The last day of July presents a series of plus/minus matchups that need to be pointed out in the game of baseball. To that end Ray Flowers has reviewed the batter versus pitcher information to point out which players you might want to target and/or avoid while setting your lineup for July 31st.
* 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
Josh Hamilton has a .400-1-2 line over 15 at-bats against Bud Norris. That's the same batting average that David Freese has in 20 at-bats. Surprisingly though Freese has eight Ks meaning he's hitting .750 off Norris when he puts the ball in play.
Raul Ibanez will look to summon his younger self. He's been able to do so against Kevin Correia hitting .429 with a homer and five runs batted in over 16 plate appearances. What do you know, Mike Moustakas has actually hit someone as well. He's hit .412 with four RBIs in 17 at-bats. I know, who knew? Don't forget about Lorenzo Cain who has rapped out seven hits in 12 at-bats, and then there is Omar Infante who is at .375 with a .875 OPS over 24 plate appearances.
Garrett Jones faces the tremendously impressive Johnny Cueto so it's not going to be easy for him to be a factor. He may have only one homer in 39 at-bats in the matchup but he does have a solid slash line (.282/.349/.513).
I have no words... just an image I can't get out of my head.
Ian Kinsler has the upper hand against John Danks. He's hit .342 with a 1.112 OPS over 40 career plate appearances. He' also hit four big flies. How about that? Torii Hunter has also enjoyed success hitting .306-3-10 with six steals over 53 plate appearances.
Can the Nationals please call up Tyler Moore who is 6-for-12 with two homers against Cliff Lee? Oh well. Wilson Ramos has five hits in 11 at-bats (including a homer) while Danny Espinosa has a .364-3-5 line in 22 at-bats against Lee. Don't overlook the exploits of Jayson Werth either. He's batting .367-2-4 over 30 at-bats.
DISH DISASTERS – Worst Hitting Matchups of the Day
Marlon Byrd has been powering the ball but he's picked up just two hits and five strikeouts in 13 at-bats against Gio Gonzalez. Don't expect Ryan Howard to play. He's 0-for-11 with 6 Ks in the matchup. Chase Utley might sit too given that he's just 3-for-14 against Gio.
Miguel Cabrera really hasn't had much success against John Danks, and that's surprising. His .268/.375/.390 is light years below expectations. He's also hit only one homer in 41 at-bats. He's not the only straggler. Victor Martinez, who is hitting everyone this season, has never hit Danks. Oh sure he has three homers but he's also hit .208 with a .240 OBP over 50 plate appearances.
Alex Gordon is one heck of a ball player. He's also a mess when Kevin Correia is on the bump. In 24 at-bats he's hit .208 and he has a .577 OPS over 27 plate appearances. Eric Hosmer (.182 in 22 ABs) and Salvador Perez (.211 in 19 ABs) are but a shell of their normal selves as well in the matchup. Not what you would think either, is it?
Adam LaRoche has a smooth swing, one that fails to do damage against Cliff Lee. In 22 at-bats Adam has hit .182 with six strikeouts. Nate McLouth is 2-for-11 (.182) and that's twice as good as Bryce Harper who is 1-for-11. Ian Desmond is batting .240 in the matchup but he also has a .656 OPS and no RBIs in 25 at-bats. Meanwhile Anthony Rendon is at .154 with four strikeouts in 13 at-bats.
Albert Pujols has been quite the run producer this season. He has never been effective against Bud Norris though. In 39 at-bats the HOF bound slugger has hit .179 with a .289 OBP and sickly .256 SLG. That's good for a .545 OPS over 46 plate appearances. Makes his two homers and six runs batted in pretty irrelevant, doesn't it? Teammate Howie Kendrick is similarly vexed in the matchup with two hits in 14 at-bats (.143).
Poor Justin Upton. He gets little respect in the fantasy game in general, but he's also very likely to get anything done against Clayton Kershaw (there is no shame in that). Upton has hit .103 with a .368 OPS over 31 plate appearances. Teammate Chris Johnson has a .250 OPS over 12 at-bats. Yikes.
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MOUND MAVENS – Starting Pitchers to Target
Jake Arrieta pitches at home against the Rockies. In six home starts he's sporting a 1.96 ERA, 0.95 WHIP an a .197 BAA. Amazingly the sad sack Cubs have produced enough runs for him to win all of one game. One. In three of his last four starts he's walked four batters, but you cannot turn your back on Mr. Quality Start (nine in a row).
Josh Collmenter faces the Pirates at home. Over 14 outings (10 starts) in Arizona he's gone 6-2 with a 2.94 ERA and 1.04 WHIP. He's also posted a 1.59 ERA and 1.15 WHIP over 11.1 career innings against he Pirates. The Pirates are 7th in baseball in OPS against righties, but Collmenter is funky enough that you may be able to discount that number ever so slightly which brings the matchup into the mid-level range.
Gio Gonzalez faces the Phillies, the 21st best offense in baseball against lefties according to OPS. The last time they faced off, back on May 4th and Gio held the Phils to one run over 7.1 innings. He's long had the Phillies number too with a 2.48 ERA and 1.10 WHIP over nine starts.
Drew Hutchison has a 2.95 ERA and 1.17 WHIP on the road in 13 starts. He's also been taken deep only four times in those outings. He faces the Astros who currently rank 27th in OPS against right handed pitching.
Clayton Kershaw versus the Braves in L.A. I won't even bother telling you why.
Tom Koehler has a 2.75 ERA and 0.98 WHIP in nine home starts this season. He's a totally different pitcher there than on the road. The Reds come to town Thursday to face Tom. Tom is right handed. The Reds have a .671 OPS against righties this season. That mark is 24th in baseball. So ends my short review of Tom.
It doesn't pay to argue with science. Just be naked. It's good for you.
Tyler Skaggs has been a solid pitcher on the road this season (3.69 ERA, 1.10 WHIP). He's posted very similar numbers in night games as well (3.76 ERA, 1.19 WHIP). He's yet to face the Orioles though, and he had allowed five or more earned runs in two of his last three starts so he's not exactly a no doubt play Thursday.
MOUND MESSES – Starting Pitchers to Avoid
Odrisamer Despaigne has a 1.66 ERA this season for the Padres. He's also nowhere near that talented. He's not a 2.66 ERA guy. He may not be a 3.66 ERA guy to be honest. He faces the Cardinals at home Thursday and you should be reluctant to call out his name. Not only has he walked eight batters in his last two starts but he owns a 4.74 K/9 mark an a 1.25 K/BB ratio. Those are putrid numbers. Smoke and mirrors.
Jeff Locke had been pitching like he was Tom Glavine. He isn't Tom Glavine. Over his last 12.2 innings he's allowed nine runs, five homers and 17 hits. Yikes. He's just not overly talented and the D'backs are 14th in OPS against lefties so he's not likely to find the matchup overly pleasing.
Julio Teheran has great season long numbers but you might want to push pause on starting him Thursday. In 11 starts on the road this season he has a 6-5 record with a 4.09 ERA and 1.27 WHIP, and the last time he faced the Dodgers he was lit up for six runs while recording only eight outs. He's also been decidedly blah over his last four starts: 5.01 ERA, 1.54 WHIP.
Yordano Ventura allowed four walks and four runs the last time he faced the Twins (his outing also lasted four innings). Over his last four outings in July he's the owner of a 6.75 ERA, 1.73 WHIP an a 1.67 K/BB ratio. He's not going well. For more see Oracle Report: Catching Up.
Chris Young allowed one run in five innings the last time he faced the Indians. Young's allowed 12 homers in 10 games on the road this season, and Park Factors show that Progressive Field is 6th in baseball in homers this season, clearly favoring the batters. Young also has a 4.29 ERA on the road this season and that 1.47 K/BB ratio is just scary.
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