Matchups are becoming my world. I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night, unfortunately often times as I'm slaying a Decepticon fighting side by side with Optimus Prime, wondering if I added Player X or Y to my daily trends report. BVP, home/away, night/day, handedness, current trends, they all go into this piece on a daily basis. Here is your look ahead to Saturday and Sunday and the matchups you need to know about, or avoid, in the fantasy baseball game.
Note: This article is being written on Friday. Make sure you check the injury reports and lineups for the weekend before blindly setting your lineup based simply on this piece.
DISH DIAMONDS – The Best Hitting Matchups of the Day
Saturday will be a good test to see where Ryan Braun is really at. He murders Wandy Rodriguez. I'll just let the numbers speak: .383-4-11 with a 1.271 OPS in 47 at-bats. Aramis Ramirez also hasn't done too badly (.368-2-6 in 57 at-bats).
Lonnie Chisenhall is producing a hit in about half his at-bats on the young season (seriously). Yes he's better against righties, but with his start to the year, and the fact that he's .375-2-6 line in eight at-bats against Mark Buehrle, shouldn't he be in the lineup?
Pablo Sandoval has been a big time disappointment to this point (I was going to say he's been disappointing to his parent but for some reason I feel that would be going too far... even though I just pretty much said it). Sandoval is in prime position to take care of that slow start Saturday when he faces off with Eric Stults who simply cannot get the big fella out. In 25 plate appearances Sandoval has hit .545 with a .600 OBP. The only real surprise is that he has yet to go deep. Buster Posey may not see Stults quite as well, but it's close. In 15 at-bats Posey has hit .467 with a big fly. Heck, Hunter Pence is at .320 with three homers and nine RBIs in 25 at-bats. Stults only saving grace is that the game will be played in Petco, though that might not be enough to save him from a poor outing.
Torii Hunter is hitting a solid .333 with two homers and eight RBIs in 33 at-bats against C.J. Wilson. He's also worked 10 walks leading to a .488 OBP.
Joey Votto plays every day. Doesn't matter where he's hitting in the lineup. He's hitting .471 from the two hole and he gets to face Carlos Villanueva Saturday who he's hitting .389 with a dinger in 18 at-bats against.
Finally, let's go next level. OK, it's really just interesting level, but here are some of the best hitters in baseball in 2013 on Saturday's (hey, it's interesting).
DISH DISASTERS – Worst Hitting Matchups of the Day
You will read about how horrible a play Wandy Rodriguez is in a moment. But I would be remiss if I didn't point out that he flat out dominates a guy who you might not think he would. Carlos Gomez has 14 Ks, zero homers an a .348 OPS against Wandy over 34 at-bats. That was OPS folks.
How about a big fly and a strikeout for Curtis Granderson. In 43 at-bats against Ervin Santana he's hit five homers while striking out 11 times. Can't really bet on the homer though given how locked in Santana has been and how woeful Curtis has performed.
J.J. Hardy usually powers the ball versus lefties, but he only has one hit in his first 10 at-bats against them this year. He's also just 3-for-18 against Felix Doubront. Sit Adam Jones too. The guy is just 2-for-19 with eight strikeouts versus the lefty. Matt Wieters might as well take a season as he's just 2-for-18 in the matchup but he also has 10 whiffs. Yikes.
Victor Martinez struggles against C.J. Wilson hitting .174 with a .467 OPS over 23 games. OK, struggle isn't a firm enough word. He's also only had a handful of at-bats against left-handed pitching this year.
Watching the 1984-87 Transformers cartoon series that I got in the mail last week (all 98 episodes of the classic that started it all). Gotta tell ya. It's bad. I know kids aren't into dialogue or story structure, but jeez. I'm drinking whiskey while watching, and reliving the old days is grand, but it's rough to watch more than two episodes at one time.
MOUND MAVENS – Starting Pitchers to Target
For one more start let's trust Mark Buehrle. The Indians have struck out 40 times in 189 at-bats versus lefties this year and have a terrible slash line (.222/.289/.354). MB is also 3-0 with a 0.86 ERA.
Tim Hudson has been stupendous in his first three starts this season with a 2.35 ERA, 0.65 WHIP and no walks. He faces the Padres in San Diego which is great, but it's also a pretty good thing for Hudson that the Padres as a team don't even have a .650 OPS against righties this year (they have the third worst mark in baseball).
Scott Kazmir is fine. So says he and the club (apparently his biceps issue isn't a big deal). I'll be honest with you, I don't believe them. At all. Still, it's what they are both saying and because I like to believe in people (not really), I'm going got give Kazmir a tentative thumbs up Saturday. If you were to just look at his numbers it would be a no brainer: 1.40 ERA, 0.78 WHIP, 19 Ks in 19.1 innings. At least the opponent is the Astros, and they stink. By the way I only used “no brainer” so I could say this – stop saying that. It's an annoying and played out term. Said my piece. We can move on now.
Brett Oberholtzer is 0-3 on the young season but he hasn't been awful. He's posted a 3.50 ERA while allowing three or fewer runs in each start, and his 3.75 K/BB ratio is pretty sharp. He takes on an Athletics club that has hit a mere .198 against lefties in 116 at-bats this season.
Ervin Santana has made two starts with a 0.64 ERA, 0.64 WHIP and 8.50 K/BB ratio. He faces the Mets Saturday, a club that has the following poor slash line against righties: .226/.304/.344. Lock and load.
MOUND MESSES – Starting Pitchers to Avoid
Colby Lewis faces a White Sox offense that leads baseball with a .790 OPS against righties. Lewis also didn't look very sharp in his first start of the season against the Mariners (eight hits, four runs in 5.1 innings).
Wandy Rodriguez has lost about two mph off his fastball. He has a 7.31 ERA and 1.56 WHIP through three starts. He has a career 4.06 ERA and 1.42 WHIP against the Brewers (155.1 innings). Current Brewers are batting .307/.368/.529 against him in 244 at-bats. You're insane in the membrane if you start Wandy.
Eric Stults traditionally dominates at home, no question about it. Still, I'd suggest passing on him in this home start. In three outings this year he has a 5.52 ERA and 1.77 WHP, and batters are teeing off to the tune of a .328 batting average. He's also had career long struggles against the Giants leading to a 5.21 ERA, 1.46 WHIP and .301 BAA over 17 appearances.