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Thursday is the loneliest day of the week. When you were in college you used to go out and party Thursday night after those Tues/Thurs classes were over. Now, it's just one more day to work through until we get to Friday. Let's try to make a change starting with this piece. Let's make Thursday a big deal. Let's start with BVP data.
* NOTE: Players are listed in alphabetical order for the sake of making them easily sortable/findable. The matchups are also generated based on Batter vs. Pitcher data. Just because a player is not listed does not mean that he is a bad or good play. The players listed below are mentioned merely because of the BVP data for the matchup.
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DISH DIAMONDS – The Best Hitting Matchups of the Day
Daniel Murphy mashes Vance Worley. Scary good actually. Like Worley is telling him which pitches are coming. Murphy has hit .706 against Worley. No misprint. He has 12 hits in 17 a-bats. I've never seen anything like it. Ruben Tejada has seven hits in 18 at-bats for a .389 average. Loser. David Wright has hit .353 with a homer and seven RBIs over 17 at-bats.
This black bear was pretty hungry.
Albert Pujols murders Ricky Nolasco. Kills him. Beats him down. Three homers and eight RBIs in just 19 at-bats suggest. Add in four doubles and you've got a guy with a .526 average and 1.711 OPS over 19 at-bats. Makes the 6-for-12 that David Freese has against Nolasco look puny.
Pablo Sandoval is no Daniel Murphy, but wow is he amazing as well. In 17 at-bats against Mike Leake he's hit two homers and two doubles. Oh yeah, he has 11 total hits leading to a .647 batting average. Hunter Pence is also a beast hitting .400 with a 1.000 OPS over 25 plate appearances. Then there is the case of Tyler Colvin. It was amassed in the past, but in 19 at-bats against the righty he's hit .368 with four bombs and eight RBIs.
DISH DISASTERS – Worst Hitting Matchups of the Day
Adam Dunn has one hit in 12 at-bats against J.A. Happ. He's also got four strikeouts. He's hitting .171 against lefties this season. Alejandro De Aza has two hits in 43 at-bats against lefties this season. Jose Abreu has six homers in 63 at-bats against lefties but he's also struck out 20 times with a .238 batting average.
Matt Kemp has been much improved in June. He's never been very effective against Adam Wainwright though. In 20 at-bats he has three hits but no steals or runs batted in. Hanley Ramirez has five hits in 24 at-bats leading to a .505 OPS. That should be his slugging percentage. Adrian Gonzalez is batting .250 with six strikeouts over 16 at-bats.
Alex Rios isn't a happy camper when Rick Porcello is on the bump. He's hit .220 and doesn't have a single walk over 41 trips to the dish. Three homers and two steals are nice, but it's been totally hit or miss. It's all miss with Elvis Andrus who has two hits and one caught stealing over 17 plate appearances.
Jean Segura faces lefty Christian Friedrich. He holds the experience advantage but given that he's hit .161 in 62 at-bats against lefties this season... Ryan Braun has also struggled versus lefties. He's batting .254 with two homers in 71 at-bats.
Oh Giancarlo Stanton. He's faced Cole Hamels 38 times and struck out a whopping 16 times. He's taken two balls deep and hit .263, but his overall line is still sub par against the lefty. Jeff Mathis is 0-for-8. What a shock.
Bookmark the following three sources to check daily after you read this piece.
MOUND MAVENS – Starting Pitchers to Target
Let's do something different today. Here are pitchers who have solid skills who are facing struggling offenses. The batting numbers listed are for the past two weeks.
Doug Fister faces the Cubs. Here is their slash line: .222/.270/.366. They've hit seven homers, the second fewest in baseball.
Twelve pretty interesting thoughts on Tommy John surgery.
Jered Weaver faces the Twins, a rather anemic offense of late: .0244/.308/.365 with seven homers, second fewest in baseball.
Travis Wood faces a Nationals club that has the following slash line: .211/.285/.299. They've hit seven homers, the second fewest in baseball.
MOUND MESSES – Starting Pitchers to Avoid
J.A. Happ is awful. Don't know how he's still starting. Seriously. Since the start of the 2011 season he's 27-37 with a 4.95 ERA and 1.49 WHIP. Seriously two. He allowed eight runs, seven earned, in his last outing. He's a poor bet against the White Sox.
Mike Leake had a nice starts last time out allowing one run in eight innings, but that effort still leaves him with an ERA of 5.79 over his last four outings. The Giants have 129 at-bats against Leake. The current Giants club has also blasted him to oblivion with 11 homers, a .395 average, .418 OBP and .729 SLG. Battered beyond belief.
Nick Martinez against the Tigers. Sounds scary. The guy has 28 Ks and 25 BBs, awful, and despite allowing four runs over his last two outings his ratios still suggest doom on the horizon (4.22 ERA, 1.58 WHIP).
Daisuke Matsuzaka has allowed two runs over his last 13.1 innings. However, he faces the Athletics and they can bring the pain. Also, don't know how you trust a guy who has walked 31 batters in 47 innings. Just no way to know what stuff he will bring to the park on any day.
Mike Minor faces the Astros, the 9th best team according to OPS against lefties this season while their .334 OBP is 6th. Minor has also been a better hurler at home, and since this game is in Houston, that might be an issue to consider as well. In 45 road starts: 4.31 ERA, 1.33 WHIP.
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