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I didn't get away for the holiday. Doesn't mean I didn't set off some fireworks, OK many, in my parents driveway with my brother and his two kids (six and four). Did I tell you I'm the greatest uncle in the history of the world? For those of you wondering why I'm still here and not in Hawaii... the family trip had to be put off three weeks. I'll get there, and the pina colada's will certainly be flowing. There's something in here about baseball too, I swear.
* 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.
DISH DIAMONDS – The Best Hitting Matchups of the Day
Allen Craig should be in there Monday, even with the loss of playing time lately. He has a whopping 11 hits in 21 at-bats against Charlie Morton. Yadier Molina has only 10 hits but he's batting .455 with seven RBIs so I don’t think anyone will be complaining. John Jay has only nine hits, but again, a .474 batting average is, oh, pretty good.
Paul Konerko has seven hits in 15 at-bats. One of those hits was a big fly.
Adam Lind has pretty much rocks the casbah whenever he's been called upon this year. Nothing different in his career when he's faced Jered Weaver. He has two homers, six RBIs an a 1.063 OPS over 27 plate appearances.
Jonathan Lucroy... the best hitting catcher in baseball. He's also gone deep and hit .545 over 11 at-bats against Cole Hamels. Ryan Braun, if he plays, also is worth a look. He's hit .321 with a 1.023 OPS over 29 plate appearances (three homers).
Andrew McCutchen has hit .382 with a homer over 34 at-bats against Adam Wainwright, and that's damn impressive. Russell Martin, in an odd twist, also hammers the elite righty. In 22 at-bats Martin has hit .409.
Nate Schierholtz has a .474/.500/.737 slash line over 20 plate appearances against Mike Leake. He's also hit a homer. Anthony Rizzo can't match that, but a .944 OPS in 18 plate appearances ain't that bad, is it? Luis Valbuena, like Rizzo, has six hits in 16 at-bats (.375). Starlin Castro doesn't have a big fly but he does have six RBIs and has hit .325 over 40 at-bats. And look at this... Darwin Barney has done something (.321 over 28 at-bats). Who knew?
B.J. Upton is finally hitting. I know, but it's true. Will he continue his recent run or revert to the history of a matchup that doesn't favor him? In 24 at-bats against Daisuke Matsuzaka he's hit .167 and struck out seven times. He has stolen four bags though.
DISH DISASTERS – Worst Hitting Matchups of the Day
Zack Cozart has one hit in 15 at-bats against Edwin Jackson. Ryan Ludwick has hit .176 with seven strikeouts in 17 at-bats. Skip Schumaker (19 ABs), Brandon Phillips (17 ABs) and Devin Mesoraco (11 ABs) all have only one RBI.
Brett Gardner doesn't get it done against Justin Masterson. Four RBIs in 18 at-bats suggests decent things, but that .167/.190/.167 slash line says otherwise. Mark Teixeira is also terrible with two hits in 16 at-bats. Impressively he still has six RBIs. Ichiro Suzuki has no steals an a .222 average over 27 at-bats.
How to avoid getting eaten by a Shark. Look like a zebra.
Troy Tulowitzki has a groin issue, and if he plays he's also moving into a matchup that hasn't always gone well for him in the past. Ian Kennedy has held him to a .231 batting average in 26 at-bats. Still, the game is in Coors and Tulo does have three homers against Ian so it would be hard to sit him if he suits up and is in the starting lineup.
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MOUND MAVENS – Starting Pitchers to Target
Kevin Correia has five straight starts of six innings. In that time he's allowed a total of eight runs. He's only been taken deep once in the stretch as his ERA has gone from 6.11 to 4.95. In eight starts this year on the road he has a 3.69 ERA. He pitches in Seattle.
Marco Estrada, Mr. Homer, faces a Phillies club that is ranked 23rd in homers. The Phils are also ranked 23rd in road OPS this season. It's risky, but Estrada has allowed just four runs in his last two starts, has a win in two of his last three outings, and he's rockin' a 1.12 WHIP in seven home starts this season.
Tom Koehler pitches on the road against the D'backs. The D'backs are 13th in OPS against righties this season and their .714 team OPS at home is 19th. Tom has made one start against the Diamondbacks with strong results (6 IP, 7 Ks, 3 H, 1 ER). Over his last three starts he's allowed four runs over 19 innings.
Joey Chestnut... wow... but how the hell do all those hot dogs make you feel? I assume not well.
Charlie Morton pitches in St. Louis. He's got a 4.37 ERA on the road this season. In his career, 15 starts, he's at 6.11 in the old ERA column against the Cardinals. Still, he makes a decent starts Monday. Why? The last time he faced STL on May 11th he held them to one earned run (four total) over six innings. He's also allowed two or fewer earned runs in seven of his last eight outings this season.
Jered Weaver faces a beat up Blue Jays club (various levels of injury for Brett Lawrie, Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista). He's pitching at home as well, and he always seems to get it done there (10 starts this season leading to a 2.75 ERA and 1.06 WHIP).
MOUND MESSES – Starting Pitchers to Avoid
Clay Buchholz... on principle is on the this list. He's made two starts since returning and has allowed three homers and five runs while striking out only five batters. He also has a 6.75 ERA and 1.79 WHIP over five home starts. He takes on the White Sox at Fenway.
Jarred Cosart takes on the Rangers in Arlington. Look, he's solid. But do you want solid? Depends on your setup one would guess. In nine road starts he has a 3.61 ERA and 1.30 WHIP. On the year he has a 3.93 ERA and 1.36 WHIP. His 1.58 K/BB ratio is horrible, and his 5.81 K/9 mark is laughable. When a quality start is basically the upside, how excited can you get about a guy?
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Daisuke Matsuzaka has seen his ERA for from 2.68 to 3.72 in two starts as he's allowed 10 runs in 11 innings. He's also lost each of his last three outings. He takes on a Braves team that has destroyed him over the years as well: 7.88 ERA, 1.83 WHIP, .337 BAA over 24 innings. Oh yeah, that last outing of five runs in five innings July 1st was also against the Braves.
Mike Minor takes on the Mets in New York. He's allowed nine runs over his last 10.1 innings. He's permitted at least one homer in 5-straight games (seven total). He's also struggled against the Mets with a 5.14 ERA and 1.41 WHIP over 10 starts including a four run, two homer outing in his last trip to the bump (4.1 IP on July 1st).
Ryan Vogelsong faces an Athletics club that is energized by the two mound additions (Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel). The game is also on the road in Oakland, and Ryan has a 5.20 ERA and 1.65 WHIP when not in SF this season. He's looked sharp his last two times out, but we're still talking about a pitcher who is facing the 6th best team in baseball in OPS against righties.
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