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Tuesday is here for what, the 19th time this season? Man is baseball ever a grind. Like a glutton for punishment though, I continue to write about baseball day after day after day. It's a gift. Here are some thoughts on the matchups for Tuesday August 5th.
* 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.
Nick Markakis lights up Mark Buehrle like I do the scoreboard playing Q*bert. Markakis has hit a lofty .435 in 46 at-bats mind you. He's hit two big flies and driven in seven. Delmon Young is right there with him, and that's saying something. In 48 at-bats Young has hit .396 with four homers and eight RBIs. Adam Jones is at .357 with a homer in his 28 at-bats. Slacker. Oh, and then there is Chris Davis who is at .316 with two homers in 19 at-bats.
Vat Of Eggnog Flavoring Explodes. True Story.
DISH DISASTERS – Worst Hitting Matchups of the Day
Brett Gardner is one of many Yanks that struggle against the ace that is David Price. Gardner has a mere two hits in 18 at-bats (at least he has two steals). Mark Teixeira has three homers but he's also batting .220 over 50 at-bats. Stephen Drew has five strikeouts and no hits over 10 at-bats.
J.J. Hardy has had an odd season. He never hits Mark Buehrle though with three hits in 28 at-bats (.107). Amazingly, that's twice as good as Nelson Cruz has done as Cruz has one hit in 17 career at-bats.
Gerardo Parra is now a Brewer, but he's never hit Tim Lincecum no matter what logo was on his jersey. In 46 at-bats he's hit .239 with 12 Ks. Mark Reynolds is worse (shocker). In 21 at-bats he's struck out an amazing 13 times while batting .143. Aramis Ramirez and his .200 average and one RBI over 20 at-bats seems palatable in comparison. Finally, Carlos Gomez is in a big time slump and he's also 1-for-11 with five Ks in the matchup.
B.J. Upton almost always struggles, but not like this. In 31 at-bats against King Felix he has 11 strikeouts and three hits (.097).
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MOUND MAVENS – Starting Pitchers to Target
Johnny Cueto has won each of his last four decisions. Over his last 10 outings he's allowed 16 earned runs. The last time he faced the Indians he allowed one run over nine innings. He pitches on the road where he has a 2.36 ERA and 1.03 WHIP this season.
Brad Hand faces the Pirates in Pittsburgh. The team has a struggling Pedro Alvarez and Andrew McCutchen is also out of the lineup. There's also the fact that over his last seven outings he's allowed three or fewer earned runs each time. He's only produced 13 strikeouts over his last five outings so it's not like a dominating effort is likely, but he does have a 3.21 ERA on the road and he's not beating himself with two of fewer walks in 7-straight.
Felix Hernandez has allowed two or fewer runs in 14-straight outings and he owns a 2.09 ERA and 0.84 WHIP at home this season where he faces the Braves.
Some people amuse me. What is wrong with people? I think this every time I meet people at a bar on the weekend. Has nothing to do with anything, just a random thought.
Clayton Kershaw won the NL pitcher of the month award for July after going 4-0 with a 1.07 ERA. He also won the award in June. Start him against the Angels at home.
Hector Santiago might have a tough road to a “W,” he faces Clayton Kershaw, but he should pitch well. Over his last four outings he's allowed one earned run over 15 innings. Hard to trust since he's facing the mighty lefty and has only one outing of six innings over his last nine appearances.
Zack Wheeler is on the proverbial role. His last six outings do not include one effort of more than two earned runs, and he's allowed a total of seven earned runs in those six outings. The last five times he's been on the bump he's also walked two or fewer batters, and that's nice for a guy who has long had control issues. He's also sporting a 3.30 ERA and 1.27 WHIP over 13 road starts this season (he's taking on the Nationals).
MOUND MESSES – Starting Pitchers to Avoid
Mark Buehrle was amazing for half the season. Forget about that guy. He's no longer that guy. Though he allowed one run in his last outing he's also permitted a .359 batting average over his last five starts during which time he's won one game with a 5.74 ERA and 1.84 WHIP. He faces the Orioles in Toronto.
Gio Gonzalez has lost his last three decisions and he's been rocky of late. In his last three outings he's twice failed to secure 12 outs – four innings – and we just cannot have that. He's facing an Orioles team that he lost to back on July 10th (4 R, 3 ER, 6.2 IP) and he owns a 4.39 ERA and 1.34 WHIP in eight home starts.
Hiroki Kuroda pitches at home against the Tigers. The last time he faced Detroit he walked none and stuck out 11. However, he's also allowed 17 hits over his last 12.2 innings, and he's permitted five homers his last seven outings. The Tigers are also hitting .274 against righties and are third in baseball in OPS against righties at .754.
Charlie Morton has allowed four runs in each of his last two outings. He's also struck out a total of eight batters over three starts (18 innings). He faces the Marlins in Pittsburgh. A bit of a hunch here. He's made nine home starts this season with a 2.18 ERA and 1.14 WHIP and that's pretty damn good.
Josh Tomlin at home versus the Reds. He's made eight trips to the bump this year in Cleveland and he's 2-4 with a 5.40 ERA. He's allowed, over his last four outings, 31 hits and 16 runs over 22.1 innings. No bueno.
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