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I'm staring at numbers all day. Scary truth? I actually dream about them at times. Seriously. I sometimes see patterns too. Maybe it should have been me and not Jim Carrey in The Number 23? I don't want to go crazy though, so before I continue to feed my unhealthy addiction I'm just gonna say have at it folks. Here is the April 29th daily piece. Stay sane. Avoid the numbers – or as Jeff Mans famously once said “don't look at the numbers.”
OK, do look at them, but you get my point.
2014 PLAYER RANKINGS
Don't know if you've heard, OK you probably haven't, but we're going to be releasing updated Player Rankings on the first of each month. That means we're just a couple of days away from the May 1st update. Stay tuned. The rankings are coming!
Edwin Encarnacion, traditionally at least, mashes lefties to the tune of a .879 OPS for his career. Tuesday he takes on Jason Vargas, a lefty, who he's had success against (.333 average, two homers, five RBIs, five walks in 20 plate appearances). Maybe he starts the turnaround Tuesday? He's certainly got a lot of making up to do.
Matt Joyce is hitting just a smidge under .400 against righties this season. He faces John Lackey who he's hit .333 with two homers, six RBIs and two steals against in 20 plate appearances. Teammate Ben Zobrist could thrive in the match up as well given that he's hit a blistering .407 against Lackey (27 ABs).
Joe Mauer is batting .340 in 47 at-bats against Zack Greinke. I'm guessing the reason for that is that Mauer is one of the few batters in baseball that can lay off the pitches on the black and take advantage of a hurler when his pitch leaks an inch or two into the zone (Greinke doesn't make many mistakes obviously). It's been a rough start to the year though for Mauer.
Pablo Sandoval, like the man just mentioned, is going to get going Tuesday as well. He's yet to go deep against Eric Stults in 24 at-bats but he has drive in four runs while batting .500. Other Giants who enjoy success in the matchup include: Buster Posey (.412 in 17 ABs), Joaquin Arias (.381 in 21 ABs) and Hunter Pence (three homers, nine RBI, .919 OPS in 28 ABs).
Ichiro Suzuki may or may not play Tuesday. Note though that if he's in there he's gonna face Chris Young who he's hit .381 against with two homers in 21 at-bats. He's also stolen a highly impressive seven bases.
David Wright has hit .349 against Cole Hamels despite 15 Ks (he's hit .458 in at-bats that he's put the ball in play). He's also powered five long balls leading to 15 RBIs. Nothing to dislike here even with his sluggish start. Teammate Eric Young has hit .429 versus Hamels (21 ABs) while swiping five bags, one more than Wright.
DISH DISASTERS – Worst Hitting Matchups of the Day
Jay Bruce is streaky. He's streaky bad with now. He's hitting under .150 at home and his last big fly was April 20th. He's also just 3-for-16 against Edwin Jackson. Zack Cozart is terrible. I don't know what else needs to occur for people to finally believe me. There hasn't been one ay this season in which he's been hitting .175. He's 1-for-12 against Jackson.
Jonny Gomes usually kills lefties (career .275/.377/.500). Given that fact you have to take seriously how bad he's been against Erik Bedard through the years (.160/.300/.280 in 25 ABs – also nine Ks).
I have no words, other than I guess my wife (if I had one) wouldn't cheat on me.
Alexei Ramirez has 61 at-bats versus Justin Verlander, and the results have been awful: .246/.270/.311. Adam Dunn is at .179 with 12 Ks in 28 at-bats while Gordon Beckham is hitting .194 in 31 at-bats. Don't know if that's odd though. Isn't Beckham hitting below the Mendoza line against everyone these days?
Aramis Ramirez is only batting .111 in 18 at-bats against Lance Lynn but, oddly, he only has three strikeouts (you would think it would be more given the obvious success that Lynn has had in the matchup).
Alex Rios is having a strong April but it doesn't figure to end well against Scott Kazmir. In 43 at-bats Rios has hit .209 with one homer and 11 Ks. Adrian Beltre is right there with him going 5-for-26 (.192) with a whopping 10 strikeouts.
Jimmy Rollins is hitting .250 with nary a walk against lefties this season (28 ABs). That doesn't bode well for his matchup with Jonathon Niese who is left-handed and has held Rollins to a mere .225 average in 40 at-bats.
Will Venable's slump will continue Tuesday. He's got nine hits and 13 strikeouts in 41 at-bats versus Matt Cain (.220). Seth Smith better hope that his name isn't on the lineup care since he's clueless against Cain (2-for-29).
Bookmark the following three sources to check daily after you read this piece.
Fantasy Alarm Lineups
MOUND MAVENS – Starting Pitchers to Target
Matt Cain is 1-0 at home this year allowing one run in seven innings. Matt Cain allowed two runs in seven innings against the Padres last year. Current Padres are hitting a mere .211 with a .622 OPS against Cain in 246 at-bats. All he needs to do is keep the ball in the yard.
Corey Kluber has allowed three walks over his last four starts while striking out 28 batters. That will play anywhere. He's got what could be a difficult matchup against the Angels Tuesday, but his recent run of success, including just one homer in four games, suggests he's pitching pretty well right now.
Kyle Lohse faces a Cardinals team that has struggled to gain footing offensively. He's also allowed three earned runs and three walks over his last three starts. He's pretty locked in right now.
Lance Lynn is 4-2 with a 2.17 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 59 Ks in 49.2 innings againts the Brewers in his career. Back on April 14th he threw seven shutout innings against them, and that effort included 11 punchouts. Lynn is a darn solid starting option against a depleted Brewers offense.
Martin Perez has a 4-0 record and 1.42 ERA this season. His last time out he tossed a shutout, his second straight overall, against the Athletics (he has 26 shutout innings over his last three starts). The Athletics are also hitting just .225 against lefties this season.
Jered Weaver has a poor 4.11 ERA this season. However, he's also got a 1.14 ERA and has allowed a total of two runs the past two starts. He also pitches at home where he had a 2.59 ERA and 1.10 WHIP last year. There's also this. Many of the Indians simply cannot hit him: Asdrubal Cabrera (.229 in 35 at-bats), Nick Swisher (.226 in 31 at-bats), Michael Brantley (.190 in 21 at-bats) and Davis Murphy (.148 in 54 at-bats).
Jason Vargas faces the Blue Jays as he looks to extend his hot start which includes a run of 5-straight starts of at least six innings and two or fewer earned runs allowed.
MOUND MESSES – Starting Pitchers to Avoid
Tyler Chatwood. Yes he faces a beat up Diamondbacks club, but I'm still not sold. He's allowed four and five earned runs in two of his three starts. He's walked five batters his last two outings. He's permitted four homers in three starts. Even though the D'backs aren't imposing a little voice in the back of my head keeps whispering a warning with Chatwood.
Kyle Gibson faces the Dodgers. Through four starts he has a 1.48 WHIP, has allowed a hit per inning, has a 4.43 K/9 rate and a sickly 1.18 K/BB ratio. Good luck against the Dodgers kid.
Dustin McGowan. Do I really need to explain?
Jose Quintana has allowed 16 hits over 11 innings in his last two starts, both loses. He faces a Tigers team that handed him a loss on April 24th though he didn't pitch terribly (6 IP, 3 ERs, 3 Ks). Still, he's allowed a homer in 4-straight games and has just four punchouts in his last two outings.
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.