Monday through Friday each week The Oracle will give his thoughts on the best and worst matchups of the day.
You would also be wise to bookmark the following two sources to check daily after you read this wondrous piece (I'm so afraid of giving myself props).
Fantasy Alarm Lineups
DISH DIAMONDS – The Best Hitting Matchups of the Day
Jay Bruce starts. He has a .438 average and two homers in 16 at-bats versus Lance Lynn. Bruce also hit 20 homers with a .270 average in 423 at-bats against righties last year.
Lock of the day? How about Matt Carpenter who has 11 hits in 19 at-bats against Homer Bailey (.579). Matt Holliday has been pretty good too with a .351 average, two homers and eight RBIs over 37 at-bats vs. Bailey.
Giants versus Trevor Cahill. Here is the list of guys that have hit at least .300 against Cahill: Michael Morse (.333), Buster Posey (.353), Angel Pagan (.381) and Pablo Sandoval (.333). Gregor Blanco (.294) was close as well.
Ryan Howard will hit Monday. Period. Kyle Lohse can only hope to contain him, something he's never been able to do as Howard has brutalized Lohse for a .455 average, two homers and eight RBIs in 22 at-bats.
Mets, Mets & more Mets. See the Aaron Harang write up below as to why.
Starling Marte has hit .303 in 32 games against the Cubs. He produced three hits in three games the first series of this season. He's had five hits in 12 at-bats against Edwin Jackson while also tossing in four steals. Might want to start him and Andrew McCutchen (.381 with two homers and five RBIs in 21 at-bats).
Matt Wieters like smashing the low ball. Matt Wieters like smashing Ivan Nova like the Hulk likes smashing Chitauri soldiers in The Avengers (yes I'm on a superhero kick if you haven't noticed). Wieters is hitting .379 in 29 at-bats versus Nova but he's also taken him deep four times. Chris Davis also likes to smash Chitauri like Thor (can't stop) as he's gone deep three times with nine RBIs in 23 at-bats.
DISH DISASTERS – Worst Hitting Matchups of the Day
Pedro Alvarez runs hot and cold. Expect that arrow to be pointing cold Tuesday since he has only two hits in 17 at-bats against Edwin Jackson. Also expect the same thing from Neil Walker (3-for-17) and Russell Martin (2-for-17). This sound familiar? I suggested the same thing back on April 2nd and the trio of hitters went out and produced one hit in six at-bats.
Paul Goldschmidt is off to a strong start, but he might find some trouble dealing with Tim Hudson. As you can see on this heat map, there's only two spots low in the zone that Goldschmidt has success in. If Hudson can do the old low and away thing, one of the main talents he's always possessed, it may not be a big outing for the slugger from Arizona.
Adrian Gonzalez does not like to see Max Scherzer on the hill as he's only produced three hits in 17 at-bats (.176) against the flamethrower. Still, that effort blows doors on Matt Kemp who, unfathomably, doesn't have a single hit in 16 at-bats against Scherzer. This, of course, means Kemp will have three hits.
Anthony Rizzo has been really hit or miss for the majority of his big league career to this point. He's been mostly miss against Charlie Morton with only one hit in 10 at-bats. Doesn't seem that surprising when you glance at his heat zone map. Rizzo has had problems handling low pitches. That's where Morton makes his living.
MOUND MAVENS – Starting Pitchers to Target
As I noted above, Gio Gonzalez has done a good job keeping Mr. Stanton under control. Moreover, he's kept everyone on the Marlins under control in six career starts: 1.76 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, .190 BAA, 44 Ks in 41 innings pitched.
Dan Haren allowed one unearned run in his first outing this season at San Diego. This California boy will make his Tuesday start against the Tigers in Los Angeles. Haren has held the likes of Austin Jackson (.182), Torii Hunter (.091) and Miguel Cabrera (.211) in check (also Ian Kinsler who you read about above). Seems risky on the surface, but do a little digging and it doesn't seem that bad.
Kyle Lohse has had success against the Phillies with a 2.98 ERA and 1.14 WHIP over 13 starts. The last time he took on the Phillies he allowed one run over eight innings. If he can just avoid getting bashed by Ryan Howard he should be in great shape as the rest of the team has hit .189 against him over 122 at-bats with a mere home run.
Charlie Morton has permitted just one hit in 10 at-bats to Darwin Barney so he's a must start. Maybe not, but last week he tossed six shutout innings with six strikeouts against the Cubs. I do not like the idea of batters seeing the same arm just a week later, I think it gives the hitter a serious advantage, but Morton was in such control last time out that I'm willing to close my eyes and hope.
MOUND MESSES – Starting Pitchers to Avoid
Homer Bailey has a problem with the Cardinals. He's not very good against them. On April 3rd he allowed 10 base runners and four runs to the Cards in just 4.1 innings. He's also gone 5-10 with a 4.90 ERA and 1.47 WHIP in 18 starts against them. Last year in three starts in St. Louis he posted a 5.60 ERA and 1.64 WHIP. Pass on Bailey.
Mark Buehrle. Just an educated guess called the law of averages. Mark tossed 8.2 innings of shutout ball and added 11 punchouts in Week 1 against the Rays. Come on. He's never been that guy. Ever. I'm not sure the Astros can hit, and this is the least scientific call on the entire list, but my Spidey-senses are acting up, so I'm going to trust my gut.
Aaron Harang should be avoided. Sure he tossed 6.2 scoreless innings last time out, but hopefully you know what Harang is, and that is not an ace. Not only did he go 5-12 with a 5.40 ERA last season but there is the teensy weensy little fact that he is simply rendered totally inert by a variety of Mets players just like the Red Skull is by Captain America (I can't stop). Seriously. Check it out. Daniel Murphy (.545 in 11 at-bats), Eric Young (4-for-6), David Wright (.524 in 21 at-bats), Ruben Tejada (.545 in 11 at-bats).
Hector Santiago faces the Mariners Tuesday. He faced them on April 2nd. Personally, I don't like to go with hurlers who face the same club in such close proximity. There's also the fact that Santiago allowed four runs and 10 base runners in five innings a week ago.
Make sure you tune in to the Fantasy Alarm's Daily Game Show at 6 PM EDT, Monday through Friday on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius210, XM87) as Jeff Mans and Ted Schuster will help you to set your daily lineups.