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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
Greg Dobbs is doing nothing other than pinch hitting for the Marlins. Friday though he's got a matchup he will look to exploit if he can convince the Marlins brain-trust to put him in the starting lineup. Dobbs becomes Roy Hobbs when he faces A.J. Burnett whom he has seven hits in 11 at-bats against (.636).
Carlos Gonzalez has a ball against Madison Bumgarner with a .367-4-7 line in 30 at-bats. Not so surprising. What is surprising is that Jordan Pacheco also rips up MadBum with a .348 average, a homer and six RBIs in 23 at-bats.
Carlos Gomez has picked up right where he left off last season murdering pitchers and being a fantasy force. Look for that trend to continue Friday as he faces Francisco Liriano who he has murdered like Pennywise in It. Gomez has two homers in 16 at-bats against Liriano with only three Ks, and that alone would be impressive. However, when we also note that he has produced eight hits in 16 at-bats the effort is pretty remarkable and worth taking note of.
Yadier Molina isn't impressed with hard stuff or long hair and a dirty mustache. Molina has produced nine hits in 17 at-bats (.529) versus Jeff Samardzija. Molina's teammate John Jay isn't too far behind hitting .444 in 18 at-bats.
Ryan Raburn pretty much deserves a looks every time a lefty is on the hill with a career .823 OPS and 24 homers per 500 at-bats. Friday is no exception as he's facing the tough Chris Sale whom he has hit .368 with two homers and five RBIs in 19 at-bats. Raburn's teammate Carlos Santana is also worthy of starting as he's rapped out nine hits in 21 at-bats (.429) versus the lefty.
DISH DISASTERS – Worst Hitting Matchups of the Day
Yoenis Cespedes has struck out in a third of his at-bats against Felix Hernandez. He's also hit only .208 in 24 at-bats. Might as well sit Josh Donaldson too since he has eight Ks and only two hits in 18-bats. Hell, sit Josh Reddick too, he's only 4-for-30. While we're at it, Jed Lowrie needs to be benched too thanks to his .227 mark and seven punchouts over 22 at-bats.
David Ortiz took an embarrassing romp around the bases the other night. He deserves to get plunked for that crap. Regardless, look for CC Sabathia to make him pay Friday. In 61 at-bats, a massive amount of personal battles, CC has owned Ortiz holding the big fella to a .230 average and .665 OPS. Sure CC isn't what he once was, but that's history that is hard to ignore. A.J. Pierzynski also needs to be on the bench as he's slightly worse with a .222 average and .630 OPS in 27 at-bats.
Anthony Rizzo hasn't enjoyed the matchup with young Cardinals' righty Joe Kelly. Rizzo has been able to produce a mere hit in 13 at-bats. That not a shock when you look at Rizzo's Hot Zone from last season which shows that he is a much better high ball hitter than low ball slugger versus righties. Teammate Starlin Castro is better than Rizzo but not by much. He's hit .250 in 12 at-bats although half of them have ended in a strikeout.
It's hard to know with the BVP information when enough is enough. Is it 15 at-bats? Twenty? How about this. We can all agree that 46 at-bats is enough to make a fair determination, right? Brian Roberts has 46 at-bats, most of them coming when he was good, and he's hit .217 with 10 Ks against Jon Lester. Simple here. You sit Roberts, Brett Gardner (2-for-12) and Kelly Johnson (0-for-12) versus Boston's lefty.
Three Nationals should be on your bench when they take on the Braves' Julio Teheran Friday. Danny Espinosa may or may not be in the lineup. Shouldn't be in yours after hit 2-for-10 effort. Jayson Werth has been hot to start the year, but he's even worse than Espy with two hits in 13 at-bats. Our trifecta of Nationals terror is rounded out by Ryan Zimmerman. Not only is his shoulder shot but Zimmerman is 0-for-11 against Teheran.
MOUND MAVENS – Starting Pitchers to Target
Felix Hernandez has a 1.88 ERA and 19 Ks through 14.1 innings this season. He's also dominated the A's in his career with a 2.60 ERA and 1.12 WHIP over 208 innings. Current A's batters are also batting .218 with a .554 OPS against him.
Joe Kelly has worked 31 innings against the Cubs in his career with strong results: 2.61 ERA, 1.03 WHIP.
It's cliché at this point, but you want to pitch Tommy Milone at home and avoid him on the road. Milone faces the Mariners in Seattle Friday. However, I'm going to suggest starting him. Not only did he allow only two runs in 6.2 innings the last time he faced the Mariners but he also owns a 3.28 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 4.40 K/BB ratio and 8.08 K/9 mark against Seattle over eight starts.
Tanner Roark stuffed it down the Mets throats last year. I'm talking like Captain America smashing some dude straight in the face with his shield (I did see Captain America the other night. I enjoyed Winter Solider, but have to admit that I'm more a fan of the first flick. The second is one heck of an action movie, perfect when you want to zone out and just watch some action. Personally though I liked the origin story in the first one a bit better when we got to see Steve Rogers become Captain America). Oh, this is a baseball column you say? Right. You wont find a more dominating pitching line for a young hurler against a club than what Roark did against the Braves last year. Dominance is the term that comes to mind. In 34 at-bats the current Braves lineup struck out nine times, garnered a mere walk and hit .088 thanks to three hits. Start any Brave at your own peril. Well, something like that.
Tyler Skaggs versus the Mets has a nice sound to it. The Mets have predictably been terrible this season offensively. They are striking out in more than a quarter of their at-bats this season. Fire up Skaggs.
MOUND MESSES – Starting Pitchers to Avoid
Carlos Carrasco has a big arm, always has. Still, when have the results been there? He allowed nine base runners and four earned runs in his first start this season (a loss to the Twins), and for his career he has a 5.31 ERA and 1.53 WHIP. Against a powerful White Sox team, in Chicago, well, let's just say that you have big cojones if you start the righty from Venezuela.
Jorge De La Rosa worked 4.1 innings allowing five runs in his first start. His second start he allowed four runs (three earned) in 4.1 innings. That leaves him with eight earned runs allowed in 8.2 innings. The last time he took on the Giants he allowed four earned runs while recording six outs. Pass.
Kyle Gibson has a .316 batting average against as a big leaguer (.326 versus lefties, .300 versus righties). He looked pretty sharp in his first start this season but he's far from established and faces a potentially dangers Royals' lineup.
Brandon McCarthy faces the Dodgers in Arizona. LA has a fair group of hitters there, and it's hard to know what kind of stuff McCarthy will bring from start to start. Right now he's not bringing much at all as he's allowed a whopping 11 runs over 12.2 innings.
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.