Today’s Main slate on FanDuel begins at 1:05pm ET and is comprised of 10 games.
I’ll be continuing along with my BvP/PvB experiment, which had mixed results the last time out and did not cash. I am one-for-two with this strategy as a foundation, so today is going to break the tie one way or another.
The PvB (pitcher vs. batter) statistics came through strong last time, with Josh Tomlin and Rich Hill spinning gems. To take a quick look yourself, head on over to baseballsavant.com. It’s an easy reference to get a quick “PvB” look at the day.
Targets: Ubaldo Jimenez, Kyle Gibson, Trevor Cahill, Jerad Eickhoff
Guys like David Price, Chris Archer, Yu Darvish, and Jon Lester have pretty good statistics against most everyone, so I am ignoring those. Those you already know. But some quick analysis of those numbers point me towards David Price if I am paying up at pitcher today. Given the locale of Tropicana and the K-rate of the Rays, I think Price makes the best play of the bunch. I love his 1.7% walk rate against current Rays hitters. In contrast, Chris Archer has a 12.6% walk rate against current Red Sox hitters.
What you really came here for was the crazy stuff, though...right? Disclaimer: some of these PvB statistics come on pretty small sample sizes. But we still have to start somewhere.
Whoa at Ubaldo popping up here. No matter what you do, you can’t unsee that! Given that Eickhoff is returning from a DL stint (a situation I try to avoid) and that Cahill should be more popular against the Phillies, my decision from a game theory perspective is between Ubaldo or Gibson.
Ubaldo vs. current Twins: .232 BAA (16 for 69), 30% K-rate, 11.3% walk rate, 1.98 FIP, zero home runs allowed, 5 doubles allowed.
Gibson vs. current Orioles: .231 BAA (15 for 65), 20.8$ K-rate, 6.9% walk rate, 4.68 FIP, three home runs allowed, 5 doubles allowed.
It seems that Ubaldo has the upper hand, given that Gibson has allowed more XBH and has a lower strikeout rate. Ubaldo’s blemish is always the walks, of course—but you have to live with some fleas if you’re going to take a chance.
***Note: Baseball Savant shows no home runs allowed by Ubaldo but MLB.com shows that Max Kepler has a home run off of him. I have reached out to baseballsavant.com for clarification on this discrepancy, but in the meantime I am still trusting the overall statistics for Ubaldo.***
Target: Jay Bruce, Kole Calhoun, Mookie Betts, Anthony Rizzo, and more
Mike Foltynewicz foiled the BvP last time when he stymied the left-handed Washington hitters. This week it looks like we are going to mix-and-match from different games and avoid major team stacks. Some guys have some pretty solid numbers to work with...
Jay Bruce vs. Lance Lynn: .424 BAA, 33 AB, 3 HR (Bruce homered yesterday)
Curtis Granderson vs. Lynn: .500 BAA, 2 AB, 1 HR
Lucas Duda vs. Lynn: .000 BAA, 12 AB (avoid, obviously)
The Rangers have some decent BvP in a small size against J.C. Ramirez:
Adrian Beltre: 2-for-5, HR
Shin-Soo Choo: 1-for-2, HR
Carlos Gomez: 5-for-10
In the same game, Kole Calhoun owns Yu Darvish: .375 BAA, 16 AB, 2 HR
A few Red Sox have some hits against Archer, but it’s noteworthy that they haven’t shown a lot of power. Archer probably still makes a strong play, but here you go:
Mookie Betts vs. Chris Archer: .385, 26 AB, 2 HR (likely a popular Boston one-off)
Hanley Ramirez vs. Archer: .294, 17 AB
Xander Bogaerts vs. Archer: .320, 25 AB
Andrew Benintendi vs. Archer: 3-for-4
A pair of Cubbies have been solid against Jameson Taillon, if you want to go against one of the hottest pitchers in baseball (I’ll try not to):
Anthony Rizzo: .545, 11 AB, 2 HR
Javier Baez: .714, 7 AB, 1 HR
Travis Shaw has poor statistics against Tanaka: .167, 12 AB, 1 HR. Stephen Vogt isn’t much better at .125, 8 AB, 0 HR. If you choose a Milwaukee one-off today, maybe it should be some guy named Eric Thames. Just sayin’.
In the same game, none of the Yankees have ever seen Jimmy Nelson, who has been electric this season. Advantage, Nelson.
I don’t love it, but Evan Gattis against J.A. Happ is our primary catcher play. He is in the RvL split and has a .273 BAA over 11 AB with a home run. In that same game, four different Blue Jays have taken Brad Peacock deep (Donaldson, Pearce, Pillar, and Morales). Morales has a pair of dingers, actually. Peacock is probably going to rack up his strikeouts but the BvP suggests that someone is going to do some damage against him...especially if Peacock continues to showcase a high walk rate.
How about Trevor Plouffe making the BvP column yet again against a stud pitcher? What are the odds? Last time out Plouffe got to hit second in the order for the Rays against southpaw Chris Sale. Today he gets southpaw David Price, and I wonder if he’ll be hitting second again. If he does, for the stone minimum on FanDuel ($2,000) you could do far worse as a punt option. Plouffe is hitting .360 over 25 at-bats with zero home runs against Price.
Four different Pirates have homered off of lefty Jon Lester, and that concerns me slightly for him. Mercer, McCutchen, Bell, and Harrison. Of those, Bell is my favorite play.
Some of the left-handed Braves hit Joe Ross for average, but not for power. Ross has been better than usual this season but I still like lefty bats against him. Give me all the Freddie Freeman and perhaps some Ender Inciarte. Note that lefties Nick Markakis (.455, 11 AB) and Matt Adams (.571, 7 AB) also have strong numbers against Ross. If the Braves get into that Washington bullpen early, watch out...
Manny Machado and Seth Smith have decent numbers against Gibson, who I sort of like today. But if I don’t play Gibson I’ll probably roll with Smith, who hits sinkers pretty well for his career. If I didn’t play Ubaldo I’d keep it simple and roll with Miguel Sano (.375, 8 AB, 0 HR). Brian Dozier is at .360 over 25 AB with a home run, but I don’t love him against right-handed pitching.
That’s a ton of BvP to consider today. I’ll tinker with some lineups and post what I’m rolling out in the comments. I may consider more Braves than I should today (they are my team). Someone talk me out of it...