Tonight will feature 11 games with some really good hitting matchups taking place. As always, I’ll get you set for this night slate. As always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
WAS (-210) vs. SFG – Stephen Strasburg- The Nationals and Stephen Strasburg get the nod for the heavy favorites tonight against the Giants. Matt Cain will take the mound for the Giants with his 5.53 ERA in 14 starts. Strasburg will be pitching at home, where he owns a 3.35 ERA with a 0.98 WHIP and a K/9 of 10.6. Strasburg has been about as good as it gets over his last ten games, averaging 23.6 FPPG. At this point, he feels like an automatic pick with how well he’s been pitching. He’s been missing a ton of bats lately, averaging 11 swings and misses per game in five July starts. At $11,900, he’s not even the most expensive pitcher on the slate, making him the top target for tonight.
HOU (-145) vs. TEX – Doug Fister- Fister is coming off yet ANOTHER solid start this season, this time grabbing 26.5 fantasy points against the Blue Jays. In that start, Fister went six shutout innings allowing just four hits with an 8:1 K:BB ratio. Fister still isn’t a big strikeout guy, as those eight strikeouts ere a season high. Prior to that, the most strikeouts Fister had in a game was six, which he’s done four times in 2016. Fister doesn’t fool many batters, as he’s induced double-digit swings and misses just once this season, but it was coincidently against this Texas team he faces tonight. Overall, this start certainly carries some risk in taking Fister, but man, whatever he’s doing lately is getting it done. At just $7,400 tonight, he’s a viable option.
MIA vs. COL – 11.5 runs – – Wait, you weren’t expecting something else, right? Of course this game is the highest projected run total of the night! Andrew Cashner will take the mound for the Marlins as they take on Chad Bettis for the Rockies. Cashner has faced the Rockies three times this season, allowing six runs on 13 hits in 12 innings with a 10:6 K:BB ratio. Cashner hasn’t been overly impressive this season and I don’t expect that to turn around tonight at Coors Field.
For Chad Bettis, he makes his tenth home start with a 5.47 ERA with a 1.51 WHIP and averaging 11.2 FPPG at Coors Field. Surprisingly enough, Bettis has only allowed four of his 15 total home runs at Coors this season. Nonetheless, Bettis is allowing a .348 wOBA to opposing hitters at Coors with a .452 SLG.
MIA vs COL (Coors Field) – This is your typical chance of a storm over Coors Field tonight, so nothing really new here. As always though, make sure to check closer to first pitch to see if this storm is an actual threat or not.
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 * I don’t need to remind you that Coors Field favors everything and anything that involves hitters, right?
*Kauffman Stadium – TOR vs KCR * Kauffman has overtaken the number two spot for stadiums for hitters, as it favors every offensive category except homeruns.
Dodger Stadium – BOS vs LAD – Dodger Stadium has been dwelling near the bottom of the league all season, and is ranked 30th coming into tonight. It does not favor any offensive categories here.
Minute Maid Park – TEX vs HOU – Minute Maid Park checks in as our second worst ballpark for hitters tonight. Coming into this game, only triples are favored here.
Batter vs. Pitcher Splits
*BvP stats aren’t very strong tonight, so I picked the best of the bunch. We start off with Carlos Santana taking on CC Sabathia. Santana is 8-17 with a double, home run and four RBIs against the Yankee lefty.
*Next we have David Freese taking on Homer Bailey. Freese is 6-20 off Bailey with a double, two home runs and three RBIs.
*Finally, we have Shin-Soo Choo taking on Doug Fister. Choo is 10-31 with three doubles, two home runs and five RBIs.
Pitcher to Build Around
Tyler Skaggs – LAA vs SEA – $10,400 – It’s obvious that Strasburg is one of the top options for tonight, so I wanted to showcase someone else instead of going over what I already talked about with Stras. Tyler Skaggs has returned to the Angels and has made two impressive starts to being his season. In those starts against the Royals and Red Sox, Skaggs is averaging 25.9 FPPG, hasn’t allowed a run in 12.1 innings and owns a 13:3 K:BB ratio. I think what was most impressive is that he induced nine swings and misses against the Red Sox in his last start. Facing Seattle tonight, a team that owns just a .315 wOBA against lefties with a 21.3 K%, I think he’s in line to be one of the top options at pitcher.
Heavy Hitter to Pay For
Daniel Murphy – WAS vs. SFG (Matt Cain) – $5,400 – Let me tell you something that just doesn’t mix; Matt Cain and left-handed batters. Cain has been atrocious against lefties, owning a .401 wOBA with a .537 SLG and four home runs allowed. He’s a bit better on the road against them, but if you call a .371 a big improvement, you may want to think again. The big appeal here is that not only is Cain poor against lefties, Murphy hits righties extremely well at home. With a .402 wOBA against them with a .575 SLG, Murphy is a top option.
Save Big by Drafting…
JJ Hardy- BAL vs. CHW (Carlos Rodon) – $2,700 – I think Hardy is a really interesting option against Carlos Rodon tonight. The disappointing part is that he’s been hitting at the bottom of the order lately, which certainly bring his value down a bit. On the flip side, Rodon is so bad against righties, I think I’m willing to take a chance here. On the road against lefties, Hardy owns a .335 wOBA with a .500 SLG with two of his four home runs. Against righties Rodon owns a .382 wOBA with a .521 SLG with 17 of his 18 home runs allowed. For a cheap salary, Hardy will at least raise your eyebrows.
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.