With 12 games going tonight, we have a healthy slate of baseball to go through. I’ll get you ready for this slate, and, as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.

Game Notes

Biggest Favorites

CHC (-220) vs. LAA – Jason Hammel – For the second night in a row, we have the Cubs as the heavy favorites over the Angels. I swung and missed with Lackey last night, as he put in another solid outing at home. Hammel takes the mound tonight with a very friendly $8,000 salary, considering how well he’s been pitching as of late. Over his last five games, Hammel is averaging 21.4 FPPG, which is well above is season average of 13.5 Like Lackey last night, Hammel has flourished at Wrigley this season, owning a .263 wOBA with a .318 SLG and holding opposing hitters to a .194 average. The knock I usually have with Hammel is that while he’s a solid pitcher in the real world, fantasy wise, he can be a bit of a challenge. Hammel has struck out eight batters just once this season and seven four times. The majority of the time, Hammel is around three or four strikeouts per game, having done this 12 times this season. With the Angels continuing to be a tough team to strikeout against righties, owning the lowest K% in the league at 15.4%, Hammel has a capped ceiling tonight.

TOR (-185) vs. TBR J.A. Happ – Happ and the Blue Jays get the second nod for favorites tonight as they take on the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays have been decent against lefties this season, owning a team .325 wOBA. Happ will be facing the Rays for the fourth time this season where he’s seen mixed results. Happ has gone a total of 14.2 innings, allowing 13 runs on 20 hits with a 13:5 K:BB ratio. Now, to be fair, eight of those runs came in one horrific outing, at Rogers Centre, in just two innings. The other two games were good, so the stats are a bit skewed here. Overall, Happ has been fantastic as of late and is averaging 20.1 FPPG at Rogers Centre this season. He’s a bit pricey in my opinion at $11,700, but it’s hard to deny how well he’s been on the mound as of late.

Highest Totals

COL vs. TEX – 9.5 runs – The hot humid weather in Texas will certainly play a factor in this one, as Globe Life Park will host the highest projected run total of the night. Jorge De La Rosa and Martin Perez will take the mound in this one in what can be deemed a night of underwhelming pitchers. De La Rosa has been just as bad on the road as he has at home this season, sporting a 5.40 ERA with a 1.63 WHIP in nine road starts. He’s walking a TON of guys, averaging four a game. With five guys with a wOBA of at least .350 against lefties, Rua, Andrus, Beltre, Desmond and Beltran, this could be a field day for the Rangers.

On the flip side, Martin Perez has allowed 21 earned runs since the All-Star break, which ranks third in the league. Perez is, in my opinion, one of the worst fantasy pitchers to roster, as his upside is extremely limited by his 4.3 K/9 while averaging 9.5 FPPG this season. Perez has been MUCH better at home, averaging 14.4 FPPG in 11 starts, but he walks a ton of guys (3.3 BB/9 at home) and has allowed seven of his 13 home runs. The Rockies have their fair share of guys who hit left-handed pitching, so this game should be full of fantasy goodness.

Weather Concerns

SDP vs PIT (PNC Park) – This game should start off ok, but thunderstorms will roll in later in the evening here and potentially create a disruption. This is certainly worth watching.

NYY vs BOS (Fenway Park) – This game is going to be a tricky one. Thunderstorms are in the forecast for the entire day, so it may be hard to get this game in. However, IF they can, it’s extremely humid in Boston today, so this is prime hitter’s weather.

Park Factors

Park Factors are rated on a scale of 1.000. Anything at or above 1.000 favors hitters, anything below it favors pitchers.

  • Kauffman Stadium – CHW vs KCR – Kauffman Stadium is our best hitting ballpark for tonight as they host the Chicago White Sox. All offensive categories are favored here except home runs.
  • Globe Life Park – COL vs TEX – The heat and humidity always plays a factor here, as Globe Life Park is number two on our list. With the Rockies in town, they visit a park that favors every offensive category except walks.
  • Oakland Coliseum – BAL vs OAK – The Orioles remain stuck in the worst park for hitters tonight as they continue to visit the Coliseum. Triples are the only category here that’s favored towards hitters.
  • Wrigley Field – CHC vs LAA – Wrigley Field continues to dwell near the bottom of the list as an unfavorable park for hitters. Only triples and walks get the nod here.

Splits to Start

Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters

Anthony DeSclafani.877.317Martin Perez.512.158
Nathan Eovaldi.871.268Jose Quintana.564.213
Yovani Gallardo.852.281Drew Pomeranz.578.212

Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters

Chase Anderson.991.324Anthony DeSclafani.477.178
Edwin Jackson.862.288Jason Hammel.589.205
Ricky Nolasco.840.305Drew Pomeranz.624.196

Batter vs. Pitcher Splits

BatterOpposing SPABFP/AB
Kyle SeagerJustin Verlander124.5
Andrew McCutchenEdwin Jackson313.16
Salvador PerezJose Quintana511.88

  • Some solid BvP action taking place tonight to go over. First we start with Kyle Seager, who has really put Justin Verlander on the ropes in their brief meetings. Seager is 6-12 with three doubles, two home runs and seven RBIs.
  • I’m sure Andrew McCutchen wasn’t upset when Edwin Jackson got the call up to join the major leagues again. In his career, McCutchen is 13-31 with three doubles, three home runs, nine RBIs and seven walks.
  • Finally, we have a big sample size of Salvador Perez taking on Jose Quintana. Perez is 18-51 with four doubles, two home runs, eight RBIs and two walks.

Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Justin Verlander – DET vs SEA – $12,900 I truly gave a strong effort to not showcase Verlander in this spot, because quite frankly, I think he’s an obvious play, but his stuff has just been dominant. I don’t know what clicked with him since the All-Star break but he’s been almost untouchable since. In 36 innings, Verlander owns a 1.75 ERA with an 11 K/9 and averaging 14 swings and misses per game. Also during that span, the Mariners are striking out at a much higher rate than before, ranked 6th in the league with a 22.1 K%.

Heavy Hitter to Pay For

Carlos Beltran – TEX vs. COL (Jorge De La Rosa) – $4,900 – I think it makes sense to have exposure to one of the highest projected run totals of the night, and Carlos Beltran headlines my top hitters. Since being traded to the Rangers, Beltran is hitting .320 in eight games with three doubles, a home run and four RBIs. He’ll look to build on those numbers against De La Rosa, whom Beltran owns a .438 wOBA against lefties this season. The switch-hitting Beltran has been one of the best hitters this season, and I have no doubt he has a great chance to continue that tonight.

Save Big by Drafting…

Wilmer Flores – NYM vs. ARZ (Robbie Ray) – $3,200 – If I’m being honest, Robbie Ray is someone I like very much in GPPs tonight. Believe it or not, Ray has the highest K/9 since the All-Star Break (minimum of 20 innings pitched) at 14. However, Flores has crushed left-handed pitching this season, and Ray is no stranger to giving up some offense. Overall against lefties, Flores owns a .454 wOBA with a .685 SLG with seven of his 11 home runs. That’s some good cheap production for someone that almost certainly will be overlooked tonight.


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.