Friday is always full of games, and tonight is no different. With some big pitching names on the board, you’ll have to get a bit creative with your hitters if you want to roster some of the high priced pitchers. As always, you can find me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.

Game Notes

Biggest Favorites

DET (-210) vs LAA– Justin Verlander – I think it’s fair to say that Verlander has been looking like his old self these past few months. The Tigers ace is averaging 26.5 FPPG over his last five starts with a 37:6 K:BB ratio. Tonight he takes on the Angels for the second time this season after pitching against them in Anaheim. In that start, Verlander lasted 7.1 innings allowing four runs on four hits with a 7:0 K:BB ratio. His stuff has been electric since the All-Star break, as he’s averaging just over 13 swings and misses per start. Truth be told, the Angels are still a tough team to strikeout, owning the lowest K% in the league since the ASB at 17.2%, but they aren’t exactly getting on base either. With a .310 wOBA and a .319 OBP, I think Verlander is in line for a solid start here.

Highest Totals

CIN vs. ARZ – 9.5 runs – Brandon Finnegan and Braden Shipley take the mound in this game tonight. The last time Finnegan faced the Diamondbacks, he was rocked for six runs in on seven hits in just five innings of work. The Diamondbacks are one of the best hitting teams against lefties, even though everyone likes to boast about how terrible this lineup is. Against lefties, the D-Backs own a .350 wOBA with a .483 SLG and a .344 OBP. Not too shabby for such a “terrible offense.”

Shipley hasn’t been with the big club for long, but the numbers he’s posted have been anything but impressive. Owning a .398 wOBA against righties and a .362 against lefties, Shipley has been struggling big time. He hasn’t pitched much at Chase Field, but over his 11 innings there, Shipley owns a .431 wOBA with a .674 SLG with three of his eight home runs allowed. The Reds have been all over the map when it comes to hitting, but in a prime park like Chase Field, I like their chances here.

Weather Concerns

OAK vs STL (Busch Stadium) – This game could have a delayed start, but should clear out soon after if a delay does occur.  The chance of rain is pretty slim, so I wouldn’t worry too much.

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.

  • *Chase Field – CIN vs ARZ * – Our most favorable ballpark on the night is also home to the highest projected run total of the night. Coming into this game, Chase Field favors every offensive category.
  • *Rogers Centre – MIN vs TOR * – Rogers Centre has been a hot spot for offense as of late and the numbers certainly back it up. As our second most favorable park for hitters tonight, Rogers favors all offensive categories except home runs.
  • Minute Maid Park – TBR vs HOU – Minute Maid Park currently ranks 30th in the league with only triples favored here.
  • Dodger Stadium – CHC  vs LAD – The Cubs come and visit Dodger Stadium tonight, which has been an offensive dead zone this season. No offensive categories get the nod here in L.A.

Splits to Start

Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters

Bud Norris1.042.364Martin Perez.517.171
Ryan Vogelsong.918.312Steven Wright.544.194
Matt Garza.890.317Chris Sale.567.189

Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters

Adam Morgan.959.321David Phelps.479.182
Braden Shipley.952.333Ryan Vogelsong.575.174
Pat Dean.925.315Corey Kluber.604.215

Batter vs. Pitcher Splits

BatterOpposing SPABFP/AB
Ryan RaburnGio Gonzalez144.14
Nelson CruzChris Sale192.47
Justin UptonRicky Nolasco222.27

  • Some more hot BvP action to send your way for tonight. We start off with Ryan Raburn (make sure he’s starting) taking on Gio Gonzalez. Raburn is 7-14 with a double, three home runs and four RBIs.
  • Next we have Nelson Cruz, who has taking Chris Sale deep a couple of times in their meetings. Cruz is 7-19 with two solo shots.
  • Finally we move onto Justin Upton taking on Ricky Nolasco. Upton has gone 9-22 against Ricky with a home run and six RBIs.

Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

David Phelps – MIA vs SDP – $8,700 – Once again, I’m focusing more on the SP2 tonight as I think with some of the top names pitching on this slate (Chris Sale, Corey Kluber and Justin Verlander) you can figure out who the top SP1 choices are. So I want to talk about David Phelps and his matchup against the Padres. Am I putting too much stock into his last two starts? Potentially – but this matchup on paper is too good to pass up with his $8,700 price tag. Over his last two starts, Phelps has mowed down the Reds and Pirates, owning a 17:3 K:BB ratio in just 11.1 innings. Now he faces a team that is second in the league in K% against right-handed pitchers with a 24.7 K%, and I’m not supposed to love this? Believe it or not, Phelps has a 11.4 K/9 in his 54 appearances this season and a 7.5 K/9 as a starter in four starts. For him to return value, Phelps needs around 24 DraftKings points to do so, which I think is completely doable. He’s my favorite SP2 on the night.

Heavy Hitter to Pay For

David Ortiz – BOS vs. KCR (Ian Kennedy) – $5,200 – David Ortiz likes to hit home runs. Ian Kennedy is someone that gives up a lot of home runs. What do you get when you combine the two!? A wonderful matchup at Fenway Park! Kennedy comes into this start against the Red Sox offense allowing almost three home runs per nine innings, at 2.7 on the season. Kennedy has allowed 19 of his 28 on the road this season with left-handed batters grabbing 10 of those. Ortiz flat out beasts it when at Fenway Park against a right-handed pitcher, owning a .497 wOBA with a .779 SLG and a 1.249 OPS.

Save Big by Drafting…

Josh Bell – PIT vs. MIL (Matt Garza) – $2,900 – Bell hasn’t even been in the majors very long, but the buzz about him has been real already. Bell has some great power and tonight faces off against Matt Garza. Besides the love for his $2,900 salary, Bell has been making an impact quick since being called up (at least at the plate, not so much in the field). For a dirt-cheap power bat in your lineup tonight, Bell is certainly the way to go. For what it’s worth, Bell should bat from the left side tonight where Garza is allowing a .378 wOBA with a .504 SLG with five of his seven home runs.


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..