It is a split slate Thursday today, though the afternoon slate is a short one with only two games going. There are 9 games this evening with big names like Scherzer and Hamels pitching, though they are both in tough spots. There are plenty of great hitting options though, so picking the right pitchers looks to be the order of the day. In full candor, this is a tough slate at first glance, so I will probably play less than my regular volume. But I still did find some plays that I like. Let’s see what I came up with.
As always, all stats are courtesy of rotowire, rotogrinders, fangraphs, baseball-reference and ESPN. Here are your quick hits of the day.
Batter versus Pitcher Warriors:
- Matt Kemp vs. Robbie Ray – 5/11 with a double and a homer
- Adam Jones vs. Max Scherzer – 11/22 with 2 doubles and 3 homers
- James Loney vs. Adam Wainwright – 16/31 with 5 doubles, a homer and a walk
- Adrian Beltre vs. Josh Tomlin – 4/10 with a double and a homer
Stacks to Target:
- Blue Jays vs. Jered Weaver – It is hard to understate just how bad Weaver has been this year. He has a career low in K/9 (an abysmal 4.49), career low in ground ball percentage, career highs in HR/FB%, ERA, FIP, xFIP, SIERA, batting average allowed and hard contact. The Blue Jays with their .327 wOBA and .191 ISO versus right-handed pitching are not the match-up he wants to see. The Angels bullpen better be ready because the Jays will knock Weaver out by the 4th inning.
- Nationals vs. Ubaldo Jimenez – As usual, Jimenez can’t find the plate this year with a sky-high BB/9 of 5.61. He has also really struggled getting lefties out with a.423 wOBA against LHB, and can’t pitch on the road with a 7.34 ERA and .385 wOBA. The Nationals offense is hot ranking 5th in OPS and 4th in runs scored since the all-star break. They should pummel Jimenez tonight.
Pitchers of the Day:
- Cole Hamels vs. Indians – First the bad news – Cleveland leads the AL in OPS after the all-star break with a .789 mark. But Hamels has been red-hot as well with a 1.85 ERA and a 25.5% K-Rate in the 2nd half. DraftKings especially has discounted him for this match-up way too much; Hamels is priced under $10,000 and is only the 5th most expensive pitcher, behind guys like Drew Pomeranz and J.A. Happ and only $100 more expensive than James Paxton. The Indians are a good offensive team, but are a mediocre 14th in OPS against lefties. I like Hamels to exceed value tonight.
- Tom Koehler vs. Royals – Despite winning a bunch of games, the Royals’ offense has been brutal in the 2nd half. Post all-star break, Kansas City ranks dead last in OPS by a large margin with a .659 mark; the Pirates are next to last at .682. KC has also struggled away from Kaufman Stadium where they are last in road OPS at .667; the Padres are next lowest at .688. Koehler has pitched well recently with a 2.30 ERA and .254 wOBA in the 2nd half, and he is also good at home with a 3.38 ERA. This is the best of the cheaper pitching options.
Weather to Target or Avoid:
- Tigers at Twins – 12 MPH wind blowing out
Platoon Split Hitters:
- Kyle Seager vs. Anthony Ranaudo – Seager has a .401 wOBA and 159 wRC+ versus right-handed pitching compared to a .311 wOBA and 97 wRC+ versus lefties.
- Nomar Mazara vs. Josh Tomlin – Mazara has been very good against righties with a .353 wOBA and 118 wRC+, but struggled against lefties with a .243 wOBA and 42 wRC+.
Any more questions? Hit me up on Twitter @AssemblyNeil
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