Looking at team batting performance by handedness to identify some potential pitching pickups to exploit the matchups. This is using a probable starter schedule from June 24th – July 7th. It is subject to change (obviously!) so stay tuned, especially with the later ones.
Worst offenses against righties all season through June 19th by wRC+:
- Tigers – 74 wRC+
- Marlins – 75
- Giants – 77
- Blue Jays – 78
- Orioles – 81
Worst offenses against righties in L30 days through June 19th:
- Cardinals – 69 wRC+
- Giants – 75
- Orioles – 76
- Royals – 78
- Phillies – 81
Highest strikeout rates against righties:
- Tigers/Padres/White Sox – 26%
- Brewers/Blue Jays/Marlins/Rangers/Mariners – 25%
Righties to consider for June 24th-July 7th (schedules subject to change, of course):
- Anibal Sanchez at DET (Jun. 27), v. MIA (Jul. 4)
- Dakota Hudson at SD (Jun. 29), at SF (Jul. 6)
- Cal Quantrill at BAL (Jun. 25), SF (Jul. 1)
- Kyle Gibson at CWS (Jun. 30)
- Zach Plesac at BAL (Jun. 29)
- Michael Pineda at CWS (Jun. 29)
- Vince Velasquez at MIA (Jun. 28)
- Jeff Hoffman at SF (Jun. 25)
- Chris Bassitt at STL (Jun. 25)
- Erick Fedde at DET (Jun. 30), v. KC (Jul. 6)
- Homer Bailey at TOR (Jun. 29)
- Brad Keller at TOR (Jun. 30)
Sanchez has found his groove of late with a 1.54 ERA, 0.77 WHIP, and 18% K-BB in 23.3 innings. The schedule sets up nicely for him to stay hot over the next two weeks, too.
Hudson’s 5% K-BB is ugly, but he’s maintained a 3.55 ERA thanks in large part to his huge 61% groundball rate. His 1.53 WHIP makes him suspect and unlikely to maintain such a solid ERA without more Ks and/or fewer BBs, but a West Coast trip to San Diego and San Francisco is tough to pass up.
Quantrill had solid back-to-back starts (4.09 ERA/0.82 WHIP in 11 IP w/16 Ks) before heading to Coors where he wasn’t exactly great or even particularly good, but he held up all things considered with a 5 IP/4 ER outing. These next two starts will give him a chance to flex his 13% SwStr rate and pump that 20% K rate.
Plesac’s deep league availability has dried up, but you can still scoop him in shallower leagues and he’s someone to consider holding even beyond this favorable matchup in Baltimore.
Pineda is doing his thing… you know the thing. It’s that thing where he pretends to be good for a handful of starts and gets fantasy players to trust him only to pummel their ERA and WHIP with a meltdown start or three. He has a 3.86 ERA and 1.01 WHIP in his last eight starts (46.7 IP) with 40 strikeouts and eight walks (but also 8 HR). He will get Texas after the White Sox start, though, so be careful.
Bassitt’s swing-and-miss has come back to earth with just a 7% mark in June after a flurry of strikeouts to start his season (30% rate in first 6 starts). The St. Louis start kicks off a three-start road run with trips to the Angels and Mariners coming after that.
If you’re down to blindly play matchups, Fedde is your guy! He has a 3.81 ERA since joining the rotation on May 21st, but absolutely no skills to support it. He has 14 strikeouts and 10 walks with four homers allowed in 26 innings. Deeeeep leaguers, this one’s for you.
Worst offenses against lefties all season through June 19th by wRC+:
- Giants – 67 wRC+
- Marlins – 68
- Royals – 74
- Pirates – 76
- Blue Jays/Yankees – 81
Worst offenses against lefties in L30 days through June 19th:
- Tigers – 70 wRC+
- Royals – 73
- Marlins – 74
- Giants – 76
- Yankees/Red Sox – 78
Highest strikeout rates against lefties:
- Rays/Padres/Rangers – 27%
- Tigers/Mariners/Yankees – 26%
- Mets/Cubs/Orioles/Royals/Pirates/Rockies – 25%
Lefties to consider for June 24th-July 7th (schedules subject to change, of course):
- Matt Strahm at BAL (Jun. 26), SF (Jul. 2)
- John Means SD (Jun. 26), at TB (Jul. 2)
- Eric Lauer SF (Jul. 3)
- CC Sabathia TOR (Jun. 24)
- Danny Duffy at TOR (Jun. 28)
- Martin Perez TB (Jun. 27)
The lefty list is a lot lighter, but the top two are probably might favorites of all the pitchers listed including the righties. Well it’s Strahm, Sanchez, and Means as my top three.
Strahm has had a June from hell with a disaster outing before hitting the IL and then having to return with back-to-back outings at Colorado and home against Milwaukee. He opened the season with a dud, but then reeled off a 2.53 ERA and 0.98 WHIP over his next nine starts with a 19% K-BB rate heading into June. Hopefully these two starts can get him back on track.
Means has allowed more than 3 ER just once this year and it was a 5 IP/4 ER start at the White Sox. Since that start on April 29th, he has a 2.60 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in 45 innings. Means was missing bats through April with a 15% SwStr rate, but it’s come down to 8% over his last eight starts. He’s still been effective, just not with the strikeouts.
Lauer was great for a five-start from mid-May to early-June with a 2.08 ERA and 0.97 WHIP in 31 innings, but the run has been bookended by starts in Colorado during which he’s allowed 13 earned runs in 5.7 innings over the two outings.
Perez was the talk of the town through mid-May, but he’s fallen on hard times of late with a 7.58 ERA over his last four starts. Thankfully his velo has rebounded and he fanned seven in each of the last two outings so I don’t think he’s reverted all the way back to pre-2019 Perez. The Rays make the cut for their strikeout rate against lefties, but for those concerned about going against them, they’re only middle of the pack in wRC+ at 96 (17th in MLB).