It’s time for another rousing edition of Getting Ahead In Head To Head. As we enter the dog days of Summer, it’s really time to grind out those wins and stay ahead of the competition. Side note—Why do they call them the “dog days of summer”. I am rather partial to dogs and find them to be comforting and kind. There is nothing about the 99-degree days with 70% humidity in St. Louis that I find neither comforting nor kind. On a positive note with the MLB, it does appear that with the rise in temperature, there is also a rise in the offense. Batting averages are up nearly .20 points since April and there were roughly 1200 more runs scored in May than in Mar/Apr combined.
So what does this have to do with head-to-head baseball? Not really anything, but it shows that attention to offense is paramount. Use this time to make sure that you put the best players in a situation to succeed. Yes, I know that this is pretty generic information, but I can speak out of personal experience. I have had Myles Straw in my lineup way too much and should have heeded my own advice. While I am not saying to bench your studs because they have a tough matchup, there are times when a “gut” call is necessary. Let me be the rumble in your stomach and play the role of your “gut”. But if you happened to have Taco Bell last night, that isn’t me talking, get to the bathroom!
Without further ado, let’s Get Ahead In Head To Head, Week 11 edition!
What To Look For!
- Favorable Team Matchups
- SPARP(S) Of The Week
- R/L Matchup To Exploit
Favorable Team Matchups
SPARP(S) Of The Week
Keegan Thompson-SP/RP-CHC (vCIN/vBOS) (36% rostered in Yahoo)- I’m a little hesitant to recommend Thompson this week due to the Sunday spot against the Red Sox, but Keegan has just been so good at home. In 9 starts at home, he has a 4-0 record, 1.50 ERA, and .89 WHIP. Opponents are batting a paltry .176 to go with only 1 HR allowed. Across his 36 innings at Wrigley, he has tallied 38 K’s (28.9 K%). If you have a chance to spot start, I would much rather face the Reds and sit vs the Sox.
Andre Pallante-SP/RP-STL (vMIA) (6% rostered in Yahoo)- Pallante is a sneaky play this week, in part due to the Marlins’ success offensively over the past month. Since 6/1, Miami is 5th in runs scored. Yes, I know this is supposed to be a “why start Pallante” blurb. I’m getting there. For starters, the Marlins’ success has been partially attributed to the long ball. Again, since 6/1, the Marlins are 6th in MLB with 29 HR and 4th with an HR/FB of 16.9%.
So again, why Pallante? Despite the Marlins’ recent run of offense, Pallante has limited HR by inducing ground balls at an alarming rate (62%), which is good for the 10th best mark in MLB. In addition, the true bugaboo to Pallante’s game has been his BB%. Luckily for us, the Marlins aren’t the best at taking free passes, as their 7.9 BB% on the road is good for 17th in MLB.
R/L Matchups to Exploit
Steven Kwan, OF, CLE (15% rostered in Yahoo)- It may have taken a while, but we might be seeing the Steven Kwan of April returning. For the month of June, Kwan is hitting .367 and leading off for a Guardians team that is showing signs of offensive life. I like Kwan this week, not simply on his on-base skills, but a lot in part to the upcoming matchups. The Guardians will play 8 this week, with 5 of those starts coming against RHP, who Kwan has really hit well against at home (.421). Throw in the fact that he leads off and you have a solid baseline of Runs and Ave, with a potential for some SBs.
Jesus Sanchez, OF, MIA (20% rostered in Yahoo)- This will be Jesus’ 2nd time making the H2H article, and let’s hope it results in another decent showing. Sanchez will have the luxury of facing 6 RHP on the week, which has translated to good power out of the young outfielder. Sanchez has hit all 9 of his HR vs RHP and gets a couple of good matchups against teams a little prone to the longball. Washington has allowed the 2nd most HR @ home and the Cardinals rank 11th. I like Sanchez to provide a decent source of counting stats, but might not be too gentle on the AVE.
Alex Kirilloff, OF, MIN (28% rostered in Yahoo)- This is definitely a “hype” play. Kiriloff hasn’t exactly done anything yet at the MLB level to invoke confidence, but he was absolutely crushing AAA after his most recent IL sting. On the season at AAA, Kiriloff has a slash line of .359/.465/.641 to go along with 10HR and 65 runs/RBI. The Twins get 8 games this week, with 7 of them coming against RHP. If there was a time for the young lefty to make an impact, here you go!
Raimel Tapia, OF, TOR (9% rostered in Yahoo)- June has been very good to Raimel. He has .293/2HR/7R/7RBI/1SB. The Jays have a tough week with games against divisional foes Bos and TB. Tapia and the Jays will play 8 this week, with 7 of the matchups vs RHP. Raimel has reached base in 9 of his past 10 games and has the league’s best offense in June around him.
Jorge Alfaro, C/OF, SDP (14% rostered in Yahoo)- Who doesn’t like a good C option? This is about as good as they come, and with the volatile nature of C, there’s a good chance you are streaming one anyways. There’s not much to say other than this. Alfaro has been crushing LHP (.346/4HR) and gets to face 4 of them this week.
Matt Carpenter, 1B/2B, NYY (8% rostered in Yahoo)- Will Carpenter keep up the crazy pace that he had established when he first joined the Yankees? NO! Does he have one of the sweetest staches? Yes! Is there a chance that he starts 5-6 games next week? Yes! Does he get a bevy of RHP? YES. With 2B being as barren as it is, could be worth a shot.
Dylan Moore, 2B/3B/SS/OF, SEA (3% rostered in Yahoo)- Ty France appears to be out for a significant amount of time, and it would appear that Dylan Moore will see a substantial uptick in playing time. With an increase in PT comes an increase in ABs. Does that translate into an uptick in OBP? Who knows! What I do know is that Moore has 9 SB in only 84 ABs. Take notice, the Mariners play the Orioles and the A’s this week. Those two teams have allowed two of the fewest SB allowed by any team in the MLB, but there will be greener pastures ahead.
Alek Thomas, OF, ARI (22% rostered in Yahoo)- Has 3 SB’s over his past 2 weeks and is getting on base at an impressive clip. This week the D’Backs only play 5, but they have solid matchups vs SD and COL. The Padres have been decent against the SB, but the Rockies have allowed the 3rd most in baseball.
SAGNOF (PART DEUX)
That will wrap up this week’s edition of Getting Ahead in Head to Head. As always, I hope this is helpful. If you have any lineup questions, matchup questions, or just want to chat, feel free to hit me up at @natemarcum on Twitter. Good luck this week!