You gotta get over that hump folks. Two work days down, two to go (at least I guess that's the way it is for most. I'm not really complaining about my job, how could I, but I've worked at least six days a week for 15 years, and nearly every week it's seven days a week. Must be nice doing the M-F, 9-5 thing. I never wanted to work for the man though so I've never done the traditional thing.). So as we crest the summit of the week let's take a look at some matchups that favor both the hitter and pitcher.
DISH DIAMONDS – The Best Hitting Matchups of the Day
Chase Headley takes on the incredibly hot Johnny Cueto but his career track record speaks to ample success as he's produced seven hits in 15 at-bats against the Cincinnati' righty. Will Venable has also done well with a .556 average, two homers and five RBIs in nine at-bats.
Joe Mauer has a .313 average and .395 OBP against Jake Peavy in 40 plate appearances. I almost don't want to list him as a good match up though. Why? Do you know what his career numbers are? Try .322 and .405.
Giancarlo Stanton has five hits in nine at-bats against Paul Maholm. Two of the hits are homers. Reed Johnson has no homers but eight hits in 18 at-bats (.444). Jeff Baker is 9-for-23 (.391). Casey McGehee has eight hits in 25 at-bats (.320) and he also has a homer and five RBIs.
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DISH DISASTERS – Worst Hitting Matchups of the Day
Erick Aybar can't hit A.J. Burnett (1-for-12). Howie Kendrick can't hit A.J. Burnett (.235 in 17 ABs). Albert Pujols has two homers against A.J. Burnett, but he's also hitting just .222 with a .263 OBP over 19 plate appearances.
Adrian Beltre faces the somewhat impressive Scott Feldman (as good as Feldman has been I just can't give him full marks – his stuff just doesn't dictate this type of effort). Beltre has all of four hits in 21 at-bats (.190) though he does have four RBIs. That effort blows away Prince Fielder who is 1-for-8 and poor Shin-Soo Choo who has one hit in 14 at-bats. How is that possible?
Ryan Ludwick has two hits in 13 at-bats against Ian Kennedy but he's also whiffed in more than half the at-bats – seven to be exact. Brandon Phillips doesn't figure to have much success either as he's produced only one hit in 13 at-bats in the matchup.
Nick Markakis has a respectable .267 average against Justin Verlander, but he's also got no homers and 10 Ks in 45 at-bats. Chris Davis is worse though. In 21 at-bats he's struck out 10 times and hit .190. Never fear, the worstest of the worst is – there's our man again – Adam Jones who has nine Ks an a .133 batting average in 30 at-bats.
Dan Uggla has eight Ks and one hit in 20 at-bats versus Madison Bumgarner. Other Braves who struggle, even if not to that extent, against the lefty: Freddie Freeman (.211 in 19 ABs), Chris Johnson (.250 with 8 Ks in 16 Abs) and Jason Heyward (.200 in 15 ABs).
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MOUND MAVENS – Starting Pitchers to Target
Madison Bumgarner versus the Braves has a nice ring to it. In 123 at-bats he's held the entire team to a .228 batting average and .646 OPS while striking out nearly a third of the batters (40). He's also lowered his season long ERA to 2.83 and he has 54 Ks in 47.2 innings.
Johnny Cueto has made eight starts, and all eight outings have been at least seven innings and two or fewer runs allowed. The Padres are his next victim.
Tommy Milone faces the White Sox at home Wednesday. Tommy has a 1.93 ERA and 1.00 WHIP in two starts at home this year and for his career he has a 3.12 ERA and 1.14 WHIP in 31 outings at home.
Garrett Richards goes to Philly and his ground ball tendencies should mitigate the home run in Philadelphia (he's allowed one homer in seven outings). He's also walked two batters in each of his last three outings and has allowed a total of eight earned runs over his last four starts.
Julio Teheran has no strikeouts this year and his velocity is down, but he's ratios are stupendous (1.71 ERA, 0.81 WHIP). He's also had lots of success in three starts against the Giants with a 2.70 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 18 Ks and only one walk across three starts (he did lost to the Giants on May 3rd when he allowed three runs in seven innings).
Justin Verlander has gone seven innings in 4-straight starts. He's also allowed three of fewer runs in every one of his eight starts this season and he allowed just two runs over eight innings against the Orioles back on April 6th. He barely has a 2:1 K/BB ratio though, and that's surprising.
MOUND MESSES – Starting Pitchers to Avoid
Jhoulys Chacin is terrible. Sorry, but the truth hurts. He's stuck out six while waking six in two outings. Oh heck, he's also allowed six runs. He faces the Royals in Kansas City.
Don't want to make any snap judgments, but Doug Fister looked terrible in his first start allowing five earned runs (seven total) as he left the ball up and got hammered (three homers). He faces the D'backs in Arizona and likely should be on your bench until he shows something to suggest that he shouldn't be.
Jake Odorizzi had 11 Ks last time out, but he also has a 5.79 ERA and 1.74 WHIP on the season, and only once has he recorded more than 15 outings in a game (that was back in his first start). The Mariners aren't a scary offense but Jake's production is scary. Late word suggests that Enny Romero could be called up to make the start. If he does, sit him against the Mariners as well.
Jason Vargas faces a Rockies club that is murdering lefties as if they were the 1927 Yankees (Murderer's Row, get it?). The Rockies are, get this, batting .313 with a .360 OBP and .508 SLG versus lefties this year. There isn't a better team in baseball against southpaws.
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.