— Today is weird one in the daily fantasy sports realm. We have only nine games on the slate AND, two of them start a little early which means you may not be able to draft from those teams depending on your site of choice.
Further compounding the problem, the two best pitching matchups of the day are from those games -- Madison Bumgarner vs. the Cardinals and Brad Hand vs. the Phillies.
Before I go any further let me gloss over my method for picking these matchups. It's simple, really. Home/Away splits and Lefty/Righty splits. Yep, no weird formulas here. Now, I'll go a little in depth before finalizing my lineups, but here is where I'm starting and where you should start too.
Without those two big pitching matchups, I'm going to lean to the pitchers that didn't appear on my matchup charts at all. Nine pitchers have potentially unfavorable matchups. That leaves a handful of options:
Masahiro Tanaka vs. Twins -- You'll have to pay, but if any pitcher's going to notch 15 Ks tonight, it's probably Tanaka.
Max Scherzer vs. Rays -- Again, we're going with a high-priced option here, but you can put together a competitive lineup every night and get two stud pitchers if you find a few unexpected starters.
Phil Hughes vs. Yankees -- Remember, this isn't because he has a favorable matchup based on the splits, just that he's not facing an unfavorable match. He's also the best value of this trio.
Hitters to target
While there are quite a few pitchers with unfavorable matchups none of them are terrible based on the splits. The best hitter matchups, at least from my early calculations:
Oakland lefties (vs. R.A. Dickey, Blue Jays) -- This list includes Brandon Moss, Coco Crisp and Alberto Callaspo. Those last two guys are switch hitters. Make sure they're in the linup. Steven Vogt has been one of my favorite picks for about a month now. He's a surpreme value and he just hits when he's in the lineup. He's not always in the lineup, but I'm going to predict he will be on Thursday.