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Hump day. Who uses that term by the way? I guess I just did, but I never use it. Probably because all I do is work everyday so there never really is a midpoint to the week. Even in college when I worked retail I never worked Monday through Friday. What's that like, having two days off a week on the weekend? Must be nice. Listen to me complaining. Like I've got it tough writing/talking about sports. Let's get to the matchups of the day.
DISH DIAMONDS – The Best Hitting Matchups of the Day
Robinson Cano is basically getting a hit every three at-bats this year. And you thought he stinks. He's hit .355 with a homer an a .459 OBP over 36 plate appearances when C.J. Wilson is on the bump. Justin Smoak has also had some success. He's hitting a mere .250 in 32 at-bats, but he has taken Wilson deep three times while driving in 10 runners.
Matt Holiday has been off his game for most of the first two months. He has a matchup to exploit Wednesday as he faces the somewhat similar type of performer to start the year on the hill in Hiroki Kuroda (a struggler). Holliday has hit .423 with a homer and seven RBIs over 26 at-bats.
Pablo Sandoval is hitting like .854 the last three weeks. Or something like that. The good times should continue to role against Edwin Jackson who Pablo's absolutely hammered over the years to the tune of a .538 batting average, a homer and five RBIs over 13 at-bats.
Giancarlo Stanton looks like the NL MVP right now. He faces Jordan Zimmerman whom he's taken deep three times, with six RBIs, in 22 at-bats.
Mike Trout has had an up and down May but he'll look to end the stanza on a high note given that he's hit .390 with two homers and 11 RBIs against King Felix (41 ABs). Howie Kendrick has also hit .290 over 69 at-bats. It only seems like he hits .290 against everyone.
DISH DISASTERS – Worst Hitting Matchups of the Day
Michael Cuddyer has hit just .239 with no homers and nine strikeouts over 46 at-bats against sinkerballing Roberto Hernandez. As his heat map shows, Cuddyer has had success against the low ball this season though, so perhaps he produces a hit or two even though history suggests it's a long shot?
Andre Ethier keeps playing over Matt Kemp, a dubious decision at best by the Dodgers. Hopefully they don't make the mistake of play Ethier Wednesday not with Homer Bailey on the hill. Ethier has 18 at-bats and not a single hit, not one, in the matchup.
Ian Kinsler has had a great start to his Tigers career. He's also never been able to figure out Scott Kazmir who pretty much owns him holding him to a .138/.257/.310 slash line over 34 plate appearances. Austin Jackson is also a mess with eight Ks an a .214 average over 14 at-bats, and it's not like he's had a great month of May. Torii Hunter has also hit the skids of late, and he's at .238 with one RBI in 21 at-bats.
Anthony Rizzo is growing as a hitter on a weekly basis. He has a tough matchup Wednesday though with Tim Lincecum who has struck him out five times while holding him to no homers an a .214 average over 14 at-bats. Luis Valbuena is 0-for-8 with four Ks.
Kyle Seager is a complete disaster when C.J. Wilson is on the mound. Over the course of 26 at-bats Seager has hit a sickly .115, but it's the punchouts that really jump out. Seager has, literally, struck out half the time he's accrued an at-bat against Wilson with 13 punchouts in 26 at-bats. Michael Saunders is having a great month of May but he's also equally distasteful against Wilson with a .130/.259/.130 slash line over 27 plate appearances.
Kurt Suzuki might have the oddest BVP info of the day, hell of the month. Joe Saunders is awful. Suzuki has been impressive this season. Still, when you have 31 at-bats with a guy producing two hits, that's a .065 batting average, you have to favor the suck-ass pitcher, don't you?
B.J. Upton is batting .207 with two homers against John Lackey. Given who he's been since the start of last year, and that he has 11 Ks in 29 at-bats, you know what you should be thinking with Upton Wednesday. Heaven help the Braves is they play Gerald Laird. The lumbering backstop has struck out 13 times in 30 at-bats against Lackey while batting .100.
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Fantasy Alarm Lineups
MOUND MAVENS – Starting Pitchers to Target
Chase Anderson has two wins in two starts. However, he's also got a 5.03 ERA which is more indicative of the pitcher he is versus the shiny 1.13 WHIP he has over 10.2 innings. Still, he faces the Padres in Arizona. Still, the Padres team is the worst team in the majors on the road with a .209 batting average and .267 OBP. They are just awful.
I'm a big Homer Bailey supporter, but it's hard to drum up enough good reasons that it makes sense to start him Wednesday. He's got a 6.08 ERA and 1.80 WHIP on the road. He faces a potentially potent Dodgers lineup in L.A. Still, I say start him. I'm dumb like that. In four of his last five starts he's been “quality” and he's only allowed two homers in his last five starts. Roll those dice.
Danny Duffy versus the Astros. Keep the ball away from George Springer, Jose Altuve and Dexter Fowler and Duffy should have success. Even though he allowed five runs in his last outing he's still allowed just seven runs over his four starts which is good for a 2.74 ERA as a starter. The Astros are 19th in baseball in OPS against lefties, so it's not like it's a daunting matchup.
Gavin Floyd has a 2.49 ERA and 1.26 WHIP in a tremendous comeback from arm surgery. Here's the problem though. Over the last four years he's only had a better WHIP than his current mark once, and his career mark is 1.34. His ERA has been above four each of the last five seasons. He has a 4.80 K/BB ratio that is, literally, more than twice his career mark of 2.35. How long can he keep up this unsustainable pace? I mean, we've got a decade worth of data to tell us who this guy is. He faces the struggling Red Sox Wednesday so give him one more shot.
I mean you're going to go through all this trouble just to lie about your success?
Scott Kazmir is pretty much an automatic start at this point, and you have no idea how weird that is for me to type and actually mean it. I still can't buy that he's going to do this over 200 innings, but facts are facts, and the truth is that Kazmir has had one poor start this year, even even that only included four runs over six innings. He's also facing the Tigers at home where he's posted a 1.91 ERA and 0.81 WHIP over four starts.
MOUND MESSES – Starting Pitchers to Avoid
Chris Archer has thrown up zeros in his last two starts, but there's also been the continue issue with lack of control as he's walked nine batter in those two games. He's also set to face a stout Blue Jays club, in Toronto. Given that his control is off, that he has a 5.08 ERA and 1.59 WHIP in five road starts, and that the Jays are one of the most powerful offenses in baseball... sit Archer.
Yovani Gallardo injured his ankle in his last start so the Brewers gave Yovani a bit more time to get read for this start against the Orioles in Milwaukee. Gallardo last won a game on April 6th. He's also seen his ERA rise in five consecutive starts from 1.42 to his current mark of 3.51. Not a trend that portends success Wednesday.
Kyle Gibson takes on the Rangers. Wondering... are you people finally believing what I've been saying about Gibson since the season began? In two of his last three starts he's allowed at least five runs. He's got a 4.68 ERA on the year. He's got a 1.42 WHIP on the year. He has one victory in his last six outings. He's got 25 Ks and 20 walks in 50 innings. He stinks like rotting chicken left over in the garbage disposal.
Tom Koehler was lit up in his last start allowing seven runs and that caused his ERA to jump almost a run from 2.25 to 3.10. He's also allowed three homers in his last three starts, has only one win in four outings, and he's given up 11 runs in his last three outings after permitting 10 in his first seven. His start also comes on the road versus the Nationals and he has a 3.86 ERA and 1.43 WHIP in five road starts.
Hiroki Kuroda is on the road facing the Cardinals. The club from STL is 7th in baseball with a .268 average at home, and their .347 OBP is the third best. Kuroda doesn't walk many, 11 all year, but he's allowed five homers with a 4.86 ERA and 1.30 WHIP over his last three starts.
Could you live eating just worms? Maybe astronauts will.
Joe Saunders... really Rangers? Over his last 186.2 innings he has a 5.35 ERA, 1.62 WHIP an a 5.35 K/9 mark. How desperate are the Rangers? Doesn’t even matter that he's facing the team he hurled for last year in the Mariners.
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.