MLB DEEP DIVE – 7/4/17 Late Games

Happy Independence Day Everyone!  A special thank you to everyone who has ever served our country!

Today’s holiday slate is quite inverted with all of the top end pitching residing in the late games.  This is making lineup quite tricky as there is also a game in Coors Field with two of the most flammable pitchers on the slate in RHP Homer Bailey who has a 27.0 ERA in two starts and LHP Kyle Freeland who has managed to allow nine earned runs in his last two starts in the pitching friend environments of San Francisco and Dodgers Stadium.

Play smart tonight, stay within your bankroll and remember this is supposed to be fun!

 

PITCHING

Clayton Kershaw – LAD vs ARZ – The Diamondbacks have been horrendous against southpaws this season with a league worst 67 wRC+ (weighted runs created plus is an advanced metric that neutralizes ballpark factors creating a league-wide scoring efficiency benchmark of 100) which means they are creating 23% less runs against lefties than the average team in The Show.

Current Arizona batsmen have a .215/.282/.340 slash line against Kershaw with only 14 extra base hits in 191 at bats with a 28.7% K-rate.  One thing to keep in mind is that the 17 home runs Kershaw has allowed already are a single season career high and over his last ten games he has averaged 99.4 pitches.

Corey Kluber – CLE vs SDP – Oh what a season for The Klubot!  Over his last ten starts he is averaging just a tick under 7 innings per outing with a 2.63 ERA, 0.94 base runners per inning and a lofty 12.5 punchouts per nine innings.

Tonight he faces the San Diego Padres who will get to roll with the DH instead of their pitcher, but they have the third lowest scoring rate against right-handed pitching this season with an 84 wRC+ and their 25.3% strikeout rate and .299 wOBA are both the worst figures in the league.

David Price – BOS at TEX – Okay, this has a little more merit as a viable option with Price at a discount (no pun intended) on most sites compared to the other top options.  While it is not easy pitching in the Texas summer heat, the Rangers 80 wRC+ is the fourth lowest in the league and their 26.0% strikeout rate against southpaws is the second highest in the league along with a bottom 10 .298 wOBA and .154 ISO.

Brad Peacock – HOU at ATL – Wow, the sixth year veteran is most definitely in play on this slate, even on FanDuel as your solo pitcher.  The Astros are -154ML favorites to garner the victory on the road in Atlanta and though it will be touch and go for him to finish five full innings and qualify for the win, he has allowed only one earned run in each of his last three starts, averaging 100.3 pitches with an astounding 25 strikeouts in 15 1/3 innings.

Patrick Corbin – ARZ at LAD – This is not the same Dodgers squad we picked on all last year with lefties.  They have retooled with the acquisitions of Chris Taylor and Logan Forsythe augmenting the improved Justin Turner and Austin Barnes.  Lefties Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger can also do damage, so while this is a park upgrade for Corbin, just know there is risk.  He is an option for two pitcher sites because we desperately need the savings to work in any Coors Field hitters.

Sean Newcomb – ATL vs HOU – The Astros 116 wRC+ is the fifth best in the league and they strike out just 16.8% of the time against southpaws which is the third lowest.  Yeah, it is baseball and Newcomb could hurl a gem, but his backers could see their dreams dashed around 7:45pm ET tonight.

Yu Darvish – TEX vs BOS – The vaunted Red Sox offense has actually been pretty mediocre this season against right-handed pitching, but this is still a dicey matchup for the Rangers’ Ace and it is hard to see BOTH Kershaw and Kluber collapsing, while Darvish hurls a gem in order to get a leg up on the field.  Another mark against Darvish is that this Boston squad has the second lowest strike-out rate in the league against right-handed pitching at a measely 18.1%.

Trevor Cahill – SDP at CLE – Cahill is making his first big league start in nearly two months after dealing with a shoulder injury.  He has had two minor league rehab appearances, but has only gone a total of 5 2/3 innings between them.  Let others assume the risk and likely 70-75 pitch limit in a tough matchup on the road in Cleveland.

 

HITTING

Cincinnati Reds at COL vs LHP Kyle Freeland – despite being a lefty himself, Joey Votto has the best numbers of this Cinci squad with a .396 wOBA and a .220 ISO over his last 266 lefty/lefty matchups.  Eugenio Suarez, Adam Duvall and Zack Cosart all acquit themselves well in righty/lefty matchups and do not shy away from Scott Schebler or Patrick Kivlehan if they make the starting nine.

Colorado Rockies vs RHP Homer Bailey – EVERYONE!  Homer Bailey has allowed 14 runs across 4 2/3 innings in two starts this season.

Houston Astros at ATL vs LHP Sean Newcomb – The key target of course will be George Springer who has been phenomenal since the beginning of last season with a .453 wOBA and a .365 ISO against lefties along with an eye-popping 190 wRC+.  Carlos Correa is much improved against opposite handed hitters and he is also worthy of his price point.  Most lineup construction looks like we will need to punt at the keystone position, which makes Jose Altuve an interesting luxury options. Jake Marisnick will be a key punt options if he manages to crack the lineup.

Atlanta Braves vs RHP Brad Peacock – it looks like Freddie Freeman is back and playing starting at the hot corner tonight with Matt Adams manning first base.  Both are options against Peacock along with Nick Markakis, Ender Inciarte and Tyler Flowers, but I would limit my exposure to just two unless going for a full stack because we are counting on getting our production against the Houston bullpen over the last four innings of this game.

Cleveland Indians vs RHP Trevor Cahill – speaking of waiting to get production against the bullpen, Trevor Cahill will be lucky to get into the fourth inning after his long layoff so we can look to anyone on the Cleveland roster that catches our eye in the hopes of some late innings fireworks against a variety of gas can types.

Texas Rangers vs LHP David Price – we know that Price will allow teams to really cash in from time to time (yeah, I did that one on purpose) so we can consider Adrian Beltre, Carlos Gomez, Elvis Andrus and Robinson Chirinos as viable options in the hopes of an extra base hit or even a longball in the Texas heat (92 degrees at first pitch).

Los Angeles Dodgers vs LHP Patrick Corbin – definitely consider Christopher Taylor, Logan Forsythe, Austin Barnes and Kike Hernandez as viable lefty-killers along with tournament options Justin Turner, Cody Bellinger and Corey Seager.