Wednesday brings us a split slate of games today, with four being played this afternoon and 11 tonight. Let’s not waste any time and jump right into it. As always, you can reach 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.
Clayton Kershaw vs. San Francisco Giants (-230) – No surprise on this one here, as Vegas decided not to go the Jonathon Niese route today. Kershaw enters tonight start with a 2.24 ERA to go with a 0.90 WHIP and a K/9 of 11.4. The second half of the season has been a dominating one for Kershaw, owning a 1.02 ERA during that span, while only allowing two home runs after giving up 11 in the first half, it’s safe to say that Kershaw has corrected whatever was plaguing him earlier this season. The Giants have been decent against left handed pitching on the year, owning a .314 wOBA when facing them. They also don’t strike out much against them, owning a 18.3 K%, which is good for 27th in the league. Honestly though, at this point when it comes to Kershaw, I can’t say I look into these type of stats very closely. Is that the smartest idea? Most likely not. However, Kershaw is just THAT good, that I don’t even take into consideration that someone might actually be able to beat him. Stat wise, the Giants actually stand a better chance than most teams, so it’s certainly worth a look. I just haven’t seen many instances, especially in the second half of the season, where teams really start hitting Kershaw hard. With how expensive he is tonight, he might have a little trouble reaching value tonight, but I’ve said that before and he’s blown his value out the water. That my friends, is Clayton Kershaw.
R.A. Dickey vs. Cleveland Indians (-185) – Truly, from one end of the spectrum to the next, we go from Kershaw to Dickey. I’m sitting here talking about how Kershaw is almost predictable, and that I just assume he’s going to have a dominating start. Then we get to a guy like Dickey, and who the hell knows what you’ll get with him. That’s what you get when you put your trust into a knuckleballer. Dickey enters tonight with a 4.24 ERA to go with a 1.30 WHIP and a K/9 of 5.4. One of the obvious choices for Vegas on this, is that Dickey will most likely get a ton of run support and be able to nab the win in this one. I couldn’t agree more, but when were playing fantasy baseball, it goes much further than that. Dickey has been pretty solid in the second half of the season, owning a 3.05 ERA during that time, but I truly feel like you keep rolling the dice with him and your destined to get burned. Tonight might be one of those nights, as the Indians have been hitting extremely well in the second half. During that time, they own a .360 wOBA, good for fourth in the league, as well as a low K% of 13.3%. Dickey is always cheap enough that he makes for an intriguing option, especially since he’s been pitching well the past couple of months, but I think the Indians might prevail in this one.
Yordano Ventura vs. Detroit Tigers (-180) – If you haven’t noticed, over in Detroit, they’re running 39 year old Randy Wolf on the mound every five days now. Yup, THAT Randy Wolf. So I guess it’s easy to see that Ventura is heavily favored tonight. After having, basically a rough year, Ventura seems to be headed down the right path, as he owned a 3.41 ERA in the month of August, his lowest ERA of the season. Tonight, Ventura faces a Tigers team that continues to fall in the ranks of wOBA in the second half. Now at 15th in the league, the Tigers check in with a .305 wOBA in the second half with a K% that actually the lowest in the league now in the second half of 9.9%. So now we reach a crossroad. Here we have Ventura, who has a decent K/9 of 8. Respectable, and certainly high enough that I would possibly give him a start. However, now the Tigers are the toughest team in the league to strike out, even with their struggles at the plate. At this point, I think that’s enough to make me pass on Ventura. Even though he had a decent month of August, one good month isn’t going to make up for four bad ones. Sure, the Tigers might struggle to get on base, but if we aren’t going to be seeing any strikeouts in this one, what’s the point? Those strikeouts are always essential in boosting your pitchers score up, so since they’ll be tough to come by, Ventura can join Dickey on the board tonight.
Top Overall Game Over/Unders
Arizona Diamondbacks at Colorado Rockies (Coors Field) – 10.5 Over/Under – This game last night was incredibly disappointing in my eyes. It did reach 10 runs, which is right where it was projected at, however, with the home runs kings of Kyle Kendrick and Rubby De La Rosa on the mound, I certainly thought we’d see more. But yesterday was yesterday and now we move onto today’s matchup. Chase Anderson takes on Jonathan Gray in this one. Neither pitcher is going to be worth a spot on your roster tonight, as the story usually goes with a matchup in Coors Field. It could be worth taking a look at the Diamondbacks right handed batters, as Gray as really struggled against righties this season, owning a .374 wOBA this season. Gray has also been throwing a lot of pitches early in the game, so the chances of the D-Backs jumping on him early is very likely. As always, you should try and get some exposure to this one, even if you go with the less than likely guys. Sometimes, that’s worth going on the “cheap” end of Coors Field, as so many people focus on the obvious cast of players like Goldschmidt or Carlos Gonzalez.
Toughest Left/Right Matchups
Toughest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Tommy Milone vs. Chicago White Sox- I say it time and time again, if Milone could figure out how to pitch to right handed batters, the guy would be an absolute stud. However, he doesn’t pitch well to righties, only lefties. On the season, Milone is holding lefties to a .232 wOBA. Quite impressive.
Carlos Rodon vs. Minnesota Twins – Then, on the other end of the spectrum, we have Rodon who also has no issues when facing left handed batters. Funny though, when facing righties, he is clueless as well. Rodon owns a .235 wOBA against lefties this season.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Matt Harvey vs. Philadelphia Phillies- What a difference for the Phillies, as if there were earlier in the year, Harvey would be a clear cut favorite to be favored by Vegas. Not anymore! Regardless of that, Harvey comes into tonight with the best wOBA against righties on the night at .234.
Max Scherzer vs. St. Louis Cardinals – I have to admit, Scherzer is starting to worry me a little bit. His overall numbers don’t really show it, but struggling against the god damn Marlins the other day, left me with a dazed and confused face, even hours and hours after the game was over. But, like I said, his overall numbers indicate he’s not struggling THAT much. Scherzer owns a .227 wOBA against righties.
Best Left/Right Matchups
Easiest Pitcher vs. Left Handed Batters.
Adam Conley vs. Atlanta Braves – Ever since Conley became eligible to be featured in this section, he’s been at the top of the easiest pitcher against lefties. Today should be a good test for him, are you major league ready or nah? I mean you’re facing the Braves! Conley owns a .426 wOBA on the year against lefties.
Jeff Locke vs. Milwaukee Brewers- Forget it, not starting another Pirate against the Brewers. After getting BURNED by Cole last night, I’m off of the Pirates rotation. Locke enters tonight with a .356 wOBA against lefties. I hope the Brewers crush him. Why? I dunno, I’m just bitter.
Easiest Pitcher vs. Right Handed Batters.
Jonathan Gray vs. Arizona Diamondbacks –I told you that Gray is seeing his struggles against right handed batters. The struggle is so real, he checks in as the easiest against righties today! Gray owns a .374 wOBA against those righties on the season.
Carlos Rodon vs. Minnesota Twins- Rodon is almost like Tommy Milone, they both dominate left handed batters and then don’t know what to do when a right handed batter comes up. So to fix it, they just throw meatballs and hope for the best. Rodon owns a .368 wOBA against righties.
Kyle Seager 3B ($4000) – I noticed it last night that Seager seemed like he was hitting really well as of late. As I dived into his numbers a bit more, I confirmed my thoughts. Seager is 11-29 with four home runs, eight RBIs, and four runs scored. Just for the hell of it, he stole a base during that time as well.
Jose Altuve 2B ($5200) – Altuve isn’t a big power guy. Whenever he hits a bomb, I consider it a bonus. I roster Altuve because he’s an on base guy and a base path machine. Altuve is 13-27 with a home run, four RBIs, three runs scored and four stolen bases. Love nabbing those stolen bases.
Matt Kemp OF ($3800) – Contrary to popular belief, the Padres are indeed still playing baseball. They haven’t thrown in the towel this month, they did that about three months ago. However, Kemp still feels the need to play the game, which is great for us! Kemp is 7-21 with two home runs, nine RBIs, five runs scored and two stolen bases.
Best Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups
Franklin Gutierrez vs. Scott Kazmir – We had so many great potential BvP matchups yesterday and for the most part, were disappointed. Well it won’t happen again tonight! We start off with Gutierrez who’s 9-21 against the leftie Kazmir with four extra base hits, three of them being home runs, and a 1.333 OPS.
Andre Ethier vs. Mike Leake- First, we have to make sure Ethier is in the starting lineup. That’s step one. Step two, if he is, is to consider this BvP on the night. Ethier is 7-15 with three extra base hits, two of them being home runs, and a 1.400 OPS.
We’ve had so many clear nights of baseball lately, that I’m waiting for a huge monsoon to come barreling though soon. Until then, all clear today/tonight.
One Pitcher To Build Lineups Around
Raisel Iglesias ($9,200) – Sometimes, I like to be a little bold with my picks on the night, because every once in awhile, I like to look like a genius. Or an idiot, depending on how the pick goes. But let me sell you on Iglesias for a moment here. First off, he’s been fantastic lately, after a rough start to the year, Iglesias ended the month of August with a 2.27 ERA with 45 strikeouts in 39.2 innings. When he comes into his matchup with the Cubs tonight, he takes on a team that is certainly no stranger to striking out. In the second half of the season, they own a 19.2 K%, which is good for 9th in the league. Their wOBA isn’t all that impressive during that time span, coming in at .293, or 20th in the league. With the salary you’ll pay tonight for Iglesias compared to the likes of Kershaw or Scherzer, I think it makes Iglesias that much more appealing. The Cubs will certainly run out a few lefties in their lineup tonight, with Coghlan, Schwarber, Rizzo and Montero, but Iglesias has seen a ton of success against righties with a .258 wOBA compared to the .330 wOBA against lefties. I honestly think this is an intriguing matchup for Iglesias, so I’m going for it.
Superstar Worth Paying For
Manny Machado($4700) – Honestly, we don’t have a ton of favorable matchups tonight. Bad pitching is mostly facing bad offenses, so I’m not even going to waste my time on that. I’m also not going to include any COL/ARZ hitters because I think you already know the deal with that. I do like Machado going up against Erasmo Ramirez tonight. Machado has basically be scoring us fantasy points on a nightly basis, averaging 8.8 per night. That’s not to shabby for someone who is under the 5,000 price point. On the season, Machado owns a .378 wOBA against right handed pitching with an ISO of .223. Ramirez has kept the ball relatively in the park this season, giving up only 13 home runs on the season, but his ability to quickly lose his command makes my ears perk up.
Save Big Bucks By Drafting…
Nick Swisher ($2900) – Honestly, I’m sick to my stomach throwing this pick out here. Maybe it’s because were nearing the end of long baseball season that I’ve lost my sense of reasonable thoughts. But, I’m rolling out Swisher tonight to get some exposure to Adam Conley, who’s brutal against left handed batters. On the season, Conley is allowing a .426 wOBA to these hitters. I mean, that’s as bad as you can get as a major league pitcher. On the flip side, Swisher doesn’t have great numbers, owning just a .286 wOBA with a .117 ISO. However, he has scored in 11 straight games on DraftKings, even if it’s small scores mixed in with some big ones. I won’t be offended if you pass on this, but all it would take is one big hit from Swisher that could give you some much needed points.