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.
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.
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).
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.
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.