I really just wanted to write up every hitter from the Mets and Orioles with Andrew Cashner and Jason Vargas on the mound. Thankfully, there are a ton of pitchers to attack on the Tuesday slate as just a couple aces are going, with only a few other studs mixed in. Otherwise, it's a bunch of fourth- and fifth-starter types.
Pitchers to Stream
Anibal Sanchez (R), rostered in 47 percent of ESPN leagues, Atlanta Braves vs. Miami Marlins: Sanchez left his last game with a bruised calf so there's still a chance he won't make this start, but he's an easy start if he does as he's been quite good this year. He's incorporated a cutter that has him looking a lot like the good Tigers version of him from 2013-14. He also gets the inept Marlins offense that sits 29th in wOBA against righties over the last month and tied for 28th on the season.
Ryan Borucki (L), 10 percent, Toronto Blue Jays at Kansas City Royals: Borucki has quietly posted a 2.81 ERA in eight starts with a nonstandard skill set that includes a meager 16 percent strikeout rate, but also a healthy 7 percent walk rate and just one home run allowed in 48 innings of work. He has just one bad start and it was at Boston. His schedule includes gems at Houston and at home against the Yankees, so I'd be surprised if the Royals of all teams got to him. They are 24th in wOBA against lefties with just a .281 mark.
Blaine Hardy (L), 3 percent, Detroit Tigers vs. Chicago White Sox: Hardy's been capable in 12 starts this year, with a 3.96 ERA and 1.19 WHIP. He only has 43 strikeouts in the 64 innings of work, but the White Sox hold the league's highest strikeout rate against lefties at 27 percent on the year and 29 percent over the last month.
Projected game scores
Austin Hedges (R), 23 percent, San Diego Padres vs. Los Angeles Angels (RHP Jaime Barria): Hedges has been on fire since the start of July with a .344/.396/.615 line and seven homers in 106 plate appearances and is currently in the midst of a seven-game hit streak. He's smashing righties during this run with a 1.036 OPS and six of the seven homers. Meanwhile, Barria has a massive reverse platoon split with a .931 OPS against righties (compared to .537 vs. lefties).
Trey Mancini (R), 33 percent, Baltimore Orioles vs. New York Mets (LHP Jason Vargas): Mancini hasn't been able to follow up his strong rookie campaign, but he's trying to salvage it with a strong August that includes a .929 OPS and four homers in 51 plate appearances. Vargas has the worst ERA in baseball among the 320 pitchers with at least 40 innings. His 8.75 ERA is well clear of Matt Moore's 7.24, which sits as second worst. Righties have an eye-popping 1.007 OPS against Vargas, too.
Paul DeJong (R), 48 percent, St. Louis Cardinals vs. Washington Nationals (LHP Gio Gonzalez): Like Mancini, DeJong has slumped a bit in his sophomore season (they should come up with a name for that!), but he is rallying a bit with a power surge that includes six extra-base hits out of his nine August hits.
Wilmer Flores (R), 8 percent, New York Mets at Baltimore Orioles (RHP Andrew Cashner): His newfound platoon flip to crushing righties has continued, and he gets a great opportunity to amplify it even further with a series against the Orioles, starting with Cashner and his .811 OPS against righties.
Aledmys Diaz (R), 21 percent, Toronto Blue Jays at Kansas City Royals (RHP Heath Fillmyer): Diaz has been one of the hottest hitters of the second half with a 1.108 OPS and seven home runs in 67 plate appearances. He hit eight homers in 242 PA during the first half with a paltry .670 OPS. He's been sharp against right-handed pitchers posting a .359/.366/.641 line with three of the eight homers. Fillmyer's 3.13 ERA looks like a total mirage thanks to terrible 3 percent K-BB rate. Righties have a 249-point platoon advantage with a .765 OPS and all three of the homers that he has allowed.
David Freese (R), 7 percent, Pittsburgh Pirates at Minnesota Twins (RHP Jake Odorizzi): I didn't realize Freese was having such a solid season! He has a .290/.345/.471 line with nine homers in 232 PA, including a relatively neutral platoon split (.823 vs. righties; .807 vs. lefties). After a couple of mediocre months in May and June, Freese has been on fire since July 1st. He has surged with a .337/.376/.581 line and five of his nine homers on the season. In August, he has been batting in the cleanup spot, too.
Marcus Semien (R), 37 percent, Oakland Athletics vs. Seattle Mariners (LHP James Paxton): After a slow start against lefties with just a .692 OPS through June, Semien has gotten back on track against southpaws. Since July 1st, he's toting a sharp .990 OPS and as many walks as strikeouts (8 of each). Of course, he's facing Paxton so that's always going to be an uphill battle, but the middle infield is light after the Diaz and DeJong picks.
Mallex Smith (L), 52 percent, Tampa Bay Rays at New York Yankees (LHP J.A. Happ): Smith's speed has been there all year, but his offense is off the charts since July 1st with a .372/.464/.585 line and 15 walks against just 16 strikeouts. The walk rate for a speed entity like Smith is huge because it keeps him on base regularly. He's 10-for-11 on the bases during this run and 25-for-33 all season (76 percent success).
Jackie Bradley Jr. (L), 21 percent, Boston Red Sox at Philadelphia Phillies (RHP Nick Pivetta): JBJ is yet another guy who has turned it around since July 1st after a rough few months to open the season. He has an .897 OPS and five homers against righties in 105 plate appearances. Pivetta has been brutal against lefties with a 200-point platoon split. They are hitting .313/.368/.476 against him with eight homers in 233 PA.
Harrison Bader (R), 10 percent, St. Louis Cardinals vs. Washington Nationals (LHP Gio Gonzalez): Bader is doing his best work against lefties this year with a .938 OPS and four of his eight homers in 89 PA. He's starting more often in August and has five multi-hit efforts during his nine starts. He also hasn't been caught in his last eight steal attempts, dating back to May. Gonzalez has a .779 OPS against righties with 11 homers allowed and just a 6 percent K-BB rate.
Hitter matchup ratings
Hitter ratings account for the opposing starting pitcher's history (three years' worth) as well as ballpark factors. "LH" and "RH" ratings account only for left- and right-handed batters, respectively.
Weighted on-base average (wOBA) is the primary statistic used in the calculation. Ratings range from 1 to 10, with 10 representing the best possible matchup, statistically speaking, and 1 representing the worst. For example, a 10 is a must-start rating, while a 1 should be avoided (if possible); a 1-2 is poor, 3-4 is fair, 5-6 is average, 7-8 is very good and 9-10 is excellent.