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Friday is the time to reflect. That is until Friday night when it is time to forget. Here are some of the more intriguing batter versus pitcher matchups for Friday the 9th of May.
Miguel Cabrera is elite. Miggy is finally hitting. He could explode Friday against Phil Hughes (who doesn't?). The numbers are astounding: .536 average, five homers and 12 RBIs in 28 at-bats. Makes the work that Torii Hunter has done pale in comparison (.471 in 17 ABs). Victor Martinez is also batting .333 over 21 at-bats in the matchup. No homers against Hughes though he does have three in his last four games.
Mark Ellis rips up Francisco Liriano to the tun of a homer, four RBIs an a .571 batting average in 14 at-bats. Teammate Jhonny Peralta also has success against the hard throwing lefty as he's batting .325 over the course of 40 at-bats. He's also taken him deep twice with six RBIs.
Feeling lucky? Justin Verlander has wavered a bit at times this season, and Jason Kubel has had success against the righty with a .295 average and nine RBIs over 44 career at-bats. No homers though and 12 Ks too. Don't forget that.
Curtis Granderson is finally hitting, not that he's tearing it up or anything, but progress is progress. He has an ample sample size against Roberto Hernandez too, 41 at-bats, and he's excelled hitting .415 with three homers and six RBIs.
Come on Joe Mauer, play. He likely won't cause of his minor back issue, but if he does you have to have him active. Justin Verlander has offered little resistance as he's hit .371 with three homers and nine RBIs over 62 at-bats.
Hunter Pence doesn't kill Paul Maholm, but he's had a long track record of success. Over the course of 55 at-bats the Giants' outfielder has hit .291 with two homers and nine RBIs. Angel Pagan is another Giant with success as he's hit .321 with a homer. I'll even toss out the name of Pablo Sandoval. Yeah, I know, reaching here. But history suggests... he's hitting .386 with two homers and five RBIs in 19 at-bats.
DISH DISASTERS – Worst Hitting Matchups of the Day
Allen Craig has been mostly cold this season with a sprinkling of hot. Figure on mostly chilly temperatures for Craig Friday against Francisco Liriano who he not only has just one hit against in 12 at-bats but also six strikeouts.
Matt Kemp hasn't enjoyed much of the 2014 season thus far, and those down times are likely to continue Friday when he faces Madison Bumgarner who not only looked sharp in his last start, but has had lots of success against Kemp over the years (.167 with seven Ks in 24 at-bats). Hanley Ramirez has also struggled this season, and he also isn't sharp against MadBum (4-for-20). Oh heck, let's toss in Adrian Gonzalez too, he also struggles (.154 with five Ks in 26 at-bats). What about Andre Ethier... more struggles. He's 3-for-24 with nine Ks against Madison.
I'm sorry, but this is just awesome.
Alex Rios has had a solid first 5+ weeks for the Rangers. He may have a hard time having a strong Friday. In 15 at-bats against the always up and down Clay Buchholz he had just three hits. Shin-Soo Choo has one hit in 10 at-bats. Adrian Beltre has one hit in eight at-bats. None of this is definitive (duh), but there it is. The J.P. Arencibia matchup information is definitive... he's 0-for-20 in the matchup.
Alfonso Soriano and Brian McCann aren't looking forward to Yovani Gallardo being on the bump. They duo has one homer combined, Soriano, but they've also struck out 14 times in 40 at-bats. That leaves the duo with a pathetic batting average of .150. Yikes.
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Madison Bumgarner has a tough matchup on paper vs. the Dodgers in Los Angeles. As I noted above, he's dominated a whole host of Dodgers through the years. That includes a 10 K, one run game back on April 5th. The Dodgers did get to him for two runs forcing him out of his last start after 4.2 innings, but he looked really sharp in his last outing against the Braves.
At this point do I need to tell you to start Johnny Cueto? He's made 7-straight starts of at least seven innings and two or fewer runs allowed. He's also struck out 10 or more in three of his last four outings. Even the Rockies are likely to have trouble facing him.
Jose Fernandez starts every time. Duh. He pitches in San Diego against the Padres. Double-duh he starts.
Jason Hammel has made six starts. All have been “quality” starts. He's also kept the ball in the yard in his last two outings and in three start this year away from Wrigley he's 2-1 with a 1.74 ERA and 0.77 WHIP. He will faces the Braves in Atlanta.
Roberto Hernandez faces the lackluster Mets Friday. He's also coming off a 7.1 inning shutout against the Nationals in his last start. He nothing to get excited about but when the opponent is the Mets and the game is in New York you will want to check to see who is pitching for the visiting team (the Mets have a team OPS of .578 at home, the worst mark in the game).
Let's go with Garrett Richards. Not only has he allowed only six runs his last three outings, but he has 16 punchouts in his last two. He's also allowed only one homer all season and has a 1.44 ERA and 0.88 WHIP in four road starts. He pitches in Toronto, so he better keep the ball down.
MOUND MESSES – Starting Pitchers to Avoid
Scott Feldman hit the DL with a 1.69 ERA. He should remain on your bench in his first game back in action. Feldman faces the Orioles, a team that is batting .275 against righties this season, and face facts – he's simply not the pitcher it appeared he was early in the season.
Yovani Gallardo has to face Masahiro Tanaka, and that's a rough draw. Gallardo has also reverted to mediocrity the last two starts as he's allowed 16 hits and seven runs (a 5.25 ERA and 1.50 WHIP). He's also struck out only three batters in those two outings. This used to be a K per inning arm folks. This year that number is down to 5.36 per nine, and that's extremely scary.
Francisco Liriano has made seven starts without a win and he's currently saddled with a 4.54 ERA and 1.41 WHIP, and those numbers have been slightly worse at home (4.76 and 1.50 in four starts) where he takes on the Cardinals.
Brandon McCarthy faces his former team, the White Sox, in Chicago. He's struck out 18 batters while waking two in his last two start, and over his last three he's allowed a total of three earned runs (though seven overall). The Sox have driven in the third most runs against righties this year in baseball and their .753 OPS is 5th in baseball. Not an ideal match for Brandon.
Tommy Milone normally pitches well at home (three runs allowed in his only home start this year.), but his year he's just not been good. At all. All one needs to do is to take a look at his 16 K, 12 BB effort through 27.2 innings that has led to a 5.86 ERA and 1.55 WHIP. Given the overall lethargic effort it's best to leave him out of the lineup against the Nationals.
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.