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Getting ready to go to the Playboy Mansion I am. I know, my life is hard. Before I go to the land of sin, booze and bikini's I have time to look at the matchups for Friday, August 22nd. Don't know if I'll be back in time to take on the cause Monday, but I've got your backside covered for Friday. Do you think the ladies will be wearing bunny outfits? I'll let you know.
Finally, want to say happy 44th anniversary to my parents. Couldn't have been any luckier in life than to be raised by those two.
* 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
Freddie Freeman is batting like .770 the last two weeks. Well, he's hot even if that number is inflated. He's killed it in 12 at-bats against Mat Latos producing a .583 batting average and six runs batted in. Justin Upton has hit .429 with a homer in 14 at-bats. Chris Johnson has hit .412 with a homer in 17 at-bats.
Andrew McCutchen is still trying to find his footing since his return from injury. He might do so Friday against Yovani Gallardo. In 49 at-bats McC has hit .306 with a .925 OPS as he's gone deep three times with seven RBIs.
David Ortiz has hit .324 with a homer and six RBIs against Felix Hernandez in 34 at-bats. He's also sporting a .415 OBP in the matchup. Dustin Pedroia has hit .300 with three RBIs and a homer over 40 at-bats.
Who wants to hit the pool?
Jayson Werth kills it when Tim Hudson is on the bump. In 46 plate appearances his slash line is superb (.366/.435/.683) and he has three homers and 11 RBIs. He's not the only one who has had success. Ian Desmond has hit .300 with a homer in 50 at-bats while Kevin Frandsen is 6-for-13.
DISH DISASTERS – Worst Hitting Matchups of the Day
Pedro Alvarez you stink like rancid chicken when Yovani Gallardo is on the hill. In 29 at-bats the infielder has hit .069, that's two hits, while whiffing 12 times. Josh Harrison has 10 hitless at-bats in the matchup. Neil Walker has hit a huge .233 over 30 at-bats. Oh, Starling Marte (.158 with 9 Ks in 19 ABs) and Ike Davis (0-for-8) also stink too.
Yoenis Cespedes doesn't like facing Felix Hernandez. Not only has he struck out in a third of his 30 at-bats but he's also hit .200 with one RBI. Mike Napoli has 14 Ks in 39 at-bats as he's hit .205. Daniel Nava has a .529 OPS over 17 plate appearances.
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Bryce Harper is one of a handful of Nationals that are shutdown by Tim Hudson. Harper is batting .214 with one RBI in 14 at-bats. Denard Span has two hits in 17 at-bats (.118). Danny Espinosa has 10 strikeouts in 27 at-bats. He's also hit .185.
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MOUND MAVENS – Starting Pitchers to Target
Carlos Carrasco faces the Astros in Cleveland Friday. Over his last two starts he's thrown 12 scoreless innings not allowing a walk while permitting only five hits. At home this season, in 43.1 innings, he's posted a 3.12 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 48 strikeouts. A borderline dominating arm talent, Carrasco faces the Astros who come in at 24th in OPS against righties this year.
Doug Fister has a 2.20 ERA and 1.05 WHIP through 18 starts folks. He's also gone 12-3. How are you gonna bench that? Further, how could you consider benching a guy who has allowed zero earned runs in his last three starts and just two earned runs over his last five? He pitches at home against the Giants.
Yovani Gallardo has allowed two runs over his last two outings. Four times in his last five trips to the mound he's allowed one or no runs. He's won three of his last four starts. He faces the Pirates, a team he's always dominated (12-4, 2.57 ERA, 1.17 WHIP over 143.1 innings). Did I mention that the last time he faced the Pirates he tossed seven shutout innings?
Hip Hop Panda anyone? Why am I in love with animal videos today?
Drew Smyly has been on a roll for the Rays. In three outings he's struck out 19 batters in 20 innings to augment a 2.25 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. The Blue Jays are also 20th in baseball in OPS against lefties though they do lead baseball in OPS since the All-Star break. A moderate start.
Marcus Stroman was blasted in his last outing (5 runs, two outs). It happens. He'll look to bounce back against the Rays. In 11 outings at home this season Stroman has been dynamite with a 2.79 ERA and 0.95 WHIP. He's also allowed two or fewer earned runs in seven of his last 10 outings.
MOUND MESSES – Starting Pitchers to Avoid
Henderson Alvarez has a power sinker, and that should serve him well in Colorado. Still, it's Colorado. Second, the last time he faces the Rockies he allowed six runs (three earned) while recording only nine outs. He's also sporting a 3.62 ERA and 1.44 WHIP in 11 road starts. Not much to like here with his utter lack of strikeouts (89 in 144.2 innings).
Josh Collmenter pitches at home against the Padres which all sounds good. What doesn't sound good is his effort over his last four outings: no wins, 25 hits allowed, six homers, five walks and 17 runs in 18 innings. Yikes.
Odrisamer Despaigne got some folks excited with his early efforts this season. Those folks didn't take note of his average “stuff.” Since July 25th his results have been rough: 1-3, 5.88 ERA, 1.77 WHIP, 1.67 K/BB over 26 innings. You trust that in a matchup with the D'backs in Arizona?
Sonny Gray has lost his last four starts. Twice he's held the opponent to two or fewer earned runs, but twice he's allowed four or more earned runs. Gray has also walked right batters while striking out only 10 over his last 16.2 innings. He's clearly not right, be it because of workload or simply a leveling off of his numbers. He faces the Angels in Oakland (they rank 11th in baseball in OPS against righties).
Dan Haren is a moderate play at best. He faces a Mets team that really cannot hit, they are batting .234 against righties (4th worst in baseball). However, Haren is pretty spotty in terms of the ole consistency factor. Haren has a 4.29 ERA and 1.24 WHIP at home. He's failed to last five innings in two of his last four outings. He's lost six of his last eight starts. Can't trust him.
Jonathon Niese has a 3.50 ERA and 1.28 WHIP on the year, just better than average numbers. He's only 7-8 though. He's also allowed five big flies over his last four starts and during that time he's also allowed 16 runs (14 earned). In 13 road starts his ERA and WHIP go up to 3.83 and 1.31. He faces the Dodgers Friday.
Mat Latos faces a Braves team that has 80 plate appearances against him. Wow have they hit him. Check out the slash line: .425/.475/.644. Pretty hard to ignore that. Latos has also walked 10 batters over his last four starts and that 3.89 ERA he's posted in six home starts this season certainly doesn't impress.
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.