From The Fantasy Oracle 2016 MLB Draft Guide Is Here! 

Daily Trends: Weekend Edition, Wk.16

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.

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As my last official duty before I take a hard earned week off to lay on a beach, I thought I
d ride off into the sunset with a weekend edition of Daily Trends where I give insight on the best and worst matchups of the coming weekend.

* NOTE II: I will be away next week with the family in Hawaii. It will be my first true family vacation in, jeez, I'm gonna say 17 years. As a result, the Daily Trends piece will not be available from July 21-July 28th. I will pick things right back up on the 29th. Therefore, make sure to visit the DFS PLAYBOOK each day. 


DISH DIAMONDS – The Best Hitting Matchups of the Day
Jose Bautista faces Colby Lewis who was blasted into submission in his last outing. Bautista has also hit .364 with two homers off Lewis in 11 at-bats. 

Michael Brantley is having a great season and he's also had success against Max Scherzer. In 38 at-bats Brantley has hit .316 with a homer, nine RBIs and three steals. 

Miguel Cabrera versus Corey Kluber, one would think, might be a pretty fair battle. It's simply not. Miggy has hit three homers with seven RBIs over 24 at-bats. He's also batting .500. Victor Martinez is only hitting .471 with two homers in his 17 at-bats. 

Yunel Escobar, and this is nuts, has seven hits in 12 at-bats against Kevin Correia (.583). 

Nick Hundley has seven hits, including a homer, in 14 at-bats against Jason Hammel.

Eduardo Nunez doesn't have much pop but he's still had plenty of success against David Price. In 28 at-bats he's hit .321 with a homer, four RBIs, and get this, five thefts.

Drew Stubbs has nine hits in 25 at-bats against Charlie Morton. He's gone deep, driven in five runs an also stolen three bases. 

Nick Swisher is one of the few Indians to hit Max Scherzer. He has a .364/.462/.545 slash line over 26 plate appearances.

Mark Teixeira has a mere 11 at-bats against Alfredo Simon, but he's produced six hits (.545) including a homer.

Mike Trout goes kaboom against Felix Hernandez. In 44 at-bats he's hit a robust .386 with a 1.067 OPS as he's gone deep twice with 11 RBIs. 

Jayson Werth has one homer an a .385 batting average over 13 at-bats against Matt Garza. Don’t know if you can gain much from six at-bats but Werth has two homers and five RBIs in that time. 

DISH DISASTERS – Worst Hitting Matchups of the Day

Ian Desmond has one hit in nine at-bats against Matt Garza (four Ks). Denard Span has one hit in eight at-bats. They aren't likely to have much success. 

Freddie Freeman has 13 Ks in 36 at-bats against Cole Hamels. He's also hitting just .250 with a .289 OBP. Jason Heyward also struggles with a .241 batting average, eight strikeouts and no RBIs in 29 at-bats. But oh B.J. Upton... he's hitless in 14 at-bats. 

Carlos Gomez has only a single in 10 at-bats against Gio Gonzalez. At least he has only one strikeout.

Austin Jackson has 14 at-bats against rolling righty Corey Kluber. He has but two hits. Torii Hunter has three hits in his 17 at-bats (.188) and that's better than the .176 mark that Alex Avila has in his 17 at-bats. 

James Loney shouldn't struggle this badly against Kevin Correia, but there it is: 34 at-bats, eight hits, a .235 batting average. Oddly, he has two homers and two steals. The world is upside down. 

Jhonny Peralta has only two RBIs over 47 at-bats against Zack Greinke. That's not the worst of it. He's also hitting .234 with a mere .606 OPS as well. 

Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton suck wind against Felix Hernandez. In 33 at-bats Pujols has hit .212 with a .212 OBP over 33 plate appearances. Hamilton is worse at .175 in the average category and he's struck out 21 times in 63 at-bats – that's a third of them. 

Carlos Santana is but one of many Indians batters who have the hardest time with Max Scherzer. Just take a look at the list of failure. Santana has three hits in 34 at-bats. That's a .088 average folks. Jason Kipnis has a .185 batting average and nine punchouts in 27 at-bats. Lonnie Chisenhall has a .217 batting average and .217 OBP in 23 plate appearances. David Murphy has 27 plate appearances of blah (.269/.286/.346). Finally, Asdrubal Cabrera has hit .267 with a .313 OBP and 15 Ks, fully a third of his 45 at-bats. Oh hell. Chris Dickerson has seven strikeouts in nine hitless at-bats. 

Troy Tulowitzki has one hit in 10 at-bats against sinker balling Charlie Morton. Tulo isn't great on balls that are down in the zone, but if the ball is over the center of the plate watch out

MOUND MAVENS – Starting Pitchers to Target

Danny Duffy faces the Red Sox who rank 16th in OPS against lefties and are just 20th in home OPS. Duffy has been nails in 50 innings on the road this year with a 2.34 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and he's held batters to a .211 batting average. 

Gio Gonzalez tossed six innings of shutout ball against the Brewers on June 23rd to start a stretch of four starts in which he allowed a total of four runs (three earned). He faces the Brewers against Saturday and in six starts at home this year he's posted a 3.18 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 9.0 K/9 mark. 

Zack Greinke. Duh. He faces the Cardinals in St. Louis. The last time they faced off, about three weeks ago, he struck out 10 and allowed one run over seven innings. He's also allowed a total of five earned runs his last three starts, each of which has gone at least seven seven innings. In 11 road starts this season he has a 2.73 ERA. 

Corey Kluber is better at home than on the road (3.00 ERA, 1.35 WHIP), and he faces a stout Tigers club. Still, Kluber held the Tigers to two runs over seven innings back on June 22nd and five of his last six outings overall he's allowed two or fewer runs. Over his last five outings he's also walked just six batters. I like that, a lot. 

Wade Miley, I wrote about in Buy Low Targets. He faces the Cubs Saturday and he's held the current roster to a .227 average and .311 OBP over 66 at-bats. The group has also taken him deep only one time.

Marcus Stroman faces the Rangers in Toronto Saturday. He didn't look good at all in his last start allowing six runs (5 ER) over 3.2 innings. At the same time he had allowed a total of five runs his previous four starts, and over 37 innings at home he's sporting a 1.16 WHIP. 

MOUND MESSES – Starting Pitchers to Avoid

Matt Garza has been a confounding play this season. He's got a decent 3.69 ERA, that number has come down more than a run over his last eight starts, and his 1.18 WHIP is solid. At the same time he's got a 4.50 ERA and 1.30 WHIP in eight road starts and he's also saddled with a mere 1.60 K/BB ratio. He faces the Nationals in Washington, a team that he had success against last time out but has still struggled with mightily over his career (5.74 ERA, 1.54 WHIP over five starts).

Joe Kelly has only four starts on the year. The last time out, his first start in two months, the Brewers got to him for six runs as he recorded only nine outs. The guy has a 1.38 WHIP for his career and his 5.99 K/9 ratio is craptastic. Sit him against the Dodgers. 

Archer. Seen it? If not, watch this and you will want to see the best comedy on television.

Dallas Keuchel takes on the White Sox in Chi-town. I think Dallas' wrist might be a bigger issue than the club is letting on. Regardless, whether it's injury or simple regression, the fact is that the guy has stunk of late. Over his last four starts he's allowed 17 earned runs to move his ERA from 2.38 to 3.20. Over those 24.2 innings he's also allowed 10 walks and permitted 36 hits. Gulp is right. Can't start him right now.

Colby Lewis... ha. He gave up 13 runs, 11 earned, in his last start. Go ahead and start him in Toronto if you have a death wish. 

Travis Wood has made 19 starts and owns a 4.96 ERA and 1.49 WHIP. An early season strikeout leader, Wood has failed to strike out five batters in four of his last five outings. He also last won a game on June 15th, more than a month ago. He pitches in Arizona against the D'backs. 

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Bookmark the following four sources to check daily after you read this piece.


Fantasy Alarm Lineups

Batter Versus Pitcher

Daily Projections – For every single day of the season.


DISH DIAMONDS – The Best Hitting Matchups of the Day
Shin-Soo Choo kills it against soft tossing Mark Buehrle. In 36 at-bats the struggling Choo has hit .417 with a .462 OBP. Will he get it going? Adrian Beltre has also had success hitting .333 with a homer in 36 at-bats. 

Freddie Freeman has hit a homer, has drive in seven runs and has hit .364 over 22 at-bats when Kyle Kendrick is on the bump. He's also drawn four walks leading to a .462 OBP. Justin Upton is batting .300 with two homers and four RBIs over 20 at-bats. Chris Johnson has three RBIs and is batting .350 over 20 at-bats. 

Matt Holliday has only hit .273 with one RBI in 33 at-bats against Clayton Kershaw. Given how dominating the lefty can be that's actually not terrible. However, check this out. Holliday has walked 10 times meaning he has a .442 OBP against Kershaw. Now that's impressive, right?

Austin Jackson has 14 at-bats against Josh Tomlin and he's hit .357 with a homer. Tomlin doesn't impress anybody. 

This is the best report ever written. Period. 

Matt Joyce has produced seven hits in 15 at-bats when facing Phil Hughes. He's gone deep twice, produced five RBIs and has walked five times leading to a .619 OBP. Yowzahs. James Loney has seven hits in 11 at-bats. That's a .636 average. Yunel Escobar is only at .350 in his 20 at-bats. Slacker

Adam LaRoche has two bombs, four RBIs and an OPS over 1.000 in 32 plate appearances against Yovani Gallardo. Ryan Zimmerman has 16 plate appearances in the matchup and his OBP is .500. He's also got a homer and five runs batted in.

DISH DISASTERS – Worst Hitting Matchups of the Day

Billy Butler has a .211 batting average in 19 at-bats against Jon Lester. He has walked five times but he's also whiffed eight times. That work is still much better than the pathetic .118/.158/.176 slash line of Alex Gordon in 17 plate appearances. He also has seven whiffs. 

Jason Heyward... does he do well against anyone? In 28 at-bats against sucky Kyle Kendrick, yes I used the word sucky, Jason has hit .179 with one RBI and seven strikeouts. 

Jason Kipnis has come to the plate 10 times against Drew Smyly. He's yet to garner a hit. He's also struck out six times. 

Casey McGehee has a .214 average and .500 OPS over 14 plate appearances against Tim Lincecum. He's also struck out four times. 

Albert Pujols has 14 at-bats against Chris Young. He's had three hits and owns a .679 OPS. I know, right? Doesn't seem possible. 

Alex Rios has five hits in 28 at-bats (.179) when facing Mark Buehrle. As bad as that it it blows away the .105 average of Elvis Andrus (19 ABs) and the .100 mark of Geovany Soto (20 ABs). 

Denard Span has 18 at-bats against Yovani Gallardo. Gotta fell pretty bad for him given that he's got an OPS of .367. Not OBP, OPS.

Ben Zobrist has failed to produce anything in 16 at-bats against Phil Hughes. OK he has two RBIs but he's also gone 0-for-16.

MOUND MAVENS – Starting Pitchers to Target

Mark Buehrle continues to get it done. Through the first half he posted a 2.64 ERA. In nine home starts this year his ERA is 2.85. In 23 career outings against the Rangers his ERA is 3.12. He's struck out three or fewer batters in four of his last five outings and he's allowed four homers in his last four starts, but we'll give him another start even though he last won on June 1st. 

Hiroki Kuroda has allowed nine homers in nine home starts this season. That's one of the reasons his ERA in those starts is 4.34. He's also allowed three homers in his last four starts overall. However, the Reds come to town and they are beat up. They're also only 21st in baseball in homers against righties while their .249 batting average and .311 OBP against righties don't exactly impress either. 

Jon Lester has dominated the Royals in 10 career starts (no hyperbole) with a 1.60 ERA and 1.04 WHIP. He’s also dominated most opponent this season as he's allowed on earned run in his last three starts and has gone 7-straight allowing two or fewer earned runs. He faces the Royals at home where he  has a 2.14 ERA this season. 

Tim Lincecum has lowered his ERA to 3.66 and his WHIP to 1.25 as he's won 4-straight games. Yes he's faced the Padres twice in that time, but over the four starts he's allowed a total of one run. One (added emphasis). He's also walked nine batters while striking out 24. He's had lots of trouble on the road this year (5.48 ERA, 1.58 WHIP) as he goes to Miami to take on the Marlins whom he held to three runs over six innings back on May 17th. 

Brandon McCarthy faces the Reds in NY. McCarthy's numbers this year look bad, especially that 3-10 record and 4.80 ERA, but most advanced metrics certainly suggest that brighter times are ahead. Over his last three starts Brandon has also allowed a total of just four earned runs. Plus, he's got a hot wife

Zack Wheeler in San Diego against the Padres. What can go wrong? The Padres are last in baseball in OPS against righties (.620). The are last in baseball in OPS in home games (.611). They are last in baseball in OPS in any situation (.607). They are h-o-r-r-e-n-d-o-u-s on offense. Historically bad actually.

MOUND MESSES – Starting Pitchers to Avoid

Yovani Gallardo held the Nationals to one run over six innings on June 24th, but the team has long had his number (5.61 ERA, 1.46 WHIP over 10 outings). Gallardo has also been very hard to predict of late allowing five earned runs in two of his last three outings (he permitted 13 total runs in those two down outings). Given that he's only struck out nine batters over his last three games and that he's failed to strike out even six batters in his last five starts... pass.

Phil Hughes faces the Rays, and that group has long had success against him. The current roster of Rays has performed as if they were Mike Trout against him. I'm serious. Check out the slash line in 143 plate appearances: .323/.392/.551. Yes, that's bad for Hughes who has allowed at least five earned runs in four of his last five starts. 

Kyle Kendrick has been beaten for 12 runs in his last two outings as he's been taken deep four times. The last time he faced the Braves (June 27th) he allowed four runs in eight innings. He's saddled with a 5.12 ERA and 1.34 WHIP over 10 road starts this season.

Jeff Locke faces the Rockies, and though the game isn't in Colorado it deserves to be noted that the Rockies are second in baseball in OPS against lefties and second in homers (both numbers lead the NL). Even with the game in Pittsburgh, the matchup should make you a bit nervous. Locke has been pitching great but over his last five outings he's averaged just 3.6 strikeouts per contest and he simply doesn't own the skills that are needed to continue along at his current pace of success. 

Drew Smyly faces the Indians, and the team from Cleveland is the 4th worst in baseball against lefties according to OPS. At the same time he's also allowed at least four runs in each of his last three starts. It's worse than that though as he's allowed 13 earned runs over just 14.1 innings. Smyly isn't going deep enough into games and has been way too erratic to get the full stamp of approval. 

Make sure you tune in to the Fantasy Alarm's Daily Game Show at 6 PM EDT, Monday through Friday on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius210, XM87) as Jeff Mans and Ted Schuster will help you to set your daily lineups. 


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