What You Need to Know for Friday Night #Baseball

On Tuesday, for the first time since Major League Baseball went to 30 teams, all 15 Home Teams won!  On top of that, Hisashi Iwakuma threw a no hitter at the age of 34, and was the first no-hitter thrown on August 12th.  That is also the 4th no hitter thrown at SafeCo Field, since it opened in 1999 – the most of any ballpark since.  This Link has some good info on all things no-hit related in baseball history.

Heaviest Favorites – according to Vegas

David Price vs. New York Yankees (-230) – A true powerhouse of a matchup today, has the Blue Jays taking on the Yankees. Even with both ball clubs getting it done offensively this year, Price is still your favorite on the day. The Yankess have actually done quite well against leftie pitching this season. On the season, they own a .334 wOBA, good for third in the league. Their strikeout percentage is also one of the lowest in the league against lefties at 18.8. Price has done well in his two stars with his new club, owning a 0.60 ERA with an over wOBA against at .191, but keep in mind this is just two starts, but one of those teams was the Yankees that he faced. In that start, Price went seven innings giving up no runs on three hits and striking out seven. Both parties have good stats against one another, so it’s a matter of who do you trust more tonight?cropped-logo_1260147_print-1-e14180934753933.png

Dallas Keuchel vs. Detroit Tigers (-215)- Keuchel has been fantastic all season long. Coming into tonight, Keuchel owns a 2.41 ERA to go with a 1.01 WHIP and a K/9 of 7.8. Tonight, Keuchel gets a matchup against the Tigers, a team who has the second best wOBA against left handed pitching this season at .339. They do strikeout a bit against them as well, owning the 9th worst in the league at 22.2%. Overall, the Tigers have been stumbling a bit since the Trade Deadline, owning an overall wOBA of .295 since then and a .148 ISO, good for 16th in the league. Like the Tornoto New York game, this is another tough one to predict which side to lean toward. At least in the eyes of Vegas, they like Price and Keuchel in these ones.

Jaime Garcia vs. Miami Marlins (-200) – At least this game is easier to distinguish which side I’m going to be going for. Garcia comes into tonight with a 1.77 ERA to go along with a 0.91 WHIP and a K/9 of 6.2. Garcia is been money since returning from the disabled list, and quite frankly all season, when he’s not injured. His last start against the Brewers saw Garcia go seven innings, giving up no runs on two hits and striking out five. He should have a very similiar result tonight, going up against a weak Marlins team. The Marlins are 16th in wOBA since the trade deadline at .310, but it’s their power that’s been non existent. Coming in at second to last in the league, the Marlins own a .098 ISO since the deadline. Only the Angels are worse in that time span. It’s almost getting to the point where any pither going up against the Marlins has to be considered at least somewhat. Garcia is certainly in that conversation today.

Top Overall Game per O/U

San Diego Padres vs. Colorado Rockies (Coors Field) – 10 Over/Under- Well, get ready for about a week of a Rockies takeover in this section here. We start a homestand at Coors so it’s time to pile on the runs. Tyson Ross gets the start for the Padres going up against Yohan Flande. Ross has had it easy his last few starts, drawing the Mets, Brewers and Phillies his last three, but tonight is a whole new entity. The Rockies come into tonight stumbling a bit since the beginning of August, owning a .292 wOBA on the month and the highest strikeout percentage in the league during that span at 24.5%. As I mentioned, Ross has had a good stretch as of late, but those were against relatively easy teams. Even with the Rockies scuffling a bit, you’d have to be a brave man to start him at Coors tonight. As for Flande, he’s yet to make it past the fifth inning in any of his starts, but that’s more of a precaution measure and not because he’s been pitching poorly. But again, starting him isn’t a wise move, even with the Padres struggling offensively, with a .291 wOBA this month. Try and get some exposure to this one.

Toughest Pitcher L/R matchup

  • Left handed batters
    • Dallas Keuchel HOU (LwOBA .163)
    • Alex Wood LAD (LwOBA .234)
    • David Price TOR (LwOBA .277)
  • Right handed batters
    • Max Scherzer WAS (RwOBA .201)
    • Jaime Garcia STL (RwOBA .219)
    • Corey Kluber CLE (RwOBA .227)

Easiest L/R matchup

  • Left handed batters
    • Matt Cain SFG (LwOBA .421)
    • Alfredo Simon DET (LwOBA .387)
  • Right handed batters
    • Joe Kelly BOS (RwOBA .383)
    • Phil Hughes (RwOBA .372)

All Pitcher Stats

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Hottest Hitters – last 7 days

  • David Ortiz BOS – DiRT Canon Value 115.83
  • Lorenzo Cain KC – DiRT Canon Value – 96.86
  • David Peralta AZ – DiRT Canon Value – 94.79
  • Trayce Thompson CWS – DiRT Canon Value – 94.79
  • Aaron Hill AZ – DiRT Canon Value – 89.75
  • Carl Crawford LAD – DiRT Canon Value – 89.75

Other notables:  Andrew McCutchen is 10-24 with 2 HR’s, 9 RBI, 8 runs scored and DiRT Canon Value of 80.56.  David Ortiz has been on fire, going 10-19 with 4 HR’s, 8 RBI and 7 runs scored.  It has been a while since he stole a base – maybe he’s due?!

Best BvP matchup Tonight

Brian McCann vs David Price – McCann has really had some huge success against Price in his career. I was honestly surprised by the numbers. McCann is 9-19 against Price with three extra base hits, all of them being home runs, and a 1.447 OPS. Let me go roster McCann now.

Kendrys Morales vs. Jered Weaver  – Morales has only seen Weaver in a small sample, but he doesn’t seem to mind getting on base when he faces him. Morales is 8-12 against Weaver with a two extra base hits, one of them being a home run, and a 1.714 OPS.


Weather

We have a threat of rain for the Padres Rockies game. Before going crazy with your Coors stack, keep an eye on the weather.


Top 4 by Position – in no partciular order

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A Pitcher To Consider

Corey Kluber ($10,600) – The majority of the top pitchers going tonight have tough/fairly tough matchups. Then we have Kluber at 10,600, the 4th most expensive pitcher on the night, against the Twins. Bingo. The Twins haven’t done much against RHP this season, with a .302 wOBA, ranked 24th in the league. Then, they rank 8th in strikeout percentage against RHP, at 20.7. It also doesn’t help that they aren’t very patient either, ranking 23rd in BB% at 6.7. The Twins continue to struggle offensively, and they were a mess the last time out against Kluber, who pitched a complete game, giving up one run on three hits and striking out 10. Granted, you can’t anticipate another start like that, but Kluber was in control that entire start and should be again tonight.

Worth Considering

Nelson Cruz ($5800) – Cruz is expensive tonight, but he SHOULD be good to go tonight against Joe Kelly. Kelly has been a mess this season, giving up a .383 wOBA to RHB on the year. He’s also given up 12 home runs, with 8 of those coming against righties. Cruz has been mashingRHP, owning a .402 wOBA with an ISO of .266. Add on the fact that this game is in the hitter friendly Fenway Park, and I feel like we have a lot to love here. If you can afford the high price tag, throw Cruz into that lineup. Just make sure he is indeed starting.

Save $$$…

Chris Young ($2800) – Want to separate yourself from the crowd tonight? How about taking Chris Young against David Price. On the surface, not the best idea. But I’m in Vegas right now and we’re going to go mix it up a bit. It’s been well documented that Young crushes LHP. On the season, he owns a .446 wOBA against them with an ISO of .304. .304! It will certainly be tough against Price tonight, but the ceiling is high for Young.


The Rest by Position

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Lineup Combinations – Ideas

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What You Need to Know for Tuesday Night Baseball

Before the NFL gets cranked up, we here at the DiRT Canon are going to provide you a cheat-sheet, if you will, of the full slate of games on Tuesdays and Fridays.  So here we go with the new roll out, let us know your thoughts and get ready for some exciting news in the next few days, that’ll get you pumped for football!

Heaviest Favorites – according to Vegas

Matt Harvey v. Colorado Rockies (-230) – Are the Rockies now the Phillies in Vegas’ eyes?  Since the trade-deadline, they have seemingly appeared here a lot.  Tonight the Rockies get Matt Harvey, who comes into tonight with a overall value number of 4.277 with a SO/inning of 1.889.  Harvey appears to be back as the pitcher we are used to seeing, and against RHB’s is giving up only .234 in weighted on-base average.  In the last two weeks, the Rockies have struck out more than any team, during that span – probably because of Drew Stubbs and Brandon Barnes.  Harvey will not be cheap, as he is the third most expensive pitcher tonight at $10,900. However, you never know with Colorado, he could be worth a 20 spot.

Drew Hutchison v. Oakland A’s (-185) – Another team that is struggling to hit the ball lately, is Oakland.  Wins are never a good indicator of a pitchers performance and Drew is a good example at 10-2.  His value tonight is 4.148, but he struggles to strikeout lefties and against righties he is a very expoitable .384 wOBA – second highest.  Oakland in the last two weeks has gone to worst in weighted on-base average at .274.  So considering that Oakland is hard to strikeout a lot, and they are playing in Toronto, yo have to think about the value of Drew at $5,700.  At that price you could expect a chance at 15pts and afford a hitter with greater upside.

Erasmo Ramirez v. Atlanta Braves (-180) – Erasmo enters the night below 4 in value at 3.767 and that could be an alarm.  But, at $5,800 there is some potential value here.  Erasmo at home is a very good .272 wOBA and against lefties, .261 wOBA.  For Atlanta, that means the only dangerous guys to get to Erasmo are likely Cameron Maybin or Chris Johnson.  I am not saying this is the steal of the century, but with a 1.56 SO/inning it is something to consider.

Top Overall Game per O/U

Philadelphia Phillies @ Arizona Diamondbacks (Chase Field) – [O/U 9] – Hellickson in his last few starts has been a solid pitcher, but when he is named in the highest run total projected by Vegas, you should shy away.  The Blue Jays and A’s are close with 8.5.  So this becomes more of someone you could really exploit and that guy is David Buchanan.  If he was a train, he would be wrecked.  It doesn’t matter if your left or right, you can hand out free tattoos on the guy and the way certain D’backs play at home, an Arizona stack could be a nice play here.

Worst Pitcher L/R matchup

  • Left handed batters
    • Zack Greinke LAD (LwOBA .241)
    • Carlos Rodon CWS (LwOBA .255)
    • Hector Santiago LAA (LwOBA .257)
  • Right handed batters
    • Matt Harvey NYM (RwOBA .234)
    • Zack Greinke LAD (RwOBA .210)
    • Taylor Jungmann MIL (RwOBA .240)

Best Pitcher L/R matchup

  • Left handed batters
    • Michael Lorenzen CIN (LwOBA .437)
    • David Buchanan PHI (LwOBA .428)
  • Right handed batters
    • Carlos Rodon CWS (RwOBA .394)
    • Anibal Sanchez DET (RwOBA .363)

All Pitcher Stats

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Hottest Hitters – last 7 days

  • Andrew McCutchen PIT – DiRT Canon Value – 101.34
  • Josh Donaldson TOR – DiRT Canon Value – 84.11
  • Matt Carpenter STL – DiRT Canon Value – 84.10
  • Ryan Zimmerman WAS – DiRT Canon Value – 84.68
  • Danny Valencia OAK – DiRT Canon Value – 87.67
  • Francisco Cervelli PIT – DiRT Canon Value – 82.91

Other notables:  Ian Desmond is 8 for 23, with 3 HR’s and 6 RBI, 6 runs scored and 3 stolen bases – Khris Davis is 8 for 22 with 4 HR’s, 12 RBI and 5 runs scored.

2nd Base BvP matchup Tonight

Robinson Cano vs. Chris Tillman- Cano is 12-29 against him with three extra base hits, two of those being home runs, and a 1.124 OPS.

Jose Altuve vs. Madison Bumgarner – Altuve hasn’t seen much of Bumgarner, but he has some decent success against him. Altuve is 5-14 with a home run and a .929 OPS against the Giants’ ace.

Neil Walker vs. Carlos Martinez- Three of the hits off Martinez, went for extra bases with two of them being home runs. Add that to a 1.231 OPS.


Weather

The Rockies and New York Mets have a threat of rain during their game tonight. It shouldn’t be enough to cancel, but it could disrupt their play. Watch this one closely.


A Pitcher To Consider

Taylor Jungmann ($8700) – Jungmann is good. He has some stuff that can get batters out, sprinkled in with some strikeouts and you could be hitting a gold mine for $8700. Truly, you can’t beat his price. It amazes me he’s still as low as he is. Tonight, Jungmann gets the strikeout happy Cubs, who have the highest strikeout % in the league for the past month at 23.8. Jungmann comes into tonight’s start with a 2.26 ERA with a 1.07 WHIP and 61 strikeouts in 71 innings. His wOBA against righties is fantastic at .249 with a .300 against lefties. He’s done a fantastic job with keeping the ball in the park, giving up only two home runs on the season. Against a team that is struggling with power over the past month, 23rd during that time, and their struggles offensively as a whole, Jungmann is going to be REALLY tough to pass up at $8700.

Worth Considering

AJ Pollock ($4700) – Pollock gets that matchup against David Buchanan and his .362 wOBA against righties. Pollock has been solid this season, coming in with a .306 average with 11 home runs, 47 RBIs, and an .820 OPS. Averaging 8.8 points per game, Pollock has been hitting well against RHP this season. Entering tonight, Pollock is hitting .306 against them with nine of his 11 home runs on the season. If you want to get a bit more advanced, that’s good for a .361 wOBA with a .164 ISO against RHP. With how poorly Buchanan is pitching this season, Pollock sounds like a great option in your outfield tonight.

Save $$$…

Cesar Hernandez ($3400) – Hernandez continues to dwell in the lower tiered pricing on DraftKings, while he continues to rack up the points. He’s been a double digit scoring machine lately, with four out of his last five games. Enticed yet? He’s always a threat to steal a bag, with 14 of his 17 coming off RHP. His wOBA against righties sits a .311 on the season, which just continues to trend upward. Hernandez is not a power threat, with only one home runs on the season, but his ability to get on base, .342 vs righties, and his ability to swipe a bag, is always something you’d want to shoot for with these low priced players.


 

The Rest by Position

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Balls in the DiRT

No. 715

Hank Aaron

April 8th, 1974

The Hammer! A few times and far less often than we hope, do our heroes maintain themselves thru the stains of time.  Too often, they seem to creatively find ways to shatter those illusions, like a soft-grip of a favorite snow-globe of our youth.  Those delusions are ours and not theirs.  Rare is a hero that sets off on a knight’s quest towards one of baseball’s Holy Grail’s, only to carry with him a quiet dignity of fotitude and stoicism that relies more on substance than of flash – and for that we must always give thanks to Henry “Hammerin’ Hank” Aaron.  Give him the unconditional love he deserves.  Remember 715.  Remember a man that did not masquerade or exploit his talents to gain his seat at the table, he earned his place in the Pantheon.  Celebrate The Hammer!

He is a Saint and an example of all that is good within us and what we can achieve by just putting our head down and getting to work – regardless of outside distractions.  It is a shame, that on that night, in the 4th innning, what he felt after hitting Al Downing’s pitch over the left field wall, was not joy at the accomplishment, but relief.  Babe Ruth was larger than life, with larger appetites, and while he was gregarious and still maintains a popular place in the church of baseball – The Hammer was a contrast of muted poise.  Babe Ruth would have embraced it all, the energy, the party; where as Hank – under constant harassment by the media and fans, appeared as concerned with it all as a man does with a child asking for a new balloon.  There were more flamboyant superstars during Aaron’s 21 year career that shined brighter and preferred to hover in the spotlight –  while Hank comfortably went to work in the shadows that they’d cast.  He was just a man, doing his job and wanting to live a normal life, like anyone else.

Here it is, in his own words, from Hank Aaron’s autobiography, “I Had a Hammer” about that night:

When I was alone and the door was shut, I got down on my knees and closed my eyes and thanked God for pulling me through.  At that moment, I knew what the past twenty-five years of my life had been about.  I had done something that nobody else in the world had done, and with it came a feeling that nobody else has ever had – not exactly, anyway.  I didn’t feel a wild sense of joy.  I didn’t feel like celebrating.  But I probably felt closer to God at that moment than at any other in my life.  I felt a deep sense of gratitude and a wonderful surge of liberation all at the same time.  I also felt a stream of tears running down my face.

Aaron retired after the 1976 season with the Brewers and ended with 755 Home-Runs.  He is a sports hero we deserve, and we should remind him how much we appreciate all that he exemplifies, what is good within us.  It isn’t about shouting, asking where your 15 seconds of fame and notoriety are, despite being attached to the digital freeway, looking for instant gratification, and validation.  It’s about grace, quiet dignity, hard work and perseverance – that in time, we too have a shot at being exceptional – it may not mean we will be an all-timer – but it does mean we can walk with our head held high, knowing we gave it all we had – just like the Hammer!



 

Go Home Hostess, you’re drunk!

Baseball is back and this seamhead is pumped – at least for a while.  Meaning the Rockies, of course they are 2-0 and in first place, all by themselves – regardless if we have seen how this story usually ends in June.  It’s just 83 more W’s for my prediction to come true, as I wrote here back in February.  Just remember, Crazy is a term of Art – Insanity is term of Law, and I am still not insane – I have a sticker to prove it.

But what we have decided to do, is provide some help with your Daily Fantasy Baseball needs:  It will not be as full-blown as our NBA coverage until next year, but it will help you get an idea of who to consider – so without further ado….

Consider that 4 players for the Colorado Rockies have a batting average of .500 or better against Milwaukee’s Wily Peralta and that Tulo, in 14 plate appearances against Peralta has 3 singles and 4 walks.  The other 4 are Nolan Arenado, Nick Hundley, Justin Morneau and Corey Dickerson.  The issue being for some is the possibility of rest.  No Rest for these guys? Then we could look at a road sweep to start the year before welcoming the National League Champion Cubs (sarcasm) for the Home Opener Friday.

Consider staying away from Pujols and Trout against Iwakura of the Mariners.  In 26 and 27 at-bats, both Trout and Pujols hit below .200.  However, if they can get to him, it is usually for xtra-base-hits.  In Trout’s 5 hits he has 4 singles and 1 HR and Pujols’ 5 hits are for 2 singles and 3 doubles.  What you have to consider, is the price worth the performance?

Consider neither pitcher for the Orioles or the Rays are gonna stop anyone from htting the ball around the yard and consider that Oakland could shell Texas Rangers’ pitcher Ross Detwiler.

Consider Daniel Murphy and his excellent matchup against Jordan Zimmerman.  Murphy is 16 for 50 against Zimmerman with 5 doubles, 3 HR’s and only 2 strikeouts.  Others that have good matchups are both Mike (Giancarlo) Stanton and Christian Yellich against Shelby Miller – both are a combined 6-11 with 2 HR’s, 2 singles and a double.

Consider these guys by position, for your lineup today that have the best matchup and best potential:

1B

Daniel Murphy

Steve Pearce

Jose Abreu

Justin Morneau (if he plays, took a throw to the neck last night)

2B

Robinson Cano

Ian Kinsler

Adam Rosales

3B

Josh Harrison

Chris Johnson

Mike Moustakas

Nolan Arenado (if he plays)

SS

Hanley Ramirez

Juan Uribe

Tulo (if he plays)

C

Salvador Perez

Welington Castillo

Nick Hundley (if he plays)

OF

Lorenzo Cain

Andrew McCutchen

Mike (Giancarlo) Stanton

Desmond Jennings (4HR’s against M.Gonzales but strikes out 19.4% against him)

Shin-soo-choo

Ben Revere

Corey Dickerson

P

Carlos Carrasco

Anibal Sanchez

Brandon McCarthy