May 30, 2012 -
There are four day baseball games in the major leagues on Wednesday May 30. That’s plenty of opportunity for getting in on early action, possibly with an early-only league.
If you are doing that, one name is going to stand out on the list of probable starting pitchers: Francisco Liriano for the Twins.
Liriano has been simply awful. If you have been looking to load up against Jamie Moyer when he pitches, you should know that Liriano has probably been worse by just about any measure. Moyer has a WHIP of 1.73. Liriano has an absurd WHIP of just over 2. Moyer walks 3 per 9 innings pitched. Liriano issues free passes at a comical 6.88 per nine. Moyer gets ground balls about 42 percent of the time, whereas Liriano manages just 39 percent. The only place Liriano beats the 49-year old is that fewer of his fly balls leave the yard. He yields 1.8 HR per 9 innings in contrast to Moyer’s 1.9.
The Twins lefthander had been in the bullpen since being shelled in his first few starts, making it a mystery if and when your lineup might benefit from his statistical largesse. But on Wednesday he returns to start a game on schedule.
How best to benefit?
Josh Reddick is an obvious place to start. He’s a lefty, but his splits against righties and lefties are very similar. He only walks at a lesser rate against lefties. Josh Reddick will cost $4,000 in salary on Fan Duel.
Colin Cowgill is eating up left-handers since getting into the starting lineup, making him an obvious choice. What is even better is that he will only cost $2,600 in salary. If (when) the Twins go to the bullpen, Cowgill will be far less effective against righthanders, however. And the Twins bullpen is mostly right-handed.
Kila Ka’aihue bats left and has reverse splits, so he would seem to be a better choice beyond getting a look at Liriano. Provided he gets the start, his salary of $2,700 may be well spent.
You might wonder who is pitching for Oakland and if they are worth a look. That would be Tyson Ross. He only costs $4,300 for a reason. His WHIP is right between Moyer’s and Liriano’s at 1.83. He walks about as many as he strikes out. He might get the win by virtue of lasting long enough, but his line is likely to look like 6 IP, 3K, 2ER. Use the money saved on Cowgill and Ka’aihue and go get a real pitcher.
Johnny Cueto comes to mind. He’s going deep in games. Although he’s getting less than 6 K per 9 innings, his team is giving him run support to earn wins. And no one is comparing him to Moyer or Liriano.