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Daily Trends: Weekend Edition, Wk.18

Ray Flowers breaking down BVP information. That's what he does. Here are his thoughts on the matchups for Saturday and Sunday.

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I've had a  long week. You too? Where is the saloon? Still found the time for you, my faithful followers, to break down the matchups on Saturday and Sunday, the second and third days of August. So off we go.

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.   

UPDATED PLAYER RANKINGS: It's the first of the month, so you know that the Oracle has you covered with an updated set of rankings, position by position, for the rest of the season. 


DISH DIAMONDS – The Best Hitting Matchups of the Day
Domonic Brown stinks. Told you he would. He seems to have unlikely success though against Jordan Zimmermann with seven hits in 14 at-bats. Let's hope he's healthy enough to play Saturday. 

Coco Crisp, if he plays, has long had success against Jason Vargas who is coming back from injury. Crisp has 14 hits in 43 at-bats, a .326 average, that includes two homers.

Freddie Freeman has five hits in eight at-bats against Ian Kennedy. One of those hits was a homer and he's driven in seven runners. 

Garrett Jones has hit .308 with two homers in 39 at-bats against Homer Bailey. Casey McGehee is at .350 with four RBIs in 20 at-bats. 

Adam LaRoche has two big flies and six RBIs against A.J. Burnett. Asdrubal Cabrera has hit two homers with four RBIs. In 16 at-bats Cabrera has hit .375 while LaRoche has hit .387 over 31 at-bats. Denard Span might join the party too. He's hit .316 with four steals over 38 at-bats. 

Lyle Overbay... wow kid. In 11 at-bats against Justin Masterson he's 6-for-11. 

Sean Rodriguez has a smooth .318 average and .878 OPS over 25 plate appearances against C.J. Wilson. Yunel Escobar, on a smaller scale, is batting .455 in 11 at-bats.

DISH DISASTERS – Worst Hitting Matchups of the Day

The best hitter on the planet, Jose Altuve, has had no success against knuckle baller R.A. Dickey. The knuckleball is just funky enough that it might stop Altuve. Or will it? In 10 at-bats he doesn't have a single hit. 

Billy Butler has one RBI, nine strikeouts, and a .182 batting average in 22 at-bats against Jon Lester. Lorenzo Cain is also hitting .182 in his 11 at-bats. That’s better than Alex Gordon who is at .105 with eight whiffs in 19 at-bats. 

Marlon Byrd is still a Philly. He's produced one RBI an a .440 OPS over 19 plate appearances against Jordan Zimmermann. Carlos Ruiz also slumps against the righty with a .211 average over 19 at-bats while Ryan Howard is at .176 over 17 at-bats. 

Robinson Cano never struggles, certainly not against average pitchers. Oops. Guess he does. In 21 at-bats against Miguel Gonzalez he's had two hits (.095). 

Josh Donaldson meet Mr. Awful pants. That's who he is when he takes on Jason Vargas (I recently spent time in Hawaii with my six and four year old nephews so I'm acting really mature right now). Donaldson is 1-for-18 in the matchup. Derek Norris is better but .188 in 16 at-bats isn't good. Jonny Gomes has one hit in 15 at-bats. He's also struck out an unfathomable 11 times. 

Desmond Jennings doesn't hit C.J. Wilson well. He's gone 2-for-18 leading to a .111 average. Evan Longoria has nine strikeouts and just a .174 batting average over 23 at-bats. 

Seth Smith has three hits, and seven punchouts, in 16 at-bats against Ervin Santana. Jeff Francoeur is even worse hitting .133 over 15 at-bats. 

Jayson Werth has 23 feckless at-bats against A.J. Burnett. He's produced two homers but they are his only two hits (.087). Ian Desmond has two hits, and five punchouts, in 14 at-bats. 

B.J. Upton is batting .214 with five Ks in 14 at-bats against Ian Kennedy. Does have a homer an steal. 

Chris Young has a .160/.222/.360 slash line over 27 plate appearances against Jake Peavy. David Wright has only two hits in 16 at-bats (.125). He's also struck out seven times. Curtis Granderson has only four hits in 17 at-bats as well, that just a .235 batting an a .235 OBP. 

MOUND MAVENS – Starting Pitchers to Target

Chris Archer pitches at home against the Angels. The last time he faced that club he tossed 5.2 shutout innings while allowing only two hits. Only once in his last five outings has Archer failed to deliver a quality start, and in 10 home starts this season he has a 3.32 ERA and 1.24 WHIP. 

Jacob deGrom faces the Giants in New York. Gotta start him. He's allowed two runs over his last four starts, all victories, and the last time Jd allowed a home run was back on June 5th. Locked in, period. Don't know how you can't trust him at the moment. 

R.A. Dickey has walked only three batters in his last three outings and six over his last five outings. He's not beating himself despite throwing the knuckleball. Dickey has also allowed two or fewer earned runs in four of his last six outings. He's got passable numbers on the road this season – 3.52 ERA, 1.36 WHIP – and he goes to Houston to face the Astros.

Miguel Gonzalez faces the Mariners in Baltimore. In eight outings at home Miguel has a 3.30 ERA (though his WHIP is 1.42). At the same time, he's turned in to Mr. Quality start of late. Over his last four outings he's produced a QS each time out, and in total he's allowed six runs. Pretty good, no? He also tossed six innings of one run ball against the Mariners in his last outing. 

Yohan Pinto faces the White Sox in Chicago. In three of his last four starts he's allowed two or fewer runs. Through seven starts he hasn't beaten himself walking only eight batters. In his last outing against the White Sox, on July 27th, he allowed two runs over six innings as he walked one and struck out six. 

Jason Vargas is making his return from injury (he last pitched on July 8th). Therefore starting him is a risk no doubt. Still, he dominated the Athletics roster. In 2012 at-bats the A's have hit .224 with a .601 OPS against Vargas. Remove Coco Crisp who may not play, and the group hits .196 in 158 at-bats. Hard not to like that matchup.

MOUND MESSES – Starting Pitchers to Avoid

A.J. Burnett has seen his ERA rise to 4.15 and his K/BB ratio dip below 2.00. Not good. The last time he took the hill he allowed seven runs over five innings. Burnett is on the road taking on the Nationals and he's not been good when away from home either – he has a 5.26 ERA and 1.47 WHIP in 12 road starts. 

Nathan Eovaldi pitches at home against the Reds. Two things. (1) He has a 5.11 ERA and three wins at home in 12 starts. (2) Over his last three starts he's allowed 18 runs over 16.1 innings. Pass. 

Ian Kennedy has allowed seven runs in his last two outings. He's also walked eight batters in that time as his control has left him. On the year he's made 11 starts at home, and oddly his ratios are worse there (4.18 ERA, 1.28 WHIP) than they are on the road (3.18 ERA, 1.16 WHIP). He faces the Braves.

Kyle Lohse has not had success against the Cardinals in his career. In 10 career starts he has only three wins. Second, He has a 4.04 ERA. Third, the Cards have hit .302 off him. Given that he's struck out a total of 12 batters in his last four starts, and that he has only two wins in his last six outings, Lohse makes a moderate start at best in St. Louis. 

Justin Masterson makes his first start for the Cardinals. He will start at home against the Brewers. You trust him? He last pitched on July 7th, and the last time he finished five innings of work was back on June 19th. He's also walked at least three batters in each of his last six starts. Best bet is to give him some time to settle in before trusting him. 

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DISH DIAMONDS – The Best Hitting Matchups of the Day
Jose Bautista has a homer, five RBIs and a 1.207 OPS over 15 plate appearances against the boring-tastic Scott Feldman

Marlon Byrd has six hits in 15 at-bats against Stephen Strasburg. That's a cool .400 average. Carlos Ruiz is at .385 with a big fly in 13 at-bats.

Robinson Cano has a sterling .440 average with two homers and eight RBIs against Chris Tillman over 25 at-bats. 

Yunel Escobar has six hits, including a homer, in 10 at-bats against Jered Weaver. Ben Zobrist is at .333 with a homer in his 18 at-bats. James Loney has four RBIs and is batting .313 in 32 at-bats. 

Scott Hairston is paid to hit lefties. He crushes Cole Hamels. In 41 at-bats check out this insane line: .390-5-9. Toss in a 1.310 OPS and you've got --- Miguel Cabrera on your hands in this matchup. Adam LaRoche has hit .270 with a .929 OPS and four bombs in 38 plate appearances. 

Matt Holliday is batting .348 with a big fly in 23 at-bats against Kyle Lohse

Garrett Jones is all kind of good this weekend. He's at .333-1-6 in 39 at-bats against Mike Leake

Just amazing. Check it out. You will laugh, and have a good two minutes.

Justin Morneau has two RBIs and a .316 batting average in 19 at-bats against the struggling Anibal Sanchez.

Jean Segura... get 'er going. He might Sunday as he has seven hits in 13 at-bats against Lance Lynn. Gerardo Parra is batting .500 with a homer in 12 at-bats. 

Josh Willingham obliterated Jose Quintana. In 18 at-bats he's hit .500. Oh yeah, three of those hits are homers and he's also driven in six runs. 

Chris Young was on the naughty list Saturday, but he's on the “good” list for Sunday. In 17 at-bats against Madison Bumgarner he's produced a homer, seven hits, a .400 average an a .500 OBP. 

DISH DISASTERS – Worst Hitting Matchups of the Day

Matt Carpenter has one hit in 11 at-bats against Kyle Lohse. Mark Ellis is 3-for-18 and A.J. Pierzynski is 2-for-10. 

Coco Crisp has three hits in 21 at-bats against James Shields. Josh Reddick is 3-for-16. 

Nelson Cruz has 20 homerless at-bats against Hisashi Iwakuma. He's also hit a mere .200 with five strikeouts.

Ian Desmond doesn't see the ball well against Cole Hamels. Or maybe he sees it and just can't hit it. Regardless, the results are terrible: .195/.214/.390 with 10 Ks in 42 plate appearances. Danny Espinosa is at .167 over 18 at-bats while Wilson Ramos is at .143 over 14 at-bats. 

Brett Gardner is on fire of late. However, history says he might struggle against Clay Buchholz whom he has three hits against in 20 at-bats (.150). Mark Teixeira might also find success elusive with a .190 average and seven Ks in 21 at-bats. 

Matt Joyce doesn't hit Jered Weaver with two hits in 15 at-bats (five Ks as well). 

Matt Kemp is hitting, but he's never hit Edwin Jackson going 3-for-14 with seven strikeouts. Who knew? 

Aramis Ramirez should hit Lance Lynn. He doesn't. In 18 at-bats he's produced two hits. Carlos Gomez is even worse, like hideous bad. In 17 at-bats he's hit .176 with nine punchouts. Jonathan Lucroy even struggles with two hits in 15 at-bats (six Ks). 

Jimmy Rollins is a disaster against Stephen Strasburg. In 27 at-bats he's struck out a hideous 11 times while batting .111. Chase Utley is only slightly better at .158 over 19 at-bats. 

Eric Young Jr. has three hits in 25 at-bats against MadBum. Not good. That's what we say when a guy has a .305 OPS, right?

MOUND MAVENS – Starting Pitchers to Target

Yu Darvish against the Indians roster: .200 average with 22 strikeouts in 55 at-bats.

Hisashi Iwakuma was great in July: 2.32 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, 39 Ks and 1 BB. Wow. The current Orioles club has hit .246 with a .292 OBP against him in 65 plate appearances. Hard not to trust him right now, even when pitching in Baltimore. 

Lance Lynn has 42 punchouts in 149 at-bats against current Brewers' batters. He's also allowed only two homers. He allowed three runs in five innings to the Brew Crew back on April 29th, that after seven shutout innings against them on April 14th. The game takes place in St. Louis where Lynn is 7-3 with a 2.62 ERA this season. 

Jose Quintana has allowed one hit to the following White Sox batters: Trevor Plouffe (8 ABs), Eduardo Escobar (7 ABs), Oswaldo Arcia (8 ABs). He's also walked two or fewer batters in 6-straight starts and during that time hasn't allowed a single homer. He's also allowed a total of eight earned runs in that time to drop his ERA to 3.15. When he faced the Twins last on June 19th the results were solid (2 ER, 6 Ks, 7 IP).

Tyson Ross has had a great season. He's sporting a 2.60 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 150 Ks in 148.2 innings. He's completely locked in with a total of five runs allowed over his last six outings. He's also posted a rather amazing 1.86 ERA and 0.98 WHIP over 12 home starts. He faces the Braves in San Diego.

Chris Tillman faces a Mariners club that is the worst in the AL in OPS (.670). Tillman also has a 3.10 ERA in 10 home starts this season. Add in that over his last 10 starts he's allowed three runs or fewer each time and that he's gone at least six innings in eight of those 10 outings and you have a pretty solid option on the bump. 

MOUND MESSES – Starting Pitchers to Avoid

Clay Buchholz... please tell me you aren't still trusting him. I've warned for, I don't know four years now. Most don't listen. When locked in he can dominate. When does that happen? Exactly, no one knows. His ERA is 5.87 for the year as he's allowed 15 runs over his last 17 innings after tossing a shutout against the Royals on July 18th. Cannot be trusted in a start at home against the Yankees (career against them: 5.12 ERA, 1.56 WHIP). 

Scott Feldman is terrible. Well, at least terribly blah. He has one win in his last 10 outings. He's failed to strike out more than five batters in any of his last eight outings. He has a 4.90 ERA in 10 home starts this season. In 13 outings against the Blue Jays he's got a 5.77 ERA and 1.34 WHIP. 

Kyle Gibson faces the White Sox in Chicago. In 12 road starts this season he's posted a 4.43 ERA. The Sox have the 8th best OPS in baseball against righties. Then there is the maddeningly inconsistent efforts from Gibson. Here are his earned runs marks the past six starts: 0, 6, 0, 5, 2 and 7. Good luck with that. 

Mike Leake is listing. He tossed 7.2 shutout innings in his last outing, but in the three previous outings he allowed four runs each time. He's also struck out six batters just once four outings, is 4-5 on the road, and has a 3.71 ERA and 1.30 WHIP in 12 road starts. He faces the Marlins in Miami where they have the 9th best OPS in baseball. 

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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