As we head into the weekend, we’ll have a 10-game slate to enjoy tonight. Let’s get you set for this one, and, as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.

Game Notes

Top Pitcher

Houston Astros vs. Kansas City Royals –  Mike Fiers ($7,500) – Tonight is a brutal selection of pitchers to choose from, so I wasn’t surprised to see Mike Fiers and the Astros as top dogs tonight. Fiers was decent at home last year, owning a .326 wOBA with a .451 SLG and a 7.6 K/9. The Royals are projected at 3.8 runs tonight, which is one of the smaller projections on this slate. On a night where pitching is certainly not at a premium, Fiers does garner some consideration, but I wouldn’t go heavy on the exposure. The Royals were near the middle of the pack in strikeouts against righties last season, checking in with a 20.3 K%. Believe me, this isn’t the best spot for Fiers, but it’s certainly not the worst on this slate either.

Highest Totals

Cleveland Indians vs. Arizona Diamondbacks – 10 projected runs – The only benefit to all the bad pitching tonight is that we should see plenty of offense across the board. The highest projected game belongs to the Indians visiting the Diamondbacks. Josh Tomlin will take on Shelby Miller in this one, in what’s sure to be an offensive barrage. Tomlin gave up a ton of home runs last season, 36 to be exact. Regarding park factors, Chase Field was the second best park for those in the majors. Right-handed batters hit Tomlin particularly hard last season, as he owned a .356 wOBA with a .522 SLG and a .323 OBP. He should be ripe for the taking tonight.

Shelby Miller was his own nightmare last season, as he was consistently getting crushed at Chase Field. Overall, he ended up with a .395 wOBA with a .553 SLG and a .383 OBP. This Indians offense is jam-packed with offensive juggernauts, even with the prospect that they’ll have to sit someone this series due to the absence of the DH. Nonetheless, this will likely will be the most popular stack of the night.

Oakland A’s vs. Texas Rangers – 10 projected runs – Another game that’s projected at 10 runs is the A’s visiting the Rangers tonight. Raul Alcantara will be making just his sixth major league start as he matches up against A.J. Griffin. While the jury is still out on Alcantara, we know Griffin was hit hard plenty in 2016. Lefties were his biggest obstacle, as they tagged him for a .406 wOBA with a .623 SLG and 18 of his 28 total home runs allowed. While the A’s don’t feature a ton of lefties, Jed Lowrie and Stephen Vogt could be some attractive, cheap batters tonight.

Weather Concerns

Miami Marlins vs. New York Mets (Citi Field) – This game will feature a strong wind blowing from left to right at 21 MPH.

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 – CLE @ ARI Chase Field favored all offensive categories last season, especially triples which had a rating of 2.032.
  • Globe Life Park – OAK @ TEX Globe Life Park is our second most favorable park tonight after earning a favorable rating in every offensive category in 2016.
  • Minute Maid Park – KC @ 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 @ 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

A.J. Griffin.978.286Derek Holland.578.247
Phil Hughes.956.385Josh Tomlin.685.229
Shelby Miller.943.329Matt Andriese.706.242

Pitchers vs. Right-Handed Batters

Luis Severino.872.286Ubaldo Jimenez.690.249
Josh Tomlin.845.299A.J. Griffin.697.227
Mike Fiers.843.287Matt Andriese.732.285

Batter vs. Pitcher Splits

HitterOpposing SPABFP/AB*
Adam DuvallMike Leake133.76
Nelson CruzJesse Chavez143.71
Albert PujolsYovani Gallardo323

*(Fantasy Points Per At Bat)

Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Francisco Liriano – TOR vs. TB – $8,900 – I’m not even going to try and get cute with pitching today; it’s brutal. Liriano is the most logical choice to kick off with his matchup against the Rays at Tropicana. Last season, the Rays led the league in K% against lefties at 25.4%, and Liriano certainly can still bring it. Ending the season with a 9.2 K/9, Liriano pitching in Tropicana is another box we can check on why he’s in a good spot.

Heavy Hitter to Pay For

Paul Goldschmidt – ARI vs. CLE – $5,300 – Goldy is one of the most expensive hitters on the slate, but with the cheap pitching options to choose from, it shouldn’t be a problem to roster him. As I mentioned, Tomlin had a rough go of it last season, especially against righties. Goldschmidt hit 12 of his 24 home runs at home against a right-handed pitcher last season while owning a .358 wOBA and a .479 SLG.

Save Big by Drafting…

Matt Joyce – OAK vs. TEX – $3,000 – Joyce will likely fly under-the-radar tonight, and rightfully so. I mean, to be honest, he’s not this dynamic player that will grab you 15 points on a nightly basis. However, if he’s slotted in the leadoff spot tonight, he gets a favorable matchup against Griffin and won’t cost you much at all. He ended 2016 with a .381 wOBA against righties with a .406 OBP. Can’t complain about that with such a minimal hit on your salary.

Stack Em Up

Baltimore Orioles vs. New York Yankees (Luis Severino) – I think this will be a stack that will go overlooked, but I like it a lot tonight. The Orioles were a very good hitting ball club at home last season, and not much has changed in that lineup. Severino, in his short time in the majors last season, was hit hard by righties to the tune of a .370 wOBA with a .524 SLG and a .348 OBP. The Orioles are full of right-handed bats and all capable of letting the ball fly.


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.