I've been in San Francisco all week for the FSTA. Now I'm home, back to the grind, and sitting here working on my tan ( I really do look pretty tan). I've got time to do Live Advice, to Tweet, to write articles, to do football drafts. I basically do it all. So humble am I. Here's the weekend of matchups in the world of 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
Michael Bourn has four steals while batting .417 over 27 plate appearances against Justin Verlander. Note that if Michael Brantley is back on the field Saturday he should be in your lineup. He's hit .378 with eight RBIs over 45 at-bats.
Shin-Soo Choo lights up the Angels' Jered Weaver. Hot tamale style. He's hit .452 with a .500 OBP over 32 plate appearances. He's not the only one who has some success in the matchup. Elvis Andrus has hit .354 with a .391 OBP over 69 plate appearances. He's even gone deep twice while stealing three bags.
Ian Desmond owns a .350 batting average in 20 at-bats against Julio Teheran. Denard Span can't quite match that but he does have a .318 mark on the back of his ball card (22 ABs). The big bopper though for the Braves has been Adam LaRoche. He's hit .357 with a homer in 14 at-bats. He's also walked seven times leading to an out of this world .571 OBP which just so happens to be an exact match for his SLG.
Aaron Hill has been anything but impressive with the bat this season, but he's gone 9-for-19 with a homer against Ryan Vogelsong (.474). Gerardo Parra has hit .400 in 15 at-bats while Miguel Montero has hit .333 with three RBIs in 21 at-bats. Oh heck, Martin Prado is also at .316 in his 19 at-bats.
Brandon Phillips has six hits in 12 at-bats against J.A. Happ. They have been big hits too. Phillips owns three homers and six RBIs. He's also stolen a bag. Joey Votto has hit .429 with a 1.038 OPS over 15 plate appearances. Ryan Ludwick is batting .333 with four RBIs over 15 at-bats.
DISH DISASTERS – Worst Hitting Matchups of the Day
Jay Bruce has only strode to the dish nine times against J.A. but it's worth noting that he has only one hit and five punchouts.
Conor Gillaspie is one of the best hitters in baseball according to batting average. Raise your hand if you predicted that (put your hand down). He's got two hits in 11 at-bats against Kevin Correia. Paul Konerko is 0-for-9.
Andrew McCutchen has a homer and steal against Travis Wood. He's even got a decent .355 OBP. But when one of the best players in baseball has six Ks and is batting .174 against Travis Wood over 23 at-bats you take notice. Gaby Sanchez has one hit in 17 at-bats but Pedro Alvarez can do him one better. He's got one hit in 18 at-bats.
Two Rangers, big name guys, really stink against Jered Weaver. Alex Rios has hit .160 with nine strikeouts in 25 at-bats. Adrian Beltre is at .211 with 14 punchouts in his 71 at-bats. He also has a .537 OPS.
Need some NFL love? Here's a review of the recent 2014 FSTA EXPERTS DRAFT from San Francisco.
Nick Swisher has a large sample size of 70 at-bats against Justin Verlander. It includes three homers, eight RBIs and 11 walks. It also includes 11 walks, a .214 average and a mere .321 OBP. Asdrubal Cabrera has also been a whiff machine with 23 in 60 at-bats. He's hit .231. Jason Kipnis has 12 Ks in 26 at-bats while he's hit .115. Does any of that matter with Verlander being so terrible of late?
Jayson Werth has one RBI and just three hits in 16 at-bats against Julio Teheran. Danny Espinosa has hit .200 in 10 at-bats. Anthony Rendon has a lone double in nine at-bats. Ryan Zimmerman has a homer and three RBIs but he's also the owner of a .143/.143/.357 line in 14 plate appearances.
MOUND MAVENS – Starting Pitchers to Target
Jesse Chavez pitches at home against the Red Sox. He's never faced them as a stater, but Chavez does have a 2.87 ERA and 1.19 WHIP at home in six starts this season. He’s also allowed more than three earned runs in a start just once in seven outings while he's lasted at least six inning each of his last four trips to the bump.
Cole Hamels pitches well against the Cardinals. In 10 career starts he has a 3.34 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. Hamels has also thrown 22.2 scoreless innings over his last three starts as he's struck out 24 batters and walked five. He's also allowed only one earned run over his last four starts to drop his ERA from 4.43 to 2.78.
Jason Vargas against the Mariners has a Vargas feel to it. Facing his old club Vargas is on another role with 5-straight quality starts. During that run he's allowed only homer and he's gone at least seven innings in his last three trips to the hill. He also held the Mariners scoreless over seven innings back on May 9th.
Jered Weaver has a 3.19 ERA and 1.08 WHIP at home this season. The last time he faced the Rangers he allowed them to record one run while making 21 outs. Be wary of the homers though as Weaver has allowed at least one in 7-straight contests.
Travis Wood has held the current Pirates roster to a .215/.301/.365 line over 181 at-bats. He's also surrendered only three homers. Oddly though he's sporting a 6.12 ERA in nine night starts. Let's move past that to the 2.84 ERA over two starts this year against the Pirates and the 2.58 ERA in six home starts.
MOUND MESSES – Starting Pitchers to Avoid
Trevor Bauer has been what you should have expected. He's got a 4.20 ERA and 1.40 WHIP with 42 Ks in 40.2 innings. He pitches at home against the Tigers. Bauer allowed just two runs the last time he face Detroit on May 20th, but he's only struck out seven batters over his last 12 innings and has just one win in five starts as he's failed to reach seven innings in any start this season.
Uh oh Mike Leake. Gone a little under-reported of late, but Leake has allowed 14 runs over his last 15.1 innings. That's simply pathetic. He pitches at home against the mighty Blue Jays and given that Leake has one win an a 4.15 ERA at home, and that he's allowed three big flies in his last three starts, you might be wise to pass on starting him Saturday.
Anthony Rienzo faces the Twins after losing his last four starts and allowing three homers and 13 runs over his last two efforts. Oh yeah, he's also failed to make the fourth inning in two of his last three outings. Can't trust that.
Justin Verlander, and never has a pitcher been more accurately labeled as a “mess”, has been absolutely atrocious of late. Check out his last seven starts: 7.83 ERA, 1.85 WHIP, 12.6 H/9, 4.12 BB/9. If he was anyone other than Justin Verlander he would be out of the rotation, in the minors, or on the DL. He faces an Indians team that he's long had success against but you have the guts of a burglar if you are starting this man right now in any format.
Chris Young, and I'm still not able to explain it so he's gonna keep ending up on the avoid list, has a matchup with the streaking Royals Saturday. Young has a 3.40 ERA and 1.22 WHIP. The question is – how? The guy has 41 Ks and 33 walks over 79.1 innings. He's also allowed 1.25 HR/9, worse than the league average, but the success has kept coming. It won't continue.