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Monday is one of those days where there will be a lot of mixing and matching. There isn't a lot of BVP data to go off of in many of the matchups, and a few teams are traveling so we don't have a full slate of games to review anyway. Here's Ray Flowers' take on the action that you can look forward to Monday, August 18th.
* 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
Nelson Cruz is batting .455 in 11 at-bats against Chris Sale (he also has a homer). Cruz also has a .950+ OPS against lefties this season. Delmon Young has a homer and .333 average versus Sale though he's hit much better against righties this year than lefties (he has a .637 OPS against lefties).
Joe Mauer is remembering that he is a star with the bat in his hands. He's also lit up Jason Vargas over the years with 10 hits in 24 at-bats. That's a cool .417 batting average to go along with six RBIs. Chris Parmalee has six hits in 13 at-bats (.462) while Eduardo Nunez has gone 5-for-15.
"Fearless Chihuahua Takes On Great Dane In Most Endearing Attack Of All Time."
Dustin Pedroia has nine hits in 21 at-bats, including a homer and six RBIs, against C.J. Wilson. Make sure Pedroia is active as he's dealing with an illness. Yoenis Cespedes has six hits in 15 at-bats (.400).
DISH DISASTERS – Worst Hitting Matchups of the Day
Matt Carpenter is a very solid offensive performer who is rendered nearly impotent when Mike Leake is on the bump. Over 17 plate appearances Matt has a .410 OPS. John Jay has been hot of late but he's only hit .250 with a .599 OPS over 26 plate appearances.
Anyone taken a picture like this at a wedding before?
Mike Napoli has pretty much always struggled against C.J. Wilson. In 29 at-bats he's hit .207 with 10 strikeouts. David Ortiz is even worse than that. He's hit .125 with five strikeouts in 16 at-bats.
Kurt Suzuki has had a nice season but you're not likely to see that continue Monday against Jason Vargas. In 32 career at-bats he's not only driven in just one run but he's also hit .188. Trevor Plouffe is even worse with a .182 mark over 22 at-bats.
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Kyle Hendricks vs. Bartolo Colon in New York.
Hendricks has made six starts and every one has been a quality start. In fact, Kyle has allowed a total of nine runs (eight earned) in his six starts as he's gone 4-1 with a 1.73 ERA and 1.01 WHIP. Gotta start him. Colon allowed two runs over seven innings the last time he took on the Cubs, and he's allowed exactly one run in three of his last four outings. He also doesn't beat himself. The last time he walked two batters in an outing was on July 5th, eight starts ago.
Vidal Nuno vs. Jordan Zimmermann in Washington.
Nuno has a 4.17 ERA on the road this season. Not bad, but nothing to excite. He last picked up a win on June 27th. He's also failed to work six innings six times in his last nine outings. Zimmermann is a must start every time for this scribe, even though he allowed five runs in 5.1 innings to the D'backs on May 12th. Over his last four starts he's allowed a total of five runs while walking one batter.
Roenis Elias vs. Jerome Williams in Philadelphia.
Elias is 5-4 with a 3.73 ERA on the road. He's also allowed just five earned runs over his four outings. He's actually in a nice groove. The Phils also don't hit very well against lefties with a .694 OPS on the year (22nd in baseball). Williams has a 6.42 ERA and 1.62 WHIP. How desperate are you?
Ervin Santana vs. Vance Worley in Pittsburgh.
Santana has 12 wins, a 3.66 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP. Solid. He has a 3-4 record with a 3.88 ERA on the road. He's no more than a moderate start given that the Pirates have the 5th best OPS in baseball against righties. Worley is hard not to trust given his 2.51 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. However, the Braves have a .349/.429/.651 slash line against him over 47 plate appearances, and he is coming off his worst outing of the season (5 R, 3 ER in 5.1 IP). He's also struck out just 5.69 batters per nine innings.
C.J. Wilson vs. Anthony Ranaudo in Boston.
Ranaudo is starting in place of Brandon Workman. Anthony has made two starts with a 4.50 ERA, 1.42 WHIP and three strikeouts. He's been much better in the minors but the Angels are surging and can hit. Wilson looked better in his last outing, but he's been so hit, well mostly miss, for a while now that he's hard to trust even if he appears to finally be healthy. AL-only leagues maybe, but mixed leagues or in a daily game – too hard to trust for me.
They say they have nine lives...
Bud Norris vs. Chris Sale in Chicago.
Norris hasn't faced the Sox this year. His last two starts he's only worked 5.0 and 5.1 innings and he's failed to go 5.2 in three of his last four. He's also the sad owner of a 4.55 ERA on the road. Sale always starts. Dude is money. He's 7-2 at home with a 2.30 ERA and 0.82 WHIP. He's also got 99 punchouts with only 12 walks in 78.1 innings.
Jason Vargas vs. Trevor May in Minnesota
Vargas has allowed two runs in two starts and he's gone three without issuing a walk. He also owns a 2.13 ERA and 1.14 WHIP on the road this season. May has oodles of talent, and that's a K per inning arm there. He's also walked nine batters in two starts while completing 4.1 innings. Awful.
Mike Leake vs. Justin Masterson in St. Louis.
Leake is just 5-5 on the road this season but he still has a 3.56 ERA and 1.29 WHIP. He's allowed two or fewer runs in three of his last four starts but he has walked four batters in two of his last three. A solid start given that the Cardinals are 21st in OPS against righties. Masterson looked sharp in his last outing with seven shutout innings, but he's did allow five earned runs in each of his previous three starts – in just 10 innings might you – and he's sporting a 5.58 ERA and 1.64 WHIP on the season.