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Back from the Playboy Mansion and the 3rd Annual Pornstar Fantasy Football League it's time to get back to reality. Wish I didn't have to, but you can only live the dream for so long. Today I'll break down the matchups for the diamond action, focusing on what you need to know to avoid disaster or win.
* 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.
Jacoby Ellsbury lights up Rick Porcello. Jacoby has a splashy .615 batting average and two homers, not to mention two steals, over 14 plate appearances. Ichiro Suzuki, for what it's worth, also has success with the ground baller batting .393 over 28 at-bats.
Scott Hairston is the balls against Cole Hamels. Just how it is: .386/.426/.841 over 46 plate appearances. He also has five homers and nine RBIs. Amazing really. Bryce Harper is batting .320 over 25 at-bats. And don't forget Denard Span who boasts an impressive .400 average and five steals over 22 plate appearances.
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Josh Rutledge is blahtastic. He takes things up a notch against Madison Bumgarner with eight hits in 17 at-bats (.471 average with a homer). Meanwhile Wilin Rosario has hit .323 with a homer and six RBIs in 31 at-bats.
DISH DISASTERS – Worst Hitting Matchups of the Day
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Desmond Jennings is but one Ray to struggle against lefty Wei-Yin Chen. The outfielder has a homer and steal in the matchup but also a .200/.286/.400 slash line over 28 plate appearances. Others are worse. Evan Longoria has a .611 OPS over 21 plate appearances. Sean Rodriguez has a .607 OPS over 21 plate appearances. In 15 plate Yunel Escobar has a .533 OPS.
DJ LeMahieu has two hits in 20 at-bats against Madison Bumgarner.
Dustin Pedroia doesn't exactly square up the knuckle ball. He's batting .143 over 21 at-bats.
Chase Utley has a .399 OPS over 18 plate appearances when Gio Gonzalez toes the rubber. Look for Ryan Howard to be on the bench. He's got 11 hitless at-bats along with six strikeouts. Marlon Byrd also isn't himself with a .200/.294/.200 slashing line over 17 plate appearances.
Justin Upton has hit a meager .207 with seven strikeouts in 24 at-bats against Dillon Gee. Evan Gattis (1-for-12), Andrelton Simmons (2-for-13) and Chris Johnson (3-for-13) all also suck wind. The trio has combined for one RBI.
Jayson Werth is having another impressive season, but he's hideous against Cole Hamels with a .551 OPS over 30 plate appearances. Ian Desmond is slightly worse at .464 over 45 plate appearances,. He has 11 Ks. Danny Espinosa only has eight, but he's also only had 18 at-bats (.472 OPS). And then there is .143 hitting Wilson Ramos (14 ABs).
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MOUND MAVENS – Starting Pitchers to Target
Trevor Cahill, yes that guy, is on the hill Tuesday. Guess what? He's pitching well having allowed a total of seven runs over his last four starts, each of which has lasted at least 6.1 innings. He's keeping the ball down, his last homer allowed was July 18th, but he has walked seven men his last two outings out. The Dodgers can mash, but Cahill has been effective.
Danny Duffy continues to get it done. His ERA is sitting at 2.53 at the moment and he's picked up a “W” in three of his last four outings. He Faced a Twins team that he allowed three runs to (two earned) over 5.1 innings in their last matchup. There is still regression lurking here, but in 93 innings at night this season Duffy has a 2.03 ERA and 1.06 WHIP. Will the Twins keep up their recent hot hitting ways?
Roberto Hernandez faces the D'backs, a team he held to two runs over seven innings back on July 27th. He doesn't allow homers, none since July 22nd, and he's held the opposition to three or fewer earned runs in each of his last seven outings. Not an upside play though.
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Dallas Keuchel has thrown back-to-back quality starts, but he's also allowed 11 runs over his last three starts as his ERA has inched up from 2.89 to 3.12. He allowed one run in a complete game victory against the A's back on July 30th and the Athletics are only 16th in OPS against lefties this season. Another moderately exciting option.
James Paxton has allowed three earned runs his last three starts, and he's posted a 2.20 ERA through six starts this year. He also faced a Rangers team that just lost Shin-Soo Choo for the year and possibly Yu Darvish as well. That team has got to be crushed. Check out Paxton's Player Profile.
Jose Quintana has allowed eight runs over his last two outings, both loses. The Indians though are 4th worst in baseball in OPS against lefties and Quintana has been very good at home this year (3.24 ERA, 1.22 WHIP over 11 starts). Also held the Indians to two runs over six innings in the last matchup.
Tyson Ross at home. Winner. He has a 1.94 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 92 Ks in 88.1 innings in 13 starts. He's also allowed a total of two homers his last eight starts, and over his last 10 outings he's given up a total of 14 earned runs. Start him against the Brewers.
Matt Shoemaker has allowed a total of two runs over his last three outings – all wins. The last time he allowed more than two earned runs was back on July 21st as he's lowered his ERA to 3.56. He pitches at home against the Marlins and he's the bee's knee's at home this season: 6-3, 2.72 ERA, 1.17 WHIP.
MOUND MESSES – Starting Pitchers to Avoid
Madison Bumgarner is a tough case. The last time he faced the Rockies he allowed four runs in seven innings. In 12 home starts this season he's 4-6 with a 5.17 ERA and 1.46 WHIP. Still, he's MadBum and he's allowed a total of seven earned runs over his last four starts, all lasting at least seven innings so it's always tough to bench him.
Nathan Eovaldi isn't someone you can trust. His last two outings are losses and he's given up nine runs and 17 hits in 11 innings. In four of his last seven outings he's allowed at least five runs. He's pitched well on the road this season (3.09 ERA, 1.13 WHIP) but his work at nighttime doesn't impress (4.41 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 5-5 in 17 outings).
Dillon Gee faces the Braves in New York. His ERA us up to 3.84, it was 2.56 eight starts ago. He's walking batters, not striking out many, and the homer has become an issue (eight in seven starts). Tough to trust him right now.
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Ricky Nolasco. Come on now. You know. Six quality starts in 20 outings tells the story. He faces the Royals in Kansas City.
Travis Wood faces the Reds in Cincinnati. He doesn't have a win in his last 10 starts and he's the proud owner of a 6.03 ERA and 1.76 WHIP in 13 road starts. Gosh is that horrible.