A 14-game slate starts our weekend as every team will take the diamond this evening. I’ll go over some of my favorite plays and strategies for this evening and hopefully bring back some of that green. As always, you can reach me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.

Game Notes

Largest Favorite

Note: This section highlights the pitcher whose team is the largest favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook.

Griffin Canning, $7,200, LAA (-245) vs. BAL (+205) — Another night where the Angels are massive favorites over the Orioles (which didn’t work out too well for the Angels last night). Canning hasn’t been anything special as a starter, even in the cozy Angels Stadium. Through 37 2/3 innings at home, Canning has a .302 wOBA with a 4.96 xFIP with six of his 14 home runs allowed. On a huge 14-game slate, I can’t say I have much interest in Canning, who was hit hard by this club in his last start albeit it being at Camden Yards. In that start, Canning lasted just two innings allowing five runs on five hits for -5.1 DKFP. While he does have some strikeout appeal in this matchup, I just can’t find myself going out of my way for him.

Highest Total

NYY (-136) vs. BOS (+118) 11.5 runs — Another huge total for these two teams as they continue their four-game series at Fenway Park. If you thought last night had the potential for offense, you’re going to love tonight with James Paxton ($8,800) and Andrew Cashner ($6,400) taking the mound. The Yankees are slight favorites once again and carry a team total of 5.5 runs. Shockingly (I’m still bitter about this crap trade) Cashner has been a disaster since joining the Red Sox, allowing 10 runs (nine earned) on 14 hits, including four home runs, through 11 innings. I would load up on their righties, as Cashner has a .350 wOBA, a 5.16 xFIP and 13 of the 15 home runs he’s allowed. Good luck with this Yankees offense!

The Red Sox are in a good spot as well despite only a 4.5 team total. Righties on the road have tagged Paxton with a .375 wOBA, a 4.25 xFIP and six of the 13 home runs he’s allowed this season. The Red Sox have some serious power at home against lefties, specifically with Michael Chavis ($4,100) and Jackie Bradley Jr. ($3,600), two players you easily could have looked past when building your lineups. J.D. Martinez ($4,500) and Xander Bogaerts ($5,000) would be the other two players I would consider here.

Weather Concerns

No weather concerns!


Splits to Start

Pitchers vs. Left-Handed Batters

Worst vs. LHB, wOBA, xFIP, Best vs. LHB, wOBA, xFIP
Daniel Mengden, .407, 6.63, Hyun-Jin Ryu, .196, 2.83
Yusei Kikuchi, .388, 4.48, Zack Greinke, .241, 3.17
Asher Wojciechowski, .386, 6.36, Dario Agrazal, .250, 5.98

Pitchers vs. Right-Handed Batters

Worst vs. RHB, wOBA, xFIP, Best vs. RHB, wOBA, xFIP
Jacob Waguespack, .435, 4.43, Daniel Mengden, .207, 4.83
Dario Agrazal, .361, 6.34, Asher Wojciechowski, .212, 2.40
Yusei Kikuchi, .345, 5.29, Mike Soroka, .226, 3.44

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%
Cam Gallagher, KC, $2,700, 100%
Carson Kelly, ARI, $4,200, 85.7%
Aaron Judge, NYY, $5,500, 76.5%
J.T. Realmuto, PHI, $3,800, 72.7%
Joc Pederson, LAD, $4,700, 69.2%


Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Zack Greinke, ARI vs. MIA, $10,500 — Greinke chalk tonight? Yup. Do I care? Nope.
Greinke has been nasty in the month of July (perhaps boosting his trade value?!) and enters this game sporting a .264 wOBA with a 2.70 xFIP and a K% of 30 through 20 innings. Now he faces arguably one of the worst offenses in the league at Marlins Park. The fact that he isn’t even the first or second most expensive pitcher on the night makes him all the more enticing and I couldn’t imagine taking Hyun-Jin Ryu ($11,200) or Lance Lynn ($10,800) over Greinke.

Heavy Hitter to Pay For

Freddie Freeman, ATL vs. PHI, $5,200 — When Jake Arrieta ($6,500) is on the mound, I always take a look at what lefties the opposing team has. At Citizens Bank Park, Arrieta has a .329 wOBA with a 5.76 xFIP against lefties. He’s tossed a couple of good starts in a row but with the number of lefties this Atlanta club trots out every night, I think this is a good opportunity for Freeman to have a solid game. On the road against righties, Freeman boasts a .431 wOBA with a .295 ISO and 10 of his 25 home runs.

Save Big by Drafting…

Tim Beckham, SEA vs. DET, $3,600 — You never get excited about taking Beckham in a lineup but this is one of those slates where value is hard to come by. I don’t mind this spot at all for Beckham, who will be facing Daniel Norris ($5,200) in Seattle. On the season, Norris has a .353 wOBA and a 4.36 xFIP against righties on the road with six of the 17 home runs he’s allowed. As for Beckham, he sports some of his best power at home against lefties with a .271 ISO and four of his 15 home runs.

Stack Em Up

MIN vs. CWS (Dylan Cease) — Cease puts a lot of guys on base, which is not something you want to do against this Twins lineup. He’s had a pretty easy schedule so far this season in his three starts, seeing the Tigers, Royals and Rays. In those games, he’s combined to allow 11 runs on 15 hits through 16 innings. This is by far the toughest offense he’s faced and one that is averaging 8.8 runs per game over their last five. No need to get cute with this stack, I would just go down the line with the 1-5 bats and let them fire away.


Favorite Prop Bet

Atlanta Braves OVER 5.5 runs (+114)

I honestly don’t see Arrieta getting through this start unscathed like he did the first time he faced the Braves. He’s really had his struggles at Citizens Bank Park as evidenced by his 5.00 xFIP. With an inconsistent bullpen backing up Arrieta, I think the Braves hit the over on their total.

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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.

Odds and lines subject to change. See website for actual odds.

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