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My back is sore today. Has nothing to do with the article. I'm just sharing my personal thoughts to connect with you the reader. I know you would rather read some BVP material than hear about the shape of my back, but I tend to personalize everything and make it about me. I just find life to be more interesting that way. OK, enough about me. Let's get to some baseball information for Thursday.
DISH DIAMONDS – The Best Hitting Matchups of the Day
Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion both light up A.J. Burnett. Both are hitting .429 in 14 at-bats. EE has two homers and four RBIs. Bautista spits on that. He has three homers and seven RBIs.
We all know how great Brian Dozier is. The bestest of the best of the best. Ever. He's also 6-for-12 against Justin Masterson while coaxing an impressive six walks as well (two steals are in his back pocket too).
Garrett Jones is batting .299 with a .897 OPS against righties this season. He'll face righty Ian Kennedy who he's produced a .417 average and .1250 OPS in 12 at-bats (includes a homer). Teammate Giancarlo Stanton has hit a double and two homers in 11 at-bats against Kennedy.
Juan Uribe has seven hits in 16 at-bats off Ryan Vogelsong (.438). Matt Kemp has seven hits as well, though in 23 at-bats (.304). He's also gone deep. Neither can match Dee Gordon though who has beat out eight singles, hit a triple and stolen three bags over 24 plate appearances (.391).
Matt Wieters' elbow isn't great but it's not slowing him down at the plate at all. Doesn't seem like David Price will be able to slow him down either given that Wieters has hit .368 with a 1.020 OPS off the lefty in 41 plate appearances. To a lesser extent Nelson Cruz has also had success (.375-2-4 in 16 at-bats).
DISH DISASTERS – Worst Hitting Matchups of the Day
Adam Jones has been a disappointment (minus Wednesday of course), something I predicted would happen in his Player Profile. He will likely continue to disappoint Thursday given that he has hit .220 with 11 Ks in 41 at-bats against David Price.
No more need for real food - really?
Batters the last week...
You like how I just randomly changed from batting to hitting? That's just how I do it.
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Fantasy Alarm Lineups
MOUND MAVENS – Starting Pitchers to Target
Josh Beckett faces the Giants Thursday, and he's had success in the matchup with a 3.43 ERA and 1.14 WHIP over 10 starts (that includes five shutout innings back on April 15th). In three starts at home this year Beckett has walked just three batters while tossing up a 3.18 ERA an impressive 0.76 WHIP.
R.A. Dickey isn't much better than average, but at least he's got the knuckler going of late allowing seven runs in his last three starts. He's also struck out 15 while walking seven which is passable, and he's only permitted one homer his last four starts. He owns a 3.12 ERA and 1.12 WHIP in four home starts this season. He takes on the Phillies.
Hisashi Iwakuma was solid in his first outing and he'll look to continue that against the Royals, a club that is batting .260 against righties which isn't awful, but get this; the Royals have hit 12 homers off righties and that is the worst number in baseball. Avoiding the big fly should lead to success for Hisashi.
Ian Kennedy has better than a four to one K/BB ratio this season. He has 16 strikeouts in his last two outings. He's allowed a total of five runs over his last three starts. He also pitches at Petco, and though he's not had success there this year (5.09 ERA, 1.43 WHIP in four starts) we all know it's a good place to pitch. Also, the Marlins can't hit on the road as their .215 batting average is the 4th worse in the game while their .621 OPS is 5th worst.
Ryan Vogelsong has allowed only one run his last two starts. He also permitted just one run on April 16th to the Dodgers. It's not a “lock” that he has success but this outing has the sound of a quality start written all over it.
MOUND MESSES – Starting Pitchers to Avoid
Jake Arrieta will need to keep the ball down in his start Wednesday. His career 1.20 GB/FB is slightly better than normal, but his 1.19 HR/9 is slightly worse. He takes on the White Sox at U.S. Cellular and balls can fly out of there at a pretty good rate. The Sox also have a strong .755 OPS against righties this year.
Dallas Keuchel faces the Tigers, and that's not a good matchup for lefties as the Tigers are third in baseball with a .841 OPS. That's their team mark folks. That's nearly an All-Star level OPS... as a team. Did I note how the team crushes lefties yet?
Franklin Morales in Texas has a bound sound to it. Add in his 10 runs allowed in his last two starts and his 4.15 ERA and 1.44 WHIP on the road this year and the dye is pretty much cast.
David Price has and 11 to 1 K/BB ratio. You just don't do that. He's still sporting a 4.44 ERA on the year though, and he faces the slugging Orioles Thursday. He's ERA has been worse than that at home this year (4.94 in four starts), and he's allowed seven homers in his last five starts. The Orioles have not hit well against lefties with a .651 OPS, but that's about all Price has going for him in this one – oh, and the exquisite control.
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.