A big Monday slate of games are on tap tonight with 13 games being played. Let’s get you ready for this huge slate tonight, and as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.

Game Notes

Biggest Favorites

SFG (-210) vs. SDP – Madison Bumgarner – A big strikeout pitcher going up against the Padres tonight? Where do I sign up? Bumgarner gets the nod as the heaviest favorite on the night with his impending matchup against the K happy Padres. Bumgarner enters this game tonight an 11.3 K/9 on the season thus far, taking on a Padres team that currently ranks fifth in strikeouts. It also doesn’t hurt that the Padres are in the bottom 20 in almost every offensive category. Batting average, OPB, SLG, OPS, you name it. At $12,000, Bumgarner is the most expensive pitcher on the slate but seems to be well worth every penny with this matchup.

NYM (-206) vs. CIN – Noah Syndergaard – Syndergaard is one of my favorite pitchers in the game right now. He has some dynamic stuff, and can most certainly strike teams out, no matter how much or little they do on a normal basis. In three starts this season, Syndergaard owns an absurd 13 K/9 over 20 IP. The Reds are not an easy team to strikeout, ranked 26th overall. I certainly don’t anticipate Syndergaard to continue his torrid pace of strikeouts, but he’s been almost lights out in 2016, averaging 31.9 FPPG. Again, another expensive pitcher on the night but one that should be worth the price of admission.

Highest Totals

PIT vs. COL – 11 runs – Cue the Coors Field narrative for runs. As always, a game at Coors Field gets the most projected runs on the night. Jeff Locke will take on Chad Bettis in this one. I realize it’s early in the season, but Locke has really been getting knocked around in his first three starts of 2016. Locke owns a .514 wOBA against righties and a .367 against lefties. Again, I realize it’s very early in the season, but for a guy who ended 2015 with an ERA north of 4.50, it’s a bit concerning, unless of course you’re the Rockies. As always, this game should feature plenty of offense, so do with it as you please.

DRAFT YOUR MLB LINEUP

CLE vs MIN – 8.5 – A bit of a surprising game with a high run total tonight is the Indians and Twins. Danny Salazar takes the mound for the Indians and Tommy Milone for the Twins. Milone is the obvious weak one in this game, starting off this 2016 season with a 5.87 ERA and a WHIP of 1.37. The Indians are just about in the middle of the league when it comes to hitting stats, while the Twins have fallen back in the bottom 20 after a bit of a hot streak last week. This is an interesting one for offense, as I personally wouldn’t look at this and see a lot of runs, but for what it’s worth, that’s how it’s projected.

Weather Concerns

1) OAK vs DET (Comerica Park) – This game features a chance of rain throughout the night with wind blowing in from center field at 13 mph.

2) BOS vs. ATL (Turner Field) – The Sox and Braves might see a delayed start but should be in the clear after it clears up rather quickly.

2) SDP vs. SFG (AT&T Park) – A strong 23 mph wind will be blowing out toward right field throughout this game, giving a boost to the hitters.

Park Factors

Park Factors are ranked on a scale of 1.000. If an offensive category has a rating of 1.000 or above, it favors the hitters. Anything below 1.000 favors the pitchers.

  • Coors Field – PIT vs COL – Nothing to see here. Just another day that Coors Field leads the slate as the most favorable ballpark for hitters. Carry on.
  • Globe Life Park – NYY vs TEX – Globe Life Park checks in as the second most favorable park for hitters tonight. In 2015, it had a favorable rating for hitters in every offensive category except triples.
  • AT&T Park – SDP vs SFG – Ranked the worst ballpark for hitters in 2015, AT&T Park only favored hitters in triples.
  • Citi Field – CIN vs NYM – Citi Field ranks as the second worst park on this slate tonight. Citi Field did not own a single favorable offensive category for hitters last season, with walks being the closest one.


Splits to Start

Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters

Worst vs LHBOPSAVGBest vs LHBOPSAVG
Julio Teheran0.8930.312Marcus Stroman0.5140.194
Ian Kennedy0.8440.256Zack Greinke0.5350.194
Miguel Gonzalez0.8310.278Madison Bumgarner0.5390.206

Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters

Worst vs RHBOPSAVGBest vs RHBOPSAVG
Doug Fister0.8670.327Zack Greinke0.4820.182
Kevin Gausman0.8430.278Jaime Garcia0.5570.218
Ian Kennedy0.7880.259Julio Teheran0.5830.207

Batter vs. Pitcher Splits

HitterOpposing SPABFP/AB
Chris DavisChris Archer144.07
Nolan ArenadoJeff Locke113.72
Brian DozierDanny Salazar183.38

  • Davis kicks us off with a short, but sweet BvP. With Archer struggling as much as he has been, Davis looks to improve upon his 5-14 with two doubles, two home runs, six RBIs, and six walks.
  • Arenado has seen only a handful of at bats against Locke, but an impending matchup in Coors Field could pad these stats. Arenado is 6-11 with two doubles, a home run, four RBIs, and two walks.
  • Dozier has the most at bats of the three, and he’s done well against a tough pitcher like Salazar. Dozier is 9-18 with four doubles, two home runs, four RBIs, and two walks.


Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Madison Bumgarner – SFG vs. SDP – $12,000 – I hate to be that guy that picks the most expensive pitcher on the slate because it feels like a cheap pick by me. However, I’m having a tough time trying to convince myself why I should go with someone else here. With the huge strikeout potential of Bumgarner going up against a team that ranks 5th in strikeouts this season, how could you talk yourself out of this one? We do have a strong wind that will be blowing in AT&T Park tonight to right field, but I won’t let that worry me with Bumgarner. The Padres are averaging 8.8 strikeouts per game in the early going, which plays right into the wheelhouse of Bumgarner with his 11.3 K/9. He’s a must for me tonight.

Heavy Hitter to Pay For

David Ortiz – BOS vs. ATL (Julio Teheran) – $4,000 – Playing in a National League Park, Ortiz is going to have to sit one of these contests. I’m hoping today is not the day, but we have a 50/50 shot here. I love his matchup against Julio Teheran, and you should as well. Every fifth day, this article pours it on Julio Teheran because of how poorly he pitches, especially to left-handed batters, whom he owned a .386 wOBA in 2015. At home against a lefty, Teheran owned a .355 wOBA with eight home runs allowed. Ortiz has always crushed right-handed pitching and is off to a torrid pace already this season with his .417 wOBA with an ISO of .314. If Ortiz is in tonight, he should be in your lineup.

Save Big by Drafting…

Francisco Lindor – CLE vs MIN (Tommy Milone) – $3,600 – As I stated earlier, I don’t know if I fully agree with the CLE and MIN game being one of the highest on the night, but I’ll play along and pick someone from this game. Lindor is a switch hitter who hits against lefties extremely well. In his short majors career, Lindor owns a .397 wOBA when facing a left-handed pitcher. Milone, owns a career .324 wOBA against left-handed batters. If you’re looking for some exposure to this game, Lindor could be a nice under the radar way to do so.

Stack Em Up

SEA vs HOU (Doug Fister) – Fister has been falling apart right before our eyes over the past year and a half. He faces a very left-handed batter heavy lineup tonight that could lead to even more trouble. In the very early going of 2016, Fister owns a .499 wOBA against lefties. Last season, he ended the year with a .317 wOBA. Fister isn’t a big strikeout guy, so being a contact pitcher could spell trouble against the Seattle team that certainly isn’t a stranger in power, ranked eighth in home runs.