Weekend number 19 of the MLB season is here. Who have the best and worst matchups? You know I've got your back. No matter how much fantasy football dominates the sports landscape, the Oracle is with you all through the last pitch of the regular season in baseball.
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.
DISH DIAMONDS – The Best Hitting Matchups of the Day
Jose Bautista has hit a homer and driven in three when facing Max Scherzer. He's also socked four doubles to give him a cool .571 batting average in 14 at-bats.
Nelson Cruz has 12 Ks in 36 at-bats against John Lackey, but he's also hit two bombs, driven in eight, and hit .333. Chris Davis, starting to warm at the dish, has also had success in the matchup. He's got a .906 OPS over 41 plate appearances with two homers and six RBIs. Don't forget three others. Nick Markakis is batting .328 over 64 at-bats, Delmon Young is 7-for-20 (.350) and Manny Machado has hit .389 with two homers in 18 at-bats.
Jimmy Rollins has hit many a hurler throughout his career, but you'd be hard pressed to find someone who he's had more success against than Dillon Gee: 12-for-25 with two homers, five RBIs an a steal. Ryan Howard also annihilates the Mets' hurler with six homers and 14 RBIs... in just 20 at-bats. He's also hit .450 with a 1.876 OPS.
David Wright has a meaty 76 at-bats against Cole Hamels. He's also excelled with five homers, four steals and 16 RBIs. Left out his impressive slash line: .329/.370/.618. Daniel Murphy has hit .354-1-6 over 48 at-bats. He's also stolen four bases. Eric Young Jr. has hit .345 and he's stolen six bases over 29 plate appearances. Heck, even Juan Lagares has success with a .391 average over 23 at-bats.
DISH DISASTERS – Worst Hitting Matchups of the Day
Lucas Duda has one hit in 13 at-bats against Cole Hamels. Seven of those at-bats have ended in a punchout. Chris Young has hit .231 with 10 Ks in his 26 at-bats. There there is Travis d'Arnaud who has one hit in 12 at-bats.
Adam Jones doesn't hit John Lackey well. He's struck out 15 times in 51 at-bats and has one walk leading to a .264 OBP. The three homers don't overwhelm that, do they? J.J. Hard has one RBI an a .192 batting average over 26 at-bats.
MOUND MAVENS – Starting Pitchers to Target
Cole Hamels has allowed the current Mets lineup to bat .292 with a .347 OBP and .773 OPS over 319 at-bats. That's pretty damn good – for the Mets. Going back further he has a 4.19 ERA and 1.46 WHIP over 30 starts against the club. Yugly. Still, Hamels' has allowed a total of two runs over his last four outings and one of those was an eight inning, one run affair against the Mets on July 29th.
Corey Kluber starts. Duh. He faces the Yankees on the road. He has a 2.55 ERA and 1.17 WHIP on the road. He's also allowed a total of 13 runs in his last 10 starts.
John Lackey allowed five runs in 5.1 innings the last time he faced the Orioles but he also walked just one batter and struck out 11 (July 5th). Since that start he's made it through at least six innings in each of his last four outings during which time he's permitted seven runners to cross home plate. The game is in Baltimore.
Francisco Liriano pitches at home against the Padres. He may have a terrible 4.78 ERA in 10 home start this season but he's facing the Padres, a team that is last in baseball in OPS against lefties at .623. Liriano also has allowed four runs in his last four outings and he's walked a total of seven batters in that time, an impressive rate for the oft wild one.
Brandon McCarthy allowed one earned in July 9th to the Indians (he did allow four total runs). In his five outings with the Yankees Brandon is 4-0 with a 2.08 ERA and 1.29 WHIP, and he's walked a total of six batters as he refuses to beat himself.
Tanner Roark versus the Braves... advantage the hurler. In 23 innings against the Brave Roark has a 2.35 ERA and 0.87 WHIP. He also allowed one run to the club in their last matchup on June 22nd. Overlook the five runs he allowed in his last outing. He's still allowed just nine runs his last five tripes to the hill.
Marcus Stroman allowed five runs while recording nine outs in his last outing, but the previous three trips to the bump he allowed a total of one run as he went seven innings in each outing to earn a “W.” He faces the Tigers at home, not an easy matchup, but Stroman has a 2.82 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 5.63 K/BB ratio in 10 home outings this season.
MOUND MESSES – Starting Pitchers to Avoid
Clay Buchholz is terrible. I keep telling ya, and you keep passing on my advice. Admit it. It's OK. Over his last four starts he's allowed 22 runs in 22 innings. He faces the Angels in Anaheim.
Dillon Gee has a 7.11 ERA and 1.56 WHIP in 12 outings against the Phillies. He has a 4.40 ERA on the road this season. He's allowed 17 runs in his last 22.1 innings. Seeing anything you like there?
Come on mom... they're just pictures.
Ubaldo Jimenez back for his first start since injuring his ankle July 5th. I don't need to break down while he should be benched against the Cardinals, do I?
Jake Odorizzi allowed five runs and only recorded nine outs in his last outing. He's been very consistent the past two months, but he does have a 5.73 ERA and 1.66 WHIP in nine road starts this season. He faces the Cubs in Wrigley and with his last outing being so underwhelming he tilts to avoid in this matchup.
Alfredo Simon. He's lost his last four outings. Three of those four outings have been five or fewer innings pitched. He's struck out a total of six batters his last three outings. He's likely just wearing down after all the innings. He faces the Marlins at home coming off a terrible start in which he allowed five runs over five innings against the Indians.