We kick off the week with a nine-game slate of fantasy baseball starting at 7:05 p.m. ET. We have a number of good pitching options to choose from as well, which should help spread out ownership. Let’s dive into all the information you’ll need for tonight and as always, you can reach me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.

Game Notes

Top Pitcher

Justin Verlander, $10,800, HOU (-177) at MIN (+155) — Seems that every start Verlander makes, he and the Astros are the largest favorites on that particular slate. Tonight is no different, as he takes on the Twins for the second time this season. Previously, he scored 33.6 DKFP against them, tossing eight innings of one-run ball, allowing just four hits and striking out eight. Verlander seems like he’s locked in as of late, scoring at least 30.2 DKFP in three straight starts with 27 strikeouts. While he’s allowed a home run in every start this year, he’s allowed only one earned run in four of his six games. At this rate, it’s hard to keep him off your roster, even with his $10,800 salary. We’ve seen some pitchers reach as high as $13,000 on DraftKings, so Verlander doesn’t feel all that expensive with the salary he has today. It’s worth noting the Twins are still a dangerous offense and over the past week own a .346 wOBA with a .286 ISO with just a 21.1 K%. Despite this, expect Verlander to carry heavy ownership.

Highest Total

SD (+145) at ATL (-165) 9 runs — Two games feature a run total of nine runs tonight with the other game being the Athletics visiting the Red Sox. I wanted to feature this game, however, as the Braves are the bigger favorites. Tonight they’ll face Nick Margevicius ($7,600), who is making his sixth start of the year. Margevicius is a lefty, which is never a good thing when facing the Braves. Entering this game, the Braves own the highest wOBA and ISO in the league against lefties at .391 and .259, respectively. They also don’t strike out much, posting a 20.2 K%, which is the fourth lowest in the league. I fully expect the Braves to be a popular stacking option tonight and rightfully so. Ozzie Albies ($4,500) is fifth on the team in ISO at .321, which is a good way to show just how much power they’re hitting for. Ronald Acuna ($4,900), Dansby Swanson ($4,400), Johan Camargo ($3,900) and Freddie Freeman ($5,100) all have an ISO of at least .414.

Weather Concerns

No weather concerns for tonight!

Splits to Start

Pitchers vs. Left-Handed Batters

Worst vs. LHBwOBAxFIPBest vs. LHBwOBAxFIP
Jeff Samardzija.3846.43Kyle Freeland.2343.50
Frankie Montas.3755.12Justin Verlander.2522.75
Kenta Maeda.3484.16Michael Wacha.2593.70

Pitchers vs. Right-Handed Batters

Worst vs. RHBwOBAxFIPBest vs. RHBwOBAxFIP
Jake Odorizzi.318.452Zack Wheeler.2453.48
Zach Davies.3163.77Patrick Corbin.2542.64
Jeff Samardzija.3126.00Brad Keller.2593.98

Top Hard-Hit%

This section will populate with the hitters that have the top hard-hit% over the past seven days. This percentage can help distinguish who is swinging the bat well over the course of the past week. I’ll be updating this daily so we have a consistent flow of names in this section.

Tommy PhamTB$490077%
Pablo SandovalSF$360072.7%
Mike ZuninoTB$390072.7%
Franmil ReyesSD$380072.7%
Chris DavisBAL$280066.7%

Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Zack Wheeler, NYM vs. CIN, $9,300 — If you want to get away from the likely chalky Verlander, I think Wheeler is a great option to consider. He looks as if he finally is starting to turn the corner on his season, averaging 26 DKFP over his past three starts against the Phillies twice and the Braves. Tonight he gets the Reds, who simply can’t hit the ball. This season against righties, the Reds own a team .285 wOBA with a .172 ISO and a K% of 24%. Despite a high 4.2 BB/9 for Wheeler, he also has a K/9 of 10 with a 10% swing-and-miss rate. For the discount you get and this game taking place at Citi Field, he’s a great SP1 option.

Heavy Hitter to Pay For

Andrew Benintendi, BOS vs. OAK, $4,600 — I really like this spot for Benintendi as he takes on Frankie Montas ($8,300) at Fenway Park. Montas always has struggled against left-handed bats and last season owned a .375 wOBA with a 5.12 xFIP against them. Benintendi thrived in these type of matchups at Fenway Park last season, amassing a .393 wOBA with a .193 ISO.

Save Big by Drafting…

Corey Seager, LAD at SF, $3,900 — Jeff Samardzija ($8,000) will be on the mound for the Giants tonight taking on the Dodgers. He’s never a pitcher I trust, especially when he’s facing left-handed batters. Last year he posted a putrid .384 wOBA with a 6.43 xFIP within the split. Seager hasn’t gotten off to his best start this year, but he’s just too cheap for this type of matchup. This is the cheapest we’ve gotten Seager in quite a while, as the last time he was under $4,000 was April 10.

Stack Em Up

OAK at BOS (Eduardo Rodriguez) — This is a sneaky spot for the A’s tonight, especially since Rodriguez ($9,100) is coming off a huge performance against the Tigers. With that in mind, it’s easy for people to overlook that the A’s enter this game with a team .350 wOBA and a .223 ISO against left-handed pitching. Not to mention, this game is taking place at hitter-friendly Fenway Park. Some of their best hitters against lefties are also really low in salary for this matchup, particularly Khris Davis ($4,300), Stephen Piscotty ($4,300) and Josh Phegley ($3,900).

Favorite Prop Bet

Milwaukee Brewers OVER 4.5 runs (+107)

Were getting plus money on this bet against the returning Kyle Freeland. He’s seen his fair share of struggles to start the year and is coming off the IL due to a blister on his left middle finger. He’ll face a Brewers team that against lefties owns a .336 wOBA (ninth-best) with a .215 ISO (eighth). The Rockies’ bullpen also is having its share of issues, posting the second highest xFIP at 4.80 with a 4.1 BB/9.

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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.

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