Yesterday Blake Murphy detailed how some teams are using a lot more players in their lineups late in the season so that we can identify good pitching matchups. More youngsters in the lineups means better stats for pitchers. But young hurlers don’t see as much late season experience because of innings limit concerns. This explains why a large majority of the probable starters today are guys who have been in the majors for most of the season. In my estimation, all but three or four of today’s probables have been around for most of the year.
Today’s probables also happen to be a pretty above average bunch. Below is a chart showing how today’s starters have fared this year compared to league average.
Because there are so many good starters going today, you’re probably going to need to load up on more expensive hitters facing the few bad starters today. To save some money for bats, we’ll pick some of the cheaper starters with at least decent matchups. After the jump there will be a chart showing which of today’s starters you should be stacking up hitters against and how those starters fare against hitters of each handedness, and then we’ll pick some names.
The Daily Five
Corey Kluber, $12,383 – This is a pretty good way to start saving some money for hitters. Kluber hasn’t been quite as good lately as he was earlier in the year, but over his last four starts he’s basically had a league average ERA, K% and BB%. His biggest problem in that span is a bit of bad BABIP luck. And yes, I say luck because his xBABIP is about 30 points lower. He’ll face the Twins who have sixth worst wRC+ and second worst K% against right-handers.
Yovani Gallardo, $12,576 – Gallardo is right next to Kluber in terms of price. He’s been pretty good in his last five starts with a 2.65 ERA, 21.6% K% and an average walk rate. He’ll get the Mets who have a 97 wRC+ (20th) and 20.8% K% (25ht) against right-handers.
Cleveland right-handed hitters, varying prices – With left-hander Pedro Hernandez having walked more right-handed hitters than he has struck out, it’s a good idea to load up on Cleveland righties and/or switch-hitters who are better from the right side. Yan Gomes ($7,158), Carlos Santana ($7,599) and Asdrubal Cabrera ($7,677) are probably the best plays.
Brandon Belt, $5,476 – It’s almost a requirement that you get someone in your lineup going against right-hander Burch Smith who has given up a lot of walks and homers in his first few starts. It just so happens that Belt is cheap and has the platoon advantage.
Yasiel Puig, $8,985 – It’s also pretty much a requirement that you get someone in your lineup against Colin McHugh who has given up too many homers in his first few starts and who has been unable to punch anyone out.
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