Friday brings us a huge 13-game slate with plenty of aces on the hill. Let’s jump right into it, and, as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.

Game Notes

Top Pitcher

L.A. Dodgers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks – Clayton Kershaw  ($13,500) – I don’t even have to look up who the biggest favorite is when Kershaw is taking the hill (but I did anyways). The D-Backs were one of the best hitting clubs against lefties last season, but Kershaw held them to two runs on five hits in 7.1 innings with 11 strikeouts. When push comes to shove, fading Kershaw is always a somewhat difficult decision, even with his $13,500 salary tonight. If this game was on the road, I can certainly see it, but with this game at home, where Kershaw owned a .161 wOBA with a .195 SLG and a K/9 of 10.3, he’s hard to leave on the board.

Highest Totals

Chicago White Sox vs. Minnesota Twins – 9 projected runs – The Twins check in with the highest projected run total of the night with five runs. They’ll face Dylan Covey, who will not only be making his first major league start, it will be his first action higher than Double-A baseball. Covey doesn’t possess a high K/9, owning a career 5.7, and he walks a lot of batters with a career 4.3 BB/9. Thus far this season, the Twins owned the highest BB% at 12.9 and a .335 OBP, which ranks ninth in the league. A Twins stack is certainly an option for tonight.

L.A. Angels vs Kansas City Royals – 9 projected runs – The Royals have an implied run total of 4.8 tonight, which is the second highest on the night for games with at least nine runs projected. Like the Twins, the Royals will be facing a pitcher making their first major league start in J.C. Ramirez. This could end up being an Angels’ bullpen game, as Ramirez hasn’t thrown more than 38 pitches this season, so one would have to assume he’ll max out at four innings at the most.

Weather Concerns

Chicago White Sox vs. Minnesota Twins (Target Field) – This game will feature a chance of thunderstorms all throughout the night. This game will most certainly be one to keep an eye on.

L.A. Angels vs. Kansas City Royals (Kauffman Stadium) – While we don’t have any threat of rain, Kauffman Stadium will have a 16mph wind blowing out to left field.

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.

  • Progressive Field – Detroit Tigers vs. Cleveland Indians – Progressive Field will be our number one ballpark for hitters on this 13-game slate. Every offensive category was favored here last year, except triples.
  • Fenway Park – Tampa Bay Rays vs. Boston Red Sox – The Rays will be visiting Fenway Park this weekend for a 3-game set. All offensive categories were favored here in 2016, except walks.
  • Dodger Stadium  – Arizona Diamondbacks vs. L.A. Dodgers – Dodger Stadium has always been cruel to hitters, and last year was no different. No offensive categories got the nod at this ballpark.
  • Oakland Coliseum – Houston Astros vs. Oakland A’s – Both of these teams play in unfavorable conditions, so there is no real advantage here at the Coliseum. Triples were the only category favored here last season.

Splits to Start

Pitchers vs. Left-Handed Batters

Scott Feldman.891.325Clayton Kershaw.309.138
Tommy Milone.851.276Danny Duffy.449.183
Jhoulys Chacin.762.268Martin Perez.537.176

Pitchers vs. Right-Handed Batters

Tommy Milone.859.305Clayton Kershaw.529.201
Michael Wacha.849.307Julio Teheran.564.212
Wade Miley.842.301Noah Syndergaard.581.228

Batter vs. Pitcher Splits

HitterOpposing SPABFP/AB*
Chris DavisAaron Sanchez164.18
Kyle SeagerMartin Perez302.8
Gerardo ParraJohnny Cueto382.07

*(Fantasy Points Per At Bat)

Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Julio Teheran – ATL vs. SD – $8,500 – We know Kershaw is the top option, so I won’t waste your time naming him. I really like Teheran tonight at $8,500 against San Diego. The Padres have an implied run total of 3.4 tonight, and they’re playing on the road. Teheran has looked fantastic in the early going, averaging 20.4 FPPG in two starts with a 10:4 K:BB ratio. Granted, it’s very early in the season, but the Padres currently own a 21.5 K%, which ranks them right around the middle of the league. With some many high priced pitchers going, I think Teheran is in a great spot in the mid-tier pricing.

Heavy Hitter to Pay For

Nelson Cruz – SEA vs. TEX – $4,400 – Cruz against a left-handed pitcher tonight? Here’s how I approach this situation: Roster, rinse, repeat. He’ll matchup against Martin Perez, who allowed a .341 wOBA to righties last season with a .432 SLG, a .353 OBP and 16 of his 18 home runs allowed. Cruz didn’t hit many home runs at home against lefties last season, only five to be exact, but he’s always a huge threat to do so. With the high price of pitching, Cruz at $4,400 certainly isn’t the worst salary to go with.

Save Big by Drafting…

Seth Smith – BAL vs. TOR – $3,100 – Paying $3,100 for someone who is batting leadoff is certainly a bargain in its own right. Seth Smith owned a .340 wOBA against righties last season with a .351 OBP and a .431 SLG. He’ll face Aaron Sanchez, who is certainly a tough pitcher, but also a pitcher that allowed a .339 wOBA to lefties at Rogers Centre with a .350 OBP. You’ll have to save money somewhere, so Smith makes sense here tonight.

Stack Em Up

Minnesota Twins vs. Chicago White Sox (Dylan Covey) – I hate to be the bully, but I’m going to pick on the new guy who hasn’t seen game action past the Double-A level. The Twins are a nice cheap stack tonight that could help you fit in some of the high priced pitchers on this slate. The unknown is what Covey will bring to the table. With that being said, I think the Twins and their ability to get on base can rattle the kid and the White Sox will be forced to move to their bullpen early.


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.