After a six-game slate this afternoon, we have four games to close out the night here on Thursday. I’ll get you set for this slate, and, as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.

Game Notes

Biggest Favorites

CLE (-230) vs LAA – Corey Kluber – Kluber and the Indians get the nod for tonight as the favorites on this four game slate. This will be the second time that Kluber has faced this Angels team, where he pitched a complete game, allowing two runs on three hits with an 8:1 K:BB ratio for 36.4 fantasy points. Kluber was able to induce 13 swings and misses in that start as well. Speaking of swings and misses, Kluber has been racking those up lately, as he has reached double digits in five straight games and 46 in his last three. With this start being at home, it would bring a slight concern as Progressive Field is most certainly a hitter’s park, but Kluber has dominated in nine games here. The owner of a 2.95 ERA with a 1.05 WHIP and averaging 24.1 FPPG, Kluber should be a fantastic option against this Angels team.

Highest Totals

NYY vs. BOS – 9.5 runs – – First pitch should see some hot temperatures near 95 with some real sticky humidity, making it perfect hitter’s weather. Eduardo Rodriguez and Michael Pineda will take the mound in this one. The Red Sox lineup could look drastically different here tonight, as Mookie Betts and David Ortiz are doubtful to play due to injuries suffered last night. Pineda will be facing the Sox for the fourth time this season, where he’s nine runs on 18 hits in 16 innings of work this season. Rodriguez has also faced this Yankees team once already, allowing one run on four hits in seven innings. I think this game certainly has the potential for some good offense, but one should realize that the Yankees are also without Carlos Beltran, who certainly made a difference in some of these numbers this season. All in all, the weather is certainly favoring some runs.

Weather Concerns

LAA vs CLE (Progressive Field) – A chance of some thunderstorms will be around the entire game. This is certainly a game to watch as we get closer to first pitch.

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 – The heat will certainly be a factor here tonight, as first pitch is looking at a temperature hovering around 100. Add that into all the offensive categories favored here (except home runs) and Kauffman is our number one stadium for hitters tonight.
  • Wrigley Field – STL vs CHC – Three out of the four parks tonight are ranked in the 10 top for hitters, so Wrigley easily becomes the worst. Coming into tonight, only triples and walks get the nod here.

Splits to Start

Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters

Eduardo Rodriguez.853.333Danny Duffy.485.192
Michael Pineda.803.264Jon Lester.591.213
Jhoulys Chacin.791.274Corey Kluber.619.220

Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters

Eduardo Rodriguez.873.283Carlos Martinez.599.195
Michael Pineda.788.266Corey Kluber.570.209
Jhoulys Chacin.763.273Jon Lester.661.224

Batter vs. Pitcher Splits

BatterOpposing SPABFP/AB
Jacoby EllsburyEduardo Rodriguez142.64
Dexter FowlerCarlos Martinez172.23
Jose AbreuDanny Duffy241.83

  • Rumor has it that on short slates, the BvP is usually pretty lackluster. I can indeed confirm those rumors. Ellsbury is our best tonight against Rodriguez, where he’s 5-14 with a double, two home runs and two RBIs.
  • Next we have Dexter Fowler taking on Carlos Martinez. Fowler has gone 6-17 with a double, three RBIs and three walks.
  • Last but not least, Jose Abreu against Danny Duffy was a bit of a surprise. Abreu has gone 9-24 with a double, a home run, two RBIs and three walks.

Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Jon Lester – CHC vs STL – $10,300 – After a rough stretch heading into the All-Star break, Lester looks like he’s back to his old self, dominating hitters on the mound. Since returning from the ASB, Lester owns a 2.55 ERA with a 1.14 WHIP and a 9.1 K/9. Facing the Cardinals tonight, who haven’t really hit left-handed pitching well, Lester is in a fantastic spot to keep that going. He has grabbed double digit strikeouts in his last three starts, striking out at least seven in all of them. The Cardinals certainly can help that cause out tonight with their 20.9 K% against lefties.

Heavy Hitter to Pay For

Tyler Naquin – CLE vs. LAA (Jhoulus Chacin) – $4,700 – When we think about rostering against Chacin tonight, the obvious names on the Indians will come to mind – Napoli, Santana, Kipnis – but I think Naquin is the top target here. Against righties at home this season, Naquin owns a .478 wOBA with a .705 SLG and a 1.142 OPS. Naquin has hit eight of his 13 home runs in this situation and is cheaper than all the above listed players. He may hit a little lower than we’d like, but he’s a must in my opinion.

Save Big by Drafting…

Kole Calhoun – LAA vs. CLE (Corey Kluber) – $2,900 – Kluber doesn’t struggle much when he’s on the mound, but one trouble spot has been lefties at Progressive Field. Coming into this game, Kluber owns a .332 wOBA with a .430 SLG with three home runs allowed when facing these hitters. Calhoun has a .331 wOBA on the road against righties with four home runs. For a dirt cheap salary, Calhoun could be a sneaky way to help differentiate your lineup 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.