Thursday night will bring us a small, four-game slate to tackle. Let’s dive right into the information on this one, and, as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.

Game Notes

Top Pitcher

New York Mets vs. Atlanta Braves –  Matt Harvey – ($8,100) – Oh boy, it’s only April 6, and I don’t know if I’m ready to put all my eggs in the Harvey basket just yet. Granted, he’s taking on the Braves, but these Braves also roughed him up last season. In four starts against them, Harvey went 22.2 innings allowing 11 runs on 30 hits with a 17:5 K:BB ratio. It’s a very short slate, so Harvey becomes more of an option than on a normal one, but I’m proceeding with caution here.

Highest Totals

San Francisco Giants vs. Arizona Diamondbacks – 9.5 projected runs – These two teams once again hold the throne of the highest projected run total of the night. Jeff Samardzija and Robbie Ray will take the hill in this one in the hitter-friendly Chase Field. Samardzija had issues with the long ball last season, allowing 17 of his 24 home runs on the road. Samardzija is also working on a split-finger fastball, which makes me wonder if he’s ready to use that in real games, as his Spring Training was a less than stellar showing. The D-Backs tagged him for seven runs in 21.1 innings last season.

Robbie Ray is personally one of my favorite pitchers to roster and his strikeout potential is massive. He ended 2016 with an 11.2 K/9 in 174 innings of work which, believe it or not, was the second-highest mark in the league. Even against the Giants last season, who were one of the tougher team to strikeout with a 17.7 K%, Ray owned a 12.2 K/9 in in 17 innings of work. He can blow up at any moment, but when he’s on, he’s on.

Seattle Mariners vs. Houston Astros – 9.5 runs – The two cheapest pitchers on this slate are also involved in the highest projected run total of the night, tied with the SF/ARZ game. Joe Musgrove and Ariel Miranda will take the mound for the Astros and Mariners, respectively. Musgrove was fantastic in five home starts last season, averaging 21.9 FPPG with 37:9 K:BB ratio in 36 innings. His road numbers, however, were dreadful, averaging just 6.3 FPPG in five starts. This new look Mariners lineup could certainly give him a run tonight.

Miranda faced this Astros club once last season and lasted seven innings, allowing two runs on three hits with an 8:1 K:BB ratio. The Astros didn’t particularly hit lefties well last season, owning just a .314 team wOBA with a .417 SLG and a .314 OBP. Honestly, I’m having a bit of a tough time seeing this game reach it’s projected run total as it could go either way. However, with so little options, it deserves some consideration.

Weather Concerns

Atlanta Braves @ New York Mets – This game is showing light rain for the night. It’s worth monitoring this game closer to first pitch.

Park Factors

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. All stats come from the 2016 season.

  • Chase Field – SFG vs. ARI – Chase Field favored all offensive categories last season, especially triples, which had a rating of 2.032.
  • Citi Field – ATL vs. NYM – Citi Field gets the nod as our second most hitter-friendly park on the night. Home runs and walks get the nod here.
  • Minute Maid Park – SEA vs. HOU – Minute Maid Park is our least favorable ballpark for hitters tonight. Last season the only category that got the nod for hitters were triples.
  • Tropicana Field – TOR vs. TB – Tropicana Field is certainly not a great spot if you’re looking to break out of a hitting slump. Only walks were favored here in 2016.


Splits to Start

Pitchers vs. Left- Handed Batters

Worst vs. LHBOPSAVGBest vs. LHBOPSAVG
Matt Harvey.864.321Blake Snell.656.264
Ariel Miranda.859.310Robbie Ray.684.251
Joe Musgrove.822.270Jaime Garcia.702.246

Pitchers vs. Right-HandedBatters

Worst vs. RHBOPSAVGBest vs. RHBOPSAVG
Jaime Garcia.798.273Jeff Samardzija.639.225
Robbie Ray.797.272Marcus Stroman.698.260
Blake Snell.747.270Ariel Miranda.707.200

Batter vs. Pitcher Splits

HitterOpposing SPABFP/AB*
Evan LongoriaMarcus Stroman222.81

*(Fantasy Points Per At Bat)


Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Joe Musgrove – HOU vs. SEA – $7,000 – On this short, four-game slate, no one really jumps out at me as a solid starting pitcher, so I’m rolling with Musgrove here. As I mentioned, he was fantastic at home last season, which is where he is tonight. His $7K price tag won’t hurt either as he possesses some strikeout potential with his 7.9 K/9 last season. It’s a bit of a risky play, but I think he has some of the best upside on this slate.

Heavy Hitter to Pay For

Yoenis Cespedes – NYM vs. ATL – $4,300 – Cespedes seems awfully cheap for this matchup against Jaime Garcia. Coming off a season where Cespedes owned a .441 wOBA against lefties with a .624 SLG and a .457 OBP, this matchup is not one I want to pass up.

Save Big by Drafting…

Kendrys Morales – TOR vs. TB – $3,600 – Yes, Tropicana Field isn’t the most ideal park to roster your hitters, but I can’t deny how well Morales hit lefties last season. At the conclusion of last season, Morales owned a .392 wOBA with a .560 SLG and a .369 OBP against lefties. Blake Snell has some good stuff, but did have some issues with righties, allowing a .330 wOBA to end the year.

Stack Em Up

New York Mets vs. Atlanta Braves (Jaime Garcia) – I have no faith that Garcia can be an effective pitcher in the majors this season, especially when you look at his road numbers from last season. He ended with a .357 wOBA with a .356 OBP. The Mets certainly have some hitters that can hit lefties and draw a walk. Garcia could falter in this spot.

 


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.