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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Playin’ in the DiRT

It’s Time To Give /r/NBA The Respect It Deserves

It’s Playoff Basketball – and before we break down the West – because who cares about the East – how ’bout a shout out, too possibly the greatest division in the history of the NBA – The Great Southwest!  All 5 teams in the Southwest division made the playoffs, and all above .500.  Sure the 2006 Central division sent 5 teams to the playoffs but 2 were at .500 and one was below – making this years Southwest division the greatest of all time – Congrats to: Houston, Memphis, San Antonio, Dallas and New Orleans.

So, who will make it out of the first round? Let’s plug some numbers into the DiRT Canon Supa-Computa and see.

  • Anthony Davis just had a crash-course in what playoff basketball is like when they needed a win, and got one against a motivated Spurs team that did not want to fall to the #6 seed.  For the Warriors it means gearing up to play meaningful basketball again – like a cat playing with a ball of yarn, that now has to remember to go back out and kill a bird.  New Orleans does not have enough around “The Brow” to upset the Warriors, and if G-State takes care of the ball, this is over in 5 – 6 tops.
  • Solid MVP candidate Harden has not done so well in his last three playoff, shooting below 40%.  These teams do not like each other and only .5 separates them in point differential, Rockets with the edge.  The danger for the Rockets is if Dallas can extend the series, the longer this goes, the higher the probability the Mavericks win.  I really want to see Harden v Curry, and the Supa-Computa agrees with Rockets in 5.
  • How do you ever pick against the Spurs – the inevitable sunset seems to last forever, and thankfully so, because this series will be awesome.  Both teams that would be threats to Golden State, play each other and too beat each other up – opening that possible door to a finals berth.  Sure, Paul and Jordan have been playing really well lately, and this is the reward they get – the champs.  It doesn’t seem fair, but if the Clippers were ever gonna prove they belong – this is the time to earn it – knock-out the champ.  I’m not picking against the Spurs, but the Supa-Computa is, Clippers in 7.
  • This series could be summed up as – which team gets out alive, and who gets put out of their misery.  It’s a M*A*S*H* unit for both teams.  It’s so bad, that one of them asked if Beckwith could still play the point.  Memphis seems to be the healthier team and Portland went 0-4 against the Grizz.  Home court will be the advantage, and either team will be a 2nd round sacrifice – and it’s Bear season – Memphis wins.

 ummmm…

Robinson Cano

click to watch

For $240 million dollars, you’d think Robinson Cano could afford to pay attention, and no one will argue that the Mariners are paying him for his base-running skills – but C’Mon Man!  It was the second out of the inning that would have given the Mariners bases loaded – hindsight is 20/20 they say and who knows if that would have made the difference in the Dodgers winning 5-2.  But Seriously!


 Speaking of boneheads…


What is it about, watered-down-over-priced beer, and cozy seats in the outfield, that brings two men together in a warm embrace.  If your plan is to unleash your inner-hockey-goon, then you gotta do a better job of bringing it, than that.  Plus, A(f)Rod hit his 656th HomeRun last night – it’s gonna be so much fun…the Yankees, contractually have to pay A-Rod $6m when he gets to 660 – but they have refused to do so…BOOM goes the Dynamite!


 #COMEBACKHAWKS

This is the Stanley Cup Playoffs and most of you may not care, but what you missed was some good ‘Ockey – as they say up north, eh.  The Blackhawks were down 0-3 and came back to tie the game – extend it for two more periods of free ‘ockey, to win it, 4-3.  Now the question for the ‘Hawks is, do you start the goalie that was playing in the minors most of the year – who replaced Crawford after giving up 3 so quick – another start?  Marinate on that and watch the blue-line-esque blast of Duncan Keith, to win the game:


No right-minded ‘ockey fan wants to see a team from Nashville win anything, eh?


There are only 4 MLB games tonight – so it’s a crap shoot to play – but if you’re gonna, stick with the TB/TOR game.  Here is how Vegas breaks it all down:

PHI

WAS -133 O/U 6.5


 

TB

TOR -113 O/U 8


 

MIA

NYM -114 O/U 7


 

AZ

SF -164 O/U 6.5

I believe that PHI, TB, MIA and AZ will all win.

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