Monday, why do you exist? To cope with the beginning of another week, MLB is throwing a nine-game slate on the board tonight with a high profile pitchers duel in San Francisco. I’ll get you ready for this slate and as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.

Game Notes

Biggest Favorites

LAD (-205) vs. PHI – Julio Urias- Urias and the Dodgers get the nod as the favorites against the Phillies. Urias will make his 10th start of the season and 11th appearance overall, as he was recently moved to the bullpen. The Dodgers are being very careful of their prized prospect, as it’s being said that Urias will be on a strict pitch count tonight. For that reason, I don’t think Urias will be a useful pick tonight. Having only reached the sixth inning once this season, you have to figure that Urias will be pulled by the fifth, if he even makes it that far. Nonetheless, the Phillies are last in the league in wOBA against lefties at .283 to go with a .297 OBP and a .355 SLG. Urias would need to be nearly perfect to grab a reasonable score to take him tonight, so based off his past performances; he’s best left on the board.

Highest Totals

TEX vs. COL – 10.5 runs – – This Coors Field game features one of the lower totals I’ve seen this season at 10.5 projected runs. It seems as if the “Tyler Anderson effect” in Coors Field is catching on. In eight starts at Coors, Anderson owns a 3.32 ERA with a 1.39 WHIP and a 41:10 K:BB ratio. This game will be a nice test for Anderson, as the Rangers do hit lefties well, owning a .330 wOBA with a .440 SLG. To be fair, Anderson has had a relatively easy schedule when it comes to Coors Field, facing the Dodgers, Braves, Rays, Phillies, Blue Jays, Diamondbacks and Padres. Give credit where it’s due, it’s not easy pitching at Coors Field, but even with friendly schedule, Anderson has made it look good. At just $6,100 tonight, he is a viable option in GPPs.

Draft Your MLB Team Here

For Cole Hamels, he’s relatively cheap tonight as well at just $8,200. Hamels has been posting up some great numbers this season and has been his best on the road, where he’s averaging 22.6 FPPG with a 1.90 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP. The Rockies are a good hitting club against lefties, but Hamels just recently had one of his best starts of the season against a team that has the highest wOBA against lefties, the Chicago Cubs. In that start, Hamels went eight innings, allowing one run (zero earned) on four hits with a 7:0 K:BB ratio. Obviously we have a completely different situation here tonight, but I think it helps show how dominant Hamels has been this season, even against teams that are great against lefties. Fading Coors is usually frowned upon, but you can certainly make a case for it tonight.

Weather Concerns

With four of the nine games being played with a retractable roof, the weather forecast looks pretty clean for tonight. As always, however, make sure to check prior to first pitch.

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 – TEX vs COL – Coors Field checks in as the number one ballpark for hitters, as always. Every offensive category is favored here and will forever be favored.
  • Rogers Centre – TBR vs TOR – Rogers Centre get the nod for our second favored ballpark tonight. Every offensive category is also favored here, with home runs and singles just barely making the cut.
  • Dodger Stadium – PHI vs LAD – Dodger Stadium had the luxury of facing the Red Sox pitching staff this weekend, so they’ve actually bumped up to 29th in the league! Don’t get too excited, as it still doesn’t favor any offensive category.
  • Oakland Coliseum – BAL vs OAK – The Coliseum checks in as our second worst ballpark for hitters tonight. With the Orioles in town, the Coliseum only favors triples.

Splits to Start

Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters

Cody Reed.941.368Cole Hamels.523.176
Kendall Graveman.853.294Tyler Anderson.551.219
Zach Eflin.831.266Jake Odorizzi.583.195

Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters

Tyler Duffey.991.330Jose Fernandez.532.189
Cody Reed.977.321Johnny Cueto.572.216
Kevin Gausman.893.302Zach Davies.639.228

Batter vs. Pitcher Splits

BatterOpposing SPABFP/AB
Giancarlo StantonJohnny Cueto133.92
Ian KinslerHisashi Iwakuma322.37
Evan LongoriaR.A. Dickey491.87

  • Giancarlo Stanton hasn’t seen much of Johnny Cueto, but when he has, he’s made it count. Stanton is 5-13 against Cueto with a triple, two home runs and four RBIs.
  • Ian Kinsler and Hisashi Iwakuma have faced each other many times and they meet again tonight. Kinsler is 12-32 with two doubles, three home runs and three RBIs.
  • In terms of fantasy points per at-bat, this BvP isn’t the greatest, but it will suffice. Evan Longoria is 14-49 against R.A. Dickey with five doubles, two home runs, eight RBIs and five walks.

Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Johnny Cueto – SF vs MIA – $12,400 – I flip-flopped from Cueto and Jose Fernandez numerous times before I officially landed on Cueto. Both of these guys are in peculiar positions tonight because both teams don’t strikeout a ton. The Marlins own an 18.3 K% against rights, ranked 26th in the league, and the Giants own a 16.6 K%, ranked 29th. Cueto has not faced this Marlins team yet this season, but he certainly has pitched well at AT&T Park. Coming into this start, Cueto owns a 2.63 ERA with a 1.01 WHIP with a 7.2 K/9. I truly believe that both of these pitchers will end up doing well, and the projected run total for this game sits at six. Cueto gets the slightest bump over Fernandez because of the small margin of K% difference and nothing more.

Heavy Hitter to Pay For

Stephen Piscotty – STL vs. CIN (Cody Reed) – $4,400 – – Ohhhhh do I love this matchup tonight. Really, where I do begin here? Let’s start with Piscotty, shall we? You may have heard he does magical things when facing a left-handed pitcher. At home against lefties, Piscotty owns a .508 wOBA with a .768 SLG, a 1.229 OPS and a .393 ISO. Those numbers alone would be enough to get him in your lineup at just $4,400, right? BUT WAIT, THAT’S NOT ALL! Piscotty will face off against Cody Reed and his .408 wOBA against righties and 10 of his 11 home runs allowed!

Save Big by Drafting…

Mark Reynolds – COL vs. TEX (Cole Hamels) – $3,300 – He’s not the safest option, but you can’t hate the price tag on Reynolds here. As I mentioned earlier, one could certainly make the case to fade Coors Field tonight. On the other hand, one could also bring up the value in Reynolds going up against a left-handed pitcher at home. Reynolds owns a .345 wOBA in those situations with a .448 SLG. I’d be more than happy to take a shot on Reynolds in this spot with his $3,300 price tag.


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.