Jeff Locke hasn’t been very good this season sporting a 4.14 ERA, 1.46 WHIP and just 6.7 K/9 through 50 innings. The kicker is, those numbers come from AAA this year. He’s had one spot start in the majors and that went even worse as the Giants scored six runs on 8 hits through 5.1 innings against him. And the Brewers aren’t exactly the team you want to throw the kid into the fire with. Over the last 14 days they are hitting .360 wOBA as a team and they are averaging 6.7 runs per game over their last ten. Add to that their propensity to hit lefties better than righties and you have another big game in the making. If this game were in a better hitter’s park I’d stack until I couldn’t stack any more. But as it is I’ll still be happy playing the Brewers' many righties in this one. (Check the weather. Rain is in the forecast for this game) I also like The Reds against Buchanan and Cleveland against Saunders.
Ryan Braun – MIL - Braun eats lefties for dinner (hmm, maybe he ate one that had been taking PEDs?) As I wrote about up top, Locke is a weak lefty who the Brewers’ righties will put a beating on.
Khris Davis – MIL - Davis is on a tear right now with 19 hits in his last 34 at bats (.432), including six doubles and four home runs. He also gets to face a lefty, which is where he really does damage. He’s hitting .385 with a .788 SLG% and 1.184 OPS against them and half of his home runs have come against lefties, even though only a fourth of his at bats have.
Jose Bautista – TOR – Jaime Garcia has already given up five homers in his first 24.2 innings this season and now he goes into Toronto where home runs are born. The Jays average 1.62 homers per game at home and Bautista is a big part of that. I think the Jays will get their quota of homers plus some extra for good measure.
Jay Bruce – CIN – Is Bruce getting back on track? Well, things are starting to look up at least. He’s hit in six of his last seven games, but the good news is he hit a home run yesterday and had a couple doubles in his last five games with six RBIs during that span. Great American Ballpark is great for home runs and it has been good to him during his career. Hitting right-handed pitching has also been good to him and David Buchanan hasn’t pitched that well with a 6.11 ERA and 1.47 WHIP in three starts.
Carlos Santana – CLE – It’s tough recommending a .171 hitter, but that’s what I’m going to do. He’s shown flashes of his old self here and there and yesterday was one of those flashes as he hit a home run and a single while walking twice. In his last six games he’s averaging 5.9 FanDuel points and today gets Ol’ Joe Saunders. Saunders has given up 21 hits and walked six in 14.2 innings this season along with two home runs. And those are good numbers for him. Cleveland hits righties better than lefties, but I like Santana to get to him as he’s always hit lefties well and looks like he’s righting the ship.
Alex Gordon – KC – Gordon is quietly putting together a decent season. In his last six games he is 8-for-17 with three doubles, two home runs, five RBIs, a stolen base and six walks. He’s hitting righties for a .310 average and has hit righty Hiroki Kuroda in 6-of-8 at bats.
Aramis Ramirez – MIL – In his four games since coming off the DL Ramirez has a hit in each, including one homer. He has yet to face a lefty since returning, but gets one today. He should be able to do some damage with his splits highly favoring his at bats against southpaws.
Jason Heyward – ATL – Heyward has been on fire of late with 16 hits in his last 10 games, including four homers, a double, triple and 11 RBIs. Chase Anderson has been decent this season, but I like Heyward to get to him in the L/R matchup.
Asdrubal Cabrera – CLE – Cabrera had really started to heat up, hitting in 5 of his last 10 at bats including a double, two home runs, a stolen base and four RBIs. That is until a 0 for 5 last night. But I really like his matchup with Saunders and think he can get back on track against the lefty.
Felix Hernandez – SEA – The King is back! Well, he hadn’t gone too far, but for much of the season he had taken a walk from his normal dominant self. He’s now won five straight and looks to have found his fastball. He gets to pitch in spacious Tropicana Field against the less than stellar Rays who average just 3.74 runs per game.
Jordan Zimmermann – WAS – the Padres continue to be one of, if not the worst hitting teams in the league by many metrics and Jordan Zimmermann had his best game of the season in his last outing. The Padres also strike out 22.5% of the time which might help boost Zimm’s less than stellar K numbers this season.
Zack Wheeler – NYM – The Giants are going to be tough to beat, but thankfully they are in one of the most friendly pitchers’ parks in the league and Wheeler has been pitching great of late. After a horrible start to the season, he has given up just three earned runs in his last three games and struck out 23 in 19 innings.