Shark Week has gone the way of the dodo in my eyes. They are now more about creating “mockumentaries” then presenting real science. After two decades of watching Shark Week, I think I'm gonna boycott, just like I have done by never buying a ticket to an interleague baseball game. At least the world of baseball won't let me down. There will be nothing fake going on in MLB Wednesday, August 13th.
* 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.
Coco Crisp is a happy man when Jason Vargas is on the hill. The battle has taken the form of 47 plate appearances and Crisp has hit .326 with a .383 OBP and .512 OPS. He's hit two homers and driven in five runs.
Daniel Murphy has blasted Jordan Zimmermann in their battles. Over 44 at-bats Daniel, far from a power hitter, has three homers, five doubles eight RBIs an a .364 batting average. Oh yeah, his OPS is 1.060 too.
Eels can live that long... in a well?
DISH DISASTERS – Worst Hitting Matchups of the Day
Starlin Castro has struggled – understatement – when Kyle Lohse has been on the bump. In 36 at-bats he has a ghastly .194/.194/.194 slash line with one RBI. That average dwarfs the .150 of Welington Castillo over 20 at-bats.
Lucas Duda has a terrible slash line against Jordan Zimmermann (.208/.269/.292). He's accomplished that junk over 26 plate appearances. Anthony Recker (6 ABs), Curtis Granderson (7 ABs), Kirk Niewenhuis (6 ABs) and Wilmer Flores (6 ABs) all have exactly one hit in the matchup.
I saw the new Corvette Stingray on the street Monday. Sick.
Jonny Gomes has two hits in 17 at-bats against Jason Vargas. I don't eve know how it's possible that he has 12 strikeouts against Vargas. Josh Donaldson takes the cake. Barely. He's hitting .050 in 20 at-bats. That's one hit he's produced. Josh Reddick is at .231 with a .615 OPS over 26 plate appearances. Then there is Derek Norris who is at .222 with seven strikeouts in 18 at-bats.
Alex Gordon has a .214 mark with one homer and eight strikeouts over 28 at-bats when Scott Kazmir is on the bump. Newly acquired Josh Willingham has seven strikeouts and just three hits in 17 at-bats in the matchup.
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MOUND MAVENS – Starting Pitchers to Target
Chris Archer on the road against the Rangers. Archer has become Mr. Consistent. Over his last nine outings he's allowed three or fewer runs seven times. He's also working on a run of 4-straight quality starts as he's allowed one homer in five outings and only walked seven batters over his last four games. He also has 15 punchouts over his last 12 innings of work.
Hisashi Iwakuma faces the Blue Jays at home. He's the owner of a 2.88 ERA and 0.92 WHIP in 11 homes starts this season and four outings against the Jays in his career have resulted in a 3.09 ERA and 1.11 WHIP. Iwakuma side note. He's walked three batters in eight outings.
Kyle Lohse has allowed two or fewer earned runs in four of his last five outings. The bad news is that he's gone 2-starts without a win and is 2-4 over his last eight games. He's also sporting a 4.25 ERA and 1.36 WHIP in 14 road starts this season. He did toss a nine inning shutout against the Cubs on June 1st, and Anthony Rizzo can't hit a home run right now making Lohse a less than difficult start.
Brett Oberholtzer at home against the Twins. Over his last five outings Brett has been “quality” as his ERA has dipped from 4.66 to 4.05. The Twins are 24th in OPS against lefties.
Jake Peavy has held the current White Sox roster to a .195/.308/.364 slash line over 90 plate appearances. He's also won one game this season. He's due. Book it. A “W.” Totally scientific.
Jose Quintana faces the Giants in San Francisco Wednesday. In 14 starts at home he owns a 3.09 and 1.27 WHIP, and he's allowed a total of, get this, 13 earned runs over his last 10 outings to move his ERA to 3.04 on the season. The Giants rank 20th in OPS against lefty pitchers.
Chris Tillman at home against the Yankees is a decent matchup. In 12 home starts this season he's only gone 3-5 but he also has a 2.77 ERA and 1.21 WHIP. His last outing against the Yankees on June 22nd resulted in seven shutout innings.
Jason Vargas has a 3.48 ERA on the year to go along with a 1.26 WHIP. He's also dominated the Athletics over the years with a .231/.280/.326 line over 234 plate appearances. Vargas has allowed two or fewer earned runs in three of four outings. He also hasn't allowed a big fly in four games.
Jered Weaver is always an option at home where he has a 2.88 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in 14 outings this season. Certainly helps that the Phillies are hitting a mere .240 against righties, the 25th best mark in the game.
MOUND MESSES – Starting Pitchers to Avoid
Trevor Bauer pitches in Cleveland against the Diamondbacks. Bauer has lost the game in three of his last four outings. He's also allowed at least three earned runs in 5-straight outings, and he's permitted a total of 13 runs over his last 17 innings as his ERA has gone from 3.93 to 4.52.
A.J. Burnett pitches on the road against the Angels. He has a 5.26 ERA and 1.49 WHIP in 13 road starts this season, and he's given up at least five runs in 3-straight starts and four of five.
Justin Masterson joined the Cardinals. Nothing has improved. In two starts with his new club he looks even worse than he did with the Indians. Masterson has worked eight innings allowing 14 hits, six walks and 10 runs (11.25 ERA, 2.50 WHIP). No reason whatsoever to be starting him against the Marlins in Miami.
Michael Pineda has made four starts over the span of about three years. He also offered a fastball that was three mph down from his rookie season when he took the bump earlier this season. Don't see any reason to start him against the Orioles, especially since the club is 8th in baseball in OPS against righties.
Vance Worley faces the Tigers. He was a different pitcher then, but over two starts he has a 7.59 ERA and 1.88 WHIP. The Tigers are also the 3rd best hitting team against righties at .269. Hard not to think they will be able to take advantage of a pitcher who doesn't own the skills to get the results he currently is producing.
Make sure you tune in to the Drive at 7 PM EDT, Monday through Friday on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius210, XM87), to hear Ray Flowers pontificate about the world of sports.
* The live chat's are Friday's at 2 PM EDT.
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The co-host of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87: Mon-Thurs 7 PM, Fri. 9 PM EDT), Ray also hosts a show Sunday night (7-10 PM EDT). Ray has spent years squirreled away studying the inner workings of the fantasy game to the detriment of his personal life. Specializing in baseball, football and hockey, some consider him an expert in all three.
- KD, Russ will go through non-contact practice Sat.
- Andre Roberson will start on Friday
- DeMarre Carroll will start on Friday
- Evan Fournier will start Friday night
- Tony Wroten will start on Friday night
- Padres to make Pablo Sandoval a contract offer
- Hinrich, Gasol and Rose all out Friday
- Fitzgerald will be a game-time decision Sunday
- Julius Thomas a GTD
- Sanders has been cleared and will play Sunday