There are two pitchers making their first major league start in Denver today. The over/under is 11 and all signs point to there being plenty of runs in that one. The problem is I am always a little worried about pitchers that have no track record in the majors. I’ll be targeting Rockies and Cardinals in this one, but I think I’ll head back down to Texas where old man Joe Saunders takes on the visiting Tigers for my target pitcher.
Saunders is giving up a .346 average and 46 hits in 30.2 innings. Both lefties and righties are hitting him well, but righties are hitting him with more power. He had been holding his starts together with some string and Elmer's glue, but last time out he was hit hard by the A's. The Tigers have won six straight and averaged 5 runs a game. Saunders isn't going to slow them down.
Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $30,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Wednesday night's MLB games. It's $25 to join and first prize is $5,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on Wednesday. Here's the FanDuel link.
Ian Kinsler – DET – Kinsler has been hitting well recently with 7 hits in his last 15 at bats, including two home runs. He’s 12-for-36 off Saunders in his career, including 4 home runs. He hit a home run in the first inning yesterday and gave his old teammates a little wave as he started his home run trot. There didn't seem to be any bad blood afterward, but you can be sure he'll hear a few more boos today. That just might give him a little extra juice against old man Saunders.
Troy Tulowitzki – COL – Tulo has destroyed lefties this season and gets a rookie who skipped triple A to make his first major league start. In 66 at bats against lefties this year Tulo has hit seven home runs, has an average of .409 and an OPS of 1.330. If you narrow that down to just his at bats against lefties in Coors, he’s hitting .500 with a 1.536 OPS. Of course that’s a small sample size, but Tulo has been dominant at home this year.
David Wright – NYM – Wright is hitting .400 against lefties this season and has a RBI in seven straight games. He faces Brad Mills who at 29 has 57 innings pitched in his career has a 7.53 ERA to go with a 1.73 WHIP.
Steve Pearce – BAL – Hector Noesi has given up a .399 wOBA to righties this season and Pearce, a righty himself, has hit righties like Noesi for a .349 average and is on a major roll right now with six multi-hit games in the last seven, along with three home runs.
Adam LaRoche – WAS - Marco Estrada has now given up 24 home runs and leads the league in that dubious category. LaRoche has hit nine home runs this season, all against right-handed pitchers like Estrada. LaRoche has also had four multi-hit games in his last five with a homer in the mix and he’s hitting .345 at home while Estrada has given up 15 of his 24 home runs up on the road.
Kyle Seager – SEA – Seager has 10 of his 11 home runs against right-handed pitching at home this season. He faces righty Clay Buchholz at home tonight. Buchholz has been on the DL with a hyperextended knee and was getting hit hard before that. The news has been encouraging for him, but I still think Seager will have the upper hand in this one.
Rajai Davis – DET – Davis is hitting .303 against lefties this season and he is coming off a three hit performance last night. He’s hit Saunders well in the past and he should be leading off for a team that most likely will put up some runs.
Allen Craig – STL - Craig does most of his damage against lefties and the Rockies will be calling up lefty journeyman minor leaguer Yohan Flande. He hasn’t done much in AAA this year with a 1-8 record, 4.42 ERA and 1.51 WHIP.
Daniel Murphy – NYM - Murphy has four multi-hit games in his last five starts including a home run. He gets Brad Mills, another lefty, but Murphy is hitting lefties for a .338 average this season. He’s not going to put up huge fantasy points, but for his price he continues to be valuable.
David Price – TAM – The Pirates have been hitting well enough to cause me some hesitation here, but Price always gets his strikeouts and sometimes in DFS that’s as safe as you can get. In June he’s had four starts and has yet to dip below double-digit K’s in any of those starts. He’s also averaging over 7 innings a game, which is a huge plus in DFS. So even if he were to give up 4 runs in 7 innings and take the loss, but get 10 strikeouts, he’s still helping your team.
Hisashi Iwakuma – SEA – Iwakuma takes on the Red Sox who aren’t doing much at the plate of late. They hit a poor .304 wOBA against righties and .293 wOBA on the road, while Iwakuma has been excellent at home allowing just a .236 average.
Collin McHugh – HOU – The Braves are always tough to target because you just don’t know what they will do, but McHugh has been very stingy to right-handed hitters this season, which the Braves are flush with. The Braves are hitting just a .291 wOBA against righties and a .290 wOBA on the road.