A solid 12-game slate for tonight brings us a great selection of pitchers to choose from. With another game at Coors Field on the slate, roster construction is going to be interesting. Let’s jump right into all the information, and, as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Jon Lester – Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates – Since Noah Syndergaard’s start has been pushed to tomorrow, Lester checks in as the heavy favorite tonight as he takes on the Pirates. This is a Pirates team that’s seen a good amount of left-handed pitching thus far (240 PA, ranked 11th in the league) and owns a team .289 wOBA with a .301 OBP and a .348 SLG. Lester just recently pitched against this Pirates team at Wrigley Field, lasting seven innings with allowing no runs on three hits with a 3:2 K:BB ratio. He’s the most expensive pitcher on this slate, but I like his strikeout upside with the Pirates owning a 21.7 K% against lefties, ranked 13th in the league. With Lester inducing a ton of groundballs over the last two games with 23 and a hard hit rate of just 24%, I believe he’s worth a look tonight.
Washington Nationals vs. Colorado Rockies – 11 projected runs – These two teams combined for a whopping 27 runs last night, bringing about some real fantasy goodness. Tonight, Tanner Roark and Tyler Chatwood will take the mound for their respective teams as both teams are projected at 5.5 runs a piece. Chatwood has been hit incredibly hard in two home starts already, allowing eight runs on 14 hits in just 11.1 innings with three home runs. As always, a Coors stack is going to come with an extremely high price tag, as eight players are tagged with a salary of at least $5K.
San Diego Padres vs. Arizona Diamondbacks – 10 projected runs – Another double-digit run projection tonight resides at Chase Field. Trevor Cahill will take the mound for the Padres, and Zack Godley will do so for the D-Backs. Godly is unavailable on DraftKings tonight, but I don’t think you were running to roster him anyways. The D-Backs have a team total of 5.4 as of this afternoon, the highest total out of Coors Field. Cahill has been used primarily in the bullpen over the past few seasons, but he owns a career .323 wOBA as a starter. His real test will be tonight against a D-Backs team that owns a whopping .397 wOBA at home thus far with a .550 SLG and a .383 OBP.
Toronto Blue Jays vs. St. Louis Cardinals (Busch Stadium) – This game has been officially POSTPONED.
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.
- Coors Field – Washington Nationals vs. Colorado Rockies – You know the drill, every offensive category is favored here.
- Chase Field – San Diego Padres vs. Arizona Diamondbacks – Every offensive category was favored here in 2106, especially triples, which had the highest rating of any ballpark.
- Citizens Bank Park – Miami Marlins vs. Philadelphia Phillies – Citizens Bank Park is our worst ballpark for hitters tonight. In 2016, home runs were the only category that favored hitters.
- L.A. Angel of Anaheim Stadium – Oakland A’s vs. L.A. Angels – Angel Stadium or the Oakland Coliseum, it doesn’t matter, both of these parks are not favorable for hitters. In 2016, only home runs were favored here.
Splits to Start
Pitchers vs. Left-Handed Batters
|Worst vs. LHB||OPS||AVG||Best vs. LHB||OPS||AVG|
|Tyler Glasnow||.810||.308||Sean Manaea||.526||.180|
|Vince Velasquez||.789||.274||Jon Lester||.540||.200|
|Wei-Yin Chen||.778||.325||Rick Porcello||.600||.225|
Pitchers vs. Right-Handed Batters
|Worst vs. RHB||OPS||AVG||Best vs. RHB||OPS||AVG|
|Luis Severino||.872||.286||Carlos Martinez||.540||.207|
|Mat Latos||.828||.321||Julio Teheran||.564||.212|
Batter vs. Pitcher Splits
|Jacoby Ellsbury||Rick Porcello||31||2.74|
|Rougned Odor||Hector Santiago||26||2.31|
|Mike Moustakas||Jose Quintana||39||2.02|
*(Fantasy Points Per At Bat)
Pitcher to Build Around
Jon Lester – CHC vs. PIT – $11,600 – As I mentioned above, Lester will face a Pirates team that currently owns a 21.7 K% against lefties with a .289 wOBA and just a .301 OBP. Lester hasn’t been giving up a lot of hard contact over his past three starts at only 24%, and he’s been inducing a ton of groundballs (23) over his last two starts.
Heavy Hitter to Pay For
Nelson Cruz – SEA vs. DET – $4,200 – Just like Goldschmidt last night, rostering Nelson Cruz on the road against a left-handed pitcher is about as automatic as it gets. At just $4,200 tonight, Cruz posted .497 wOBA against an LHP on the road last season with a .817 SLG and a .417 OBP. Facing Daniel Norris, who allowed a .352 wOBA against righties at home with a .500 SLG and a .331 OBP, Cruz should be matched up well here. Norris didn’t give up many home runs last season, but six of his 10 total came at home against a right-handed batter.
Save Big by Drafting…
Elvis Andrus – TEX vs. MIN – $3,800 – Andrus hit left-handed pitchers extremely well last season, and tonight he’s up against an average-at-best Hector Santiago. In 2016, Andrus owned a .352 wOBA against them with a .471 SLG and a .368 OBP. A threat to steal a bag, Andrus has consistently flown under the radar despite averaging just under eight FPPG thus far.
Stack Em Up
Baltimore Orioles vs. Tampa Bay Rays (Alex Cobb) – Things haven’t been exactly going well for Alex Cobb thus far. He’s allowed at least one home run in each of his starts this season and has allowed a 54% hard contact over his last three starts. The Orioles are still scuffling a bit at the plate, but this matchup at Camden Yards is too good for that to continue. A stack of Smith, Jones, Davis, Machado and Trumbo will only run you for $21,400, leaving you quite a bit of wiggle room to fill out the rest of your lineup.
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.