Thursday features a small six-game slate starting at 7:10 p.m. ET. We have a few high profile pitchers to choose from, but in terms of their matchups, none of them really blow you away. With that in mind, I’ll go over some of those spots we can look to target. As always, feel free to reach out on Twitter @SBuchanan24.
Largest FavoriteNote: This section highlights the pitcher whose team is the largest favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Jose Suarez, $8,200, LAA (-225) vs. BAL (+195) — Certainly wasn’t the team or pitcher I expected to be headlining as the big favorite for tonight, but here we are. Since entering the rotation at the beginning of June, Suarez has posted an overall .387 wOBA and a 5.47 xFIP. The saving grace for him as been his tremendous strikeout upside, as he does have a 25.2 K% in that span, something he’s exhibited in numerous levels in the minors. Tonight, he draws a matchup against the Orioles, who are not only one of the worst road offenses in the league but carry a 25.5 K% against lefties, the fifth highest in the league. On a small six-game slate, Suarez will draw more interest than usual despite his struggles overall. With a lack of cheap options, Suarez is very much in play for me.
Highest TotalNYY (-125) vs. BOS (+110) 11 runs — A huge total for these teams tonight with the Yankees currently a slight favorites. Both teams have an implied total of 5.5 runs but the more appealing way to target this game is against Rick Porcello ($6,400). He’s been horrible at Fenway Park this season and brings with him a .310 wOBA with a 5.67 xFIP. Lefties have really given him the most trouble, tagging him with a .353 wOBA, and a ridiculous 6.99 xFIP. With the two games Didi Gregorius ($4,900) is coming off of, he must be licking his chops to face Porcello.
It’s worth noting that Masahiro Tanaka ($10,100) has only made one start against the Red Sox and it was by far his worst of the season. Lasting just 2/3 of an inning, the Red Sox tagged him for six runs on four hits, giving him a DKFP total of -14.1. This team is one of the best hitting clubs at home and enter this game with a .362 wOBA (2nd) a .213 ISO (6th) and a 118 wRC+ (T-3rd).
Weather ConcernsNo weather concerns!
Splits to Start
Pitchers vs. Left-Handed BattersWorst vs. LHB, wOBA, xFIP, Best vs. LHB, wOBA, xFIP
Jimmy Yacabonis, .417, 6.43, Lucas Gioltio, .232, 3.93
Matt Wisler, .382, 4.68, Jose Berrios, .289, 4.44
Rick Porcello, .367, 6.17, Adam Plutko, .305, 5.92
Pitchers vs. Right-Handed BattersWorst vs. RHB, wOBA, xFIP, Best vs. RHB, wOBA, xFIP
Jimmy Yacabonis, .372, 5.37, Masahiro Tanaka, .273, 4.10
Ariel Jurado, .366, 4.26, Jose Berrios, .289, 4.48
Adam Plutko, .355, 5.25, Lucas Giolito, .293, 3.88
Top Hard-Hit%This section will populate with the hitters that have the top hard-hit% over the last 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.
Name, Team, Salary, Hard-Hit%
Aaron Judge, NYY, $5600, 75%
Cam Gallagher, KC, $2700, 75%
James McCann, CWS, $3700, 70%
John Hicks, DET, $2300, 66.7%
Renato Nunez, BAL, $4100, 64.3%
Pitcher to Build AroundJose Berrios, MIN vs. CWS, $10,600 — This slate doesn’t exactly have anyone I want to lock in my lineups when it comes to pitching. I’m not even that thrilled to play Berrios but he feels to be in one of the better positions than everyone else. He’s had some mild success against the White Sox this season, averaging 16.7 DKFP through two starts allowing four runs on 18 hits with nine strikeouts through 14 innings thus far. What gives me some hope in this start is that the White Sox have been striking out a ton since returning from the All-Star break, posting a 28.4 K%. Offensively, they aren’t exactly crushing it either with a .274 wOBA and a .122 ISO.
Heavy Hitter to Pay ForDidi Gregorius, NYY vs. BOS, $4,900 — Remember when I mentioned Gregorius earlier? This is such a good spot for him that I’d be rostering him even if he hadn’t gone on his two-game tear against the Twins. Porcello has been so poor against lefties at home that it should be worth taking any lefty in the New York lineup this evening. Gregorius is going to draw a ton of interest tonight but this is one of those matchups that I don’t really care about the ownership and will differentiate in other areas of my lineup. In case you didn’t know, Gregorius wrapped up the three-game series against the Twins going 8-for-11 at the plate with three doubles, a triple, a home runs and 10 RBI.
Save Big by Drafting…Hanser Alberto, BAL vs. LAA, $3,400 — Alberto is someone I usually turn to when I need a cheap option at second or third base. He’s only in consideration when facing a lefty, which he’s doing so against Suarez. Alberto is a very tough bat to strike out with a K% of just 9.3% on the season, so Suarez will be forced to allow Alberto to make contact. Against lefties, Alberto has a .406 wOBA with a .132 ISO. He’s not a power bat by any means but it won’t take much for him to reach value at his low $3,400 salary. If you’re looking to jam in some of these Red Sox and Yankees bats, Alberto helps you do so.
Stack Em UpCLE vs. KC (Mike Montgomery) — Initially I was on the Indians as a stack before seeing a report that Montgomery would be regulated to around 60 pitches tonight. At first, I soured a bit on the idea of using the Tribe and then it hit me. Did I really think Montgomery was going deep in this game, to begin with!? Montgomery has been a total mess out of the bullpen and is now being stretched out to start. Overall, he’s posted a .411 wOBA with a 4.86 xFIP. The Indians are a fine stacking option and will be looked over with the buzz over at Fenway Park.
Favorite Prop Bet
Lucas Giolito UNDER 6.5 strikeouts (-112)With the way Giolito has been pitching of late, it doesn’t feel like a good spot to hit the over on his 6.5 strikeout prop. Over his last five starts, Giolito would have hit the over only twice. One of those games where the under would have hit was against this Twins club, as he struck out only four. This is a tough team to strike out, to begin with, and against righties, they sport a 21.1 K%, which ranks 22nd in the league.
Major League Baseball trademarks and copyrights are used with permission of the applicable MLB entity. All rights reserved.
Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.
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.
Odds and lines subject to change. See website for actual odds.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem and wants help, call 1-800-GAMBLER.