrieta owns a 0.86 ERA in the second half of the season, which is about as filthy as you can get. He gets a tough matchup today, in what should be his final start of the regular season. The Pirates own a .328 wOBA in the second half of the season with a 21.1 K%, which ranks 11th in the league. Being the most expensive pitcher on the day, he’s been giving anyone who rosters him everything they’ve been hoping for and more. His last start against the Brewers earned him 48.9 points, in a complete game shutout. Rostering Arrieta can be tough, but it’s come to the point where you have to decide if you think you can win with him or not. He’s been so automatic, that people are already in the hole if they don’t have him on their team. It’s a tough decision, but one that I truly feel like could make or break your lineup today.
Top Overall Game Over/Unders
Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox 9.5 Over/Under – Believe it or not, we do have a game in Coors Field today. However, as of this morning, the projected run total was not posted up be Vegas. Thus, we’ll go with the highest projected run total of the day that is posted, which is the Orioles at the Red Sox. Ubaldo Jimenez takes on Henry Owens in this one, two pitchers that have seen their fair share of struggles. The last time against the Red Sox, Jimenez only lasted five innings, giving up four runs on six hits with a 4:3 K:BB ratio. The Red Sox are one of the best hitting teams in the second half, owning a .333 wOBA during that span, which is ranked 5th in the league. In a hitter friendly park like Fenway, Jimenez could be in line for another short outing. As for Owens, his last time out against the Orioles was the complete opposite of Jimenez. Going seven strong innings, Owens allowed no runs on six hits and struck out four Orioles in that contest. The Orioles have really fallen off the face of the earth in the second half of the season, owning a .309 wOBA in that span. Owens also has a decent K/9 on the season, at 7.2, which could matchup nicely with the Orioles and their 22.4 K% in the second half, ranked 4th in the league. This should certainly be a game with some offense, so get your exposure in this one.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Randy Wolf vs. Minnesota Twins- Don’t get confused, Wolf is not a very good starting pitcher. He’s just had his way with lefties this season. Overall, he’s been a mess on the mound for the failed 2015 Tigers. Regardless, he does own a .181 wOBA in his short stint in the majors this season.
Dallas Keuchel vs. Texas Rangers- Keuchel is looking to end the season close to a sub-.200 wOBA against lefties on the season. He’s going to have to do some work today to make that mark, as he comes into today with a .208 wOBA against those lefties.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Jacob deGrom vs. Cincinnati Reds- deGrom has been solid this entire season, as his wOBA against righties is a clear indication of that. He enters today with a .214 wOBA on the season.
Chris Young vs. Cleveland Indians- Young is getting a spot start for the Royals today, as they’ve wrapped up their post season plans. Young was solid for the Royals this season, as he comes into this afternoons start with a .251 wOBA against righties.
Best Left/Right Matchups
Easiest Pitcher vs. Left Handed Batters.
Keyvius Sampson vs. New York Meys- Sampson is certainly going to help out the Mets get ready for the postseason, with his great ability to throw batting practice during an actual game. Sampson owns a .431 wOBA against left handed batters.
Henry Owens vs. Baltimore Orioles- Owens has certainly settled down as the season as gone along. Owens has had his trouble against lefties, even though it has been getting better lately. But trust me, it’s still not that good. Owens has a .395 wOBA.
Easiest Pitcher vs. Right Handed Batters.
Randy Wolf vs. Minnesota Twins- As I mentioned earlier, Wolf is really not that great of a starting pitcher. Don’t let the low wOBA against lefties fool you. Against righties, Wolf does a complete 180, as his .424 wOBA is the highest of the day.
Tyler Cravy vs. St. Louis Cardinals- Cravy has not had a good first experience in the majors. His 6.21 ERA is a clear indication of that. I think his .377 wOBA against righties is also a tell tale sign.
Jarrett Parker OF ($3000) – Wait, who? Yeah, Parker has been a force for the Giants these last few games. Let’s do a quick run down of his numbers. Parker is 6-13 with five home runs, 10 RBIs, six runs scored and a stolen base for the cherry on top. Yeah, he’s hitting well right now.
Kevin Pillar OF ($4100) – I had Pillar on here yesterday, but he had another good game yesterday so let’s keep him on here for a second day. A very overlooked player on the Toronto roster, Pillar is 10-21 with two home runs, five RBIs, five runs scored and six stolen bases.
Corey Dickerson OF ($3400) – This has basically been a lost season for Dickerson, as he’s been on the disabled list more times than I care to count. He’s a solid hitter that has been doing so when he’s actually on the field. Dickerson is 12-25 with two home runs, five RBIs, and five runs scored.
Best Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups
Jesus Montero vs. Jered Weaver- Wow, I get that this one is a short sample, but you can’t deny that Montero hasn’t smoked Weaver every time they’ve faced each other. Montero is 6-12 against Weaver with five extra base hits, ALL of them being home runs, and a 2.250 OPS.
Bryce Harper vs. Aaron Harang- Harper hitting a pitcher well is no shock. A batter hitting Aaron Harang well should also be no surprise. Harper is 10-22 against Harang with three extra base hits, one of them being a home run, and a 1.227 OPS.
*Darin Ruf vs. Gio Gonzalez-*Ruf destroys left handed pitching, so this comes as no surprise that he hits Gio Gonzalez well. Ruf is 8-21 against Gonzalez with five extra base hits, three of them being home runs, and a 1.422 OPS.
Another clear day of baseball!
One Pitcher To Build Lineups Around
Hiashi Iwakuma ($10,600) – I really like this spot for Iwakuma today. Going against one of the worst hitting clubs in the second half, the LA Angels. Iwakuma just recently faced them and absolutely dominated that start. Iwakuma went six innings, giving up one run on four hits while striking out nine. The bottom of the Angels lineup has also been a sad state of affairs, which makes this all the more enticing. As of late, they’ve been throwing out CJ Cron, Chris Iannetta, David Freese, and Johnny Giavotella. Not exactly names that are going to scare you much. With a .296 wOBA in the second half of the season, which is ranked 29th, I have to like this start for Iwakuma.
Superstar Worth Paying For
Miguel Sano ($4800) – Facing Randy Wolf today, Sano is certainly in a good spot here. Wolf allows an atrocious .424 wOBA to right handed batters this season. Sano also likes to feast against any type of pitching to be honest, but his numbers against lefties are fantastic. Sano owns a .378 wOBA against left handed pitching with an ISO of .221. Wolf certainly isn’t going to be mowing down any batters in this one, so I think Sano will be worth the price of admission in this one.
Save Big Bucks By Drafting…
Darin Ruf ($2100) – Ruf against a left handed pitcher is always one I want to exploit, especially when he’s costs the bare minimum. His overall numbers aren’t that impressive, but he does have some pop. Against lefties this season, Ruf owns a .466 wOBA with an ISO of .281. It also doesn’t hurt that he has good numbers against Gio Gonzalez either. Ruf should 100% be in your lineup today, as his combination of extremely low salary and good matchup numbers makes him an absolute steal on the day.