We have a solid slate of games to kick off our week. Let’s get you set for tonight, and, as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.

Game Notes

Biggest Favorites

CHC (-255) vs. PIT – Jake Arrieta – Arrieta and the Chicago Cubs are the big favorites tonight as they take on the Pittsburgh Pirates in Chicago. Arrieta faces the Pirates for the fifth time this season where he’s mostly dominated. In 27 innings, Arrieta has allowed eight runs (six in one start) with a 33:8 K:BB ratio. All those strikeouts add up to be a 11 K/9 against this team. After a bit of a stretch in July that saw Arrieta consistently scoring below 10 fantasy points per game, he’s has been looking like his old self again. He’s been averaging 20.96 FPPG over his last five starts, and while I think it’s a bit of a stretch for him to return value tonight, he should be a fine play in all formats.

Highest Totals

LAD vs. COL – 10.5 runs – Kenta Maeda and Jon Gray will take the mound tonight at Coors Field. Gray has done well against the Dodgers once at Coors Field this season with a poor start mixed in as well. I’ll give him a pass on the first start, as it was his first of the season. Otherwise, Gray threw five shutout innings in his last start at home against the Dodgers. Personally, I don’t think it’s a bad idea to fade it all together in terms of hitters, as I think these pitchers are capable of performing decent enough.

Weather Concerns

Looks as if we have a clear night of baseball ahead!

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.

  • Coors Field – LAD vs COL – Ah yes, we’re back at Coors Field for some more offensive explosions. As always, Coors is in favor of every offensive category here.
  • Progressive Field – MIN vs CLE – Progressive Field has been a hot spot for offense all this season and tonight should be no different. Coming into tonight, all offensive categories are favored here except triples.
  • Minute Maid Park – OAK vs HOU – The Oakland Coliseum is not exactly a hot spot for offense, so a change of scenery won’t be doing them much good in this series. Minute Maid Park is our worse offensive ballpark tonight with only triples favored here.
  • Citizen Bank Park – WAS vs PHI – Citizen Bank Park continues to be a black hole for offense this season. Coming into tonight, only home runs and triples are favored here.

Splits to Start

Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters

Jake Thompson1.006.289Sean Manaea.511.167
Joe Musgrove.898.325Jake Arrieta.547.176
James Shields.871.288Matt Boyd.596.170

Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters

Jake Thompson.978.290Carlos Martinez.489.190
James Shields.935.303Jake Arrieta.552.190
Wade Miley.864.301Jose Fernandez.552.203

Batter vs. Pitcher Splits

BatterOpposing SPABFP/AB
Troy TulowitzkiWade Miley192.57
Joe MauerTrevor Bauer252.40
Miguel CabreraJames Shields632.39

  • Back for some good BvP for tonight, as we start off with Tulo taking on Wade Miley. Tulo has gone 7-19 with two doubles, a home run, three RBIs and four walks.
  • Next, we have Joe Mauer taking on Trevor Bauer. Mauer is 9-25 off Bauer with five doubles, a home run and six RBIs.
  • Finally, we have one of the biggest sample sizes you’ll see for BvP stats. Miguel Cabera is 24-63 off of James Shields with 10 doubles, three home runs, 10 RBIs and six walks.

Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Jose Fernandez – MIA vs NYM – $12,700 – Fernandez is extremely expensive tonight, but against a team he’s essentially dominated three times already this season, I have to give him a go. Fernandez hasn’t allowed more than two runs in a single start against the Mets this season, to go with a 26:5 K:BB ratio in 19 innings. That’s good enough for a 12.2 K/9 on the season against this team. It was also encouraging to see Fernandez get back on track in his last start against the Royals, where he pitched seven innings allowing no runs on six hits with a 9:2 K:BB ratio. If Fernandez can pull out another start like he has three time already, he should come close to returning value.

Heavy Hitter to Pay For

Bryce Harper – WAS vs. PHI (Jake Thompson) – $5,300 – It looks as if Harper is back to his ball crushing ways, and tonight his victim of the night will be Jake Thompson. Thompson has not had a fun go around in his first taste of the majors, as he’s been getting crushed in his four starts this season. Even though it’s a small sample size, lefties have been especially tough on him, tagging him for a .426 wOBA with a .578 SLG and three of his five home runs. With Harper averaging 12.7 FPPG over his last 10, now is the time to rekindle your love for the Nationals outfielder in my opinion.

Save Big by Drafting…

Stephen Vogt – HOU vs. OAK (Joe Musgrove) – $3,000 – It’s painful to go up against my boy Joe Musgrove, but it must be done. After two stellar starts in the majors, Musgrove has looked extremely hittable as of late, getting shelled in his last two starts. Musgrove, in a short sample, is allowing a .380 wOBA to lefties with a .543 SLG and a .354 OBP. Vogt has been good enough against righties for his price in the road matchup, owning a .324 wOBA with a .456 SLG.


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.