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.
Top PitcherZack 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 TotalsCLE 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 ConcernsNo Weather concerns for tonight!
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
|Worst vs. LHB||OPS||AVG||Best vs. LHB||OPS||AVG|
|Shane Bieber||.950||.324||Anibal Sanchez||.614||.201|
|Sam Gaviglio||.833||.291||Zack Greinke||.614||.224|
|Kyle Hendricks||.725||.255||Stephen Strasburg||.716||.246|
Pitchers vs. Right-Handed Batters
|Worst vs. RHB||OPS||AVG||Best vs. RHB||OPS||AVG|
|Sam Gaviglio||.767||.268||Anibal Sanchez||.674||.226|
|Stephen Strasburg||.729||.244||Shane Bieber||.683||.265|
|Kyle Hendricks||.697||.257||Zack Greinke||.688||.227|
Batter vs. Pitcher Splits
*(Fantasy Points Per At Bat)
Pitcher to Build AroundZack 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
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 UpCHC 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.
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