MLB Game Breakdown April 14

MLB Game Breakdown April 14

Sunday afternoon brings us a seven-game slate of baseball to enjoy! Make sure to take advantage of all tools The Quantedge has to offer including our new Vegas Line Movement tool! Let’s just get into all the information you’ll need to make your lineup decisions and if your heart desires, feel free to follow me on Twitter @SBuchanan24

Chicago White Sox (3.6) @ New York Yankees (5)

Carlos Rodon (LHP) vs. Masahiro Tanaka (RHP)

Over/Under: 8.5  Moneyline: Yankees -180

Pitcher Breakdown:  Carlos Rodon will take the hill for the fourth time this season. Despite some mixed results, Rodon has been generating a healthy dose of strikeouts, owner of a 13.5 K/9. He’s a very interesting GPP target as the Yankees currently own a team 37.7 K% against lefties, which ranks as the highest in the league. It’s a very small sample, as the Yankees have only 61 plate appearances vs. lefties thus far, one of the lowest in the league.

Tanaka is always one of those boom-or-bust options as he can go out on any given day and rack up a boatload of strikeouts but also allow four to five runs. The White Sox sport some decent power against righties thus far with a team .163 ISO. Tanaka should end up being a popular play regardless with the White Sox owning a 3.6 run total.

Hitter Breakdown: Aaron Judge will likely be the most popular play in this game after he posted a .409 wOBA with a .279 ISO against lefties last season. One name I wouldn’t ignore would be DJ LeMahieu. When he was away from Coors Field, LeMahieu owned a .366 wOBA with a .262 ISO against lefties with five of his 15 home runs on the year. If he was slotted into the third spot in the order again, I’d like him even more.

I’m not going crazy over any of the White Sox bats on this slate but I think a couple is certainly up for consideration. Tim Anderson has been smoking the ball against righties to start the year and has been flexing his power as well, posting a .250 ISO early on. Yoan Moncada is also hitting the ball extremely well and his .306 ISO against righties is currently the highest on the team.

Baltimore Orioles (4) @ Boston Red Sox (6.6)

John Means (LHP) vs. David Price (LHP)

Over/Under: 10.5  Moneyline: Red Sox -255

Pitcher Breakdown:  Some huge numbers for the unreliable Red Sox as they continue their series against the Orioles. John Means takes the hill once again and could end up being capped on a pitch count, as he was only expected to go four innings his last time out. The Red Sox offense has been so inconsistent that it’s hard to nail them down on a day-to-day basis. With a team owning a run total of over six runs, I won’t be investing in Means.

As with the rest of the rotation, Price has gotten off to a slow start, allowing four runs in each of his two starts. The good news for Price is that this is not a strong ballclub against lefties and they will provide some strikeouts. Taking Price, or really anyone with a Red Sox jersey doesn’t feel like the best option at this juncture. However, I think Price can put together a solid start against a club that struggles against lefties.

Hitter Breakdown: Joey Rickard would be my favorite option on the Orioles if you were looking to go that route. Last season against lefties, he posted a .338 wOBA with a .213 ISO. When the O’s have faced a lefty, Rickard has seen a bump in the batting order, hitting as high as second. With his low salary across the board, he’d be a fantastic salary saver without skimping on power.

Mookie Betts is off to a really slow start this season but boy did he annihilate lefties last season. Posting a ridiculous .488 wOBA and a .368 ISO against them last season will grab anyone’s attention. I’d expect Steve Pearce to draw into the lineup today as well and these are just the type of games he was acquired for. Pearce had a .407 wOBA with a .255 ISO against lefties, both of which ranked second on the team last season. J.D. Martinez was the only other batter with an ISO over at least .244 vs. lefties.

Tampa Bay Rays (4.3) @ Toronto Blue Jays (3.7)

Charlie Morton (RHP) vs. Marcus Stroman (RHP)

Over/Under: 8   Moneyline: Rays -135

Pitcher Breakdown: Morton has been a really solid addition to the Rays pitching staff thus far, having not allowed more than two runs in three of his starts. His strikeouts have also been a huge part of his success, as he currently has a K/9 of 11.8. Going against a Blue Jays team that currently sports a 25.4 K%, one of the highest in the league and just a .319 wOBA, he’ll be a popular play this afternoon.

Stroman has pitched well so far this year but his schedule has been a big part of that. In his three starts, Stroman has faced the Tigers, Orioles and Blue Jays. This will be his toughest matchup to date against a Rays team that has a .325 wOBA and a .174 ISO against righties. He does draw some appeal as the Rays have the second highest K% in the league at 25.5%.

Hitter Breakdown:  This isn’t a game I’ll be going out of my way to roster hitters from. Stroman doesn’t allow many home runs and his numbers against both sides of the plate weren’t horrible. Righties hit him the hardest with a .336 wOBA and a 3.78 xFIP, neither of which were bad by any means. Avisail Garcia and Tommy Pham would be the two options I would consider if I really need someone on the Rays.

The Blue Jays I really have zero interest in today. I don’t want to be targeting against Morton, who is set up for a really nice start against this club. With another game where he can rack up strikeouts, Morton is amongst one of my favorite pitching options on the slate. If you really want to go against the grain and grab at least one bat, Randal Gricuk would be the only one I’d seriously consider.

Philadelphia Phillies (4.9) @ Miami Marlins (3.7)

Vincent Velasquez (RHP) vs. Jose Urena (RHP)

Over/Under: 8.5  Moneyline: Phillies -172

Pitcher Breakdown:  If you’re going to take Velasquez on a particular night you better make sure the opposing lineup doesn’t have many left-handed bats. That has always been one of the biggest downfalls for Velasquez but luckily for him, this Marlins club doesn’t have many to use. Against righties, he posted just a .274 wOBA against them last season with a 3.70 xFIP. With the Marlins currently in the top 10 in K% right now, I think this is a spot where you can use the Phillies pitcher.

As for Urena, I think I rostered him once in my life and it was when he threw at Ronald Acuna and got tossed immediately after. Maybe I’m forever burned by that but he’s not someone I ever really consider anyways. He doesn’t have much strikeout upside and hasn’t posted a K/9 higher than 6.7 in his four years in the majors.  Not to mention he’s allowed 13 runs through 13.2 innings thus far.

Hitter Breakdown:  Nothing has been going right for Urena to start the year so I feel inclined to stack the Phillies on this slate. One way I might mix up my stack is by including Maikel Franco. He’s been hitting for nothing but power thus far, which explains his early season .326 ISO. Through 35 at-bats, Franco has four home runs and two doubles while knocking in 12 runs. Otherwise, I have no problem going hitters 1-4 and then Franco.

I mentioned that lefties usually get the best of Velasquez but the Marlins don’t have much to choose from. Curtis Granderson and Neil Walker would be your two options and I’m sure you’re rushing to your phone to lock them in. Both hitters are off to dreadful starts this season so it neither feels overly attractive. At least with Grandy, you’re grabbing him in a leadoff spot.

Pittsburgh Pirates (3.2) @ Washington Nationals (4.4)

Jameson Taillon (RHP) vs. Max Scherzer (RHP)

Over/Under: 7.5  Moneyline: Nationals -180

Pitcher Breakdown:  Taillon is a really talented pitcher and one I’m a fan of personally. I think he’s actually in play today because of how much he relies on his slider, a pitch he’s thrown 34.4% of the time this season. Thus far, the Nationals have struggled with that pitch and are ranked amongst the worst in the league against it. With Taillon getting a 33% whiff rate on it, I think he could be a sneaky play today.

Of course with Scherzer, he’s always in the mix but it’s worth noting that he was given an extra day of rest due to dealing with a sore ankle. Scherzer was hit with a comebacker and it’s been bothering him enough that the Nationals mixed up the rotation a bit to give him an extra day. Is it bad enough to fade him? I don’t think so but my exposure on him will come down a bit because of it.

Hitter Breakdown:  I don’t see a scenario where I’m looking to get the Pirates in my lineup. If I were, I’d maybe consider tossing a stack in a GPP to maybe take advantage of a less than 100% healthy Scherzer. Otherwise, it’s best to keep them on the board.

The Nationals are another team I’ll be steering clear of with the mentioned note about them against the slider. Yan Gomes would likely be the only exception I would make of the bunch. He’s been a good hitter against the slider so I think he would make for an interesting tournament play. Aside from that, I’m keeping these guys on the board as well.

Detroit Tigers (3.4) @ Minnesota Twins (4.7)

Jordan Zimmermann (RHP) vs. Jose Berrios (RHP)

Over/Under: 8   Moneyline: Twins -190

Pitcher Breakdown:  Zimmermann fell back to reality in his last start against the Indians, allowing four runs on four hits through just 4.1 innings. He was pitching a bit over his head in this first two starts and I think this will be another tough start for him. He allows a ton of home runs and this is not a team you want to face with that type of issue. Not to mention his poor road numbers from last year where he allowed a .346 wOBA and a 4.41 xFIP with 13 of his 28 home runs.

Berrios is someone I only play in Minnesota, as he can’t seem to get it together on the road. Last year at home, he produced a .249 wOBA with a 3.27 xFIP with just six of the 25 home runs he allowed. Against a Tigers team that is striking out a ton and isn’t hitting for power, he has to be considered one of the top options on the slate.

Hitter Breakdown:  I don’t know, did you wake up today feeling excited to roster some Tigers bats in your lineup? I sure wasn’t. As long as Niko Goodrum continues to bat cleanup he’ll be someone I’ll consider if I need to save some salary but other than that, this is a very unattractive team to roster. At least Goodrum had a .215 ISO against righties, so that’s helpful if you need.

I have no issues at all with a Twins stack today. I think Zimmermann is a total fraud and he was bound to get blown up after those first two starts. His poor road numbers and ability to consistently allow home runs makes him a target every time he pitches. Eddie Rosario, Nelson Cruz, Max Kepler and Jonathan Schoop would be my favorite targets in this game.

Cleveland Indians (4.1) @ Kansas City Royals (3.5)

Corey Kluber (RHP) vs. Jake Junis (RHP)

Over/Under: 7.5  Moneyline: Indians -145

Pitcher Breakdown:  Kluber didn’t really stand out to me at first until I noticed that his pricing was a bit soft, especially on DraftKings. While I still prefer a couple of other pitchers over him, his pricing certainly makes him a lot more enticing. Not that I’m necessarily worried about this Royals lineup but they’re hitting a lot better than people are giving them credit for. For what it’s worth, the Royals rank amongst one of the toughest teams to strikeout thus far, owners of a 21 K%, which is 23rd in the league.

Thankfully for the Indians, they’ve been getting some really good pitching performances because their offense is dreadful. Owners of just a .257 wOBA (29th) and a .125 ISO (27th) they’ve been a team to pick on. Junis could fit the mold this afternoon as a mid-tier pitching option. The home run ball would usually be something to worry about but this Indians club is simply not hitting any. Junis is also seeing more than usual swings-and-misses, posting a 12.2% rate thus far. For reference, he hasn’t ended his prior two seasons with a percentage higher than 9.5%.

Hitter Breakdown:  This is another game that overall, I’m not really looking at hitters from either side. Two options from the Royals that have been hitting really well lately are Alex Gordon and Hunter Dozier. As you’d imagine, both bats are extremely affordable and could help alleviate your salary woes, especially if you’re looking to take Scherzer. Aside from that, I’m more than happy to leave these guys off my teams.

Best Overall Pitcher: Max Scherzer

Best Value Pitcher: Jameson Taillon

Best Overall Hitters: Aaron Judge, Mookie Betts, Nelson Cruz

Best Value Hitters: Eddie Rosario, Maikel Franco, Yan Gomes

Home Run Call of the Day: Gleyber Torres

Stacks: Twins, Red Sox, Phillies

Bet of the Day: Rays -135