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Monday is Memorial Day, and while I'll get to the baseball matchups in a moment, I just wanted to give my personal thanks to every man and woman who serves/served our country, with a special thanks to the families of those that have been lost in battle.
DISH DIAMONDS – The Best Hitting Matchups of the Day
Michael Brantley has six hits in 13 at-bats against Jose Quintana. One of those hits was a big fly and he's also driven in three runners. Nick Swisher avoided the DL and he'll try to produce some hits Monday. He's hitting .273 with a .529 OBP over 16 plate appearances.
Tony Gwynn has six hits in 15 at-bats against Jhoulys Chacin. He has two doubles and two triples.
DISH DISASTERS – Worst Hitting Matchups of the Day
Billy Butler has been much, much better of late. However, he's hitting .207 with a .592 OPS in 32 plate appearances against Scott Feldman. Others who have struggled against the righty: Alcides Escobar (2-for-15, though he does have 5 RBIs), Eric Hosmer (2-for-13) and Mike Moustakas (2-for-14). Oh wait, Moose was sent to the minors. I just wanted to dig the knife deeper for those that ignored my advice to let someone else draft Moustakas after his scalding spring.
Melky Cabrera has just three hits in 21 at-bats against Erik Bedard. He does have a homer and four RBIs but it's hard for me to get past the .551 OPS or the fact that he's hit just .262 against lefties this season.
It's not Sharknado, but close.
Indians who, in small sample sizes, haven't gotten a single hit off Jose Quintana: Yan Gomes (7 ABs), Lonnie Chisenhall (4 ABs) and David Murphy (2 ABs). If Asdrubal Cabrera plays you will want to pass – he has one hit in 13 at-bats – and Ryan Raburn is 1-for-11. Heck, even the .154 mark of Carlos Santana is disappointing too (13 ABs).
A.J. Pierzynski can be forgiven for struggling against Ervin Santana. He's got a .229 average with a .250 OBP over 36 plate appearances. However, it's hard to forgive Dustin Pedroia in the same matchups given how good a hitter he is. Pedroia has hit .200 with a .566 OPS over 28 plate appearances.
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MOUND MAVENS – Starting Pitchers to Target
Erik Bedard hasn't lasted more than six innings in any start, and his season high for Ks is six. Still, he's allowed a total of three earned runs over his last five starts. He's a very tempting start even though the Blue Jays are 8th in baseball with a .749 OPS against lefties.
Drew Hutchison faces the Rays in Toronto. In three home starts this year he has a 7.24 ERA. He's also failed to go six innings in tow of his last three starts. But, the Rays are in the bottom third of the league in OPS against righties while their road OPS is the third worst in baseball.
Brandon McCarthy was bombed for seven runs on May 9th, but in the other five starts that make up his last six outings he's allowed a total of five runs. He's also allowed just two runs over his last two outings and he'll get to face a Padres lineup that he held scoreless over seven innings on May 3rd.
Tommy Milone is a decent big league hurler. He's also locked in allowing just three runs over his last three games. He also pitches at home, and he always has success there (1.80 ERA and 0.95 WHIP over three starts). He's worth the risk even though he's facing off against the Tigers. At least Miguel Cabrera may not be 100 percent after leaving game action Sunday with hamstring cramps.
I like a good sandwich as much as the next fella, but 13 hours of meat?
Jose Quintana faces an Indians club that he has handled very well in his young career. He's only allowed one homer in 114 at-bats while holding the fellas to a .219.302/.298 slash line that clearly points to the probability of Quintana having a shot at a nice outing Monday, especially when it's noted that he tossed six innings of one run ball against the Tribe back on April 13th.
Tyson Ross faces the Diamondbacks Monday. He held the club to three runs, one earned, over seven innings back on May 4th. That hasn't been his only good outing in May as his monthly numbers are impressive: 1.29 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 29 Ks, only two homers allowed in 28 IP.
MOUND MESSES – Starting Pitchers to Avoid
Kyle Kendrick stinks. Not much analysis needed. He hasn't won a game this season, has allowed 13 runs in his last 18 innings and has allowed eight homers in his last eight starts. He also faces the Rockies in Philly.
Ervin Santana faces the Red Sox. I know the Sox aren't hitting and Mike Napoli is on the DL, but Santana has allowed 19 hits, five walks and 11 runs over his last two outings (12 innings). You really interested in starting that guy right now, no matter who the competition is?
Nick Tepesch has made to starts and is sitting with a 3.09 ERA and 12 Ks in 11.2 innings for the Rangers. However, if we pull back we notice that he's started against the Mariners and Astros, hardly juggernauts. He's also got 104.2 big league innings with a 4.64 ERA and 1.33 WHIP which is hardly inspiring. He faces the Twins in Minnesota.
Josh Tomlin faces the White Sox Monday in Chicago. I know he's allowed just seven runs in 21.2 innings leading to a 2.91 ERA, but come on, it's Josh Tomlin. Pretty sure he's also not going to maintain a 90.3 left on base percentage and four homers in four outings should cause pause.
Yordano Ventura faces the Astros, and that's a good thing. However, Ventura is no sure thing to star Monday in fantasy. He's lost his last three decisions and last won on April 25th (that was the last time he went more than 6.1 innings as well). He's also allowed five homers in his last four starts and in two of his last three outings he's had only three Ks.
Chase Whitley faces the Cardinals in St. Louis. He's made two starts and neither time has he been able to complete five innings. Pretty hard to get a win doing that. He's got a nice arm, but until he shows he can go deep into a game, a start in St. Louis has to illicit some concern.
Chris Young has a 3.53 ERA and 1.20 WHIP for the Mariners. No idea how that is happening. His peripherals are atrocious: 3.35 K/9, more walks than Ks leading to a 0.95 K/BB ratio, 1.41 HR/9. Good luck keeping the success rolling doing that. He faces the Angels at Safeco.
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.