Thursday evening brings us a short five-game slate of baseball, so let’s jump right into all the information. As always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.

Game Notes

Pitcher Favorite

Brandon McCarthy vs. Atlanta Braves ($6,600) – McCarthy and the Dodgers are favored tonight as they take on the Braves in Los Angeles. McCarthy is in the midst of a rough stretch of baseball, essentially since the month of June hit. Since that time, McCarthy has scored in the double digits twice in his last six starts while sporting a respectable .285 wOBA. So if his wOBA is that low, how is he scoring under 10 points in the majority of his starts? Well, his K/9 of 5.1 during that span can certainly be to blame, as that number won’t exactly be winning any tournaments for DraftKings players. On the road, the Braves own one of the lowest K% in the league at 19.5%, making this a relatively tough spot for McCarthy to score fantasy points. I’m staying away from him in this matchup, even with it taking place at Dodger Stadium.

Highest Total

Texas Rangers vs. Baltimore Orioles – 10 projected runs – The Rangers and Orioles are once again tagged with the highest projected run total for the second night in a row. The Orioles are slight favorites in this one against Cole Hamels. It’s a bit surprising to be honest, as Hamels has pitched extremely well in his four starts since returning from the disabled list, sporting a .219 wOBA with a .274 SLG and a K/9 of 6.1. For what it’s worth, the Orioles have been hitting much better since the All-Star Break, posting a .345 wOBA with a .345 OBP and a .460 SLG.

Weather Concerns

Texas Rangers vs. Baltimore Orioles (Camden Yards) – Isolated storms will be around Camden Yards again this evening, but they shouldn’t pose a real threat. It’s worth checking before first pitch, but they should be good to go.

Park Factors

Park Factors are ranked on a scale of 1.000. Anything above 1.000 is favorable towards the hitters. Anything below that mark favors pitchers.

  • Dodger Stadium – Atlanta Braves vs. L.A. Dodgers – Quite a night for ballparks when Dodger Stadium is the best out of the bunch. Home runs are the only favorable stat here tonight.
  • Safeco Field – New York Yankees vs. Seattle Mariners – Safeco Field is our second most favorable ballpark on this slate for hitters if you want to call it favorable. Walks are the only category favored here.
  • AT&T Park – San Diego Padres vs. San Francisco Giants – AT&T Park is the worst out of all these ballparks tonight, although it’s all relatively close. No offense categories are favored here.
  • Camden Yards – Texas Rangers vs. Baltimore Orioles – Camden Yards has the honor of the second worst offensive ballpark on this slate. Home runs and walks are the only categories favored here.

Splits to Start

Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters

Jhoulys Chacin.888.285Cole Hamels.335.140
Felix Hernandez.882.327Madison Bumgarner.352.160
Mike Foltynewicz.871.312Danny Duffy.490.188

Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters

Wade Miley.897.317Michael Fulmer.588.226
Felix Hernandez.852.270Jhoulys Chacin.607.223
Danny Duffy.766.278Luis Severino.613.224

Batter vs. Pitcher Splits

HitterOpposing SPABFP/AB*
Jonathan LucroyWade Miley133.3
Victor MartinezDanny Duffy352.25

*(Fantasy Points Per At Bat)

Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Madison Bumgarner – SFG vs. SD – $11,800 – Bumgarner takes the hill for the second time in a row against the Padres and the third time overall. In the previous two starts, Bumgarner lasted 15 innings allowing five runs on 10 hits with a 10:4 K:BB ratio. Granted, his last start against the Padres won’t be on any highlight reels, but I’ll happily give him a pass since it was his first start since April. Against lefties, the Padres sport a 25.7 K%, which will likely make Bumgarner a popular pick.

Heavy Hitter to Pay For

Adrian Beltre – TEX vs. BAL – $4,400 – Beltre takes on Wade Miley tonight, who has been walloped as of late. At home against righties, Miley is sporting a .363 wOBA with a .450 SLG with five of his 15 home runs allowed. Because of the time Beltre has missed, he hasn’t had many appearances against lefties this season, but still sports a .339 wOBA with a .320 SLG. To make you feel better, you can refer to last season where Beltre owned a .418 wOBA with a .602 SLG and a .403 OBP against lefties.

Save Big by Drafting…

Brandon Belt – SFG vs. SD – $3,800 – Chacin carries some extreme home and away splits, and tonight he’s on the road. Against lefties in these matchups, Chacin sports a .459 wOBA with a .693 SLG with seven of his 15 home runs allowed. Belt is someone I’m looking at for a cheap bat, as he’s hit six of his 16 at home against right-handed pitching.

Stack Em Up

Texas Rangers vs. Baltimore Orioles (Wade Miley) – I have to roll with the Rangers taking on Wade Miley tonight. Miley continues to implode on the mound, as he sports a .421 wOBA since the beginning of June. This game contains the highest projected run total of the night, so I have no doubt we’ll see plenty of offense in this one. The Rangers on the road are statistically one of the worst, owning just a .293 wOBA with a .388 SLG and a .290 OBP. With that being said, I think Miley has been pitching poorly enough that he can help bring some of those Rangers road numbers up. 


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.