Friday brings us huge 13-game baseball slate dig through. With so many directions to go tonight, I’ll dive into all information you’ll need. As always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Editor’s note: Tonight’s game between the Twins and White Sox has been postponed.
HOU vs. TEX – Gerrit Cole ($12,100) — Cole and the Astros are big favorites on this slate as they face off against the Rangers at Minute Maid Park. Cole has been nothing less than phenomenal in his first two starts with his new club, including a start against the Rangers. In that start, Cole allowed one run on two hits with an 11:3 K:BB ratio through seven innings for 36.8 DKFP. Cole has been inducing an astronomical amount of swings and misses, averaging a 19.6 percent through those starts.
With Minute Maid Park behind him, Cole has a huge advantage on the night against an offense that is struggling and now without Elvis Andrus (elbow).
BAL at BOS – 9.5 runs — The Red Sox are huge favorites in this game, opening up with a 5.6 run projection against RHP Chris Tillman. As of early this morning, that run projection has jumped to six, giving the Red Sox the highest team total of the slate. Tillman has started the season off as expected, allowing nine runs on 15 hits in 9 1/3 innings. He’s also walked more than he’s struck out, owning a 3:8 K:BB ratio. Tillman has allowed a 31.6 percent hard-hit rate, which is lower than I expected, but he’s close to impossible to trust in this spot. The Red Sox could be a popular stacking option on the evening.
COL vs. WAS – 9 runs — We have a number of games that own a run projection of nine, but the Nationals own the second highest team total at 5.2 runs. They’ll face LHP Kyle Freeland, who has allowed four home runs in his first two starts. The Nationals have a good hitting club against lefties and have a number of players who performed well against them last season. Bryce Harper, Anthony Rendon, Ryan Zimmerman and Howie Kendrick all ended 2017 with a wOBA of at least .350 against lefties in 2017.
NYY vs. DET (Comerica Park) — While the rain doesn’t look overly threatening, it is in the forecast in the later innings. It looks as if the worse case scenario is a delay, but it should result in nothing more.
CWS vs. MIN (Target Field) — Snow? Yes, snow is in the forecast here. It’s going to be a completely miserable night at Target Field, and I could see them postponing this game. With temperatures in the low 20s, check the status of this game closer to first pitch.
LAA vs. KCR (Kauffman Stadium) — Thunderstorms could roll in during the later innings, but this game should start without any problems. It’s worth noting that they’ll also have a strong wind blowing out towards left field at 18 mph.
Fenway Park – BOS vs. BAL — Fenway Park is the most favorable ballpark for hitters this evening. All offensive categories except home runs are favored here.
Comerica Park – NYY vs. DET — Comerica Park checks in as the second most favorable ballpark as the Tigers host the Yankees. All offensive categories except doubles are favored here.
Citi Field – MIL vs. NYM — Citi Field is the worst ballpark for hitters on the evening. As you’d expect, all offensive categories favor pitchers here.
Dodger Stadium – ARI vs. LAD — Dodger Stadium is the second worst ballpark for hitters tonight, as every offensive category favors pitchers.
Splits to Start
Pitchers vs. Left-Handed Batters
|Worst vs. LHB||OPS||AVG||Best vs. LHB||OPS||AVG|
|Chris Tillman||.990||.325||Cole Hamels||.483||.161|
|Chad Kuhl||.893||.285||Jake Faria||.559||.173|
|Vince Velasquez||.867||.282||Ty Blach||.592||.250|
Pitchers vs. Right-Handed Batters
|Worst vs. RHB||OPS||AVG||Best vs. RHB||OPS||AVG|
|Chris Tillman||.970||.323||Mike Clevinger||.570||.180|
|Tyson Ross||.952||.313||Lance Lynn||.601||.203|
|Steven Matz||.887||.309||Tanner Roark||.619||.223|
Batter vs. Pitcher Splits
|Jonathan Lucroy||Mike Leake||38||2.42|
|Evan Gattis||Cole Hamels||26||2.34|
|Neil Walker||Mike Fiers||19||2.21|
*Fantasy Points Per At Bat
Pitcher to Build Around
Mike Clevinger – CLE vs. TOR – $9,500 — Clevinger gets a matchup against the Blue Jays, who are one of the top teams in Strikeout Percentage (K%) against righties so far this season. In his first two starts of the year, Clevinger owns a 9:4 K:BB ratio, but has faced two teams, the Royals and Angels, who are 28th and 30th in K% against righties, respectively. The Jays come into tonight with the third highest at 26.2 percent, trailing just the Padres and Phillies. With a $1,400 discount since his last start, you’re getting him in arguably his best matchup thus far and at his cheapest.
Heavy Hitter to Pay For
J.D. Martinez – BOS vs. BAL – $4,800 — It’s going to be really hard to stay away from the Red Sox in this matchup against Tillman. Despite owning a .312 wOBA on the year, Martinez sports a 67.9 percent hard-hit rate on the year. He’s clearly on a bad luck streak and those hits will start dropping in soon. Tillman is the perfect pitcher to go against, and Martinez should be part of the barrage.
Save Big by Drafting…
Jed Lowrie – OAK at SEA – $3,400 — Lowrie is off to a fantastic start this year and has a good matchup tonight against Mike Leake. Last season against lefties, Leake allowed a .335 wOBA with 10 of his 20 home runs allowed and a 33.9 percent hard-hit rate. Lowrie in the early going is sporting a .457 wOBA against righties with a .286 ISO and a 46.4 percent hard-hit rate.
Stack Em Up
BOS vs. BAL (Chris Tillman) — I’ve spoken a couple times already about why I’m in on this stack, so I think it’s fairly obvious at this point that it’s my favorite here. Fire it up!
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Steveazors) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.