We had a solid day for our picks last night. Paul Goldschmidt put up a whopping 30 points last night, Chris Iannetta posted 11 and Justin Verlander was cruising for five innings of no hit ball, but ended up posting 14.5 points after giving up three runs. We’re looking to continue this trend with todays information for the night contests. Let’s get right into it and as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter Machine @SBuchanan24.

Game Notes

Biggest Favorites

WAS (-195) vs. ATL – Stephen Strasburg – With Strasburg on the hill, it’s easy to see why he’s the heavy favorite on this slate. Max Scherzer had a nice outing against these Braves the other day going seven innings giving up two runs on three hits while striking out seven. Last season, Strasburg basically wiped the floor with the Braves. In two starts, Strasburg pitched 11 innings giving up no runs on 10 hits with a 13:2 K:BB ratio. The only downfall here is his price point. At $11,200, he’s going to be tough to fit into a balanced lineup.

Apr6 - Stephen Strasburg

Other Heavy Favorites:

  • The Reds (SP – Brandon Finnegan) are -138 favorites vs. Philadelphia tonight.
  • The Dodgers (SP – Kenta Maeda) are -130 favorites at San Diego tonight.
  • The Athletics (SP – Sonny Gray) are -130 favorites vs. the White Sox tonight.

Biggest Over/Unders

BAL vs. MIN (8.5 Runs) – The Orioles and Twins have an O/U of 8.5 tonight, which is the highest on the slate. It’s a matchup between two mediocre right handed pitchers in Yovani Gallardo and Kyle Gibson. Neither pitcher struggles against a specific handed batter as both rank in the middle of the pack against both lefties and righties. Given the total, stacking one side of this game might be wise and I’d lean towards the Orioles who have a slightly more high-powered offense.

Other High O/U’s:

  • The Reds and Phillies have a game total of 8 runs.
  • All other games tonight have totals of 7.5 runs or lower.

Weather Concerns

1) Boston Red Sox vs. Cleveland Indians (Progressive Field) -It’s the third day of baseball and this series has been in the weather section each day. Please, cut that out. We have a 60% chance of rain during this one, so keep a close eye on this one.

The Red Sox vs. Indians game starts at 6:10 PM ET and is not included in the main slate of night games.

2) Philadelphia Phillies vs. Cincinnati Reds (Great American Ball Park) -This game could be trouble. Rain will be going on throughout the afternoon and looks to continue into game time. With an over 70% chance of rain in this one, this might be one to avoid all together.

Park Factors

When looking at Park Factors, offensive categories with a rating at or above 1.000 favor the hitters. Stats with 0.999 or below favor pitchers.

  • Camden Yards – MIN vs. BAL – Not only does Camden Yards heavily favor hitters, we have two less than stellar pitchers going in this one. Camden Yards has plus ratings in runs, home runs and singles from 2015. With Kyle Gibson and Yovani Gallardo going in this one, it could help boost that extremely friendly hitter stats.
  • Petco Park – LAD vs. SD – Petco Park checks in as the worst park for hitters on this slate. With the only category grabbing a favorable rating, home runs, this could be a deciding factor when deciding between two hitters.
  • PNC Park – STL vs. PITPNC Park is also a field that has a favorable rating for home runs, but that’s about as far as it goes. This is certainly a park that will favor the pitchers on a nightly basis.


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Splits to Start

Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters

Worst vs. LHBAVGOPSBest vs. LHBAVGOPS
Juan Nicasio0.3050.899Michael Pineda0.1950.534
Mike Leake0.2880.801Collin McHugh0.2180.609
Bud Norris0.2540.753Yovani Gallardo0.2330.637

  • While the numbers look bad for Nicasio, he only started one game last season for the Dodgers. He gets his first start with the Pirates today after a solid spring training that saw him strikeout 24 batters in 15 innings.
  • Mike Leake has been notoriously bad against lefties over his entire career and the Pirates left handed hitters are in a terrific spot tonight.

Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters

Worst vs. RHBAVGOPSBest vs. RHBAVGOPS
Carlos Rodon0.2680.798Jose Fernandez0.1520.424
Juan Nicasio0.2470.744Aaron Nola0.210.618
Bud Norris0.2470.738Andrew Cashner0.2490.633

  • I’m sure you’ve noticed Bud Norris on this list twice. Norris appeared in 38 games last season, starting in only 11 of those. HIs struggles last season are very clear, as RHB were knocking him around to a tune of a .379 wOBA.
  • Rodon was dominant in 2015 against lefties but struggled to get right handed batters out. The Athletics have a few power right handed bats that could exploit him from that side of the plate.

Top Batter vs. Pitcher Splits

BatterOpposing SPPAAVGOPS
David FreeseMike Leake170.5001.342
Freddie FreemanStephen Strasburg360.4291.321
Stephen DrewBud Norris310.3601.164
Adrian GonzalezAndrew Cashner350.3441.150
Joe MauerYovani Gallardo180.5001.111


Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Michael Pineda – NYY vs. HOU – $9100 – Do I LOVE Pineda tonight? Eh, not really. Strasburg is certainly a top option tonight, but I’m not a fan of his salary. I love the strikeout potential for Pineda tonight against Houston. Pineda owned an 8.0 K/9 in two starts against the Astros last season, even with some struggles against them. This makes Pineda a GPP pick on a night where I think people will go in numerous different directions.

Heavy Hitter to Pay For

Andrew McCutchen – PIT vs. STL (Mike Leake) – $4,900 – Mike Leake might be a ground ball pitcher but he has declined in recent years and has reached a point where he’s one of the more volatile starters in the league. McCutchen has huge upside here and is coming off of a 3-5 game on Tuesday with a double.

Save Big by Drafting…

Jed Lowrie – OAK vs. CHW (Carlos Rodon) – $3,330 -Lowrie is a nice cheap option on the night to get a favorable right vs. left matchup against Carlos Rodon. Rodon, as we showcased earlier, is a force against lefties and struggles with right handers. Last season, Rodon allowed a .350 wOBA to opposing RHB and gave up all 11 of his home runs. On the flip side, Lowrie owned a .388 wOBA against LHP with an ISO of .267. At just $3,300 and being eligible at either 3B/SS, Lowrie quickly becomes one of the best value plays on the board tonight.

Stack Em Up

Washington vs. ATL (Bud Norris) – It’s extremely hard to ignore the splits that Bud Norris showcased last season. It’s fair to say that he was downright awful. Allowing a .385 wOBA to left handed batters and a .379 to right isn’t exactly going to boost the confidence for anyone except the hitters. With the Nationals looming, it’s hard to not get a stack of this team going. Norris only saw Washington in relief appearances last season, lasting 1.2 IP in three outings. He allowed two runs, but that’s stretching a bit to take that as a serious sample size. Regardless, the numbers are what they are and WAS is a sensible stack on the night, even in Turner Field.