A rare three-game fantasy baseball slate for Thursday night is on tap beginning at 7:05 p.m. ET. As you prepare, make sure to be following @DKLive for the latest MLB news updates and lineup information. As always, you can reach me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.

Game Notes

Top Pitcher

Zack Greinke, ARL vs. ATL, $9,100 — Not only is Greinke the most expensive pitcher on the slate, he’s also the biggest favorite on the slate. This marks the second time Greinke will face this Braves club, having tossed seven scoreless innings prior, allowing just four hits and striking out seven, earning himself 33 DKFP. While Greinke isn’t dominating on the mound, he’s still averaging 18.3 DKFP over his past five starts while striking out at least six in three of those matchups. He’s also pitched his best baseball at Chase Field this season, allowing a .256 wOBA and a 2.99 FIP through 87 1/3 innings.

Highest Totals

CLE at TOR, 9.5 runs — The Indians own the highest run total on this slate, opening with a projection of 5.3 runs against Sam Gaviglio ($7,000). He posts some extreme home/road splits, as his best baseball has come at home, where he owns a .288 wOBA allowed with a 3.50 FIP. For comparison, on the road, those numbers skyrocket to a .406 wOBA and a 5.97 FIP. Regardless of where he pitches, home runs have been an issue, as he’s averaging 1.5 HR/9 and will go up against this powerful Indians club. I do think this is a great spot for the Indians’ lineup, as Gaviglio has benefited from a very easy schedule at Rogers Centre of late, seeing the Orioles, Rays and Twins in three of his past five home starts.

Weather Concerns

No Weather concerns for tonight!

Park Factors

Chase Field, ATL at ARI Chase Field checks in as our most favorable ballpark tonight as the D-Backs host the Braves. All offensive categories are favored here.

Nationals Park, CHC at WAS Nationals Park ranks as our worst offensive ballpark on this three-game slate, despite having a favorable rating in all offensive categories except triples.

Splits to Start

Pitchers vs. Left-Handed Batters

Shane Bieber.950.324Anibal Sanchez.614.201
Sam Gaviglio.833.291Zack Greinke.614.224
Kyle Hendricks.725.255Stephen Strasburg.716.246

Pitchers vs. Right-Handed Batters

Sam Gaviglio.767.268Anibal Sanchez.674.226
Stephen Strasburg.729.244Shane Bieber.683.265
Kyle Hendricks.697.257Zack Greinke.688.227

Batter vs. Pitcher Splits


*(Fantasy Points Per At Bat)

Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Zack Greinke, ARL vs. ATL, $9,100 — Can’t really get cute on a three-game slate, so Greinke feels like the most viable option of the bunch. As I’ve mentioned earlier, he’s handled this Braves team earlier this season and now gets them at Chase Field, where he’s pitched his best baseball of the year. While Greinke has struggled to reach value of late, I don’t really trust either Stephen Strasburg ($8,600) or Kyle Hendricks ($7,700) in their matchups against the Cubs and Nationals, respectively.

Heavy Hitter to Pay For

Justin Smoak, TOR vs. CLE, $4,400 — I think this is such a great spot for Smoak against Shane Bieber ($8,000). It should come as no surprise that Bieber struggles against lefties, as I’m fairly certain I bring it up in every single article I write when Bieber is pitching. But, if you need a refresher, he’ll enter this game with a .398 wOBA and a 52 percent hard-hit rate allowed to LHBs. As for Smoak, he’s seen some of his best hitting against righties at home, owning a .340 wOBA and a .203 ISO.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Smoak is not in the lineup for today’s game.

Save Big by Drafting…

Billy McKinney, TOR vs. CLE, $3,600 — McKinney is another Blue Jays bat I’ll be focusing on tonight in the matchup against Bieber. He’s been spending most of his time in the leadoff spot and only draws a $3,600 salary. He’s only been up in the majors for a cup of coffee but already sports a .446 wOBA and a .283 ISO against righties with a 47 percent hard-hit rate. If you’re planning on attacking Bieber in this spot, McKinney, along with Smoak, should be anchors in your lineup.

Stack Em Up

CHC at WAS (Stephen Strasburg) — I don’t like this spot for Strasburg and his shaky performances on the mound. He’s facing the Cubs for the first time this season and is averaging a .335 wOBA allowed with a .196 ISO over the past two weeks with a 34 percent hard-hit rate. This could go either way, but Strasburg hasn’t shown enough to convince me that he’s fully back and healthy.

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.