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Daily Trends: Weekend Edition, Wk.7

Weekend 7 of the baseball season is upon us. What are the matchups to exploit and avoid on Saturday and Sunday?

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Matchups are difficult to get a handle on in the best of circumstances, but that's why they pay me the big bucks, to help you make those decisions. This piece will review the Saturday and Sunday BVP matchups as you look ahead to 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
Marlon Byrd has two homers, seven RBIs an a .375 batting average versus Homer Bailey.

Shin-Soo Choo lights up Mark Buehrle. Check it: .424/.476/.606 in 35 plate appearances.  Adrian Beltre might join the party as he's hit .364 with a bomb in 33 at-bats (Choo has a big fly too).

Andre Either is batting .278 versus right handed pitching, and he's hitting .317 in May. He takes on Josh Collmenter and he's 5-for-11 against him in his career.  

Ian Kinsler and John Lackey have faced off 35 times. Advantage Kinsler. Dude has blasted four homers on his way to a .429 average and 1.345 OPS. Yes, he's a good play Saturday. Rajai Davis also has feasted to the tune of a .393 average in 28 at-bats. He's also swiped four bags. Victor Martinez is hitting everyone this year, and he's always hit Lackey. He's batting .407 in 27 at-bats.

Jonathan Lucroy isn't impressed by Edwin Jackson (who is really?). Lucroy has two bombs, six RBIs, and has hit .346 over 26 at-bats. Ryan Braun is hitting .320 in the matchup but he's failed to go deep in 25 at-bats. Could that big fly be coming? Rickie Weeks has only hit .238 over 21 at-bats in the matchup, but he's for 10 hits in his last 16 at-bats overall as he's gaining on Scooter Gennett.

Dustin Pedroia has only two hits in 10 at-bats versus Rick Porcello, but as his heat map shows he's been handling low pitches pretty well this season. He's also got seven hits and four walks over his five games.

Jhonny Peralta, and every time I type that I hate his parents for spelling it like that, has two bombs an a .357 batting average against Aaron Harang in his career. He's also hitting .372 in May. Peter Bourjos has been playing pretty much every day of late and he has six hits, including a homer, in 13 at-bats versus Aaron.

Cody Ross has looked awful since he returned but perhaps he will find success in an unlikely place – against Clayton Kershaw. Ross has hit .348 over 23 at-bats which is only slightly better than the .333 average that Gerardo Parra has in his 21 at-bats.

DISH DISASTERS – Worst Hitting Matchups of the Day

Domonic Brown is awful. Think I've been saying that for six months. Folks might finally be getting it. He's 1-for-11 against Homer Bailey. Jimmy Rollins is no great shakes either with three hits in 16 at-bats.

Ike Davis has whiffed in six of his 11 at-bats against Hiroki Kuroda (he has two hits).

Paul Goldschmidt has one homer against Clayton Kershaw. He's also struck out nine times in 23 at-bats and is batting .174. There's another trio of D'Backs you will want to avoid: Miguel Montero (.207 with 11 Ks in 29 ABs), Martin Prado (.115 in 26 ABs) and A.J. Pollock (.176 in 17 ABs).

Carlos Gomez should return to action Saturday. Don't activate him. He's got one hit and five strikeouts in 15 at-bats against Edwin Jackson.

Curtis Granderson used to be a star. No longer can you make that statement with a straight face. Struggles likely lie ahead Saturday as well as he's hitting .105 with seven Ks against Gio Gonzalez. Hopefully no one is planning on playing Bobby Abreu (1-for-16 with 8 Ks). Eric Young (8 ABs) and Wilmer Flores (6 ABs) have nary a hit as well.

Matt Holliday has three measly hits and strikes out once every three at-bats against Aaron Harang (26 at-bats). Yadier Molina also has had no success against Harang with a .220 average in 41 at-bats.

Desmond Jennings disappears against C.J. Wilson. He's got two hits and five strikeouts in 18 at-bats. David DeJesus is slightly better. He has two hits in 17 at-bats.

Garrett Jones usually hits righties. He doesn't hit Tim Lincecum well (.235 with eight Ks in 17 at-bats). He does have two homers if you want to roll the dice.

Brandon Phillips has faced Cole Hamels 29 times and he's never been able to figure him out. Phillips has eight strikeouts and is batting an anemic .143 against the lanky lefty.  

A.J. Pierzynski has just a .227 average in 22 at-bats versus Rick Porcello.

Alex Rios doesn't get it done against soft tosser Mark Buehrle. That's what you say when a guy has a .160/.222/.280 slash line. Elvis Andrus also limps along with a .125 average and no steals in 18 plate appearances.

Nick Swisher doesn't figure to meet success Saturday. Scott Kazmir has held him to a .143 average and .439 OPS over 38 plate appearances. Seriously, how can the Indians think of playing Swisher given those numbers? Asdrubal Cabrera has also been awful. Try an 0-for-12 spot on, just slightly worse than David Murphy (2-for-14) and Ryan Raburn (.176 with 7 Ks in 17 ABs).


MOUND MAVENS – Starting Pitchers to Target

Homer Bailey, don't look now, looks like his old self all of a sudden. He's allowed only two homers in his last five outings and he's tossed 3-straight quality starts. He's also looked sharp against the Phillies in his career with a 3.61 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 4.33 K/BB ratio over eight starts.

Cole Hamels got back on track with seven innings of one run ball with 10 Ks in his last outing. He takes on the Reds, a club that he has traditionally made look extremely inept: 7-0, 1.70 ERA, 0.93 WHIP. Thumbs up for the lefty and his hot wife. They are a nauseatingly attractive couple.

Scott Kazmir continues to roll, and I'm continually shocked. But there it is and we're to the point that it's getting hard to ignore. He's destroyed current Indians batters holding them to one home in 127 at-bats. Not just that, but check out the slash line. It's amazing but true: .134/.203/.189. Kazmir = must start Saturday.

Tim Lincecum... yes, I'm doing it again. He's coming off an 11 K outing, has 46 Ks in 43.1 innings, and better than a 3:1 K/BB ratio on the year. He's also allowed two or fewer earned runs in three of his last four starts and face the Marlins, a team that is batting .222 with a .654 OPS on the road.

C.J. Wilson has a 3.41 ERA and 1.29 WHIP over 63.1 innings against the Rays. He's sporting a 1.12 WHIP in four home starts with 30 Ks in 28.2 innings. He's also pitched better this season than you might think. Give Perception Isn't Always Reality a read if you have five minutes to spare.

MOUND MESSES – Starting Pitchers to Avoid

Roenis Elias takes on the Twins in Minnesota. Not a bad place to pitch, but the hype with Elias seems a bit much. His 3.50 ERA is solid, but his 1.38 WHIP is worse than the league average and his barely 2:1 K/BB ratio ain't great. The Twins only hit .237 against lefties this season, but I'm playing a hunch here.

Tom Koehler. Yes he has a pretty 2.57 ERA, but danger abounds. His K-rate per nine is just 5.51, and his K/BB ratio of 1.36 is hideous. He also lasted just 3.2 innings in his last outing as he walked five guys and he has a 5.14 ERA and 1.62 WHIP in four starts on the road this season. That doesn't sound
like he's a good start in San Francisco if you ask me.

Just playing the law of averages here... sit Jordan Lyles. I know he has a 2.66 ERA and 5-0 record, and that he faces the Padres. I also know he has a 1.25 ERA in three home starts. But sooner or later his lack of elite skills, and his home ballpark, are going to come into play. Saturday is as good a day as any for that to start.

Rick Porcello has allowed five runs over his last three starts and he's won 5-straight outings for the Tigers. So why is he on this avoid list? He was pulled from his last start with some soreness in his side. He should be fine, at least that's what they are saying. Do you buy it? There's also the pesky fact that the Red Sox have obliterated him whenever he's taken the bump. In five career meetings Porcello has a 10.42 ERA and 2.05 WHIP while surrendering a .370 batting average. Those are shockingly horrific numbers.

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Bookmark the following three sources to check daily after you read this piece.

Fantasy Alarm Lineups

Batter Versus Pitcher

Daily Projections – For every single day of the season.


DISH DIAMONDS – The Best Hitting Matchups of the Day
Starlin Castro is batting .381 with two steals against Marco Estrada (21 ABs).

Eric Hosmer has two big flies and six RBIs against Ubaldo Jimenez. He's also walked six times leading to a .517 OBP. Oh yeah, the batting average is .391 as well (23 ABs). Lorenzo Cain has also enjoyed success batting .417 with two homers and four RBIs over 12 at-bats. By the way, Cain is batting .319 on the year.  

John Jaso has been everything the Athletics could have hoped for with a .307 average and .398 OBP. He's also batting .313 with two homers and five RBIs against Justin Masterson in 16 at-bats.

I normally don't have anything nice to say about Chris Johnson but he's at .357-1-6 in 14 at-bats against Jaime Garcia.

Ryan Howard has hit .400 in 15 at-bats against Mike Leake. Two of those hits have been homers and he's driven in four runs.

Nick Markakis is solid against James Shields hitting .294 with a .385 OBP over 78 plate appearances. He's got two homers. Adam Jones has also hit well with a .310 average even if he's only produced one homers in 42 at-bats.

Joe Mauer isn't intimidated by Felix Hernandez. Thirty-three career at-bats have led to a .424 batting average, two homers and seven RBIs. Kurt Suzuki has also, oddly, had success in the matchup hitting .314 with a homer and six RBIs in 35 at-bats.

Daniel Murphy has hit .316 over 38 at-bats versus Jordan Zimmerman. Surprisingly, he's also lifted three balls into the seats and has four doubles leading to a .658 SLG.

Brandon Phillips has jacked up his game in May as he's hitting a blistering .382 with a 1.068 OPS. He faces the always tough Cliff Lee but Phillips has hit .323 with a homer and five doubles over 31 at-bats in the matchup.

Denard Span is a solid big leaguer, though he's very boring in the fantasy game. He's got six hits in 12 at-bats against Zack Wheeler and that should drum up some interest in Span.

DISH DISASTERS – Worst Hitting Matchups of the Day

Athletics to avoid versus Justin Masterson: Josh Reddick (.190 in 21 ABs), Alberto Callaspo (.174 in 23 ABs), Jed Lowrie (.143 in 14 ABs) and Josh Donaldson (.083 in 12 ABs).

Marlon Byrd has three hits in 15 at-bats against Mike Leake. Ditto for Jimmy Rollins. That's 30 at-bats with no steals and no RBIs for the duo.

You still have to play Miguel Cabrera, especially given his month of May (.327 with 20 RBIs in 13 games), but his line against Jake Peavy is very interesting. Miggy has three homers and nine RBIs against Peavy in 45 at-bats but he's hitting, for him, a sub par .289 and has 14 Ks. That's nearly one every three at-bats.

Lucas Duda is limping along this season, and that limp becomes a full on issue requiring a cane against Jordan Zimmerman (.157 with 5 Ks in 18 ABs). David Wright is also a concern, not just for the .265 batting average in 34 at-bats but for the 10 punchouts.

Howie Kendrick pretty much hits everyone, that is except for David Price. In 23 at-bats he's not only struck out nine times but he's also hit a mere .217.

Jason Kubel has no shot against Felix Hernandez. He's hitting .136 in 22 at-bats. He's also hitting a mere .214 in June.

Jonathan Lucroy should hit Travis Wood. He really doesn’t. In 14 at-bats he has only two singles and one RBI.

Anthony Rizzo is pretty darn good. We can all agree on that. However, he is as lost as lost can be against Marco Estrada with one hit in 18 at-bats. Nate Schierholtz has one hit in 11 at-bats.

Royals to avoid versus the suddenly hot Ubaldo Jimenez: Alex Gordon (.231 in 26 ABs), Alcides Escobar (.160 in 25 ABs), Mike Moustakas (.154 in 26 ABs) – you want to avoid him versus everyone by the way, and Salvador Perez (.125 in 16 ABs).

MOUND MAVENS – Starting Pitchers to Target

Marco Estrada owns a 3.28 ERA and 1.09 WHIP this season. He faces a Cubs team that he's posted a 1.02 WHIP and 56 Ks against over 51 innings and that includes an outing back on April 26th in which he allowed three runs over 7.2 innings on his way to a win (he had nine Ks and no walks).

Ubaldo Jimenez is so hard to trust, I get it. At the same time over his last three starts he's allowed one runs while striking out 30 over 19.2 innings. We all know what he can do when he's on one of his runs. He's also posted a 3.18 ERA in four road starts this season. He's in Kansas City Sunday.

Mike Leake has a hard to believe 3.09 ERA and 0.99 WHIP. In three starts in May he's allowed just five runs in 23 innings (1.96 ERA) and he's gone at least seven innings in 5-straight starts. Start him against the Phillies.

Justin Masterson has been spotty this season, no way around that. However, he's dominated quite a few Athletics over the years holding the current roster to a .225 batting average and .287 OBP. He also tossed seven scoreless frames against them back in his first start of the season.

David Price has a 4.02 ERA. I could care less. What I see is that he's got 70 Ks in 62.2 innings and that he's walked six guys over nine starts. The homers allowed have to slow, and when they do more success will follow. In four road starts he has a 2.97 ERA and 0.96 WHIP. He pitches in Anaheim.

MOUND MESSES – Starting Pitchers to Avoid

R.A. Dickey pitches in Arlington. He's got a 4.53 ERA and 1.43 WHIP, way worse than the big league average on both counts. He's tossed five quality starts in a row but even then his ERA is only 3.22 so it's not like he's rocking and rolling at an elite level. He's also made three starts on the road with disastrous results: 8.22 ERA, 2.09 WHIP, 15 BBs and 11 Ks.

Jaime Garcia... just cause. He pitches against the Braves in St. Louis.

Juan Nicasio... just cause. He pitches against the Padres in Colorado.

Ricky Nolasco has tossed 3-straight quality starts. His ERA in that time is 3.86. That's league average stuff folks. He's also allowed a homer in 5-straight starts. He pitches at home against the Mariners. His ace in the hole is that the Mariners aren't a very good offense.

Jake Peavy takes on the Tigers. Jake Peavy has allowed a homer in every one of his eight starts this year. Jake Peavy has only nine Ks in his last three starts (16.2 innings). Jake Peavy has a 1.47 WHIP at home this season. Jake Peavy has an awful 5.06 BB/9 mark this season. Pass.

Jacob Turner sure has the pedigree, but the performance is just awful. He's working on a 6.75 ERA through four starts and he has 10 Ks in 21.1 innings. He faces the Giants in San Francisco.

Zack Wheeler has terrible ratios (4.53 ERA, 1.60 WHIP). He's failed to complete five innings in two of his last three starts. He's walked 11 batters in his last two outings. He faces a Nationals team that saddled him with a loss in his first outing of the year (6 IP, 3 ER, nine base runners).

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.


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    Darren 18 May 14:15 / Reply

    Hello Ray, I was wondering what you thought of this trade proposal: My S. Perez, Weaver and Ventura for his C. Santana and Kershaw. thanks

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