From The Fantasy Oracle 2016 MLB Draft Guide Is Here! 

Daily Trends: Weekend Edition, Wk.8

Week 8 of the major league season heads to the weekend, and Ray Flowers breaks down all the matchups for Saturday and Sunday.

Slide 1 of 2 Daily Trends: Weekend Edition 8 | Slide - 1

Who has the best and worst matchups for the weekend? Ray Flowers gives it a pass through noting which matchups are advantageous and which ones will end up like the fat kid at a school dance – disappointing, lonely and painful.

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.   

Hot hitters the last two weeks.

Seth Smith - .447-4-11-8-1
Lonnie Chisenhall - .444-2-5-5
A.J. Pollock - .409-2-6-6-5
Eduardo Escobar - .382-0-4-1
Brandon Moss - .362-5-15-11
Garrett Jones - .357-1-8-10
Junior Lake - .357-2-9-5-1
Jason Heyward - .333-1-3-6-3
Yan Gomes - .333-2-6-10
J.J. Hardy - .333-0-3-7

Cold hitters the last two weeks.

Jacoby Ellsbury is hitting .116 with no homers or RBIs.
Jonathan Villar is batting .150 with a .171 OBP.
Anthony Rendon has two RBIs while batting .152.
Dee Gordon is batting .174 with two RBIs. At least he has four steals.
Austin Jackson is batting .178 with a .502 OPS.
Mike Napoli is batting .194 with no homers and two RBIs.
Matt Carpenter is batting .212 with no homers and three runs scored.
Anthony Rizzo is batting .220 with one homer.
Nolan Arenado is batting .233 with two RBIs.
Albert Pujols is batting .222 with a .250 OBP.


DISH DIAMONDS – The Best Hitting Matchups of the Day

Marlon Byrd has made a career out of tormenting Dan Haren. Byrd is batting .500 with two homers, four doubles, and five RBIs over 24 at-bats. That's some kind of hitting.

Ike Davis has two homers, is batting .308, and has a .400 OBP in 13 at-bats versus Stephen Strasburg. Over his last 20 games overall Davis is batting .328 with a .423 OBP.

Freddie Freeman has only eight at-bats against Juan Nicasio but he's made the righty look pathetic with a .625 average and seven RBIs. Did I mention that he also has a double, triple and three homers in those eight at-bats? That's a remarkable level of success. Jason Heyward, mentioned above, is boring in comparison “just” going 5-for-9 in the matchup.

Chase Headley is batting .400 with two homers and four RBIs in 15 at-bats against the up and down Travis Wood.

Howie Kendrick is even more impressive against James Shields than Byrd is against Haren. I know, that's saying something. Kendrick has hit .565 in 23 at-bats with four doubles, a triple an a homer. He's also drive in nine runs.

James Loney isn't a power hitter but he's taken Jake Peavy deep twice in 33 at-bats, has five doubles, and is batting .303 with a .979 OPS. Lot to like there.

Is this the gateway to hell?

Pablo Sandoval has nine hits in 18 at-bats against Ricky Nolasco. Murders him. Four of those hits were doubles, three have been homers, and he's posted the following slash line: .500/.550/1.222. Yeah, I think you want the Panda in your lineup Saturday. Hunter Pence has also had success hitting .313 with four homers and 11 RBIs in 32 at-bats. Here's the rest of the Giants who mash Nolasco: Gregor Blanco (.421 in 19 ABs), Buster Posey (.400 in 20 ABs) and Angel Pagan (.308 in 26 ABs).

Drew Stubbs and Michael Cuddyer have only eight at-bats against Mike Minor but they have hit three homers with six RBIs. Hey, I thought it was interesting.

Mark Teixeira crushes John Danks to the tune of a 1.532 OPS over 13 plate appearances. He's batting .583 with a homer and five RBIs. He's also stolen a base for the cherry on top. Jacoby Ellsbury, noted for his dramatic struggles of late, has also hit Danks well with six hits in 11 at-bats. He doesn't have a steal. Derek Jeter has hit .353 off Danks (17 ABs) while Brian Roberts is at .333 with a homer and five RBIs in 27 at-bats.

DISH DISASTERS – Worst Hitting Matchups of the Day

Zack Cozart is batting .190 against Jaime Garcia and that's light years better than teammates Ryan Ludwick (2-for-13) and Todd Frazier (1-for-11).

Coco Crisp can't get healthy, and he can't hit the knuckler either from the looks of it. I deduce that from his total of two hits and four Ks in 18 at-bats against R.A. Dickey.

David DeJesus has struck out in a third of his 24 at-bats against Jake Peavy, and though he's driven in five runs he's batting .167 with a .259 OBP. Yunel Escobar has one hit in 12 at-bats while Evan Longoria is batting .222 with nary a walks in 18 at-bats.  

Ryan Howard has two homers and five RBIs against Dan Haren, but he's also hit .214 while striking out eight times in 14 at-bats.  

Andrew McCutchen is a superstar, one who struggles when he faces another superstar (Stephen Strasburg). In 10 at-bats McCutchen has one hit and has struck out four times.

David Ortiz seems to hit everyone, but he doesn't have much success against the lefty from Florida – David Price. In 37 at-bats Big Papi hasn't gone deep, is batting .259, and has a mere .286 OBP. Ortiz isn't the only Sox batter who struggles as Mike Napoli has one one homer in 27 at-bats while, get this, striking out a shocking total of 15 times. Even Dustin Pedroia struggles with a .267 batting average in 45 at-bats.  

Alex Rios doesn't hit Rick Porcello. Well he does infrequently, he has three homers and seven RBIs, but he's also batting .211 with a .211 OBP over 38 at-bats. Elvis Andrus is worse with one hit in 12 at-bats.

MOUND MAVENS – Starting Pitchers to Target

Dan Haren has had quite the bounce back season. His ERA is 3.18, he's gone 5-2 and his K/BB ratio is better than 4:1. He has working on a run of five quality starts in six outings, though it should be noted that he's allowed at least three earned runs in each of his last four starts so he's not exactly on fire. Back on April 24th he held the Phillies to three runs (one earned) over six innings.

Mike Minor is at home against the Rockies. I'd be focusing more on the fact that he's looked locked in his last two starts, both 6.2 inning victories, during which time he's allowed two run while striking out 11 than on the opponent.

David Price is all about the Ks an avoiding walks at the moment even though I keep getting questions about what is wrong with him? My response is usually something akin to – nothing. Price has held the current Red Sox roster to a .223 batter average, .281 OBP and .348 SLG. Given that he's also got 77 Ks and just six walks in 10 starts this year, I'm buying Saturday. At some point as well he's got to stop giving up homers (11 so far).

Ryan Vogelsong has been nails in May for the Giants. In four starts he's the proud owner of a 2.05 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and has 22 Ks in 26.1 innings. He's also starting at home where in five starts this year he has a 2.61 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and a 3.86 K/BB ratio. He takes on the Twins in the Saturday evening contest.

MOUND MESSES – Starting Pitchers to Avoid

Tony Cingrani has allowed seven runs and four homers, four, over his last two starts (just 10 innings). He's also walked five guys in that time, and over his last three starts he's allowed 19 hits in 16 innings. He still misses up in the zone at times, and he's yet to be able to harness his stuff consistently. Given that he's made only one ineffective start since returning from the DL it's probably wise to pass on him in his start against the Cards.

Gerrit Cole takes on the Nationals in Pittsburgh, a spot where he's posted a 3.21 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in four outings this year. Still, he's failed to complete six innings in two of his last four starts, has allowed three homers in his last four outings, and for the month of May his ratios certainly don't impress (4.74 ERA, 1.42 WHIP). He's also got a terrible line this season in night games (4.40 ERA, 1.53 WHIP over five starts.).

You saw what the Giants do to Ricky Nolasco above, didn't you? Nolasco has been battered, battered, by the Giants allowing the following slash line in nearly 190 plate appearances: .320/.372/.523.

I'm sorry, but this just isn't right. Ouch.

Wily Peralta has a 2.18 ERA on the year ans has been great given his draft day cost. He's also lost his last two decisions, and over his last three starts (18 innings) he's allowed 25 hits, two homers and only struck out 12. Given that the game takes place in Miami where the Marlins have the second best team OPS at home in baseball, Peralta is a dicey start.

Travis Wood has won his last two outings, but he's also allowed 14 runs over his last 17 innings during which times he's walked 11 batters. Petco is a great place to pitch, but Wood has just been too inconsistent to trust. Oh, he also has an 8.02 ERA and 1.97 WHIP in four away starts this season.

Slide 2 of 2 Daily Trends: Weekend Edition 8 | Slide - 2

Don't forget to 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
Jay Bruce hits Adam Wainwright, hard. In 30 career at-bats he's batting .367 with a .441 OBP. Add in two homers and eight RBIs and you have a flat out massacre going for Bruce, something that never happens against Waino. Brandon Phillips has also enjoyed success hitting .304 over 46 at-bats though he has only two extra base hits. Todd Frazier is batting .333 with a homer in 18 at-bats.

Carl Crawford has hit .288 in 66 at-bats against A.J. Burnett. Here's the amazing thing. In 70 plate appearances during which time he's reach based 23 times, Carl Crawford has stolen 15 bases. That's simply astounding. Clearly CC has a tell that he's picked up with Burnett and he exploits it in a way rarely seen in the big leagues. Oh yeah, he's only been caught once while running.

Marwin Gonzalez and Jose Altuve each have five hits against Hisashi Iwakuma. Altuve is batting .385, Gonzalez .714.

Matt Holliday rips up Mike Leake. In 26 at-bats the venerable veteran has hit .423 with a homer and six RBIs.

Nick Hundley will likely play Sunday. That is if the Padres brain-trust has a brain. He's faced Jason Hammel 14 times and produced seven hits, including a homer.

Austin Jackson has been slumping. Maybe seeing Colby Lewis on the bump will help since Austin has hit .389 with a homer in the matchup (18 ABs).

Daniel Murphy is a professional hitter. He hits like a softball player against Bronson Arroyo, and that's a good thing. Murphy has eight hits in 16 at-bats.

Alex Rios welcomes Justin Verlander with open arms. In 40 at-bats Rios has hit an impressive .350 with a .409 OBP. He's also stolen two bags.

Jimmy Rollins has hit only .250 in 52 at-bats against Josh Beckett, but he's still been productive. The Phillies' shortstop has hit two long balls and five doubles while driving in eight runners while stealing two bags. Ryan Howard also has success hitting .313 with a homer and six RBIs in 16 at-bats.

Nate Schierholtz has impressed no one this year but you can bet that Ian Kennedy isn't overlooking him, not when Nate has hit .316 with two homers and seven RBIs in just 19 at-bats.  

Justin Smoak has hit .455 with two homers and five RBIs in 11 at-bats against Scott Feldman. Feldman has allowed three homers in his last three starts an over his last nine innings he's been beaten down for 19 hits and 12 runs (only seven were earned).

DISH DISASTERS – Worst Hitting Matchups of the Day

Matt Carpenter has two hits in 13 at-bats (.154) against Mike Leake.

Chris Carter is batting .200 with six Ks in 15 at-bats against Hisashi Iwakuma, ruining his homer. Jason Castro also hasn't had any success against the righty with two hits in 14 at-bats.

Shin-Soo Choo is hitting only .240 with a .321 OBP against Justin Verlander over 56 plate appearances. He's also struck out a staggering 21 times.

If only this were true...

Wow is Will Venable terrible against Jason Hammel. Feel pretty safe typing that given that he has one hit in 15 at-bats.

David Wright has only one homer while batting .268 with a .295 OBP in 43 plate appearances against Bronson Arroyo. Not like you would be playing him anyway, but Chris Young is batting .190 with six Ks in 21 at-bats in the matchup.

MOUND MAVENS – Starting Pitchers to Target

Bronson Arroyo allowed two homers and five runs in his last start. He also allowed a whopping nine runs while recording 10 outs against the Mets back on April 15th. However, over his last five starts he's 3-1 with a 1.96 ERA, 0.98 WHIP an a 5.00 K/BB ratio.

Doug Fister has only walked one guy in three starts. He's allowed just three runs over his last two outings, both seven inning affairs. He pitches on the road against the Pirates who have actually hit pretty well at home (their OPS of .729 is 15th in the league).

Hisashi Iwakuma has allowed two runs over his last three outings as he's struck out 15 and walked one. He's also recorded 24 outs in each outing.  He faces the Astros in Seattle. Not much else needs to be said, does it?

Dallas Keuchel, who I wrote about this week in-depth in his Player Profile, goes to Seattle to take on the Mariners. He has a 2.15 ERA and 0.89 WHIP on the road in four starts, and he's allowed four runs, one walk, and has struck out 22 batters over his last three starts, all of which ended up in a victory for the locked in lefty.

Mike Leake has made nine starts this season and he's toting along a 2.91 ERA and 1.02 WHIP. He's also gone 4-straight without allowing a homer, and over his last four starts he's permitted a total of six runners to cross the plate. His history against the Cardinals is terrible (3-4, 5.06 ERA, 1.41 WHIP) but he did toss eight shutout innings against them back on April 9th.

Jake Odorizzi faces the Red Sox at home. Odorizzi has allowed only three runs in his last three starts while racking up a completely out of nowhere 26 strikeouts in 15.2 innings. Hard to turn a blind eye to production like that, even though it still deserves to be pointed out that since his first start of the season he's completed six innings just one time in eight starts.

If you want to have fond, sexy memories of your ex, don't move to Germany.

Drew Pomeranz has won each of his last three starts. Drew has allowed a total of eight hits and four walks over those 15 innings as he's struck out 16 batters. Oh yeah, you might want to know that he hasn't allowed a run. The Blue Jays hit lefties very well with the 7th best OPS against them while they lead baseball in homers against southpaws, but it's too tempting to start Pomeranz to pay attention to those facts.

MOUND MESSES – Starting Pitchers to Avoid

Madison Bumgarner ha allowed seven runs over his last 11 innings. He pitches at home where he has a 6.20 Era and 1.92 WHIP in four starts. He also faces the Twins who saddled him with one of the biggest beatings in the history of baseball in their one matchup – he allowed eight runs and got one out.

Garrett Richards is coming off his worst start of the season as he allowed 10 hits, only struck out one, and permitted five runs over seven innings. He's also pitching at home where he's struggled in three outings (5.85 ERA, 1.65 WHIP). He faces the Royals who have the 8th best batting average in baseball on the road.

Ian Kennedy pitches in San Diego against the Cubbies Sunday. Seems like a good matchup until you dig a little. In eight career outings against the Cubs he's got a 6.33 ERA and 1.34 WHIP. Even though this start is at home, Kennedy hasn't pitched well at Petco this season: 0-5, 4.42 ERA, 1.28 WHIP. He's also allowed 17 hits and nine runs over his last two starts.

Julio Teheran has a 1.92 ERA and 0.95 WHIP, but as I pointed out earlier this week in Take a Shot or Pass?, he really doesn't deserve those numbers. There's also the fact that he's allowed five homers in his last four starts and seven walks in his last two outings. Oh, he's also picked up just one victory in his last six outings. He faces the Rockies in Atlanta.

Justin Verlander is no longer the pitcher he once was. His K/9 rate has plummeted (6.68) while his walk  rate has exploded (3.68 per nine). He's getting by on guile as much as anything these days. He's also not likely to continue to work with a HR/9 mark that is literally a third of his career average, and have you checked out that WHIP lately? It's 1.42 this year. Bench him versus the Rangers.

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.



  • 64x64

    Ray Flowers 24 May 23:26 / Reply

    Bryan Shisler - Taveras could be up this week cause of DH. Coule be 3 wks. Could be longer. Just not sure. Elite talent, upper echelon performance possible. At same time, you never know how a rookie will perform. See Willie Mays. Bauer - needs more than 10 solid starts to erase 3 yrs of sturggles. Elite arm. We'll see about the consistency. Salazar has an amazing arm, but right now he's struggling trying to learn how to pitch. He's the hardest guy to hope for success in 2014.

  • 64x64

    Bryan Shisler 24 May 09:50 / Reply

    Players and situations like to read your thoughts on: - is Kemp on DM's $@%# list for playing time? - is it time to pick up O Taveras and what might we expect? - is Bauer the real deal and ready to do what Salazar couldn't for the Tribe (like go more than 4 innings)? Thx Ray, love your research and radio show. B

Leave a Comment