With almost a full slate of 14 games going tonight, we have plenty of fantasy baseball information for you today. One game is being played this afternoon with the Cubs and the Cardinals, but we’ll be skipping any information on that one. Let’s jump right into all the information on tonight’s full slate! 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.
Kris Medlen vs. Minnesota Twins (-165) – Vegas is really staring to reach here a bit with the pitchers they’re favoring toward the most on the night. Medlen is your favorite, according to Vegas, with a matchup against the Twins. Coming into tonight with an extremely cheap price tag of $4,600, Medlen faces a Twins team with a .303 wOBA in the second half of the season to go with a 21.3 strikeout percentage, good for 8th in the league. I can see why Vegas is favoring the Royals in the one, but I don’t know about Medlen. Don’t get me wrong, his price is extremely enticing with the matchup he has at hand. On the other side of the spectrum, his 4.88 ERA with 1.21 WHIP and K/9 of 8 isn’t exactly what I would consider a “safe” matchup. It also doesn’t help that he owns a 6.88 ERA as a starter this season. The Chicago White Sox dismantled him his last time out when he went five innings giving up seven runs on 11 hits and striking out three. Truly, this would be a pure tournament pick here, one that wouldn’t take much to reach value, but also one that wouldn’t take much to blow up in your face. If you’re feeling froggy tonight, by all means, leap!
James Shields vs. Colorado Rockies (-162) – The first thing that popped in my head when I saw that Shields was favored to take on the Rockies was strikeouts. Shields enters tonight with a 9.6 K/9 on the season, going against a team that has a 20.8 strikeout percentage in the second half of the season, good for 10th in the league. With this start being at Petco Park, also known as the polar opposite of Coors Field, I think Shields becomes an attractive option to go with tonight. The Rockies have been hitting much better lately, as their wOBA in the second half as shot up all the way to 5th in the league during that time. But the strikeouts are still also extremely high during that time. With the hitters park behind him, Shields will only cost you $9,400 tonight with the potential to rack up some strikeouts. The only problem with Shields is that he can certainly go out and throw a clunker. I mea, that can happen to anyone really, but Shields is certainly prone to it. If you want to save a bit of money tonight at pitcher, Shields is certainly someone to look at, as he’s only the 6th most expensive pitcher on the night.
*Colin McHugh vs. Oakland A’s (-147) -*Anytime a pitcher taking on Oakland at home takes the mound, you have to at least like your chances. McHugh will do just that tonight against the team that owns a .307 wOBA in the second half of the season. McHugh has really turned things around in the second half of the season with an overall ERA of 3.75 to go with a 1.27 WHIP and a K/9 of 7.3. Since the beginning of August, McHugh owns a 1.54 ERA to go with a 1.10 WHIP and a K.9 of 8.7. Going up against that weak Athletics lineup, McHugh, who was once an instant no no for me, becomes an extremely attractive option for tonight. Granted, the price tag is a bit high, checking in at $10,800, but I think I can look past that tonight. The only downfall to this start is that the Athletics are a tough team to strike out. With a K% of just 17.7%, the A’s are only second to the Royals when it comes to the toughest team to strikeout. McHugh for me would fall in the category of a safe bet and one I would pay up for tonight.
Top Overall Game Over/Unders
Toronto Blue Jays at Boston Red Sox – 10 Over/Under – Well, we have these two teams doing battle once again at Fenway Park and checking in with the highest projected run total of the night. Drew Hutchison and the new looking Joe Kelly will do battle tonight in this one. Hutchison, the poster child for why win loss records in baseball are crap, enters tonight with a 5.07 ERA to go with a 1.42 WHIP and a K/9 of 7.7. Going against one of the best hitting clubs in the second half of the season, the Red Sox come into tonight with a .322 wOBA during that time, good for 6th in the league. With how well these Red Sox have been hitting, this could be a real rough start for Hutchison, who’s also given up 18 home runs on the season. Hutchison is also really struggling against RHB, with a .369 wOBA when facing them. As for Joe Kelly, he looks like a Cy Young caliber pitcher, if you only counted the month of August. Going 6-0 that month, Kelly has dropped his ERA from 6.11 to 4.84 during that span and his looked like a true ace lately. He will certainly have a tough matchup against the Blue Jays tonight, owners of a .340 wOBA in the second half, which is best in the league. Being in Fenway Park is always dangerous for the Blue Jays to be. It’s crazy to say, but I don’t know if the Blue Jays can pull off a big offensive night with Kelly on the mound, but if you’re thinking they can, Kelly has struggled against righties this season with a .363 wOBA against them.
Toughest Left/Right Matchups
Toughest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
Josh Tomlin vs. Chicago White Sox- Boy did Tomlin have a salary drop or what? Last week when Tomlin filled in for Corey Kluber, his salary was tagged at $12,000 and everyone was having a hit. Well, he’s down to $10,000 tonight so cool you jets. Tomlin is also the best against lefties tonight, owning a .167 wOBA when facing them.
Martin Perez vs. Seattle Mariners- I’m just waiting for Perez to blow up at some point against lefties. I mean don’t get me wrong, he’s really good when it comes to facing them, with a .179 wOBA on the season. He’s just not a good pitcher overall. He’s the Texas version of CC Sabathia.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
Jacob deGrom vs. Washington Nationals –deGrom played the part of heartbreaker his last time out, as he had a less than stellar start against the Miami Marlins. Going up against a suddenly hot Nationals team might not be much easier. On the season, deGrom owns a .215 wOBA against righties.
Julio Teheran vs. Philadelphia Phillies – Teheran has vastly improved against righties this season, after a real rough first half against them. Now he just has to work on those lefties. On the season, Teheran owns a .273 wOBA when facing them.
Best Left/Right Matchups
Easiest Pitcher vs. Left Handed Batters.
David Buchanan vs. Atlanta Braves-Oh boy, look who’s back in the majors. It’s David Buchanan, the man destined to give my last name a bad reputation. Buchanan comes into tonight with a .429 wOBA against lefties this season. Picking up right where he left off!
Keyvius Sampson vs. Pittsburgh Pirates- I can’t imagine Sampson has been enjoying his time in the major leagues. Not only does he own a 6.68 ERA on the season, but he struggles immensely against lefties, with a .424 wOBA against them. That’s quite the feat.
Easiest Pitcher vs. Right Handed Batters.
David Buchanan vs. Atlanta Braves –Sigh. Why did they bring him up again? Buchanan owns a .423 wOBA against righties this season. Hey, I guess it’s good that he’s better in this aspect.
Aaron Brooks vs. Houston Astros – Brooks is kind of like Sampson, I can’t imagine he looks forward to coming to the ball park when it’s his turn to pitch. Brooks enters tonight with a .405 wOBA against righties this season. The right handed hitters at least enjoy his company.
Jackie Bradley Jr.OF ($4800) – For someone that everyone thought couldn’t hit, he sure is proving all the haters wrong isn’t he? Bradley Jr continues to be on an offensive tear, coming into tonight 9/22 with two home runs, 10 RBIs, and eight runs scored.
Evan Longoria 3B ($4000) –I’ll tell you one thing, you really haven’t heard much about Longoria this season. Sure, I’m certain being on Tampa Bay Rays doesn’t help, but his bat has really been quiet in 2015. Coming into tonight however, Longoria is 9/22 with four home runs, nine RBIs, and nine runs scored.
Jose Bautista ($5400) –Bautista is starting to get that power stroke back, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Bautista is 7/20 with two home runs, seven RBIs, four runs scored, and he’s even stolen two bases. All of a sudden, Bautista is a five tool player!
Best Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups
Nolan Arenado vs. James Shields- Shields might be able to rack up some strikeouts tonight against the Rockies, but he’ll have to get past Arenando is he has any hopes of that. Arenado comes into tonight 8-14 against Shields with four extra base hits, three of them being home runs, and a 1.886 OPS.
*Brandon Phillips vs. J.A. Happ-*It’s just so funny sometimes to see what batters hit what pitchers well, even if it’s in a smaller sample. I just smirked when I saw Phillips and Happ. I don’t know, what a weird pairing. Anyways, Phillips is 7-14 against Happ with five extra base hits, three of them being home runs, and a 1.841 OPS.
Adam Jones vs. CC Sabathia- I think I’ve showcased this one each time they’ve faced each other, so bare with me if I have. Jones is 19-61 against Sabathia with nine extra base hits, four of them being home runs, and a .950 OPS.
We have two games on the schedule today that look like they could see some rain. So make sure to keep an eye on these ones.
Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies
Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati Reds
One Pitcher To Build Lineups Around
James Shields ($9,400) – I’m not thrilled with picking Shields tonight, I’m really not. But I just don’t think anyone is really a slam dunk tonight. It’s truly a rough slate when it comes to pitching. So I’m going to roll with Shields and hope he has his command in check and racks up some strikeouts tonight. Shields has faced the Rockies twice this season with mixed results, but had a good amount of strikeouts in both. In their first meeting Shields went six innings giving up five runs on nine hits and striking out seven. That game was at Coors Field, so we can understand the struggle. The second start was at home for Shields where he went five innings giving up one run on seven hits and struck out six. So mixed results, with the better coming at home. The Rockies are certainly hitting better as of late, but again, which starter has a slam dunk start tonight? I really don’t think anyone.
Superstar Worth Paying For
Freddie Freeman($4700) – Looking to get some exposure to David Buchanan here, so we might as well go with one of the only Braves that can actually hit. Freeman on the season owns a .387 wOBA when facing RHP with an ISO of .235. His power comes more against lefties, but he still has a great amount against righties as well. Freeman isn’t super expensive either, so I think getting him into your lineup won’t be the hardest task at hand. Buchanan has truly been a nightmare on the mound, even with a like the Braves, it should be a tough night. Advantage: Freeman.
Save Big Bucks By Drafting…
Mikie Mahtook ($2200) –I had a good amount exposure to Mahtook last night as he’s been regarded as one of the top prospects in the Rays system and he’s been getting starts since his call up when rosters expanded. Granted, he’s only played in 20 games for the Rays this season, but during those times, he’s been crushing LHP, which he just so happens to be facing tonight with Kyle Lobstein. Lobstein is allowing a .376 wOBA against righties while Mahtook owns a .437 wOBA against lefties. I get that he’s not the most attractive name on the slate, but for cheap money, I’ll take a look.