Fridays are always one of my favorite nights to play baseball. Not only is the weekend upon us, but we are always treated to a 15-game slate. I’ll get you set for it, and, as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.

Game Notes

Biggest Favorite

STL (-215) vs. ATL – Jaime Garcia- It’s been awhile since we’ve seen a team facing the Braves be our heavy favorite of the night, but tonight is just that night. Garcia owns a 4.30 ERA with a 1.38 WHIP and a K/9 of 7.3. This will be the second time that Garcia faces the Braves, as he went six innings allowing four runs on five hits with a 6:3 K:BB ratio with seven swinging strikes. Speaking of those swinging strikes, Garcia has not been getting many of those lately, as the last time he had at least 10 was on July 6th. Since then, Garcia hasn’t exceeded six in a game. So it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that Garcia is averaging just three strikeouts per game during that span. Targeting against the Braves is always an option on any particular night, just don’t expect too much out of Garcia in this spot.

Highest Totals

MIA vs. COL – 11.5 runs – – The Marlins come to visit Coors Field for a weekend series starting tonight. David Phelps will take on Jorge De La Rosa in this one to kickoff the series. Phelps is making his first start this season after racking up 50 appearances in the bullpen this season. Owning a 2.65 ERA with a 1.14 WHIP and a 11.4 K/9 in those appearances, the Marlins are hoping for some similar results in his start today. Phelps is a starter normally, making 19 starts last season with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP for the Marlins. Going off his career numbers, Phelps doesn’t give up a ton of home runs, and doesn’t struggle against any particular type of hitter. I wouldn’t go as far as to trust him tonight in either format, but at just $4,000, a GPP play isn’t completely out of the question.

As for De La Rosa, he’s having his typical season with the Rockies, as his ERA is at 5.51 with a 1.60 WHIP. De La Rosa is averaging just 9.2 FPPG at home in nine starts where he’s allowed seven of his 12 home runs this season. De La Rosa is struggling against both types of hitters at this point, with a .353 wOBA to lefties and a .371 to righties. I think a Marlins stack is most certainly in play here tonight with dreams of a Giancarlo Stanton bomb in mind.

Weather Concerns

NYM vs DET (Comerica Park) – A thunderstorm may roll through in the early part of this game, but it shouldn’t produce anything significant. A short delay may start this game off, but nothing more than that.

MIA vs COL (Coors Field) – It’s very typical for Coors Field to see some storms pop up during the day and cause some delays here. Even though it’s generally normal for this to happen, keep a watch on this one tonight. The threat of storms carries all the way into the evening.

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 – MIA vs COL – A new series for the Rockies, but the same favorable attributes at Coors. Every offensive category is favored here.
  • Kauffman Stadium – TOR vs KCR – The Blue Jays visit Kauffman Stadium for a weekend series against the Royals. Coming into tonight, every offensive category is favored here except home runs.
  • Dodger Stadium – BOS vs LAD – One of the best offenses in the league visits Dodgers Stadium tonight. The Red Sox will have to adapt to this stadium and the fact that zero offensive categories are favored here.
  • Minute Maid Park – TEX vs HOU – Minute Maid Park has not been very kind to opposing hitters this season, as triples are the only offensive category that is favored here.

Splits to Start

Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters

Dillon Overton1.056.389Martin Perez.512.158
Yovani Gallardo.920.304Jon Lester.574.208
Tim Lincecum.909.341Steven Wright.582.208

Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters

Tim Lincecum1.354.429Anthony DeSclafani.497.191
Dillon Overton1.197.397Noah Syndergaard.562.220
Chase Anderson.989.329Blake Snell.649.248

Batter vs. Pitcher Splits

BatterOpposing SPABFP/AB
Dustin PedroiaScott Kazmir432.95
Evan LongoriaErvin Santana202.75
Mike TroutFelix Hernandez722.38

  • We have some really good BvP stats to take a look at for today, so I’ve hand picked a few of my favorites tonight. We start off with Dustin Pedroia and his destruction of Scott Kazmir. Pedroia is 22-43 with six doubles, a triple, two home runs, five RBIs and 10 walks.
  • Next we have Evan Longoria against Ervin Santana. Longoria hasn’t had many extra base hits against him, but the ones he does have all have gone for home runs. Longoria is 8-20 with three home runs and four RBIs.
  • Finally we have Mike Trout taking on Felix Hernandez. Very rarely do we get BvP matchups with this many encounters, so this is a fantastic snapshot of how well Trout hit Hernandez. Coming into tonight, Trout is 27-72 against Hernandez with four doubles, two triples, five home runs, 15 RBIs and five walks.

Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Jon Lester – OAK vs CHC – $9,600 – First and foremost, this is a REVENGE GAME for Lester! Ok, maybe not, but Lester IS facing his former team, although I highly doubt we have any bad blood here. We’re getting Lester at a nice discount tonight as he stumbled a bit in the month of July. Lester came out of that month with a brutal 7.36 ERA in 22 innings, allowing a .391 wOBA with a .540 SLG with six home runs. All of those stats were a high on the season, which I think can be attributed a lot to his walk rate in that month, sitting at 5.7 per nine innings. Fortunately for Lester, he faces an Oakland team that has a .313 wOBA against lefties with a .309 OBO and a .419 SLG. With Oakland as cozy as it gets in terms of ballparks, Lester certainly has the potential to start the month of August off on a good note. The only downfall here, is that the A’s are a tough team to strikeout, owning a 17.4 K% against lefties, which is the second lowest in the league.

Heavy Hitter to Pay For

Kris Bryant – CHC vs. OAK (Dillon Overton) – $5,200 – Aside from the pitching matchup that I like, Bryant feels to be a solid option in terms of hitting tonight as well in this game. He faces off against Dillon Overton who owns a 9.33 ERA in four starts with a 2.18 WHIP and averaging 1.3 FPPG. On top of all of this, Overton has allowed NINE home runs in these four starts in just 16 innings. Bryant is fantastic on the road against lefties, owning a .421 wOBA with a .603 SLG and a 1.030 OPS. Need I say more?

Save Big by Drafting…

Lonnie Chisenhall – CLE vs. NYY (Michael Pineda) – $3,200 – Chisenhall should draw the start with right-handed pitcher Michael Pineda taking the mound for the Yankees tonight. Chisenhall has been hitting the ball well as of late, averaging 7.2 FPPG over his last five games. In his short sample on the road, he owns a .349 wOBA against righties with a .474 SLG and an .816 OPS. They aren’t bad numbers for someone that will barely put a dent into your salary cap.


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.