It's the weekend and it's totally time to kick your feet up, swig a beer, ignore your wife and kids (don't really mean that – well maybe), and enjoy some sports. To that end Ray Flowers has broken down the BVP data for those of you out there with questions about who to start on Saturday and Sunday in Major League Baseball.
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.
DISH DIAMONDS – The Best Hitting Matchups of the Day
Pedro Alvarez has hit .375 with a bomb and four RBIs in 16 at-bats against Matt Garza. Jose Tabata has also done well batting .438 over 16 at-bats, and lo an behold Clint Barmes has hit two homers with six RBIs in 15 at-bats.
Miguel Cabrera smashes the pelota to the tune of a .476 batting average against Jon Lester. Besides that number just being shocking, it's in 21 at-bats, there's also this: Torii Hunter has been even better batting .520 in 25 at-bats. Then there is this: Victor Martinez is batting .438 in 16 at-bats. Rounding out the Tigers that beat around Lester there is Rajai Davis who has hit .289 while stealing seven bags over 41 plate appearances.
Andre Ethier is a world beater against Jhoulys Chacin. He's not only batting .385 with a homer but he also has a .556 OBP over 36 plate appearances thanks to 10 walks. Adrian Gonzalez has also done well in the matchup hitting .463 with three RBIs over 13 at-bats.
Joe Mauer is batting .269. He's a career .320 hitter. How much longer can this go on? Perhaps the turnaround starts with Scott Feldman who he's hit .333 with a homer and five RBIs against in 18 at-bats?
A lot of times we have to worry about sample size. Not in this case. Jhonny Peralta has 84 at-bats against Mark Buehrle. He's hit .298 with a .809 OPS as he's lifted two balls into the seats with 10 RBIs.
I'm sorry, but this is just hilarious.
A.J. Pierzynski is batting .333 with a homer and seven RBIs over 33 at-bats against the struggling Max Scherzer. David Ortiz is even better though as he's hit a whopping .471 with three homers and six RBIs over 17 at-bats.
Drew Stubbs plays in Colorado against Zack Greinke. In the matchup he's struck out seven times, but in a truly odd twist he's produced six hits in the other seven at-bats leading to a .429 average over the 14 at-bats.
Rickie Weeks has hit .368 against Edison Volquez in his career. He's also gone deep twice in 19 at-bats. Other Brewers have had success too. Carlos Gomez is batting .333 with three solo homers in 21at-bats. Ryan Braun is batting .353 with a homer and five steals over 39 plate appearances.
DISH DISASTERS – Worst Hitting Matchups of the Day
Michael Cuddyer has struck out in 25 percent of his 40 at-bats against Zack Greinke. He's also hit .250 with just one homer an a .302 OBP over 42 plate appearances. Still, those numbers are light years beyond the efforts of Justin Morneau (.167 with one RBI over 36 ABs) and Troy Tulowitzki (.211 with seven Ks in 19 ABs). Will the hitters still slumber even though the game is in Colorado where the Rockies have killed it all year?
Josh Hamilton has one hit in 11 at-bats against Chris Sale. Every batters I'm about to list has one hit, and one hit only, against Sale. Listed with their at-bat totals: Albert Pujols (nine), Howie Kendrick (seven), Mike Trout (right), Luis Jimenez (six). Chris Iannetta, Hank Congar and Erick Aybar are a combined 0-for-12.
Aramis Ramirez has never quite figured out Edinson Volquez. In 28 at-bats he's only struck out twice, but he's also hitting a mere .250 with a .300 OBP. Pretty much the same type of effort from Jonathan Lucroy who is batting .238 with a .304 OBP over 23 plate appearances. Both of those guys kill what Jean Segura has done though which is nothing. He's a fat 0-for-11 in the matchup.
David Wright has three homers and eight RBIs against Tim Hudson. Of course he's done that over 77 at-bats with a .234/.314/.377 slash line. David Murphy also hasn't figured out the righty hitting .227 with a .638 OPS over 26 plate appearances.
MOUND MAVENS – Starting Pitchers to Target
Mark Buehrle cannot keep this up, yet there it is. He's 10-1 with a 2.10 ERA. He's from Missouri so he will be facing his hometown team, the Cardinals, in Toronto. The Cards come in at 3rd from the bottom with a .634 OPS against leftie this season and they've also hit the fewest homers in the game – five in 529 at-bats.
Alex Cobb has a 3.19 ERA and 1.06 WHP through six starts. He's also sporting a 3.2 K/BB ratio and he's allowed only three homers all year. He pitches at home against the Mariners and for his career he's been very good at home (14-8, 3.17 ERA, 1.16 WHIP with 184 Ks over 201.2 innings).
Bartolo Colon pitches in San Francisco. He's won each of his last three starts while going at least seven innings in each outing. In that time he's only walked four batters while striking out 19 in 22.1 innings. He's locked in right now... even if he's actually impossible to trust.
Alfredo Simon faces a Phillies team he shut out over 7.2 innings back on May 16th. He's also got a 1.13 WHIP in four home starts this season and he's allowed three or fewer earned runs in three of his last four outings. Lefties are also batting just .239 against him, and we know the Phillies are mostly about lefties.
MOUND MESSES – Starting Pitchers to Avoid
Jhoulys Chacin stinks. He's lost all four of his decisions this year. He's failed to go six innings in any of his last three starts. He faces the Dodgers in Colorado.
Danny Duffy faces a Yankees team that has the 18th best OPS against lefties this year. Still, in two starts against the Yankees he has a 10.80 ERA. He's also allowed at least five earned runs in two of his last three starts, even if he's allowed one or fewer runs in four of his last six. There's just too much volatility to trust right now.
Jon Lester has allowed a truly amazing slash line of .358/.427/.579 to the entire current roster of the Tigers which also includes six homers in 159 at-bats. Yikes.
David Phelps pitches in Kansas City. He's posted a 4.40 ERA and 1.47 WHIP on the road this season. He's lost his last three games. Over his last two outings he's permitted 11 runs (nine earned). None of the spells good things.
Max Scherzer has a start at home against the Red Sox. In nine previous outings against the Sox he has a 6.14 ERA and 1.57 WHIP. He's also allowed 29 hits and 16 runs over his last 19.2 innings this season.