As Bryan Grosnick pointed out on Tuesday, the home run is king in daily contests. In Draftstreet scoring, a home run will get you a minimum of seven points (one point for each total base plus 1.5 each for the R and RBI). So I wanted to give y’all a list of the pitchers who allow the most home runs per plate appearance. The cut off for the reliability of HR/PA is 1320 batters faced (per @pizzacutter4) Here are the pitchers above that cut off that are on an active roster with the highest HR/PA (one or more standard deviations above the mean) against both left and right handed batters.
This isn’t a shocking list; most of the guys suck. The best guys on the list are probably Derek Holland and Bartolo Colon. Holland has always had a problem at home, and that has continued this year. Considering that Texas has the 4th most favorable home run for right-handed hitters, it’s a problem that is likely to continue. Holland is a good pitcher, but you can start powerful right-handers against him in Texas. On the flip side, Colon has been helped by moving to Oakland, the seventh least favorable ballpark for left-handed home runs. But he’s also been better on the road since the beginning of 2012. Avoid him, especially at home.
The Daily Five
Freddie Freeman, $9,094 – Of the homer-prone pitchers listed above, five are starting today. Unfortunately, Bronson Arroyo is the only one pitching in a ballpark that is homer friendly to batters of the opposite handedness. Well, that’s not true. Carlos Villanueva is pitching in Wrigley, which is an above average home run park for left-handers. But the Cubs are playing one of their many day games today, so Cardinal lefties are not options. The biggest disappointment of the day is that Bruce Chen (LHP) is pitching in Cleveland, which is the worst homer park for right-handed hitters. Atlanta isn’t even an above average home run park for left-handers, but it’s not on the wrong side of the ledger either; it’s right in the middle. With Jason Heyward leaving last night’s game with an injury, Freeman is the only real left-handed option to use against Arroyo today.
Michael Saunders, $7,661 – Seattle is a below average home run park for left-handers, but it’s not one of the worst either. Saunders has been on a little mini-streak lately, so maybe he’s getting it together. If you save a lot on pitching, Kyle Seager and Raul Ibanez are also solid options today, but recommending a bunch of $9,000+ hitters isn’t all that helpful.
Rickie Weeks, $4,668 – The match up against Patrick Corbin isn’t great, but at least it’s a lefty-righty match up. And Arizona is the 7th most homer friendly park for right-handed hitters. At this price, it’s worth a shot. Left-handed Oswaldo Arcia is also a decent cheap option at a price of $4,230 because he’s playing in Yankee Stadium, which is the most homer friendly park for left-handers.
Stephen Strasburg, $19,099 – Some people are just fundamentally opposed to spending this much on a pitcher. I’m not one of those people, but if I was, I’d still have a hard time passing on Strasburg today. For one, there aren’t many good bargain options, certainly not three. And two, the match up literally could not be any better as he’ll face the Marlins who have the worst wRC+ vs. RHP. The other two most expensive starting options, Clayton Kershaw and David Price, are facing teams that are above average against left-handers.
Corey Kluber, $11,059 – The man love for Kluber has been abundant here on the site. And it’s not hard to see why with strikeout and walk rates like his. With a match up against the Royals who have the fourth worst wRC+ vs. RHP, today could be a good day for his fan club. Kris Medlen is the other pitcher I’m rolling with today.
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