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Week 1 of the NFL season is warping my mind. Luckily I still have baseball to help me to stay sane. No frills today. No crazy links, no interesting sayings, just the facts ma'am. I'll highlight a few hitters but for Thursday September 4th it's all about the pitchers.
* 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.
Logan Forsythe has six hits in 10 at-bats against Mark Buehrle. Desmond Jennings is batting .409 in 22 at-bats. Ben Zobrist has a .375 average and four RBIs over 24 at-bats. Yunel Escobar is hitting .304 over 23 at-bats. Sean Rodriguez is batting .300 with five RBIs in 30 at-bats.
Matt Holliday has six hits in 16 at-bats against Wily Peralta. That includes two homers and five RBIs. You've hear that Holliday is also hot, right? Matt Carpenter has hit .400 with a .526 OBP over 19 plate appearances.
DISH DISASTERS – Worst Hitting Matchups of the Day
Jason Kipnis cannot hit Max Scherzer. He's batting .179 with 10 strikeouts in 28 at-bats. Carlos Santana can only dream of being that good. He's hit .081 in 37 at-bats. Dreadful. They both make the .200 mark that Lonnie Chisenhall has over 25 at-bats seem strong.
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MOUND MAVENS – Starting Pitchers to Target
Scott Baker faces the Mariners at Arlington. Haven't heard anyone talking about Baker, but he's not the worst streaming option in the world. He has nearly a 4:1 K/BB ratio, has walked only 13 batters in 72.1 innings, and he's lowered his ERA from 6.24 to 5.23 over his last nine outings. He's also picked up two “W's” in his last two starts during which time he's allowed three runs over 11.1 innings (he also got a win in relief right before that so he has a victory in 3-straight outings).
Trevor Bauer barely get's the nod Thursday. Here's why he does. In 11 home starts he has a 3.07 ERA and 73 Ks in 70.1 innings. He's tossed 11.2 shutout innings his last two starts. In three of his last four starts he's allowed a total of two runs. The last time he faced the Tigers he held them to three runs over six innings to pick up the win (July 18th).
Roenis Elias has lost his last three outings. He's also gone six innings just once in nine outings so his margin for error is relatively small. A the same time he has a 3.65 ERA and 1.31 WHIP on the road, and he held the Rangers to a lone run over five innings on August 25th.
Mike Leake has not allowed a run in his last two outings. He's only walked five batters his last four starts. He has a 3.33 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in 15 road starts. He has a 3.08 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in 21 night starts. The only negative is that the Orioles hit righties well (their OPS is 6th best).
Jake Odorizzi faces the Blue Jays at home. He has a 2.92 ERA and 1.10 WHIP in 15 home starts. Over his last five outings he's allowed three or fewer earned runs four times. He allowed two earned runs over 6.2 innings on July 12th against the Blue Jays to earn the victory.
Hector Santiago is rolling. Did you notice? Since July 11th he's made nine appearances. Only once has he allowed three earned runs. In fact, over his last four starts he's permitted three earned runs and he's lowered his ERA from 4.50 to 3.28 over his last nine outings. He faces the Astros on the road in this one.
Chris Tillman has allowed three runs, two earned, over his last three starts. He's also allowed two or fewer runs in each of his last six starts and eight of nine. Toss in a 2.50 ERA and 1.16 WHIP at home and he's a solid start against the Reds.
MOUND MESSES – Starting Pitchers to Avoid
Mark Buehrle posted a 5.74 ERA in July an a 5.76 ERA in August. He's really looked sharp against the Rays with two wins an a 2.70 ERA in four starts this season, but given the way he's pitched recently how can you trust him?
Chris Capuano has made seven starts for the Yankees and only won one game. He's also seen his ERA rise to 4.27. Back on August 1st he also allowed four runs over 6.1 innings to the Red Sox to pick up a loss. Just blah.
Kyle Gibson faces the White Sox at home. The guy cannot stop the roller coast. His last four starts: 1, 5, 5 and 1 run allowed. His last three starts and four of the last five he's failed to get a victory or go deeper into a game than 5.1 innings. He's also got a 4.25 ERA and 1.42 WHIP in 10 home starts this year.
Ian Kennedy allowed eight hits and three walks, not to mention three runs, in 5.2 innings against the D'backs on August 24th. He owns a 5.73 ERA and 1.86 WHIP over four career matchups. He also has a rather surprising 3.81 ERA in 14 home starts.
Wily Peralta has lost his last two decisions and three of his last four. His last two outings have also been flipping brutal as he's allowed 16 hits, five walks and 14 runs (13 earned) as his ERA has moved from 3.27 to 3.82. He's also sporting an elevated 4.03 ERA at home this season in 14 starts. He takes on the Cardinals.
Max Scherzer is 15-6 with 220 strikeouts. However, he's also allowed 13 runs his last three starts. At least he's only walked four batters. He faces an Indians club that he held to two runs back on July 19th but the Indians are just 21st in baseball in strikeouts against righties so it's not a lock that you should have a chub thinking about starting Mad Max.
Michael Wacha will face the Brewers Thursday. He only threw 34 pitches in his outing Sunday at Double-A Springfield so it certainly seems like he will be lucky to last five innings in his first start since going on the DL with a serious shoulder issue (his last start was June 17th).
Brandon Workman pitches for the Red Sox against the Yankees. In 16 outings, 12 starts, he has one victory. The last time out he allowed seven runs. His K/BB ratio is 2.00 and his ERA is 4.93. Takes some serious stones to start this guy.
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