Thursday brings us a nine game slate. We have some big name pitchers taking the hill tonight, so a lot of our salary will look to be thrown in that direction. I’ll get you set for tonight and as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.

Game Notes

Biggest Favorites

CLE (-178) vs CHW– Danny Salazar- The Indians and Danny Salazar get the nod tonight as the heavy favorites against the visiting Chicago White Sox. Salazar is making his return from the disabled list after experiencing elbow discomfort that landed him on the DL shortly after the All-Star Break. It was obvious that something was wrong, as Salazar was averaging 8.46 FPPG over his last five starts. He has a fantastic match up to bounce back tonight against the White Sox, a team he’s faced twice already with some good results. Salazar has gone 12 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits with a 14:4 K:BB ratio. Even with Salazar posting some less than stellar numbers at home, keep in mind that four of those five starts came at home when he was trying to deal with his injury. Nonetheless, the White Sox have been brutal since the All-Star break at the plate and I think that fact coupled with a healthy Salazar puts him in a great spot for just $9,000.

 

Biggest Over/Unders

LAD vs. PHI – 9 runs – – Two unlikely teams get the nod for the highest projected run total of the night, as the Dodgers visit the Phillies. Ross Stripling and Jerad Eickhoff take the mound tonight. The Dodgers have been one of the best hitting teams since the All-Star Break, posting a .348 wOBA with a .341 OBP and a league leading, yes, I said league leading, .473 SLG%. While Eickhoff hasn’t been terrible at home this season, he certainly is no stranger to giving up a big fly, as he’s allowed 10 of his 19 home runs come at Citizens Bank Park, splitting them evenly at five apiece between lefties and righties. Eickhoff has also been hit pretty hard in two August starts already, allowing seven runs in 11.2 innings with four home runs.

 

Weather Concerns

WAS  vs ATL (Turner Field) – Nothing overly concerning here, as rain may be present at the start of the game, but should clear up soon after.

MIA vs CIN (Great American Ballpark) – This game will be a bit tricky, as a thunderstorm could roll in during the middle of the game. If it’s lengthy enough, we COULD see Jose Fernandez pulled early. He’s going to be one of the top targets of the night, so make sure to monitor this one closely.

 

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.

  • Progressive Field – CWS vs CLE Progressive Field is once again our most favorable ballpark on the night. As of tonight, all offensive categories except triples are favored here.
  • Kauffman Stadium– MIN vs KCR – Kauffman Stadium checks in as number two this evening for ballparks favoring hitters. Coming into tonight, all offensive categories except home runs are favored here.
  • Citizens Bank Park– LAD vs PHI – Citizens Bank Park checks in as our worst park for hitters tonight. Coming into this game, only home runs and triples have a favorable rating.
  • Great American Ballpark– MIA  vs CIN – We have to go quite a ways up the list to grab our second least favorable ballpark for tonight. The Great American Ballpark only favors home runs.


Splits to Start

Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters

Worst vs LHBOPSAVGBest vs LHBOPSAVG
Dillon Gee1.058.395Madison Bumgarner.498.171
Archie Bradley.992.322Carlos Rodon.517.205
Jerad Eickhoff.817.278Ross Stripling.559.194

 

Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters

Worst vs RHBOPSAVGBest vs RHBOPSAVG
Paul Clemens1.066.294Jose Fernandez.536.193
Tyler Duffey.958.320Madison Bumgarner.615.209
Kevin Gausman.862.291Archie Bradley.628.210

 

Batter vs. Pitcher Splits

BatterOpposing SPABFP/AB
Brian DozierDillon Gee113.09
Jose AbreuDanny Salazar163.06
Nelson CruzMatt Shoemaker172.05

  • Don’t be looking for any big sample sizes for today’s BvP section, you won’t find any. Dozier starts us off with his numbers against Gee, as he’s 4-11 with two home runs, two RBIs, and a walk.
  • Next we have Jose Abreu, who has been in this section quite a lot lately, taking on Danny Salazar. Abreu is 6-16 with a double, three home runs and four RBIs.
  • Last but not least we have Nelson Cruz taking on Matt Shoemaker. Cruz has gone 6-17 with a double, a home run and four RBIs.


Lineup Starters

 

Pitcher to Build Around

Jose Fernandez – MIA vs CIN – $11,900 – I hate to state the obvious, but it’s hard to pass over this start for Fernandez tonight. Yes, he’s essentially an automatic consideration every single time he takes the mound, but this is a match up that I want to showcase. This Reds team (besides Votto) is downright awful and the 21.3 K% they possess against righties just makes you dream of double-digit strikeouts here. Fernandez has faced this team already (with Jay Bruce in the lineup) and he was able to produce 31.6 fantasy points with an 8:0 K:BB ratio. Fernandez should be your guy tonight with Salazar and Musgrove in the mix as well.

 

Heavy Hitter to Pay For

Jose Ramirez – CLE vs. CHW (Carlos Rodon) – $5,100 – If Carlos Rodon was a superhero, his arch nemesis would be right-handed batters. I mean, I don’t know how else to put it. On the road this season, Rodon is allowing a .363 wOBA to righties with a .492 SLG and nine of his 17 home runs allowed. Ramirez is part of this Indians lineup that is just on an absolute tear right now. Over his last 10 games, Ramirez is averaging 16.3 FPPG!!!! He’s 16-39 with five doubles, two home runs, seven RBIs, four walks and NINE stolen bases. Yeah, he’s doing it all right now. Not having him in your lineup tonight will be considered a crime.

 

Save Big by Drafting…

Eric Hosmer – KCR vs. MIN (Tyler Duffey) – $3,600 – For the most part, the Royals have been ice cold since the All-Star Break, but I don’t hate this spot for Hosmer. He hits right-handed pitching quite well at home, owning a .382 wOBA with a .485 SLG with five of his 17 home runs. With Tyler Duffey on the mound, I think it’s safe to say he has a good shot at making something happen here 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.