The All-Star break is finally over and baseball is back in our lives! With a 14 game slate on tap for tonight, we have an immense amount of baseball to watch tonight. Let’s get you set for today and as always; you can find me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.

Game Notes

WAS (-205) vs. PIT – Stephen Strasburg – Strasburg will be facing the Pirates for this first time this season as he enters this game with a 2.62 ERA with a 1.01 WHIP and a K/9 of 11.1. Strasburg has been his “worst” at home this season, but that really isn’t saying much. At Nationals Park, Strasburg owns a 3.08 ERA with a 1.00 WHIP and a .262 wOBA. The Pirates strike out at a decent clip this season, owning a 20.8 K% against right-handed pitchers this season. The Pirates are certainly no strangers to high strikeouts in a game, as they’ve had at least 10 in a game six times this month. Strasburg has been as good as advertised this season and should be in line for another stellar start tonight.

SFG (-200) vs. SDP – Madison Bumgarner – This matchup is such a fantastic spot for Bumgarner that it’s extremely hard to even consider fading him here. The left-hander has faced the Padres twice this season with some stellar numbers. Bumgarner has gone 15.2 innings against the Padres, allowing three runs on 11 hits and a 20:2 K:BB ratio. It just goes to show how talented Bumgarner is, as the Padres have been one of the best against left-handed pitching this season. Owning a .347 wOBA with a .461 SLG and a .349 OBP against lefties certainly tells the tale for the Padres. However, the biggest fault for San Diego has been how much they strikeout, as they own a 23.8 K% against lefties. Bumgarner is coming off one of his best performances of the season against the Diamondbacks and looks to continue that momentum against the Padres.

Biggest Over/Unders

BOS vs. NYY – 9.5 runs – The AL East rivals will take on each other in this weekend series at Yankee Stadium. Steven Wright and Michael Pineda will take the hill in this game, which I’m surprised is the highest projected run total of the night. We’ve been starting to see some chinks in the armor of Steven Wright as of late, as he owns a 7.36 ERA in two starts this month. The Yankees continue to struggle against right-handed pitching this season, as they own a .309 wOBA with a .312 OBP and a .412 SLG. For what it’s worth, in his lone start against the Yankees this season, Wright pitched a complete game allowing one run on three hits with a 7:1 K:BB ratio.

As for Pineda, he’s been on a nice run as of late, with the exception of his last start against the White Sox. Besides that, Pineda was averaging 23.5 FPPG over his last five games, allowing just nine runs with a 41:8 K:BB ratio. He’s faced the Red Sox twice already this season and while they haven’t crushed him, he’s allowed a ton of hits. In 11 innings, Pineda has allowed four runs on 13 hit with a 7:4 K:BB ratio. I think this game will certainly feature some runs, but I don’t think it will be the highest total of the night.

Weather Concerns

Looks to be no weather concerns as of this afternoon, but as always, it’s beneficial to take a look once again prior to first pitch.

Park Factors

Park Factors are rated on a scale of 1.000. Any category that favors hitters has a rating of 1.000 or higher, anything below 1.000 favors pitchers.

  • Chase Field – LAD vs ARZ – The Dodgers visit the Diamondbacks for a weekend series starting tonight. Coming into this series, Chase Field has a favorable rating in every offensive category except doubles and walks.
  • Turner Field – COL vs ATL – Turner Field currently ranks sixth overall this season in terms of favorable ratings for hitters. Coming off the All-Star break, Turner Field favors hitters in runs, singles, triples and walks.
  • Tropicana Field – BAL vs TBR – Tropicana Field has consistently been near the bottom of the league for hitters this season. Coming into this game, it currently does not have a favorable rating in any offensive category.

Splits to Start

Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters

Yovani Gallardo.995.333Madison Bumgarner.497.178
Doug Fister.884.279Stephen Strasburg.559.179
Patrick Corbin.882.283Hector Santiago.621.225

Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters

Eduardo Rodriguez1.019.305Doug Fister.546.200
Matt Garza.838.293Anthony DeSclfani.568.208
Andrew Cashner.800.256Bud Norris.590.232

Batter vs. Pitcher Splits

HitterOpposing SPABFP/AB
Mike NapoliErvin Santana223.5
Jay BruceMatt Garza322.87
Salvador PerezJustin Verlander462.6

  • We start off our BvP section with Mike Napoli taking on Ervin Santana. Napoli is 8-22 against Santana with seven of those hits going for extra bases. Napoli has four doubles, three home runs with 10 RBIs.
  • Next we have Jay Bruce taking on Matt Garza. Bruce has faced Garza 32 times in his career, owning 12 hits with four of those going for doubles, three home runs, nine RBIs and three walks.
  • Finally, we have Salavdor Perez with some very impressive numbers against Justin Verlander. Perez is 22-46 with seven doubles, two home runs and 13 RBIs.

Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Madison Bumgarner – SFG vs SDP – $11,100 After his 56.1 fantasy point performance against the Dodgers, I thought that was going to be the end of rostering Bumgarner. His price is going to skyrocket and he’ll be entering Clayton Kershaw territory. However, to my surprise, he’s only $11,100 tonight! Bumgarner dropped $1,900 since his last start! With the Padres on tap, Bumgarner is essentially a must in my opinion, even more so with the success he’s had against the Pads already this season, averaging 36 fantasy points in those two games. Bumgarner is going to be VERY popular tonight, but I think fading him and trying to catch up to those points will be difficult to do.

Heavy Hitter to Pay For

Jake Lamb – ARZ vs. LAD (Bud Norris) – $5,500 – Yes, we can say that Norris has been better since he’s gone over to the Dodgers in a trade with the Braves. However, one thing has stayed the same and that’s his weakness against left-handed batters. On the season, Norris has allowed a .361 wOBA with a .449 SLG and four of his seven home runs allowed to lefties. Tonight, he has to face Jake Lamb at Chase Field. Lamb has been a force at the plate this season, owning a .429 wOBA against righties with a .655 SLG and a .385 OBP with 16 of his 20 home runs. He may be very expensive tonight, but Lamb has been extremely consistent against right handed pitching.

Save Big by Drafting…

Jayson Werth – WAS vs. PIT (Francisco Liriano) – $3,600 Werth has been one of my favorite value plays against left-handed pitching this season and he continues to keep coming through in these situations. On the season, Werth owns a .475 wOBA against lefties with a .663 SLG and a 1.130 OPS. Liriano continues to struggle against righties, with his .359 wOBA and 11 of his 14 home runs given up in that matchup situation. Werth continues to fly under the radar against lefties and he could be a nice addition to your lineup.

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