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The battles continue to rage on in Week 9 of the major league season. Players surge and fail, just how it is. Ray Flowers will try and point out some of the batter versus pitcher tidbits that you will need to know about as you try and set your lineup for May 27th.
Alejandro De Aza hasn't made this list very frequently. He does have 11 hits in 33 at-bats against the struggling Justin Masterson. Surprisingly, Adam Dunn is also hitting .302 against Masterson in 43 at-bats, though he does have only one homer.
Adam LaRoche is back in action, he hit a homer Monday, and he gets to face Henderson Alvarez who he's produced five hits in 11 at-bats against. Look at his heat map. LaRoche has enjoyed hitting low balls this season which makes him a perfect option against sinker baller Alvarez.
David Ortiz is hitting .556 with a homer and six RBIs against Aaron Harang in nine at-bats. Oddly, Ortiz is hitting a mere .261 against righties this year. Maybe Grady Sizemore does something, a tall order, but he's hitting .409 in 22 at-bats in the matchup.
DISH DISASTERS – Worst Hitting Matchups of the Day
Elvis Andrus has one hit in 13 at-bats against Phil Hughes. That's worse than Adrian Beltre, though it's not like the 3rd sacker has torn it up or anything as he's hitting .200 with six Ks in 24 at-bats.
Jay Bruce does not hit the ball very well when facing Zack Greinke. He's not alone. In 25 at-bats he has a homer and five RBIs, but he's also hit .160 with seven strikeouts. Ryan Ludwick has a quad issue, so don't expect him to play given that he's hitting .118 with eight Ks in 17 at-bats in the matchup with Greinke.
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Michael Cuddyer has struggled to find the groove against Cole Hamels going just 1-for-13. He's not the only struggling Rockie against the elite lefty: Josh Rutledge (nine hitless ABs), Drew Stubs (2-for-14) and Troy Tulowitzki (1-for-7).
Paul Goldschmidt seems to hit everyone... but Eric Stults. Goldy has taken Stults deep once but has a decidedly sub par .222 batting average in 18 at-bats. Gerardo Parra also has one homer, but he's hit .158 in his 19 at-bats.
Alexei Ramirez has been hot this year, but he just has no clue against Justin Masterson. JM isn't a strong play Tuesday, see more below, but it's hard to ignore how dominant he has been against Ramirez (.167 over 54 at-bats). Gotta include Dayan Viciedo who doesn't have a hit in 17 at-bats.
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Sonny Gray has a 1.99 ERA and 1.09 WHIP. He's made 10-straight quality starts, every one of his outings this season. He also has a 1.76 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 4-0 record in six home starts. He takes on the Tigers in Oakland. That's at home.
Zack Greinke faces a Votto-less Reds club. Greinke is 4-1 against the Reds in his career and over 10 starts to begin the year he's never allowed more than two earned runs in an outing. He's also permitted just one homer in his last five starts helping him to avoid the big inning.
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Cole Hamels faces the Rockies at home Tuesday. Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez are at less than 100 percent, and the current Rockies squad has hit .200 with a .590 OPS against Hamels over 90 at-bats. Hamels has also been sharp of late allowing just five runs over his last three outings as he's struck out 26 batters in 21 innings.
Tim Hudson faces the Cubs at home. He only went three innings in his last outing, but he's sporting a 2.13 ERA and 0.88 WHIP on the year and has allowed more than two earned runs just one time (April 13th).
Lance Lynn has three quality starts in his last four outings. He's also allowed three or fewer earned runs in seven of his last eight starts. He's also gone 5-straight starts without allowing the big fly. He pitches at home against the Yankees.
Alfredo Simon. I don't get it. I don't think anyone does. At the same time, you can't be stupid about these things. I mean, there it is – it's smacking you right in the face saying start me. In five starts on the road all he's done is post a 1.05 ERA and 0.93 WHIP. He's also gone 5-0. He pitches in Los Angeles against the Dodgers.
MOUND MESSES – Starting Pitchers to Avoid
Roenis Elias has failed to go six innings in two of his last three outings, and he's allowed 18 hits in his last 17.1 innings. Her's also coming off an outing of four walks, the second time in 10 starts he reached that mark. He takes on the Angels at home, and in four home starts he owns a middling ERA (3.86) and WHIP (1.43).
Matt Garza takes on the Orioles in Milwaukee. The Orioles are hitting .280 on the road, the second best mark in baseball. They are also hitting .269 against righties, the 4th best mark in baseball. Add in that Garza is struggling – his ERA is 4.92 on the season and that mark isn't any better in May (4.81). Hard to trust Garza at the moment.
Justin Masterson has crushed the White Sox over his career. In 280 at-bats the current Sox roster has hit .229 with a .637 OPS. I'm saying it doesn't matter Tuesday. Masterson has allowed at least five runs in each of his last three starts, and they've been ugly: 21 hits, 17 runs, 11 walks in just 15.1 innings. Pass on the sinkerballer.
Colin McHugh last won a game on April 27th, that's a month ago in case you hadn't looked at the calendar lately. He's allowed a homer in 3-straight games. He's currently the owner of a 1.03 WHIP. That's not who he is. He's also owner of 41 Ks in 38 innings. That's not who he is either. He faces the Royals in Kansas City. Don;t care that the numbers say otherwise. I'm going with my gut and suggesting you pass.
Wade Miley pitches at home against the Padres. Doesn't look like that will be enough to save him. He's lost his last two outings, has six strikeouts and seven walks in that time, and has a total of one win in his last nine outings. Oh, he's also 1-4 with a 7.14 ERA and 1.52 WHIP at home.
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