It's Friday which means it's time for your early Daily Trends article for games taking place Saturday and Sunday. Oh, I don't take the weekend off, don't worry (you can catch me and Howard Bender on Sirius 210, XM 87, 7-10 PM EDT Sunday night), but I try to ease back on the writing a bit. Don't want to leave you hanging though, so here's some matchup data for the weekend action.
NOTE I: If you missed the first Fantasy Alarm Live Chat Friday, you can go to the following link to review the transcript of the event.
NOTE II: 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.
LAST TWO WEEKS
Yasiel Puig: .417-4-9-11-1
Edwin Encarnacion: .314-10-18-13
Pablo Sandoval: .383-6-16-11
Xander Bogaerts: .400/.464/.620
A.J. Pollock: .365-2-6-11-2
Alex Gordon: .333-2-11-6-1
Jason Heyward : .321-2-3-7-2
Jose Altuve: .397 with 13 runs, six steals
J.J. Hardy is batting .373 over 55 ABs. He hasn't gone deep.
Alex Rios: .382-0-8-10-3
Buster Posey is battling health woes and has a .094/.108/.094 slash line.
Jonathan Villar has no homers, one steal, and is batting .097.
Wil Myers continues to slump hitting .105 with a homer.
Jason Kubel is batting .120 with no runs or RBIs.
Anthony Rendon has a .125 average and .175 SLG.
David Ortiz is batting .150 with a .225 SLG.
Derek Norris is slashing .171/.310/.314. The slowdown is underway.
Dee Gordon is batting .188. Luckily he has seven steals.
Eric Hosmer is batting .200 with no homers.
DISH DIAMONDS – The Best Hitting Matchups of the Day
Matt Carpenter has only nine at-bats against Matt Cain but he's got seven hits. John Jay has also rapped out six singles in 11 at-bats. Make sure Cain starts for the Giants. It's not a lock as of this writing.
Howie Kendrick has hit two homers with seven runs driven in over 23 at-bats against Tommy Milone. He's also batting a cool .435. Erick Aybar also hits well in the matchup with his .368 average over 19 at-bats.
Martin Prado's bat has suddenly awoken as he's hit two homers in his last three games. He's also scored a run in 5-straight while driving in a run in 5-straight as well. He's produced a .357 average, a homer, and five RBIs against Johnny Cueto in 14 at-bats.
Alex Rios has 10 base knocks in just 19 at-bats against Doug Fister. The most amazing part about hitting .526 is that he only has one extra base hit (a double). Adrian Beltre has done his fair share of bashing too with eight hits in 20 at-bats while Shin-Soo Choo has also beat around Fister pretty good with a .321 average, two homers and five RBIs over 28 at-bats.
Not like you were playing him anyway, but B.J. Upton has one hit while striking out six times in nine at-bats against Jacob Turner. Jason Heyward also has gone 1-for-9 but he's only fallen victim to the strikeout twice.
DISH DISASTERS – Worst Hitting Matchups of the Day
Elvis Andrus has been hitting well of late, but he's often been stopped by Doug Fister whom he has hit .214 against with one RBI over 28 at-bats. Mitch Moreland also has one RBI but he's only hitting .133 in 15 at-bats even though he's only whiffed once.
Lucas Duda is one of the Mets that has trouble squaring up the ball against Kyle Kendrick (I don't know why that is either). Duda has hit .167 with a homer over 18 at-bats. Chris Young has hit .176 with a homer over 17 at-bats. Ruben Tejada has no homers and has hit .211 over 19 at-bats. Most shocking might be the .200 average and two RBIs by Daniel Murphy in 30 at-bats.
Matt Holliday has a solid three homers in 43 at-bats against Matt Cain. He's also got only eight hits leading to a .186 batting average and .260 OBP. Smaller sample size: the suddenly hot Allen Craig has one single in eight at-bats.
MOUND MAVENS – Starting Pitchers to Target
Dallas Keuchel, gulp, is a must start in every format on the planet right now. He's won 4-straight games and recorded 80 of the 81 available outings for the Astros in his last three starts. On yeah, he's also walked one batter, struck out 21 and permitted three runs (two earned). Good look Orioles.
Tommy Milone pitches at home against the Angels. Plug and play. He's made four starts at home this year and has gone 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA and 0.94 WHIP. For his career he's 14-8 with a 2.97 ERA and 1.13 WHIP.
Jake Odorizzi has allowed a total of four runs over his last four starts. He's also struck out 31 batters in just 21.2 innings. He takes on the Red Sox at Fenway which sounds scary but consider this. Over the last two weeks the Red Sox are hitting .240 with a .647 OPS. They have the second worst offensive WAR of any offense in baseball in that time (only the Twins are worse). That's just awful.
Wily Peralta get some respect. In six outings against the Cubs he has a 3.22 ERA and 1.32 WHIP, and earlier this year he held the Cubbies to three runs over seven innings. This season he's posted a 2.12 ERA on the year and he's got a 2.27 ERA and 1.16 WHIP over six home starts.
Hyun-jin Ryu takes on the Pirates at home Saturday. He's made nine starts this season with a 3.10 ERA and 1.17 WHIP, nearly identical to the marks he posted last year (3.00 and 1.20). He's also posted a quality start in six of his last eight outings.
MOUND MESSES – Starting Pitchers to Avoid
Brandon McCarthy is just too inconsistent for my taste. Three of his last five outings he's permitted one or zero runs, but thanks to 12 runs in the the other two outings his May ERA is only 4.06. He's also only picked up one win in 10 starts and he's pitching at home against the Reds, a place he has a 4.83 ERA over six starts this season.
Ervin Santana faces the Marlins in Miami where that club has an OPS of .810, the third best in baseball. Santana has also been obliterated his last three outings to the tun of 17 runs over 17 innings. Crazy time if you're starting him.
Drew Smyly has had starts skipped, he's been used out of the pen, he's had weather as a competitor. It's been a really rocky season for him an in his last start the damn broke as he allowed four homers and six runs over five innings. He's been solid in six outings at night (3.00 ERA, 1.30 WHIP) and on the road (3.46 ERA, 1.31 WHIP) but he's too unpredictable to start with confidence against the Mariners.
Chris Tillman is lost right now. You don't need me to tell you that (I hope). His last two starts have resulted in 14 runs over 6.2 innings as his ERA has gone from 3.34 to 4.97. He has to be hurt, right? Even if he's just missing his spots, he's missing terribly. Bench him, in all formats, against the Astros.
Chris Young has a 4-2 record, 3.30 ERA and 1.15 WHIP on the season. It's a complete mirage. He's throwing 85 mph, has a sickly 3.77 K/9 mark and has just one fewer walk (23) than punchouts this season (24). his HR/F ratio is also way up at 1.41 and he faces the Tigers, at home, Friday.