Sunday brings us a full slate of games that are spread out all throughout the day. This is always my favorite day of fantasy baseball because of the fact that the games continue to roll on the entire day. Today also brings us some tough pitching matchups to choose from, so we’ll do our best to steer you in the right direction. Let’s jump right into it 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.
Joe Ross vs. Atlanta Braves (-245) – Who says a rookie can’t be the favorite pitcher on the day? Joe Ross takes on the lowly Braves this afternoon, in a matchup that has all the happening of a solid start for Ross. It’s no surprise to us that the Braves continue to struggle offensively, as almost any pitcher that goes against them immediately becomes a must start, or at least close to it. The Braves are now officially dead last in wOBA in the second half of the season, as they check in at .283. Their K% is still low, as that comes in at 19.1%, but honestly at this point, you’ll take the good with the bad when it comes to facing the Braves. Ross enters today with a 3.51 ERA to go with a 1.07 WHIP and a K/9 of 8.8. Besides his last start against the Cardinals, Ross has been solid. He scored 29.7 points against the Padres and 22.2 against the Brewers, both team being on the lower end of offensive stats. With that being said, I think Ross should have a very similar start against the Braves today. The cherry on top, is that Ross is going to be extremely cheap for this matchup. He’s only going to cost you $8400, which sounds like a steal. Ross should be a solid addition to your roster today, while also giving you some flexibility with your salary cap.
Dallas Keuchel vs. Minnesota Twins(-240) – Dallas Keuchel against (fill in the blank) sounds like a great matchup for Keuchel. I think I’ve used that sentence quite a few times this season. Today, Keuchel gets the Twins and their ability to not look like any of them know how to hit a baseball. Coming into today, Keuchel owns a 2.24 ERA to go with a 1.00 WHIP and a K/9 of 8. Against lefties this season, the Twins have actually performed fairly well, owning a .313 wOBA, which ranks 14th in the league. Their strikeout rate is also low at 20.1%, which is 21st in the league. So, is this possibly NOT a good start for Keuchel? I wouldn’t go that far, but I also don’t think it’s a typical must start for Keuchel like it normally is, which is truly hard to say when Keuchel is averaging 23.9 points per start and has been mowing down every single team he’s faced. The other factor in this, is the fact that Keuchel is going to cost you $12,500. It’s quite the steep price and it’s the most expensive on the day. I very well could eat my words here by the end of the night, but I think my exposure to Keuchel might be limited. Again, it’s certainly not the worst start for him, but the Twins perform better against lefties than you might expect. Just my luck, he’ll throw a no-no against them today.
Eduardo Rodriguez vs. Philadelphia Phillies (-212) – All three games against the Red Sox have had their starting pitchers in the top three favorites for Vegas. Today, Eduardo Rodriguez takes the mound against the Phillies, The leftie has certainly seen his ups and downs for the Red Sox this season, owning a 4.25 ERA to go with a 1.27 WHIP and a K/9 of 6.7. The Phillies have seen their struggles against LHP this season. They come into today with a .307 wOBA and a 21% strikeout rate against them. Numbers that a certainly similar to that of the Twins, but teams are so bunched together in against lefties that it sends the Phillies down in the ranks. Overall in the second half, the Phillies are starting to fall in the ranks of their wOBA during that time, as they now sit in 13th with a .323. A far cry from when they were in the top top five for a good chunk of August. I think this could end up being a sneaky start for Rodriguez, even with his salary being a low as it is against the Phillies. At just $7600, I think Rodriguez is going to need to be considered for a spot on your team toady. I think his inconsistent play will scare off a good amount of people, which could give you a nice edge in tournaments.
Top Overall Game Over/Unders
San Francisco Giants at Colorado Rockies (Coors Field) – 10 Over/Under – Yup, let’s talk about Coors Field again. Madison Bumganer takes on Yohan Flande today. Even with Bumgarner on the mound, I was a bit surprised when I saw this was still the highest projected run total of the day. They at least lowered the run total down to 10 instead of 11.5 like it usually is. Bumgarner is much cheaper than normal, obviously because of pitching at Coors Field, as he checks in with a salary of $10,400. He’s having another fantastic season owning a 2.96 ERA to go with a 1.04 WHIP and a K/9 of 9.8. The Rockies have not hit left handed pitching well this season, as their wOBA against them sits at .292 with a K% 23.1, which is ranked 4th in the league. I don’t know about you, but even with Coors Field in the mix, Bumgarner sounds awful enticing, doesn’t he? Bumgarner has faced the Rockies once already this season in SF, where he went 7.2 giving up two runs on five hits and striking out eight. With his “discounted” price tag today, I think I might roll the dice with Bumgarner. Even if “rolling the dice” on Bumgarner sounds absolutely ridiculous. As for Flande, well, he’s a Rockies starter. Flande operates with a 4.04 ERA to go with a 1.33 WHIP and a K/9 of 5.9. Flande doesn’t go very deep into games, as he started this season as a reliever. So if you were thinking, for some reason, to roster him, don’t expect a complete game shut out from this guy. He also struggles against righties, as he down a .355 wOBA against him. The Giants own a .309 wOBA against lefties this season, which is good for 18th in the league. However, Flande is not even close to being one of the tougher pitchers in the league, so I think targeting RHB on the Giants would be a fine idea.
Toughest Left/Right Matchups
Toughest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Dallas Keuchel vs. Minnesota Twins- I should just make a Cheat Sheet draft for every five days that has Keuchel sitting at the top spot of this section. He’s the best when he faces lefties, and that’s all there is to it. On the season, Keuchel owns an absurd .170 wOBA against lefties.
Johnny Cueto vs. Chicago White Sox- Cueto has certainly not looked like the Cueto we’ve been used to in the National League. The once big acquisition for the Royals is now starting to look like anything but that. He’s still been pitching well to lefties, as he owns a .246 wOBA against them.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Joe Ross vs. Atlanta Braves-Another reason Ross is so heavily favored in his matchup with the Braves today, he is almost lights out when it comes to RHB. On the season, Ross owns a .214 wOBA against them. His struggles against lefties are very apparent, but the Braves lefties aren’t exactly going to stop you from rostering him today.
Jimmy Nelson vs. Cincinnati Reds- Nelson is very similar to Ross, where he’s sensational when facing RHB, but when it comes to lefties, mehhhhhh, not so much. Nelson on the year owns a .234 wOBA when facing RHB. Against lefties, .370. Yikes.
Best Left/Right Matchups
Easiest Pitcher vs. Left Handed Batters.
Mike Lorenzen vs. Milwaukee Brewers-Lorenzen, I don’t know when you birthday is, but it feels like you get birthday beatings every time you face a left handed batter. On the season, Lorenzen is doing everything he can to make sure those lefties get on base, with his .433 wOBA against them. Who’s side are you on!?
Tyler Duffey vs. Houston Astros- Duffey, and it fees like the rest of the Twins rotation, cannot figure out how to pitch to LHB. They all struggle against them! On the short season, Duffey owns a .422 wOBA against those lefties. I’ll go easy on the young kid. What a gentleman.
Easiest Pitcher vs. Right Handed Batters.
Yohan Flande vs. San Francisco Giants- Flande, as I mentioned a little while ago, does not enjoy his time on the mound when facing RHB. In fact, I may just go as far as to say he doesn’t enjoy his time on the mound at all with the way he’s been pitching. On the season, Flande owns a .355 wOBA against righties.
Chris Tillman vs. Toronto Blue Jays- Oh boy, NOT the team to face when you struggle against any type of batter. I thought coming into the season, Tillman was supposed to be the ace for the Orioles? Well, he’s certainly anything but that, as he owns a .354 wOBA against RHB. Have fun with those Blue Jays today.
Ryan Braun OF ($5100) – Braun has been relatively quiet this season. Maybe he’s trying to fly under the radar, or maybe it’s the fact that he plays on the Brewers? Anyways, Braun is starting to heat up and swipe some bags, which is always a nice little addition to his value. Braun is 8-19 with a home run, three RBIs, six runs scored and four stolen bases.
Stephen Drew 2B/SS ($3000) – I can’t believe I’m actually featuring Stephen Drew as a hitter who’s hitting well right now. But that folks, is baseball. Anyone can get hot at any moment, even if your name is Stephen Drew! He’s got a lot of pop this season and it continues into his latest streak. Drew is 9-16 with two home runs, nine RBIs, and six runs scored.
Kendrys Morales 1B ($4700) –Nothing worse than making a Royals stack and choosing the wrong first baseman between Morales and Eric Hosmer. Twice I went with Hosmer and twice I was burned. Morales is 10-24 with two home runs, nine RBIs, and six runs scored.
Best Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups
Carlos Gonzalez vs. Madison Bumgarner- No Cheat Sheet article would be complete without a healthy dose of some BvP stats. If you haven’t noticed, we’ve been killing it with the BvP lately. Sure, it’s just a good run were on right now, but sometimes some of these stats continue to ring true as I continue to pledge my allegiance to this stat. Cargo is 15-43 against Bumgarner with eight extra base hits, five of them being home runs, and a 1.172 OPS.
Adrian Gonzalez vs. Andrew Cashner- Adrian continues to be dirt cheap, and I’ll continue to put him on my roster. Coming into today’s start against Cashner, Gonzalez is 11-30 against him with five extra base hits, four of them being home runs, and a 1.206 OPS.
Jacoby Ellsbury vs. Chris Archer- I thought this BvP was interesting, even though Ellsbury has basically singled Archer to death. Also, make sure Ellsbury is in the lineup today. Ellsbury is 12-18 against Archer with two extra base hits, one of them being a home run, and a 1.603 OPS.
Don’t you just love when you don’t have to worry about weather?
One Pitcher To Build Lineups Around
Joe Ross ($8400) –I was hyping up Ross so much that I would look like a liar if I didn’t put him here, wouldn’t I? As I mentioned earlier, it’s really hard to not like this matchup today. Yes, Ross struggles against left handed batters, so the Braves will certainly have three to four players in their lineup to try and expose that stat. However, they just CAN’T HIT! They’re entering today with the lowest wOBA in the second half of the season, and that’s even with Freddie Freeman back in the lineup. Their strikeout rate is a bit lower than I would normally like for a top pitcher on the day, but at 19.1%, I think Ross can still come through with 5-6 strikeouts, seeing that his K/9 is 8.8 on the season. I mean, Gio Gonzalez struck out 10 Braves last night, why can’t Ross have the strikeouts as well? At this price point, I think Ross will give you a ton of flexibility with your salary cap and his a legitimate chance to walk away with a solid outing in the books.
Superstar Worth Paying For
Anthony Rizzo ($5100) – Rizzo faces a RHP today in Rubby de la Rosa, who REALLY struggles against left handed batters. A match made in heaven, right? On the season, de la Rosa owns a .400 wOBA against left handed pitching. A huge number indeed. What also hurts de la Rosa, is that 18 of his 28 home runs that he’s let up this season come against LHB. Well well well, wouldn’t you know, Rizzo is a leftie who hits RHP exceptionally well. On the season Rizzo, owns a .390 wOBA with a 270 ISO, or in normal terms, a lot of power. 22 of his 28 home runs have come against a RHP this season. I mean, what else do you need to know here!?
Save Big Bucks By Drafting…
Preston Tucker ($3200) – Tucker is back with the big club after rosters expanded for the month of September. Tucker is super cheap at $3200, which is great news for us because he hits RHP well. With Chris Tillman taking the mound today, Tucker owns a .357 wOBA against righties with a .246 ISO. He’s been hitting near the lower end of the lineup, which in turn could shy a lot of people away from him. His his good pop and numbers against RHP, I think he could be a cheap sneaky play on the day.