Father’s Day is always a special Sunday as many baseball fans credit their dads with helping develop their love for America’s pastime.
Focusing only on second-generation players was considered for today’s notes, but even with Delino DeShields Jr, Andrew and Austin Romine, C.J. Cron, Eric Young Jr. and Jayson Werth all qualifying for inclusion, saner heads prevailed, and we’ll stick with helping you wrap up a victory in Week 12 of head-to-head leagues or finishing the period strong in standard roto scoring. Don’t worry, I have managed to find a couple of players who followed their dads’ path to the bigs, serving as an homage to the rest.
Pitchers to stream
Tyler Chatwood (R), 28 percent ownership in ESPN leagues, Colorado Rockies vs. San Francisco Giants: In this season of unusual occurrences, Rockies pitchers have become must-starts on the road and matchup plays at home. Chatwood has pitched terribly at home, but ESPN researcher Kyle Soppe presents a compelling case to use the righty at Coors Field. The Giants are at the bottom of the league in both weighed on base average (wOBA) and isolated power versus righties. OK, sure, but this is in Coors Field, not ATT Park. Regardless of the venue, hitters need to elevate the ball. Soppe points out the Giants are 25th in fly ball percent and second in ground ball percent. Further, Chatwood is an extreme ground ball specialist, checking in at 58 percent.
Jacob Faria (R), 25 percent, Tampa Bay Rays at Detroit Tigers: The Rays seem to have an endless supply of talented pitchers being nurtured in the minors. The latest to be promoted is Faria, making just the third start of his fledgling career on Sunday. His first two went swimmingly, tossing 6 1/3 frames in each, striking out a total of 13 with only three walks, giving up a scant run in each outing. Facing the Tigers in Motown won’t be easy, but they’re without Victor Martinez.
JC Ramirez (R), 23 percent, Los Angeles Angels vs. Kansas City Royals: The Royals are quietly crushing southpaws, but with a right-hander on the hill, it’s a different story. Ramirez is backed by one of the best pitcher’s parks in the league. While, his 7.1 K/9 is pedestrian, Ramirez has tossed at least six frames in seven of his last ten outings, including four seven-inning efforts.
Mike Foltynewicz (R), 19 percent, Atlanta Braves vs. Miami Marlins: Everyone gravitates towards players they believe in, and one of mine continues to be Foltynewicz. He’s maintained a low walk rate, though more homers are an issue. Despite the presence of Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna, the Fish are a tick below average in terms of homers versus right-handers. Foltynewicz holds the platoon edge over those sluggers and while SunTrust Park has proven generous to lefties, it appears to be suppressing right-handed pop.
Pitcher to Avoid
Jacob deGrom (R), 99 percent, New York Mets vs. Washington Nationals: I’m not sure this is an across-the-board avoid scenario, but more a chance to talk a little about a pitcher not usually featured in this space. There are a number of pitchers with good to excellent strikeout and walk rates, but with home run rates that have spiked considerably. Examples are Rick Porcello, Masahiro Tanaka, John Lackey and deGrom. While they’re all not as sharp as they’ve been in the past, it’s possible their style of pitching feeds into the growing philosophy of adding loft to a swing for a ball thrown low in the zone. The assumption is some of these ballooned home run rates will organically regress to normal; I’m not so sure. Last time out, deGrom twirled a complete game, but note he only fanned six with four walks. He’s allowed a homer in his last four outings. Granted, seeing deGrom beat the Cubs last time is encouraging, I just don’t think he’s out of the woods yet, and if you’re in a tight battle in the ratios categories, sitting the righty versus the Nationals is perfectly viable.
Steve Bedrosian was a major league pitcher, toiling for four organizations between 1981 and 1995. He’s the answer to a couple of trivia questions. The first is, “Who holds the MLB record for starts in a season without a complete game?” In 1985, Bedrock started 37 games for the Braves, never tossing the full nine frames. The second is much more favorable, “Four relievers have won the Cy Young Award. Three are Mark Davis, Dennis Eckersley and Eric Gagne. Who’s the other?” Bedrosian’s other noteworthy accomplishment is fathering Cam Bedrosian, just activated from the disabled list by the Los Angeles Angels. Bud Norris has pitched well as the Halos’ closer, so a change isn’t imminent. However, you could do worse than speculating the younger Bedrosian eventually usurps the job.
Projected game scores
GS is the projected game score for the pitcher. A “*” means that the pitcher lacks requisite career major league data to produce an accurate rating; these are the author’s ratings. A 50 typically earns the pitcher a “quality start” by this measure, while a 70 is considered a dominant start.
Russell Martin (R), 23 percent, Toronto Blue Jays vs. Chicago White Sox (RHP James Shields): Normally, recommending a veteran receiver on Sunday is risky, since they often get the day off. However, since Saturday was a day game after a night game, Luke Maile did the squatting for the Jays. Martin should be back in there, stepping into the box against a homer-prone pitcher in a power-friendly venue.
Lucas Duda (L), 15 percent, New York Mets vs. Washington Nationals (RHP Joe Ross): After spending some time lower in the order, Duda is back to the fifth spot. He’s had a curious week, only recording two hits, but they both left the yard.
Adam Frazier (L), 13 percent, Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Chicago Cubs (RHP John Lackey): Lackey was referenced earlier as having a high home run rate. Frazier isn’t a slugger, but since Lackey has had serious issues with lefty swingers this season, I want all the left-handers against him I can muster. Plus, PNC Park isn’t as detrimental as perceived to lefties.
Maikel Franco (R), 38 percent, Philadelphia Phillies vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (LHP Robbie Ray): Let’s call on Kyle Soppe again to make a case for matchup some may overlook since Ray has been one of the best pitchers in the league over the last month or so. Soppe points out 18 of the 19 extra base hits surrendered by Ray have been knocked by righties. Franco’s contact and hard-hit percent versus left-handers are both better than average.
Greg Garcia (L), less than 1 percent, St. Louis Cardinals at Baltimore Orioles (RHP Ubaldo Jimenez): While I prefer to rely on numbers, occasionally a gut-call is in order. Garcia may not play, but this being a Sunday, my hunch is he’ll be in there, possibly hitting second. Similar to lefties facing Lackey, I want as many lefty-swingers as possible stepping in against Jimenez.
Josh Bell (B), 14 percent, Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Chicago Cubs (RHP John Lackey): Bell hit his first homer since June 3 on Friday night. He may not be through going deep this weekend.
Chad Pinder (R), 2 percent, Oakland Athletics vs. New York Yankees (RHP Luis Cessa): Like Garcia, Pinder may not be in the lineup. A logical pivot is teammate Jed Lowrie as both aren’t apt to sit the same day. Cessa has been pitching well in Triple-A, but I’ll still take my chances on Pinder, who’s been hitting the ball hard out of the No. 2 spot in the order.
Joc Pederson (L), 20 percent, Los Angeles Dodgers at Cincinnati Reds (RHP Bronson Arroyo): Stu Pederson may have only played eight games in his major league career, but they were for the Dodgers, the same club that employs his son, Joc. As per usual, the younger Pederson is in play versus a righty, but even more so when it’s Bronson Arroyo since the chance of whiffing is significantly reduced.
Lonnie Chisenhall (L), 4 percent, Cleveland Indians at Minnesota Twins (RHP Kyle Gibson): Chisenhall appears to have his timing back after spending some time on the disabled list. After the Twins started a pair of southpaws in Saturday’s twinbill, Chisenhall will be relieved to see Gibson toeing the Target Field rubber.
Hitter matchup ratings
Notes: Hitter ratings account for the opposing starting pitcher’s history (three years’ worth, as well as the past 21 days) and 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. So, for example, a 10 is a must-start rating, whereas 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.