We start off the week with a short slate of baseball tonight, as nine games will be played. Even with a shorter slate, we still have plenty of baseball to get into. 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.
Hector Santiago vs. Oakland A’s (-178) – Santiago enters a fairly lackluster pithing slate as the favorite tonight. Going up against the Oakland A’s, it’s not hard to figure out why. Coming into tonight, the A’s continue to struggle offensively, as they own a .306 wOBA in the second half of the season. Santiago has certainly hit a rough patch lately, as the once reliable pitcher owns a 3.47 ERA to go with a 1.26 WHIP and a K/9 of 8. Santiago only has two quality starts in his last six starts with a K:BB ratio of 22:24. With the A’s being one of the toughest teams to strike out, owning an 18.3 K% in the second half of the season, it makes me feel like Santiago isn’t even worth the start. His price tag is certainly nice, coming in at $7,000, but he just can’t be relied on. Even with a slate that doesn’t have a lot of stellar pitching options, I think I’ll leave Santiago on the board tonight.
Corey Kluber vs. Minnesota Twins (-167) – Someone else who’s been struggling lately, Kluber gets another matchup against the Twins. In his last start, Kluber faced the Twins with very disappointing results. Kluber pitched three innings, giving up four runs on five hits with a 6:2 K:BB ratio. In his two start since returning from the disabled list, Kluber has only managed scores of 12.0 against the Royals and the 7.5 against the Twins. It’s certainly concerning, as the Twins have a low wOBA in the second half of the season, coming in at .308. They also strike out a bunch with a K% of 22.2. Normally, I would say this should be a good spot for Kluber to rebound, but with how poorly he pitched in his last start against the Twins and his price tag sitting at $11,300, I don’t know if that would be worth it. That seems awful high to pay for someone who can’t even make it into double digits against the Twins. I’m pretty torn on this one since we don’t have a lot of options to choose from tonight.
Ivan Nova vs. Boston Red Sox (-160) – Unless Vegas already has a copy of the Red Sox lineup, I find this one to be a stretch as well. Coming into tonight with a 4.87 ERA to go with a 1.38 WHIP and a K/9 of 5.7, I don’t see much appeal here with Nova. In his last start against the Red Sox, Nova went six innings giving up only three runs, but this is a good hitting Red Sox team. They come into tonight’s game with a .333 wOBA in the second half of the season, good for 5th in the league. They also are a tough team to strike out, as they own a 19.8 K%, good for 21st in the league. Thing’s haven’t gone particularly well for Nova in the rotation, since he has since been removed from it. The only reason he’s getting this start tonight, is because of an injury to Masahiro Tanaka. His price tag is incredibly low, coming in at only $4,900. For that reason alone, he could certainly be worth a flier in a GPP tournament. Otherwise, he carries to much risk.
Top Overall Game Over/Unders
Toronto Blue Jays at Baltimore Orioles 8.5 Over/Under – I’m just thrilled we don’t have to talk about Coors Field. Tonight we get the Blue Jays and Orioles playing at Camden Yards for the highest projected run total of the night. Marco Estrada will take the mound of the Blue Jays and Chris Tillman for the Orioles. The obvious appeal in this game, other than Camden Yards, is the Blue Jays going up against Tillman. Tillman owns a .354 wOBA against right handed hitters this season, with the Blue Jays owning the highest wOBA against RHP this season, at .339. With such a large right handed presence in their lineup, as at least six batters in their starting nine are right handed, this should be a great spot of the Blue Jays to jump on Tillman early. As for the Orioles, they’ve basically fallen off the face of the earth in the second half of the season. Going up against Estrada, who’s been solid this entire season, I don’t hold much to their success tonight. The Orioles do own a .322 wOBA against right handed pitching on the season, however, in the second half of the season, the Orioles own a .307 wOBA.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Zack Greinke vs. San Francisco Giants- Greinke is on his way to ending one of the most dominating seasons of his career against the Giants tonight. Coming into tonight’s start, Greinke owns a .242 wOBA on against left handed batters.
Justin Verlander vs. Texas Rangers- Verlander has really turned his season around after another rough start to the season. His splits are a true testament to that, as he comes into tonight’s start with the second lowest wOBA against lefties, at .258.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Zack Greinke vs. San Francisco Giants- I mean, of course Greinke is going to show up here. He’s dominated anything that’s comes to the plate this season. So it should come as no surprise that Greinke has been a force against righties, with a .210 wOBA.
Corey Kluber vs. Minnesota Twins – Another reason to have some hope for Kluber tonight, is how well he’s pitched against right handed batters. On the season, Kluber owns a .238 wOBA.
Best Left/Right Matchups
Easiest Pitcher vs. Left Handed Batters.
Eduardo Rodriguez vs. New York Yankees- Rodriguez is going to be an ace pitcher at some point. He certainly has the stuff to become one. He will however, have to work on getting out left handed batters. They’ve gotten Rodriguez for a .359 wOBA.
Kyle Hendricks vs. Kansas City Royals- Hendricks has had much better success against right handed batters this season. Unfortunately for him, we’re not talking about them. On the season, Hendricks has been getting knocked around to a .355 wOBA against lefties.
Easiest Pitcher vs. Right Handed Batters.
Felix Doubront vs LA Angels- At least a saving grace for Doubront here, is that he gets one of the worst hitting clubs in the majors tonight with the Angels. But then again, he is Felix Doubront, so I don’t expect anything big here. Doubront owns a .377 wOBA against righties.
Phil Hughes vs. Cleveland Indians- One of my favorite pitchers to stack against, Hughes has a matchup with the Indians tonight. On the season, when he’s not giving up home runs, Hughes is allowing a .372 wOBA to righties.
Carlos Correa SS ($4700) – The power hitting shortstop for the Astros has been killing the ball lately. Correa comes into tonight 10-25 with three home runs, eight RBIs, and four runs scored.
Matt Carpenter 3B ($4500) – I’m telling you guys, it’s the power of the Cheat Sheet! Ever since we brought up Carpenter, he’s been on an absolute tear. I mean I get it, who would want to disappoint after being featured in the highly touted MLB Cheat Sheet? Carpenter is 9-27 with three home runs, six RBIs, five runs scored, and a stolen base.
Shin-Soo Choo OF ($4800) – After signing that monster contract with Texas, Choo has been quite disappointing for the Rangers. Coming into tonight however, he’s been at least making good on some of that money. Choo is 8-23 with two home runs, eight RBIs, and seven runs scored.
Best Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups
Neil Walker vs. Lance Lynn- Walker has gotten quite a few hits off of Lynn in his career. Coming into tonight, these two have faced off 38 times with Walker grabbed 14 hits, eight of them for extra bases, three home runs, and a 1.234 OPS.
Kevin Pillar vs. Chris Tillman- Pillar has been crushing the ball lately, so it comes at a perfect time that he has a matchup with Chris Tillman. Pillar is 5-13 against Tillman with four extra base hits, three of them being home runs, and a 1.538 OPS.
David Ortiz vs. Ivan Nova – Why don’t we end the season with another big game from David Ortiz? Ortiz comes into tonight 10-25 against Nova with five extra base hits, two of them being home runs, and a 1.243 OPS.
Yikes. With only nine games being played tonight, we have three that could see some rain.
Blue Jays at Orioles
Red Sox at Yankees
Twins at Indians
One Pitcher To Build Lineups Around
Zack Greinke ($13,100) – Give me a pitcher that is decent enough with a favorable matchup tonight, and you’ll win a prize. Truly, it was tough to find one. So I’m just going to go with the default and Zack Greinke. I am a little nervous starting him because he did miss his last start due to calf soreness, so I’m hoping we doesn’t have any lingering effects from that in this start. The Dodgers assure us that he’s good to go, which we should believe, because I’d have a hard time believing they’d run him out there if he wasn’t. Greinke is by far the most expensive pitcher on the night, but he gets a matchup against a Giants team that owns a .321 wOBA in the second half of the season, good for 15th in the league. They don’t strike out a ton, with a 19.2 K%, which is 24th in the league, but again, it’s pretty tough to find some good pitching tonight. Let’s just hope the high price tag and prior injury to Greinke doesn’t come back to bite us.
Superstar Worth Paying For
Michael Brantley($4500) – Brantley gets a nice matchup against Phil Hughes tonight, who really isn’t that great against anyone. On the season, Brantley owns a .382 wOBA against right handed pitchers with an ISO of .188. He’s not that expensive either, which makes rostering him completely doable. Hughes on the other hand struggles against both types of batters, but owns a .326 wOBA against left handed batters. It doesn’t hurt that Huges has also given up 29 home runs on the season. If you’re rostering Greinkie tonight, getting someone like Brantley in your lineup won’t hurt as much.
Save Big Bucks By Drafting…
Brandon Moss ($3100) – Moss is someone I most certainly wouldn’t be putting my lineup on a daily basis, but he’s sneaky enough tonight that I think he should grab some consideration. He faces JA Happ tonight, who isn’t exactly doing great things on the mound. He’s certainly been pitching better lately don’t get me wrong, but he does give up a decent amount of hits in his outings that I think Moss could sneak away with some points here. Against lefties, Moss owns a .316 wOBA with an ISO of .158. Again, if you’re taking Greinke tonight, you’ll have to go cheap somewhere, so Moss could be a prefect example of that.