Dan Straily is not a fan of left-handed hitters (who is really? Those guys can be so mean!) Unfortunately Straily can’t avoid them when he faces the Mariners lineup. Just last night they started six true lefties and one switch hitter against Jesse Chavez. Tonight Straily will see similar treatment, but has been hit by lefties this season for a .907 OPS, including 5 walks, 5 doubles, 5 home runs, and 10 runs in 64 at bats. The individual Mariners players have hit him for a .314 average and a 1.044 OPS. Robinson Cano, Kyle Seager, and Michael Saunders look primed for nice games.
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Nelson Cruz – BAL: Cruz hasn’t had many chances to face lefties this season, but in 17 plate appearances he’s walked 6 times, had 5 hits, including a double and a home run, 4 RBIs and 3 runs. His splits over the last 3 years are tremendous, with a .412 wOBA against them. He faces lefty Cesar Ramos who has pitched decent enough this season, but mostly from the bullpen. He will have trouble getting out of the fifth inning.
Carlos Gonzalez – COL: The road isn’t always kind to Colorado hitters, but Arlington should be like a home away from home and CarGo gets righty Colby Lewis in a great hitters park. Lewis gives up a .352 wOBA to lefties and a big HR rate of 1.73 per 9 innings. All the while, Gonzalez is heating up with 7 hits in his last 10 at bats. You can pencil Troy Tulowitzki in for yet another nice game, but his price has gotten a bit out of control at $5,800 at FanDuel. I might have to fade him (runs for cover).
Miguel Cabrera – DET: Last night Miggy went off on poor Mr. Oberholtzer and company and today he faces Brad Peacock, who is sporting a 5.26 ERA and a 1.87 WHIP this season. Miggy has hit righties better this year and for his career, with a scary .440 wOBA. He is 21 for his last 48 with 6 doubles, 2 HRs 16 RBIs and 11 runs scored. The hitter has awakened. Hide your family members.
Also consider: Robinson Cano – SEA, Victor Martinez – DET, Adrian Beltre - TEX
Kyle Seager – SEA: Like I said in the opening, I like the Mariners' lefties against Dan Straily. Seager was out of control good the last week of April with five home runs in four games, but he did hit a bit of a slump to start May. Thankfully it looks like he may just be starting up again with a couple doubles last night, which should lead nicely into a good matchup with Straily, who he is 3 for 8 off of with a double and a home run.
Marlon Byrd – PHI: On April 23rd Byrd’s average dipped to .238, but just 10 games later he has raised it to .303. During that span he has hit .436. On the season he is hitting .345 against lefties with a .586 slugging % and .992 OPS. He gets lefty Mark Buehrle who started the season giving up just two earned runs in his first four games, but in his last two, he’s given up 19 hits and 8 earned runs. I like Byrd to stay hot and get to Buehrle.
Daniel Murphy – NYM: Murphy is 13 for his last 32 with 5 doubles, a triple and a home run. He hits righties at a nice .340 wOBA and Tom Koehler has put together a nice start to the season, but there’s quite a bit of smoke and mirrors there with 16 walks in 37 innings pitched. I think a correction is on its way.
Also consider: Howie Kendrick – LAA, Pedro Alvarez – PIT, Michael Brantley - CLE
Michael Saunders – SEA: Sticking to my Straily theme, I’m running with lefties like Saunders. He started the season horribly, but has had a nice run hitting 10 of his last 27 with four multi-hit games in his last six.
Brayan Pena – CIN: Pena has been hitting well this year with a .328 average and 3 HRs in his last 5 games. He also has done most of his damage against righties, batting .353 with a 1.008 OPS. He faces Jake Peavy in this one, who he has hit a homer off of. UPDATE: Pena has a tender hamstring and may miss today.
Matt Joyce – TAM: Joyce has been struggling a bit, but you can never count him out against a weak righty like Bud Norris who pitches worse on the road and against lefties, as Joyce hits better at home and against righties.
Also consider: Allen Craig – STL, Justin Smoak – SEA, Lyle Overbay - MIL
Felix Hernandez – SEA: King Felix has owned the A’s this season with 19 K’s in 15 innings, allowing 3 earned runs and chalking up two wins. His career numbers against them are in line with that and even though he’s been slumping a bit (not helped by the flu last time out), I like him in the pitchers park to return to form.
Adam Wainwright – STL: The Braves like to strike out at a higher rate than anyone in the league. Well, “like” might not be the right word, but they do it anyway. They also are averaging just 3.25 runs per game, which is only second worst to San Diego. Wainwright will look to get back on track against the free swinging Braves after a tough outing in Chicago. He had been his normal dominant self until that last game, so I'm not too worried that it was a sign of something bigger.
Rick Porcello – DET: The Tigers shouldn’t have any trouble handling Brad Peacock and are a heavy favorite in this game. Porcello has started the season off with a 4-1 record, 3.66 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. His strikeout numbers keep him from having a huge ceiling, but he looks safe for a win and the Astros do enjoy striking out. Well, "enjoy" might not be the word.
Also consider: James Shields – KC, Danny Salazar - CLE