Pitcher and hitter ratings for Sept. 14 – ESPN
On paper, Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers hosting the Colorado Rockies could be the biggest mismatch of the entire season. Of all the possible pitcher-versus-offense matchups, the Rockies on the road facing a left-hander is by far the most favorable scenario. To wit, in this situation, Colorado is fanning at a bloated 29 percent rate in concert with a punch-less .253 weighted on-base average (wOBA). And, you know, Kershaw is good and stuff.
While the extent isn’t nearly as extreme as the Rockies, for the season, the Houston Astros have also had issues when traveling to face a southpaw, as evidenced by a 22 percent strikeout rate and .294 wOBA. Cole Hamels and the Texas Rangers hope this trend continues, as the American League West leaders visit the squad that’s chasing them. Since being acquired by the Rangers, Hamels has been solid, throwing better than his 4.07 ERA in a Texas uniform may indicate. His 8.1 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 are within reasonable range of what could be expected having to face a designated hitter instead of a pitcher. The inflated ERA is a result of a high batting average on balls in play. Despite the numbers above Houston still being dangerous, Hamels is best used in GPP play and faded on cash action.
If Sonny Gray isn’t going deep into ball games, his DFS utility is tempered since he’s a volume producer, relying on bullying up points with innings as opposed to sporting a high strikeout rate and getting points in that manner. Over his past five starts, Gray failed to pitch into the sixth inning twice, averaging only 6 1/3 frames in that span. Next up is a road date with a Chicago White Sox squad that’s average at home versus right-handers, though they do fan at a pace higher than normal. He has been in better spots, but on a light slate, Gray is a viable cash play.
Don’t blame Jordan Zimmermann if the Washington Nationals don’t make the playoffs, as he has done his job all season. He’s not an ace, but on a squad with Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg, he doesn’t need to be. The steady righty should be able to do his part again, as he’ll face the Philadelphia Phillies in Citizens Bank Park. This sets up nicely as a cash game candidate with the sole concern being the home team sending Aaron Nola, one of their only legitimate starters, to the hill. Still, on a day where there are limited safe options, Zimmermann is one of the few available.
The last time Logan Verrett was given the ball to start, it was in Coors Field, and he proceeded to toss eight frames of one-run ball, allowing just four hits and one walk with eight whiffs. Expecting a repeat this time around is optimistic, but that outing showed Verrett can go deep into the game, which is a plus since he gets another spot start, this time against the Miami Marlins in Citi Field. Verrett makes for a nice complementary option, especially paired with Kershaw on sites calling for multiple pitchers.
Bad news, friends: There’s little in the way of spot-starters to jump-start your seasonal week. Someone who could get you a cheap win is Tim Hudson, as the San Francisco Giants entertain the Cincinnati Reds in AT&T Park. The Reds’ offense has trouble generating offense on the road against right-handers, and the Giants’ hitters should be able get some tallies with Keyvius Sampson on the hill for the visitors.
Using an inconsistent rookie against the Baltimore Orioles in Camden Yards is a risk, but by the numbers, Eduardo Rodriguez is a defensible start. At home, the Orioles have fanned at an elevated 25 percent clip against southpaws since the All-Star break along with sporting a pedestrian .315 wOBA.
Jon Gray has exhibited some of the potential that has Rockies fans hoping their team can finally develop starting pitching, but he’s not there yet. The Dodgers aren’t an offensive juggernaut, but they have enough firepower to keep Gray on the sidelines.