Here’s hoping that Robbie Ray throws as much flames as Daenerys did last night. Holy moly. There’s still room for Arya to kill the Queen...
Robbie Ray vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
We start with Robbie Ray. Ray has yet to walk a lefty hitter, but has 12 strikeouts against them. He obliterates lefties. I’m fully fading Pittsburgh and making Ray my guy. If you aren’t, try to find a right-handed Pirate as a one-off—Ray has allowed 11 XBH (and four of four homers) to right-handed hitters in 2019. Just remember that the Pirates have 28.5% strikeout rate against southpaws, the third-worst rate in the MLB. They are also sporting the WORST ISO of any team against lefties, at .092. In short, Pittsburgh is the worst team in the MLB against lefties by the numbers—ranking dead last in wOBA and wRC+. Give me all the Robbie Ray.
Matt Boyd vs. Houston Astros
Given the Astros will be missing Jose Altuve, this isn’t totally insane. Boyd has been dominant in 2019, but all three of his homers have been to right-handed bats. So if you’re shying away, holler at Springer, Bregman, or Correa. Robinson Chirinos would make a nice punt if he was cheap and you needed a catcher. But I’d rather go to Boyd if I had to pick a side.
Cleveland Indians @ Reynaldo Lopez
I know, I’m crazy. But Reynaldo allows SO MANY fly balls. He’s not in the 40/40/40 (FB-Pull-Hard) club, but he’s close. He allows 2 homers per nine to lefties, and 1.85 per nine to righties. Against lefties he has a 17:13 K:BB ratio. He has high heat and can be tremendous at times, but he can also be a gas can. I’ll take a chance on the key Indians: Francisco Lindor, Jose Ramirez, Carlos Santana, and Leonys Martin.
Oakland Athletics @ LHP Yusei Kikuchi
I’d actually like Kikuchi okay if he weren’t up against Oakland. The Athletics rank sixth in ISO against lefties, at .211. Matt Chapman has eight walks against only four strikeouts versus southpaws. Marcus Semien has seven walks against only six strikeouts. This is Stephen Piscotty’s best split, too. Also Chad Pinder. Matt Olson is back. This is not good, not good at all (yes I’m counting on Kikuchi in TGFBI). Anyway, only the Angels strike out less than the Athletics against lefties (15.0% to 17.9%). But the difference is the crazy power of Oakland. Don’t get cute—this isn’t Khris Davis’ best split but he’s still tied with Chapman at five homers against southpaws. I am afraid for Kikuchi...not because he’s bad, but because Oakland is that good. For what it’s worth, Kikuchi also has not walked a lefty hitter this year, but has 11 strikeouts against them. He’s projected to only see two lefties, though (Olson and Profar). I’ll say it again...this is a bad matchup!
Niko Goodrum or Christin Stewart vs. Brad Peacock
Peacock will be a viable pitching option, but if you don’t start him you should consider one of the prominent lefty hitters for Detroit. Peacock is a proud member of the 40/40/40 club to lefty bats...again, that’s greater than 40% in fly ball rate, pull rate, and hard contact rate. He has allowed 1.89 HR/9 to lefties. Stewart over Goodrum for me, probably.
It’s looking dicey in Philadelphia, so maybe you won’t have to decide on Aaron Nola after all. Would be lame for possible Phillies stacks, though.
That’s what stuck out in the first pass. Let me know what popped out to you guys!