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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Monday News – Deadline 4 days

With four days left until the trade deadline, and Cueto officially being traded, things seem to be picking up, with some other potential deals getting done soon. So while we run with these speculative guesses as our post today, we might as well get it out now before teams make a good chunk of this irrelevant.

So, what follows is Dave Cameron’s (FanGraphs) guesses as to who goes where before July 31st, based on what teams are rumored to be looking for and who we know is available. The tricky part is that there are also guys who are available that we don’t know about, and if a team penciled in for one of the available guys goes for the mystery box instead, it will have a domino effect, driving that available player somewhere else, and messing up multiple guesses in the process. So, by Friday, it’d be surprising how many were right. This is really more just for fun, instead of any kind of serious attempt at handicapping. But let’s see.

We’ll go by how impactful the team’s additions would be, with the team’s making the biggest splashes listed first.

Chicago Cubs
Andrew Cashner, Justin Upton, Joaquin Benoit, Jedd Gyorko

Here’s my speculative blockbuster. The Cubs are in a position to make a run this year, and while they may prefer not to pay a high price for rentals, getting a guy like Cashner back might just be the carrot they need to give the Padres a good return for their other two pieces. And the two teams line up in a lot of ways, with the guys the Padres are selling checking a lot of boxes for the Cubs.

My guess on something this size is that the Cubs would send both Starlin Castroand Javier Baez (along with some lower level guys) to San Diego, as this trade would give the Cubs a guy who could slide in at second base and allow Addison Russell to go back to shortstop. The Padres get a brand new middle infield and get out from under Gyorko’s deal (though they take on Castro’s contract in the process), as well as restock their farm system to some degree, while the Cubs push in heavily on 2015 while also getting a couple of guys who will be around next year as well. Yeah, it’s probably too large and unwieldy a deal to get done in July, but we know A.J. Preller is up for shock-and-awe trades, and maybe Theo Epstein will go along for the ride.

Toronto Blue Jays
Jeff Samardzija, Jay Bruce, Aroldis ChapmanWe know the Blue Jays are going to add a starting pitcher, and Samardzija seems like the most obvious fit, even though he’s a rental. Alex Anthoplous could give up a little more to get one of San Diego’s controlled arms instead, but I’ll guess they pay a lesser price for Samardzija and then use the prospect currency to land a Bruce/Chapman package from the Reds instead. That combination would add some significant upgrades to not only this year’s team, but next year’s as well, and would justify giving up the young arms that everyone wants when they talk trade with the Blue Jays.

Los Angeles Dodgers
Hisashi Iwakuma, Jesse Chavez, Jake McGeeThe Dodgers need arms, and I’d expect that they’ll pick up a starter, a reliever, and a guy who could do both, depending on need. Iwakuma would be a perfect fit as a #3 starter for LA, since they don’t really need another ace, and if the Rays really are listening on Jake McGee, I’d have to imagine Andrew Friedman would love to add him as a lefty complement to Kenley Jansen; that pair could be the west coast version of what the Yankees have at the end of their bullpen. Jesse Chavez is a guy who could help keep the team from using replacement level starters down the stretch, then could add depth to the team’s bullpen in October, or potentially remain as the team’s #4 starter if Brett Anderson gets hurt again.

Kansas City Royals
Johnny Cueto, Marlon Byrd, Dan HarenThe Royals make the most sense for Cueto and probably aren’t going to give up on acquiring him just because one of their trade chips failed a physical. Maybe someone will swoop in and steal him away, but this is the one guess that seems most likely to happen, and if the Reds are sending Cueto to KC, they should include Marlon Byrd as well; the Royals could use another outfielder with Alex Gordon on the shelf and Alex Rios being terrible. Haren could make some sense as a replacement for the injured Jason Vargas, and if he’s going to keep his FIP-beating ways going anywhere, KC is probably the best bet for him.

New York Yankees
Ben Zobrist, Mat Latos, Jim JohnsonWhile Brian Cashman keeps laying expectations for a quiet deadline, the Yankees are the best fit out there for Ben Zobrist, given their glaring hole at second base and the likelihood of winning their division. Few teams are capable of giving themselves a larger boost than the Yankees would get from swapping in Zobrist forStephen Drew. On the pitching side of things, I’d imagine they’ll go with lower-tier options, and Mat Latos’ cost will be limited based on his struggles and personality, while a guy like Jim Johnson won’t cost a lot to add a piece who can bridge the gap toDellin Betances and Andrew Miller.

Texas Rangers
Cole HamelsThe teams in win-now mode have enough short-term alternatives to not need to pay a premium to get the 2016 value that comes with having Hamels under control beyond this year, and while I don’t necessarily see the Rangers as on the verge of contending, they clearly see themselves that way, and adding Hamels to a healthy Yu Darvish would at least give them a shot to get back to the postseason next year.

The Rangers probably aren’t giving up Joey Gallo, but if they put Nomar Mazaraor a combination of Jorge Alfaro and Alex Gonzalez on the table, this is the kind of deal that could work for both sides. I’m lower on Alfaro and Gonzalez than most, so I’d push pretty strongly for Mazara and some lesser stuff if I was Ruben Amaro. Getting at least one high profile guy seems to be the preferred course of action for the Phillies anyway, and Mazara is a legitimate top prospect, so this is probably the best option for Philly to get a guy with All-Star upside in return.

Houston Astros
Carlos GomezThe Astros already got a pitcher, but they shouldn’t stop there, and Gomez would be a perfect fit for them, sliding in as their regular center fielder, pushing the overmatched Jake Marisnick back to a reserve role. With George Springer,Colby Rasmus, and Preston Tucker around, a center fielder makes more sense for the Astros than any of the corner guys on the market, and Gomez is the best center fielder potentially available. Given that he’s under control for next year as well, this is the kind of guy the Astros should be willing to pay for.

Pittsburgh Pirates
Mike Leake, Tyler ClippardThe Aramis Ramirez acquisition essentially sums up the kinds of moves the Pirates like to make at this point in the year; looking more for depth than paying for the perceived huge impact that doesn’t really exist in acquiring a guy for two months. Given that, I don’t think Pittsburgh will be in on the big names, though Ben Zobrist does still make some sense there, and I would see them going more for the middle-tier guys who can help but aren’t going to cost an arm and a leg. Leake and Clippard both fit that mold, but there are a lot of other mid-level starter/reliever combos that could go here too. And if Ramirez doesn’t take to 1B well, I could see them swinging a deal for Mike Napoli, though that might be an August trade.

Anaheim Angels
Carlos GonzalezThey want a left-handed power hitting outfielder, and there’s really only a couple of them on the market. Bruce could fit here too, but because they don’t have much in the way of prospects to trade, taking on most of CarGo’s contract is probably an easier deal for them to make. His recent hot streak has made it more likely that he’ll get moved, and Anaheim looks like the most logical landing spot for him if they have the budget room to get it done.

Minnesota Twins
Yovani Gallardo, John AxfordThe Twins are openly talking about adding a power arm who can rack up strikeouts, and Axford checks both boxes. If the Twins are really going to make a run, they’re going to need to add another arm to their rotation as well, because Ervin Santana is ineligible for postseason play; Gallardo seems like a good fit among guys who could be an actual upgrade but won’t cost top-line prospects.

San Francisco Giants
Gerardo ParraParra is a classic Giants player, with the good-at-everything-great-at-nothing skillset that has become the team’s hallmark. He makes contact, hits for power, plays solid defense in a corner, and could even replace Angel Pagan in center if the team needed him to. While Parra is playing well enough to appeal to a wide variety of teams, he seems destined to play for the Giants; they own the copyright on players like this.

St. Louis Cardinals
Adam LindIt’s tough to see St. Louis really rolling into the postseason with a rookie platooning with Mark Reynolds at first base, so I’ll pencil them in for Adam Lind, though they could go with a buy-low guy like Mike Napoli if they wanted to give Stephen Piscotty a longer look. My guess is that they know Piscotty isn’t the answer, though, and a lefty with power who can fit between Matt Holliday and Jhonny Peraltafits the bill nicely.

Washington Nationals
Jonathan PapelbonThe Nationals are getting their big guns back, making additions anywhere besides the bullpen less likely. But they’re almost certainly going to add a reliever, and Papelbon actually makes some sense here. Yes, Drew Storen is doing a great job as the team’s closer, but they wouldn’t lose much in the ninth with giving Papelbon that job, and that would free Storen up to pitch high-leverage spots in the 7th and 8th innings. And since the Phillies are reportedly willing to pay down some of Papelbon’s contract, the Nationals — who even got the Indians to pay the freight on Asdrubal Cabrera last year — might be able to get a good reliever by just taking on 2016 money.

New York Mets
Koji UeharaThe Mets made their move to solidify their line-up on Friday, adding Juan Uribeand Kelly Johnson as solid role players who didn’t cost a lot. I’d expect one more similar move for the bullpen, with a guy like Uehara being a good fit as a different look from the hard-throwing staff the Mets already have. It isn’t a sexy deadline, but the total value added by these three guys may have just as large of an impact on the team as making one big acquisition.