Nine games are on tap today during the afternoon and tonight, as we look at the Thursday edition of MLB Daily Notes. I’m trying to shake off the less than stellar day I had yesterday. Aaron Harang ruined a lot of people’s nights, especially if you had Hanley Ramirez. That was such a favorable matchup for Ramirez! But, that’s baseball folks. Let’s right the ship today and get you going with today’s info. As always, you can get me on the Twitter machine – @SBuchanan24
Heaviest Pitcher Favorites
1) Shane Greene vs. Minnesota Twins(-160)-Wait, who? Yes, Shane Greene, the 25 year old is today’s heaviest favored pitcher. This just goes to show how awful the Twins lineup is. Nothing to take away from Greene here, the Twins are just terrible. Greene owns a career 3.78 ERA in 14 games started.
2) Kendall Graveman vs. Texas Rangers(-146)- No really, who? Back to back pitchers that aren’t exactly household names, yet. Graveman makes his MLB debut today against the Rangers. Graveman has phenomenal numbers in the minors compiling a 15-9 record with a 2.30 ERA with 140 strikeouts in 207 innings pitched. The Rangers have only mustered one run in two games so far, might not be a bad time to give the kid a chance.
3) Ian Kennedy vs. San Francisco Giants(-145)-Nice! A name you recognize! Kennedy starts the home opener for the Padres looking to build on a season with high hopes. Kennedy has a track record of great success against the Giants, his 2.52 ERA in 20 career start is enticing.
Highest Scoring Games
1) Chicago White Sox at Kansas City Royals (Kauffman Stadium) Vegas has this game slated for 8.5 runs, good for the highest total of the day. A less than stellar matchup of John Danks going up against Edinson Volquez, this will certainly be a game to watch if you love offense.
2) Cleveland Indians at Houston Astros (Minute Maid Park) Another game going with 8.5 runs, we should see some good offense in this in as well. The Astros, although young, are very capable of sneaking out games with high run totals.
Toughest Left/Right Matchups
Toughest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
1) David Buchanan vs. Boston Red Sox – My dad is particularly tough against lefties (he’s not my dad) He owns a 2.39 ERA against them, but the sample size is smaller then others on the list. He does own an unimpressive 4.78 K/9 rating, keep that in mind.
2) Stephen Strasburg vs. New York Mets – Today is the battle of pitchers that have had Tommy John. Strasburg goes against the returning Matt Harvey today. Against lefties, Strasburg is always good, carrying a 2.75 ERA with a 8.82 K/9.
Toughest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
3) Edinson Volquez vs. Chicago White Sox – We are in the realm of seeing the back end of the rotations right now, so odd names might appear. Regardless, Volquez owns a 2.74 ERA against righties.
4) Tim Hudson vs. San Diego Padres – Hudson comes in with a 3.41 ERA against righties, his K/9 is unimpressive though at 6.73.
Best Left/Right Matchups
Easiest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
5) Justin Masterson vs. Philadelphia Phillies – Masterson does not like lefties. Seeing as he has a 6.68 ERA against them, it might not be peaches and cream for the Red Sox pitcher today.
6) A.J. Burnett vs. Cincinnati Reds– I enjoy doing this research because I’m often surprised with the numbers I find. Burnett is a great example. A 5.22 ERA against lefties was not a number I’d expect to be as high.
Easiest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
7) Justin Masterson vs. Philadelphia Phillies – I’m not saying don’t start Masterson, the numbers are telling you not to start Masterson. 4.99 ERA against righties but we’ll just call it an even 5.00 ERA.
8) John Danks vs. Kansas City Royals – Another great reason why this game is predicted to have a high run total, Danks comes in with a 4.96 ERA. The Royals have a decent lineup, at home today. Let it fly.
1) Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati Reds – Almost EVERY game has a chance of some sort of rain today, but I wanted to highlight the two that will definitely see significant rain. This game should see some thunderstorms today.
2) Minnesota Twins at Detroit Tigers – Great chance of some moderate rain showers here. As I always say, check the weather throughout the day when building your lineups.
One Pitcher To Build Lineups Around
Matt Harvey vs. Washington Nationals($8,800) – Harvey makes his long awaited return for the Mets today. If you take Spring Training numbers as any indication, Harvey had a 1.19 ERA during that span. He WILL be on a pitch count, hovering around the 90 mark, so keep that in mind but with slim pickings today, I’m rolling with Harvey.
Superstar Worth Paying For…
Matt Kemp vs. San Francisco Giants ($4,700) – Moving to the late games, Kemp has had good success against Tim Hudson. He’s 6-15 lifetime with a home run in the mix.
Save Big Bucks By Drafting…
Alex Avila vs. Minnesota Twins($3400) – As always, make sure he’s starting first. But Avila has put in some extra work this spring trying to hit the other way and that should be a big boost to his value. Take a flyer on Avila.