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Fantasy football fanatics are going hog wild right now. The airwaves are dominated by Tom Brady, Josh Gordon and Johnny Manziel. But we at Fantasy Alarm know that you're still playing fantasy baseball, so we're here for you. In what follows Ray Flowers talks matchups for August 20th, 2014.
* 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
Darwin Barney, and yes it's a shock, actually has had success against Eric Stults batting .500-1-4 over 12 at-bats. Carl Crawford is 5-for-10, Yasiel Puig is 5-for-8 and Matt Kemp is 5-for-12.
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Brandon Philips has returned from injury and he's a .304 hitter with five RBIs over 23 at-bats against Lance Lynn.
Mike Trout has two big flies an a .462 average against Clay Buchholz over 13 at-bats. Albert Pujols has one homer an a .417 average in 12 at-bats. Howie Kendrick has a homer, four RBIs and a .348 batting average over 23 at-bats.
DISH DISASTERS – Worst Hitting Matchups of the Day
Todd Frazier has had a great year, but he doesn't like to see Lance Lynn on the bump. In 18 at-bats he's hit a mere .167 with 10 strikeouts. Seemingly he's gotten a bit lucky with two of the three hits going deep.
Josh Hamilton is benching himself these days, and things don't figure to improve against Clay Buchholz given that Hamilton has hit .091 over 22 at-bats in the matchup. Erick Aybar is barely better with a .107 mark over 28 at-bats.
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MOUND MAVENS – Starting Pitchers to Target
Wei-Yin Chen has allowed one of fewer runs in three of his last four outings. On June 23rd he allowed three runs in 5.2 innings against the Sox. He's sporting a 3.90 ERA and 1.24 WHIP on the road – decent work. The White Sox are middle of the pack with a .703 OPS against lefties, 15th overall.
Roberto Hernandez faces the Padres in Los Angeles. The last time he faced the club he allowed two runs over six innings. The last four times he's taken the hill he's allowed a total of six runs. He's also gone at least six innings each time out and he's permitted 15 hits over his last 27 innings. Oh, and the Padres stink.
Lance Lynn faces the Reds in St. Louis. Lynn has an 8-3 record with a 2.53 ERA and 1.21 WHIP at home this season. He's posted a quality start in seven of his last right outings. He hasn't allowed a homer in six games. He’s walked a total of three batters his last three outings. He's on it.
Jake Odorizzi starts at home against the Tigers. In 13 home starts he's only 4-5 but he has a 3.10 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 82 Ks in 72.2 innings. He's also won five of his last six outings and over his last seven outings he's permitted two or fewer earned runs six times.
Jake Peavy has made four starts with the Giants. He has only one win but he's also posted a 3.86 ERA and 1.21 WHIP. He's not exactly a bastion of consistency at the moment but he faces a Cubs team that is the second worst in baseball in OPS against righties while they have hit .229, again the second worst. The only team more pathetic is the Padres.
Eric Stults has a 5.11 ERA and 1.40 WHIP on the road this season. However, he held the Dodgers to two runs over seven innings back on June 22nd, and only once in his last nine outings has he allowed more than three runs. The Dodgers are also only 24th in OPS against lefties this season. This one is a gutsy call.
MOUND MESSES – Starting Pitchers to Avoid
Clay Buchholz pitches at home against the Angels. In 11 career starts against them Clay has a 4.48 ERA and 1.44 WHIP. This season he has a 5.79 ERA and 1.55 WHIP. In 10 road starts on the year he has a 7.00 ERA and 1.70 WHIP. Good luck with that.
Gerrit Cole returns from his lat injury Wednesday against the Braves. Before the injury he failed to go six innings in 3-straight outings. The last time he had more than six strikeouts was back on May 24th. Why? He's only made three starts since May 30th. You gonna trust in him first start since July 4th?
Danny Duffy faces the Rockies in Colorado. The 2.60 ERA and 1.09 WHIP impress, but look deeper. In three of his last four starts he's failed to complete six innings. He's struck out four or fewer batters in three of his last four outings. The Rockies lead baseball with a .805 OPS against lefties. They also lead baseball with a .881 OPS at home. Toss in that Duffy can be wild, and you've got a recipe that could blow up in your face.
Ricky Nolasco has a 5.99 ERA. He's allowed 11 runs over his last eight outings. In three of his last four starts he's permitted at least five runs. He's won one of his last seven games. He pitches at home against the Indians.
Rick Porcello allowed six runs, five earned, in his last start. He's lost three straight outings. He has one win in six outings. He's struck out eight batters in three outings. The last time he faced the Rays he permitted 11 hits and seven runs over 5.2 innings. The game is in Tampa.
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.