Wednesday brings a short five-game slate starting at 7:05 p.m. ET. Despite the short slate, we have a really solid group of pitchers to choose from. Let’s jump into tonight’s slate and as always, you can reach me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.

Game Notes

Top Pitcher

Ross Stripling, LAD (-195) vs. SFG (+165), $10,200 — I wasn’t surprised to see Stripling and the Dodgers are favorites tonight against this struggling Giants offense. Pitching at Dodger Stadium benefited Stripling immensely last season, as he ended with a .294 wOBA and 2.75 xFIP through 54 innings. While it’s still very early in the season, the Giants have been striking out at a fairly high rate of 24%, which currently ranks 12th in the league. The Giants are also sporting a 33.8% hard-hit rate, which would rank them 18th in the league. At $10,200, I can’t see a reason why you wouldn’t be considering Stripling in this spot unless you wanted Gerrit Cole ($11,200) against a Rangers team that easily took care of Justin Verlander last night, wrecking many fantasy lineups (including my own).

Highest Total

HOU (-194) vs. TEX (+170) 9 runs — Of the five games on tonight’s slate, three of them have a total of nine runs. The Astros have the highest team total, so we’ll focus on them. They’ll be taking on Mike Minor ($4,800). As expected, Minor had a tough start against the Cubs has last time out, as he was lit up for six runs on five hits through 4.2 innings. This start won’t come much easier; the Astros were one of the best hitting clubs against lefties last season. They ended the year with a .344 wOBA with a .174 ISO. While the loss of Marwin Gonzalez gave their numbers against lefties a hit, Robinson Chirinos ($4,000) has helped make up the difference. Granted, his spot in the lineup isn’t ideal, but his numbers against lefties in 2018 were impressive — a .333 wOBA and .196 ISO. If you want to mix up your stack a bit, I think he’s worth taking a shot on.

Weather Concerns

HOU @ TEX (Globe Life Park) – A slight chance some rain moves through during the game which could result in a quick delay but it doesn’t look like anything concerning.

Splits to Start

Stats showcased here will be from the 2018 season until May 1st

Pitchers vs. Left-Handed Batters

Worst vs. LHBwOBAxFIPBest vs. LHBwOBAxFIP
Mike Minor.3343.16Derek Holland.2084.05
Jameson Taillon.3204.29Gerrit Cole.2362.63
Nathan Eovaldi.3184.11Ross Stripling.2842.65

Pitchers vs. Right-Handed Batters

Worst vs. RHBwOBAxFIPBest vs. RHBwOBAxFIP
Derek Holland.3374.08Miles Mikolas.2233.49
Ross Stripling.3343.33Jameson Taillon.2642.68
Mike Minor.3074.83Nathan Eovaldi.2683.27

Top Hard-Hit%

This section will start to populate in April after players have started to log over seven games played!

Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Ross Stripling, LAD vs. SF, $10,200 — I’ll take the extra savings over Cole tonight and roll with Stripling. The Giants are really struggling offensively and they’re a team I’m going to continue to attack. Through the first six games, the Giants are averaging just 2.3 runs per game and are 12th at a 24% strikeout rate. With this game also taking place at Dodger Stadium, Stripling feels like a very safe play against a weak hitting offense. With the DraftKings Sportsbook projected the Giants at 2.5 runs in this matchup, it’s hard to not consider Stripling in this game.

Heavy Hitter to Pay For

Justin Turner, LAD vs. SF, $4,400 — Another play I really like in this game is taking Turner against Holland. Turner was a force against left-handed pitching last season so this matchup should be right in his wheelhouse. Last season, Holland gave up a .337 wOBA with all 19 of his home runs allowed to righties. Those numbers got a bit uglier on the road as he had a .341 wOBA with a 4.67 xFIP. As for Turner, he especially mashed lefties at Dodger Stadium with a .432 wOBA and .262 ISO.

Save Big by Drafting…

Tyler Flowers, ATL vs. CHC, $3,500 — Flowers should draw the start over Brian McCann ($3,700) with Jon Lester ($7,500) on the mound tonight. Righties on the road tagged him with a .323 wOBA, a 4.03 xFIP and 10 of the 24 home runs he allowed on the year. Flowers boasted some really strong numbers against lefties last season, ending with a .477 wOBA and .258 ISO with five of eight home runs. At just $3,500, he feels really cheap for this type of matchup.

Stack Em Up

BOS vs. OAK (Marco Estrada) — This HAS to be where the Red Sox break out, right? Estrada was an absolute nightmare on the mound when he faced right-handed bats last season, posting a putrid .389 wOBA with a 5.98 xFIP with 18 of the 29 home runs he allowed. Sure, pitching in Oakland will help suppress some of those numbers but Estrada also had a 3.4 BB/9 against righties. Taking the Red Sox doesn’t sound like a fun adventure at this point but they’re simply too loaded on offense to struggle this long. Estrada could be the answer they need to get their bats going tonight.

Favorite Prop Bet

Atlanta Braves OVER 4.5 runs (+110)

I like that we’re getting plus-money on this prop. I don’t envision Lester going out and shutting down the Braves offense. Lester is struggling to strikeout more than a batter an inning and had just a 7.1 K/9 against righties last season. His FB% continues to climb as well, topping out at 36.4% last season, his highest since being with the Cubs. With all this in mind and some huge power bats on the Braves, I think they can exceed the total and win us some money.

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