Thursday night brings us a nine game slate that will feature only three pitchers with price tags of $10K or more. With a very cheap slate of pitching on tap tonight, which direction should we go? I’ll get you set for tonight and as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
WAS (-235) vs BAL– Max Scherzer- Scherzer is actually tied with J.A Happ as the heavy favorite tonight. Scherzer will have the luxury of pitching at home tonight, where the Orioles will lose the DH. Scherzer has been his best at home this season, owning a .237 wOBA with a .311 SLG and a K/9 of 12.2. This matchup is certainly enticing due to how aggressive the Orioles are at the plate, owning a 21.8 K%, which ranks 10th in the league against right-handed pitching. Scherzer has been a bit shaky as of late, as he’s allowed eight runs in 10.1 innings over his last two starts, but four of those runs came at Coors Field, so I can certainly give him a pass on that. Nonetheless, Scherzer will be extremely popular tonight with how the pitchers are priced tonight. After James Paxton at $9,700, Tom Koehler is next in line at $7,100 with 12 pitchers priced below him. It will not be difficult to get Scherzer in your lineup, making him an interesting fade to differentiate from the field.
Biggest Game Total
LAA vs. TOR – 9.5 runs – – J.A. Happ is one of the heavy favorites tonight and he also is in the highest projected run total of the night. I think that means bad news for ol’ Weaver boy tonight, right? Over his past five starts, Jered Weaver has combined for a whopping 10.7 fantasy points. Yes, that’s COMBINED. He’s been giving up runs and hits at an epic pace lately, allowing 18 with 43 hits in just 26.2 innings. In case you were wondering, that’s good for a 1.84 WHIP in that span. Tonight, he has the task of facing the Blue Jays at home, who have a .339 wOBA at home this season to go with a .448 SLG and a .342 OBP. I have no doubt that the Blue Jays are going to be one of the most popular stacks of the night and once again, shouldn’t be hard to roster with how cheap pitching is tonight.
NYM vs STL (Busch Stadium) – St. Louis has a slight chance of thunderstorms somewhere around the middle of the game tonight. It clears up late if they do get them, so I would watch this if you’re interested in pitching here.
Park Factors are rated on a scale of 1.000. Anything at or above 1.000 favors hitters, anything below it favors pitchers.
- Chase Field – ATL vs ARZ – Chase Field checks in as the number one ballpark for hitters tonight as the Braves continue their visit. As of tonight, all offensive categories get the nod here.
- Rogers Centre– LAA vs TOR – The Rogers Centre comes in as our second most favorable ballpark for hitters tonight. All offensive categories get the nod here as well.
- Dodger Stadium– SFG vs LAD – From one unfavorable ballpark to another, the Giants continue their series against the Dodgers tonight. As always, Dodger Stadium does not have a favorable rating in anything.
- Busch Stadium– NYM vs STL – The Cardinals host the Mets tonight as they play in the unfavorable Busch Stadium. Coming into this game, Busch Stadium does not have a favorable rating in offensive categories either.
Splits to Start
Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters
|Worst vs LHB||OPS||AVG||Best vs LHB||OPS||AVG|
|Ubaldo Jimenez||.997||.335||Cole Hamels||.555||.194|
|Wily Peralta||.941||.327||Ross Stripling||.556||.195|
|Jered Weaver||.896||.311||J.A. Happ||.650||.238|
Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters
|Worst vs RHB||OPS||AVG||Best vs RHB||OPS||AVG|
|Wily Peralta||.964||.347||Max Scherzer||.499||.161|
|Jered Weaver||.906||.317||Chad Kuhl||.571||.203|
|Josh Tomlin||.852||.299||J.A. Happ||.675||.228|
Batter vs. Pitcher Splits
|Matt Kemp||Robbie Ray||11||3.72|
|Adam Jones||Max Scherzer||22||2.57|
|James Loney||Adam Wainwright||31||2.45|
- If you read my Cheat Sheet yesterday (of course you did) you saw that yesterday’s BvP was quite weak. We have some good ones today to make up for it starting with Matt Kemp against Robbie Ray. Kemp has gone 5-11 with a double, two home runs and five RBIs.
- Next we have Adam Jones taking on Max Scherzer. Jones has taken Mad Max deep a few times, going 11-22 with two doubles, three home runs and four RBIs.
- Finally we have James Loney, who hasn’t exactly been tearing it up lately, going up against Adam Wainwright. Loney is 16-31 with five doubles, a home run and three RBIs.
Pitcher to Build Around
Matt Moore – SF vs LAD – $6,700 – I think the top options are fairly obvious tonight – Scherzer and Happ. So what I’m doing here is showing who I like outside of the obvious. Moore is an intriguing option taking on the Dodgers for the third time this season. In his most recent start (while still with the Rays) Moore went 6.2 innings, allowing a run on four hits with a 5:4 K:BB ratio. The walks have and will always be an issue for Moore, but with the park factor in his favor along with one of the worst offenses against lefties, I think Moore at $6,700 is a solid number two tonight.
Heavy Hitter to Pay For
Daniel Murphy – WAS vs. BAL (Ubaldo Jimenez) – $5,300 – Murphy continues to tear up whomever is throwing to him this season, but tonight shouldn’t be that difficult. Facing Ubaldo Jimenez, who is allowing a .408 wOBA to lefties on the road with a .573 SLG, Murphy should be in a fine position here. At home against righties, Murphy has a .405 wOBA with a .597 SLG and seven home runs.
Save Big by Drafting…
Carlos Santana – CLE vs. TEX (Cole Hamels) – $3,300 – Taking a quick glance at this matchup, it doesn’t look all that appealing for Santana. I mean Cole Hamels is not exactly the guy you throw all your hitters at when facing him. However, Hamels has really struggled against right-handed batters at home. In these situations, Hamels owns a .386 wOBA with a .493 SLG with nine of his 19 home runs allowed. For how cheap Santana is and the fact he’s batting leadoff, I’m happy to take a flier here.
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.