It's Friday, but that doesn't mean we're not ready to help you moving forward. To that end, here's a matchup piece that covers both Saturday and Sunday for those of you looking for a little bit of assistance in setting your lineups for the weekend.
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
Domonic Brown has hit .545 in 11 at-bats against Bronson Arroyo with four extra base hits. Teammate Marlon Byrd has been even more impressive hitting .370 with two homers in 27 at-bats. Oh, and Chase Utley, he's at .300 with two homers in 20 at-bats.
Billy Butler's face was last seen on a milk carton. Failing to hit his weight in the early going while being moved all over the batting order, he's 7-for-12 with two bombs versus Wei-Yin Chen. He's also hit .311 with a .912 OPS against lefties in his career. Eric Hosmer is also 5-for-11 with two homers and four RBIs in the matchup.
Miguel Cabrera treats Phil Hughes like a pinata at an eight year old's party with 13 hits in 25 at-bats. Not only is that a .560 average, but eight of those 14 hits are for extra bases including five bombs. Toss in 11 RBIs an a 1.873 OPS and Cabrera is the play of the day. Another who hits Hughes well is Victor Martinez who is at .368 through 19 at-bats.
Andre Ethier is really struggling, but in his career he's hit .308/.386/.515 against righties. That's elite level stuff. He's also 8-for-14 against righty Juan Nicasio. Hanley Ramirez is 6-for-11 in the matchup while Matt Kemp is at .308 with two homers in 13 at-bats.
Dustin Pedroia meet Mr. Base Hit. Pedroia has wrapped out 12 hits in 23 at-bats against Brandon Morrow and that includes two bombs and six RBIs. Hard to do much better than that. Grady Sizemore is close in a smaller sample size as he's 6-for-12 with a homer and five RBIs in the matchup.
DISH DISASTERS – Worst Hitting Matchups of the Day
Starlin Castro is hitting .286 against righties but he's only hitting .156 on the road this season. Marco Estrada may have the upper hand. Estrada certainly has the upper hand against Anthony Rizzo who has only one hit in 15 at-bats against the righty.
Chris Davis cannot hit Jeremy Guthrie. Pretty odd when you think about it. Still, a 1-for-16 spot is pretty indicative that Guthrie has the advantage in the matchup, even if Davis is finally starting to hit.
It's not often you look up an All-Star and see a 1-for-21 spot. That's what you find when you look at Clay Buchholz versus Edwin Encarnacion. That's only slightly worse than the 2-for-19 spot that Brett Lawrie has.
Carlos Gomez is a .200 hitter over 15 at-bats versus Travis Wood. Aramis Ramirez is a .200 hitter over 15 at-bats against Travis Wood. That's still eons better than the 1-for-19 spot that Ricky Weeks has put up there.
Mitch Moreland isn't the only one in the 'I can't hit Felix Hernandez' club. He's just a great example of it. Moreland has hit .188 with nine Ks in 32 at-bats. Alex Rios has hit .229 with 13 Ks in his 35 at-bats, so that duo isn't likely to provide much offense Saturday.
Jhonny Peralta is as messy as a drunk who's pulled down 12 beers at the corner bar on a Tuesday night. He simply can't hit anything. He owns a .333 average against Francisco Liriano, but his current woes, and the fact that he's struck out in a third of his 39 at-bats in the matchup give the edge to Liriano. Allen Craig isn't likely to have success with as he's sporting an 0-for-11 spot with six Ks.
Martin Prado just doesn't see the ball well against Cliff Lee (he's certainly not the only one to be afflicted with that disease). Prado has hit just .207 with nine strikeouts in 29 at-bats against Lee.
MOUND MAVENS – Starting Pitchers to Target
Andrew Cashner has a 2.10 ERA and 1.05 WHIP on the year, and he's gone at least six innings in each of his outings. He faces the Nationals on the road, and he's struggled a bit on the road with a 4.50 ERA and 1.42 WHIP in two starts. He also allowed six runs in his last outing against the Nationals, and that only covered two innings. Luckily for him the Nats are only hitting .237 with a .691 OPS against righties this season.
Mike Leake has a 2.33 ERA and 1.07 WHIP in four career starts versus the Braves. He's also posted a 3.32 ERA and 1.02 WHIP in three road starts this season and he's gone at least 6.2 in each of those outings.
Cliff Lee has walked one batters over his last four outings while striking out 37. The D'backs are beat up and struggling. They are unlikely to have success in the matchup. Lee is 4-1 with a 2.93 ERA and 0.93 WHIP in his career against the Diamondbacks.
Travis Wood can't pitch any better than he is right now. He's somehow punched out 28 batters in 25 innings while walking only four men. Impossible to trust in a season long league, how do you avoid Wood in this start when you also consider that he's got a 3.33 ERA, 0.93 WHIP and 40 Ks in 46 innings versus the Brew Crew in his career?
MOUND MESSES – Starting Pitchers to Avoid
Bronson Arroyo was injured all spring, and he's clearly not right. Through four starts he owns a 9.50 ERA, 2.00 WHIP and has eight strikeouts in 18 innings. He's also sporting a 5.35 ERA and has given up 14 homers in 13 games against the Phillies.
Clay Buchholz has flashed diminished velocity, has a 7.71 ERA and 1.93 WHIP on the young season. He simply cannot be trusted. Too bad too since he's historically dominated the Blue Jays (2.44 ERA, 1.15 WHIP over 114.1 innings).
Brandon Morrow has thrown only 8.2 innings in his last two starts and his four outings this season have resulted in 19.2 innings of 5.03 ERA ball. Not good. He's also long been a punching bag for the Red Sox who have a 7.99 ERA and 1.80 WHIP off the righty over 50.2 innings.
Dan Straily is set to face the anemic Astros, but he's just not looked sharp his last two outings. Straily has lasted only 8.2 innings while allowing 13 hits and nine runs. He's also allowed five homers in four games. Not a horrific play, but not one I have confidence in either.