Thursday night brings us a short but sweet six-game slate. With some solid pitching options to choose from, this should be a very fun night of baseball. Let’s jump right into it, and, as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.

Game Notes

Top Pitcher

San Francisco Giants (-190) vs. Colorado Rockies – Madison Bumgarner  ($12,500) – Bumgarner makes his third start of the season and his first at home. He’s come as advertised thus far in his two starts against the Padres and Diamondbacks, averaging 24.6 FPPG in those. As you’d expect, Bumgarner was fantastic at home last season, posting a .241 wOBA with a .293 SLG and a .251 OBP. If you want to take it to another level, Bumgarner owns a career .272 wOBA at AT&T Park with a .340 SLG and a .279 OBP. The Rockies are average at best against left-handed pitching, owning a .323 wOBA from all the active members on their roster currently with a 21.8 K%. Long story short, Bumgarner should be in control tonight.

Highest Totals

Baltimore Orioles vs. Toronto Blue Jays – 9 projected runs – The highest projected run total belongs to the Orioles and Blue Jays, as Kevin Gausman and Francisco Liriano will take the mounds for their respective teams. Both of these teams are projected at 4.5 runs, although it’s easy to think otherwise for the Blue Jays. They’ve scored the least amount of runs in league with 23, which averages out to just 2.8 per game. To be fair, the Orioles struggled with left-handed pitching last season, but, we all know Liriano is extremely volatile.

Milwaukee Brewers vs. Cincinnati Reds– 9 projected runs – Another game projected at nine runs is the Brewers visiting the Reds. Jimmy Nelson will face off against Bronson Arroyo in this contest. Being on the road has never been kind to Nelson, posting a .364 wOBA last season with a .450 SLG and a .385 OBP. Lefties hit him especially hard, with a .380 wOBA and a .407 OBP. Joey Votto quickly comes to mind as a great target for tonight.

As for Bronson Arroyo, he’s pitching for just the second time since 2014 when he was with the Diamondbacks. It’s tough to get a read on him from just one start, as nerves and rust could have certainly played a factor. To be fair, I don’t see him going out and dominating either, even against one of the top strikeout teams in the league. Arroyo has also never been a big strikeout pitcher, owning a career 4.7 K/9.

Weather Concerns

Looks like a clear night of baseball ahead!

Park Factors

Park Factors are ranked on a scale of 1.000. Anything above 1.000 is favorable towards the hitters. Anything below that mark favors pitchers.

  • Rogers Centre – Baltimore Orioles vs. Toronto Blue Jays – The Rogers Centre is the number one ballpark for hitters on tonight’s slate. In 2016, all offensive categories were favored here.
  • Yankee Stadium – Tampa Bay Rays vs. New York Yankees – Yankee Stadium checks in as our number two park for hitters tonight, even though only home runs, walks and runs were favored here in 2016.
  • Marlins Park  – New York Mets vs. Miami Marlins – Marlins Park checks in as our most unfavorable park for hitters tonight. Last season, we didn’t have one single category favor hitters.
  • AT&T Park – Colorado Rockies vs. San Francisco Giants –  AT&T Park had quite a few categories that favored hitters last season, but it still winds up as our second worst park tonight. Runs, home runs and doubles got the nod here last season.

Splits to Start

Pitchers vs. Left-Handed Batters

Jesse Hahn1.069.361Madison Bumgarner.513.178
Jimmy Nelson.779.252Kevin Gausman.659.232
Wei-Yin Chen.778.325Jon Gray.694239

Pitchers vs. Right-Handed Batters

Luis Severino.872.286Madison Bumgarner.642.220
Kevin Gausman.812.288Jesse Hahn.685.273
Jimmy Nelson.812.283Jon Gray.712.248

Batter vs. Pitcher Splits

HitterOpposing SPABFP/AB*
Carlos GonzalezMadison Bumgarner562.23
Ryan BraunBronson Arroyo551.83

*(Fantasy Points Per At Bat)

Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Madison Bumgarner – SFG vs. COL – $12,500 – I know, I know. I’m going out on a limb for this one. But truly, if you can give me a different, SOLID choice to trust tonight, I’m all ears. Bumgarner at home is very, very difficult for me to go against. He certainly is very expensive tonight, $2,500 more than his opponent, Jon Gray, but I think we have a lot of value hitters to even it out. As I mentioned, Bumgarner has been money at home, posting a .241 wOBA with a .293 SLG and a .251 OBP.

Heavy Hitter to Pay For

Joey Votto – CIN vs. MIL – $4,900 – You had to expect Votto to be in this spot with my little hint earlier. I’ve already gone over how Nelson has fared on the road, so let’s jump into Votto hitting at home against a right-handed pitcher. Votto ended 2016 with a .420 wOBA, a .536 SLG and a fantastic .436 OBP.

Save Big by Drafting…

Mike Moustakas – KC vs. OAK – $3,100 – The Moose has been on fire this season, cracking three solo home runs and averaging 8.8 FPPG. He’ll face Jesse Hahn tonight, who has struggled against lefties during his time in the majors. Hahn has allowed a career .335 wOBA against them with a .436 SLG and a 14 of his 17 career home runs allowed.

Stack Em Up

Kanas City Royals vs. Oakland A’s (Jesse Hahn) – If you’re going to roster Moose, maybe we can throw a few more of the lefties on the Royals in. Alex Gordon, Eric Hosmer and Brandon Moss are all targets in my eyes tonight. The best part about this stack is that if you take all four of those players, it only runs you $15,300, or an average of $3,825 per player. A perfectly sized stack on a bit of a budget.


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.