Another stacked slate is upon us with every team playing tonight. We have a ton of options to choose from and a few players to avoid. I’ll break down this huge slate to get you ready. As always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.

Game Notes

Biggest Favorites

LAD (-240) vs. MIA – Clayton Kershaw – Kershaw is the huge favorite on the night going up against the Marlins. The Marlins may be hitting better than people expected, owning a .266 average as a club (ranked 8th), but it’s their inability to hit for extra bases that’s killing them. Ranked 18th in SLG and 15th in OPS, this won’t be an easy matchup for the Marlins. In four starts, Kershaw is averaging 27.9 FPPG, with a K/9 of 9. With rostering Kershaw comes the extremely high price tag, and today is no different at $13,800. Even with the Marlins being a somewhat tough team to strikeout (25th) this feels about as good a spot as we can get Kershaw.


CHC (Kyle Hendricks) vs. MIL – We have some huge names for pitchers on this slate tonight, yet Kyle Hendricks is slated as the second biggest favorite on the night. Hendricks has started three games this season, owning a 4.00 ERA with a 1.17 WHIP and a K/9 of 7.5. He faces off against a Brewers team that ranks fifth in strikeouts this season, averaging 9.3 per game. Hendricks has never been a huge strikeout guy, with his K/9 in the majors hovering around the eight range, but he should be able to grab some here tonight.

Highest Totals

PIT vs. COL – 10 runs – One of the lower run totals for Coors Field, this matchup features Gerrit Cole for the Pirates taking on Jorge De La Rosa for the Rockies. Cole has never pitched at Coors Field before, so we don’t have a lot to go off of for him tonight. Cole has been solid to start the season, owning a 2.70 ERA with a 1.02 WHIP and a K/9 of 8.6. As for De La Rosa, he’s coming off of the stomach flu, which won’t exactly help his horrendous start in 2016. De La Rosa owns a 9.87 ERA to go with a 1.96 WHIP and a K/9 of 11.9. The Rockies were one of the best team against RHP last season, owning a wOBA of .331, which ranked second. As always, it’s never a bad idea to have some exposure to this game.

NYY vs TEX – 9.5 runs – Why pay up for Coors Field when you can get exposure to a game with a .5 run difference at half the price? Well, lots of reasons actually. The Yankees and Rangers send Luis Severino and A.J. Griffin to the mound here. Severino is off to a disappointing start, owning a 4.86 ERA with a 1.56 WHIP and a K/9 of 5.9. Griffin is posting a 3.18 ERA with a 1.24 WHIP and a 6.3 K/9. Neither of these teams have been exactly lighting up their offensive numbers, with most categories seeing these teams near the bottom half of the league. If anything, a stack of either team will come relatively cheap. Griffin is having some control issues thus far, averaging four walks a start, and the Yankees rank 10th in walks. It’s not the most exciting offensive strategy, but a run is a run.

Weather Concerns

1) NYY vs TEX (Globe Life Stadium) – This game will see a threat of thunderstorms all throughout the night with a wind blowing in from right field at 15 mph.

2) SDP vs SFG (AT&T Park) – Like last night, San Francisco will see some strong winds blowing out to right field at 22 mph.

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 – Hello. You’ve heard the rumors and they still remain true. Coors Field was ranked the best ballpark for hitters in 2015 and I can almost guarantee it will for be again for 2016. 
  • Globe Life Park – NYY vs TEX –  Globe Life Park checks in as the second most hitter friendly park on tonight’s slate. It had hitter friendly rankings in every offensive category except triples, so I hope you weren’t looking for a lot of those tonight.
  • AT&T Park – SDP vs SFG – The only offensive category AT&T Park is in favor for hitters is triples. So I better see at least five here tonight.
  • Angel Stadium of Anaheim – KCR vs LAA – If you like walks, you’ll love LAA Stadium, as that is the only offensive category favored for hitters here in 2015. Go baseball!

TargetsWeatherHottest Hitters
PitchersTop 5'sCheat Sheet

Splits to Start

Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters

Matt Wisler0.9860.327Rich Hill0.3580.158
James Shields0.8900.216Dallas Keuchel0.4610.177
Jimmy Nelson0.8760.302Clayton Kershaw0.5540.203

Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters

Ricky Nolasco0.9420.388Rich Hill0.4230.138
Jorge De La Rosa0.7590.249Clayton Kershaw0.5110.192
Jered Weaver0.7570.264Jimmy Nelson0.5680.202

Batter vs. Pitcher Splits

HitterOpposing SPABFP/AB
Jon JayJohnny Cueto296.4
Albert PujolsEdinson Volquez104.6
Chase UtleryTom Koehler152.7

  • To say that Jay has crushed Cueto in their 29 matchups may be an understatement. Jay is 12-29 with a double, three home runs, seven RBIs and two walks against him. 
  • Pujols has only faced Volquez 10 times in their careers, but Pujols has done some damage. Pujols is 4-10 with a double, two home runs, five RBIs, and four walks.
  • Utley hasn’t done a ton of damage to Koehler, but it’s enough to garner a look. Utley is 6-15 with two doubles, a home runs, and six RBIs. 

Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Chris Sale – CHW vs TOR – $12,000 – This might be the first true test for Sale tonight. He’s been phenomenal in his first four starts, posting a 1.80 ERA with a 0.67 WHIP. However, these starts came against Oakland, Cleveland, Tampa Bay and the LAA Angels. So take that for what it’s worth. On the flip side, Sale hasn’t just been getting by in these starts, he’s been crushing them. Sale owns a 7.8 K/9 with a miniscule 0.9 BB/9.  Even with how strong this Blue Jays lineup is, they still rank 2nd in strikeouts.  I think the perceived tough matchup will keep people off of him, which intrigues me even more.

Heavy Hitter to Pay For

Manny Machado – BAL vs TBR (Jake Odorizzi) – $4,600 – Machado facing right-handed pitching is always a plus matchup that I like to exploit. He faces off against Jake Odorrizi tonight, who is much weaker against RHB than he is LHB. Last season, Odorizzi owned a .324 wOBA while allowing 13 of his 18 home runs to righties. Machado owned a .383 wOBA against righties. In such a killer lineup like the Orioles, Machado can only setup for success here (that sounded like a motivational poster. Were you motivated?)

Save Big by Drafting…

Travis Shaw – BOS vs. ATL (Matt Wisler) – $3,400 – Yesterday I made the bold prediction that Shaw would go yard against Julio Teheran. That….didn’t work out. So Shaw will look to do that tonight against Matt Wisler, who owns a career .404 wOBA against lefties. Yeah, it’s that bad. Shaw owns a .343 wOBA against right-handed pitchers in his career with a .173 ISO.

Stack Em Up

STL vs. ARZ (Shelby Miller) – The best thing Miller has done this season was play left field. He looked pretty good, maybe he has a second calling in life. It certainly isn’t pitching, at least for now. Entering tonight with a 8.59 ERA and 1.98 WHIP in four appearances, the Cardinals should be able to tee off on him tonight. The Cardinals are near the top in batting average, runs scored, OPS and home runs. Need I say more?