Baseball will play 13 games on Thursday, five of which will start early. The Padres, in a new look, will take the field with Joe Musgrove, who is scheduled to start the game against the Rockies. He is not the only ace to start this afternoon as Clayton Kershaw and Brandon Woodruff will compete for their respective teams. There are some good matches for the night part of the schedule, including Alec Manoa and the Blue Jays vs. Sonny Gray and the Twins. Since we’ve focused our attention on Sportzshala’s tonight schedule, here are some pitchers and hitters to watch out for.
Justin Verlander ($56) continues to dominate the Astros with a 1.81 ERA and 3.04 FIP over 19 starts. His strikeout rate dropped to 25.6%, but he helped make up for it by allowing just 0.9 HR/9 and 35.0% of hits. More success could come against the Guardians, who rank in the bottom half of baseball in both scoring and OPS.
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Make no mistake about it Nick Pivetta ($34) terrible lately. Over his last five starts, he has a 9.38 ERA and a 2.13 WHIP. It’s worth noting that two of those games were against the Yankees, and one was against the Brewers, who have the sixth-most runs in baseball. A much easier matchup awaits him against the Royals, who are fourth in baseball in fewer runs and have traded two of their top hitters in Andrew Benintendi and Whit Merrifield. Pivetta can count on a rebound.
Johnny Cueto ($37) had a great matchup against the Athletics in his last start, and he capitalized by allowing just two runs in seven innings. He came as a pleasant surprise to the White Sox, allowing more than three earned runs in the start just once all season. He’s at least worth considering against the Rangers, who have the eighth-highest OP in baseball against right-handed pitchers.
Paolo Espino ($27) had difficulty keeping attackers on the court with the ball. This season, he hit 13 home runs in 66.2 innings and 1.7 HR/9 in his career. His start against the Phillies could be a great opportunity Kyle Schwarber ($16) as well as Rhys Hoskins ($15). Schwarber hit 33 home runs and Hoskins went deep 20 times.
It’s been a disappointing season for Nick Castellanos ($12), who has just nine home runs and a .682 OPS. However, he has started to warm up, hitting 14 for 36 (.389) in his last nine games. He even hit a home run on Wednesday for the first time since June. Given his talent and this auspicious matchup, he might be worth the risk with his salary.
The Nationals lineup is ugly now that Juan Soto and Josh Bell are gone. One of their most promising remaining hitters could be Luis Garcia ($10), who is batting .293 with the team after hitting .314 in Triple-A. No wonder if he throws one or two punches in a match against Noah Sindergaard ($34)who isn’t the overwhelming pitcher he once was with the Mets, given his 18.9 percent strikeout rate this season.
Stacks to Consider
Red Sox vs. Chris Bubich ($32), Royals: Xander Bogarts ($17), JD Martinez ($9), Christian Arroyo ($13)
The Red Sox had strange deadlines and made moves that indicated they were in fact neither buyers nor sellers. They decided to keep Martinez, who was rumored to be on his way. Ultimately, this is a great matchup for him against Bubich for two reasons. First, Bubic has a 5.45 ERA and a 5.19 FIP. Second, he has a .451 wOBA this season compared to left-handed pitchers. Based on how poorly Bubich has performed, Martinez and the rest of the Red Sox forwards will be one of the most popular lineups to stack.
Astros vs. Zach Plesak ($30), Guardians: Jordan Alvarez ($27), Jose Altuve ($16), Jeremy Peña ($10)
The last time we saw Plesak take the mound against the Astros, he allowed seven runs in 4.2 innings. They represent a difficult matchup for him because he has no shenanigans, as evidenced by his 18.8% career airsoft rate. Meanwhile, the Astros posted the fourth fastest time in baseball and fifth in the OPS rankings. Look for them to hang another crooked number on him during the rematch.
White Sox vs. Cole Ragans ($25), Rangers: Jose Abreu ($19), Tim Anderson ($16), Louis Robert ($25)
The Ragans will make their major league debut with just eight Triple-A starts. He generally performed well, posting a 3.32 ERA and a 3.99 FIP. However, it will be a difficult matchup for him as the White Sox are ranked fourth in the OPS against left-handed pitchers in baseball. They were led by Anderson, who has 205 wRC+ against southpaws.