Wednesday brings us an 11-game slate with some big-name pitchers on the board. With Clayton Kershaw and Madison Bumgarner looking to dominate lineups tonight, we’ll dive into all the aspects of this slate. As always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
L.A. Dodgers vs. Colorado Rockies – Clayton Kershaw ($13,800) – Kershaw and the Dodgers are MONSTER favorites on this slate tonight. He’s faced this Rockies club once already this season, but take it with a grain of salt as that game took place at Coors Field. In that start, Kershaw went six innings allowing four runs on eight hits with a 6:0 K:BB ratio. His two home starts have been more Kershaw-esque, pitching 15.1 innings allowing three runs on six hits with a 16:1 K:BB ratio. Kershaw is always an attractive option at home but be ready to pay a hefty price, as it will gobble up 27% of your salary cap.
Baltimore Orioles vs. Cincinnati Reds – 9.5 runs – Only one game has a projected run total of at least 9.5 tonight, and that belongs to the Orioles and Reds. Many of us (myself included) were hoping for big things from this Orioles lineup last night but were left with much to be desired. The Orioles have the second-highest run total of the night at 4.6 runs, as they’ll face Amir Garrett, who has been fantastic in two starts this season.
As for someone who hasn’t been fantastic, Ubaldo Jimenez is averaging 0.4 FPPG in his first two starts of the season. Yup, you read that correctly, 0.4. In 8.2 innings, Jimenez has allowed 10 runs on 15 hits with a 6:3 K:BB ratio. With the offensive barrage the Reds put out last night against Kevin Gausman, you have to believe they can bring some of that heat tonight against Jimenez. For as bad as he’s been, Jimenez does keep the ball in the yard, which is something worth thinking about when making your stacks tonight.
* Tonight’s game between the Indians and Twins has been postponed due to rain.
Cleveland Indians vs Minnesota Twins– 9 runs – The Indians and Twins will battle it out once again tonight at Target Field. The Indians have a 4.7 projected run total tonight as they take on Adalberto Mejia. He’s been struggling with his control in the early going, owning a 4:5 K:BB ratio in just 6.2 innings this season. When you tie that in with how well this Indians club can hit left-handed pitching, it makes sense why they have one of the highest run totals of the night. That is however if they can fit this game in.
Cleveland Indians vs. Minnesota Twins (Target Field) – Rain is in the forecast for the entire night without any real windows of it clearing up. I’d be surprised if they could fit this game in, but it’s worth checking in later today.
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.
- Kauffman Stadium – San Francisco Giants vs. Kansas City Royals – Kauffman Stadium checks in as our top ballpark for hitters tonight. In 2016, all offensive categories were favored here except home runs.
- Rogers Centre – Boston Red Sox vs. Toronto Blue Jays – Rogers Centre gets the nod as our second ballpark for hitters tonight. All offensive categories were favored here in 2016.
- Minute Maid Park – L.A. Angels vs. Houston Astros – Minute Maid Park was one of the worst ballparks for hitters last season. Triples were the only category that got the nod in 2016.
- Dodger Stadium – Colorado Rockies 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.
Pitcher to Build Around
Chris Archer – Tampa Bay Rays vs. Detroit Tigers – $9,700 – Yes, Kershaw is a fine play tonight, you should play him.
Now that we have that out of the way, I like Archer tonight, at home, against the Tigers. Archer is the complete opposite of where he was in 2016, amassing an average of 21.8 FPPG in three starts with an 18:6 K:BB ratio. He’ll face a Tigers team that owns a 24.1 K% and a .317 wOBA against righties thus far. Unless people are swayed toward Kershaw, Archer should be a fairly popular pick tonight across the board, but I think he should be able to pull out a nice outing tonight.
Heavy Hitter to Pay For
Hanley Ramirez – Boston Red Sox vs. Toronto Blue Jays – $4,100 – We haven’t seen the power from Ramirez as of yet, but I do like this potential against Francisco Liriano tonight. Ramirez crushed lefties last season to the tune of a .453 wOBA with a .677 SLG and a .420 OBP. Liriano allowed 21 of his 26 total home runs to righties last season with 10 of those coming at home.
Save Big by Drafting…
Trey Mancini – Baltimore Orioles vs. Cincinnati Reds – $3,400 – People may shy away from the Orioles bats tonight after their poor performance yesterday and the numbers Amir Garrett has posted to this point. Garrett has not pitched at home yet this season and I think we’ll see a different side of him tonight. Mancini has quietly mashed four home runs already and is averaging 10.8 FPPG in the early going. At $3,400, you can’t go wrong here for someone that should be low owned across the board.
Stack Em Up
Houston Astros vs. L.A. Angels (J.C. Ramirez) The Astros are slated to score five runs tonight, which is the highest total across the board. They’ll face off against Ramirez, who will make his second start of the season, mixed in with a few appearances out of the bullpen. That first start didn’t go so smooth, lasting just five innings allowing five runs on four hits with a 3:2 K:BB ratio. The Astros can mash at home and I don’t expect tonight to be much different
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