Tonight showcases a 14 game slate as we all make the dreaded trek back to reality after a long 4th of July weekend. Let’s get you set for tonight, and, as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.

Game Notes

SFG (-205) vs. COL – Madison Bumgarner – Bumgarner and the Giants get the nod for tonight as the heavy favorites against the Rockies at AT&T Park. The Rockies come into this game owning a .297 wOBA on the road this season, which ranks 25th in the league. On top of that, the Rockies have a .295 OBP with a .396 SLG and a 23.7 K%, which ranks 5th in the league. Not exactly impressive numbers, especially when you take into consideration that Bumgarner has faced these Rockies twice already with solid results. In those starts, Bumgarner has pitched 13.1 innings allowing five runs (three earned) on 12 hits with a 16:3 K:BB ratio. Ironically, the better of the two starts came at Coors Field, where he allowed only one of the five runs. Nonetheless, Bumgarner continues to dominate at home, averaging 24.7 FPPG with a 2.04 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP. As the most expensive pitcher tonight at $11,700, Bumgarner should be a popular pick and in line for another solid start.

BOS (-200) vs. TEX – David Price – – I was a bit perplexed with this pick, as Price and the Red Sox are the second biggest favorites on the night. First off, David Price has yet to find a consistent groove on the mound. Even though he’s averaging 20 FPPG at Fenway this season, that comes along with a 4.70 ERA with a 1.15 WHIP. He’s also fresh off horrible start against this Rangers club, where he scored -12 fantasy points, allowing six runs on 12 hits in just 2.1 innings. Now get this Rangers team in Fenway Park tonight and that’s a bit concerning for Price. The weather conditions will be ripe for hitting, as the humidity in Boston is going to be very Texas-esque tonight. Price will strictly be a GPP play only for me tonight, and even that might be a stretch.

Highest Totals

KCR vs. TOR – 9.5 runs – Well, this one should be a doozy. Last time I ragged all over Chris Young, he went out and allowed one run to the Cardinals, making me look like a fool. I won’t let that happen again I tell you! Tonight he matches up against R.A. Dickey and the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. Young has been his worst on the road this season, averaging a whopping 4.9 FPPG in six starts with an 8.53 ERA and a 1.82 WHIP. This can’t spell good news for Young, as this Blue Jays team owns the sixth highest wOBA at home at .339 with a .445 SLG.

For the Royals, they take on Dickey who hasn’t been pitching well at Rogers Centre this season. Owning a 5.14 ERA with a 1.37 WHIP, the Royals continue to be average at best against right-handed pitching this season. With a .311 wOBA, a .318 OBP and a .401 SLG, they don’t exactly strike fear in you with these numbers. However, I fully agree that this should be a high scoring game with plenty of opportunities in this one. If Dickey ends up being chased early, the Blue Jays bullpen has one of the higher ERAs in the league at 4.21, ranking 11th in the league.

Weather Concerns

OAK vs. MIN (Target Field) – As of this afternoon, this seems to be the only trouble spot of the nights. We have a chance of thunderstorms all around the area of Target Field tonight which could cause some issues. Keep a watch on this one.

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.

  • Progressive Field  – DET vs CLE – Their overall ranking my change, but Progressive Field has consistently been at the top of the list all season. Coming into tonight, it has a favorable rating in every offensive category except triples.
  • Rogers Centre – KCR vs TOR – Rogers Centre has been extremely friendly to hitters thus far in the 2016 season. With the Royals series on tap, Rogers Centre has a favorable rating in runs, singles, doubles and walks.
  • Dodger Stadium – BAL vs LAD – Dodger Stadium ranks last in all of baseball as the Orioles visit the Dodgers for this series. Coming into tonight, it does not have a favorable rating in any offensive category.
  • Citizens Bank Park – ATL vs PHI – Citizens Bank Park may have some favorable ratings for hitters, but they are barley above the minimum. The Phillies home park favors, home runs, triples and walks thus far.

Splits to Start

Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters

Chris Young1.312.356Sean Manaea.400.163
Mike Foltynewicz1.062.304Madison Bumgarner.496.167
Tommy Milone.900.296Carlos Rodon.528.208

Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters

Anibal Sanchez.912.307Dallas Keuchel.480.286
Tommy Milone.909.337A.J. Griffin.562.200
Sean Manaea.889.317Kenta Maeda.600.230

Batter vs. Pitcher Splits

HitterOpposing SPABFP/AB
Yan GomesAnibal Sanchez163.75
Carlos GonzalezMadison Bumgarner532.3
Adrian BeltreDavid Price351.91

  • I can’t say I’m a bit surprised with a hitter having success against Anibal Sanchez, so Gomes numbers didn’t surprise me. Gomes is 7-16 with a double, triple, two home runs and eight RBIs off of Sanchez.
  • Next we have the biggest sample size of our list, as Carlos Gonzalez has faced Madison Bumgarner 53 times in their careers. Gonzalez is 17-53 with four doubles, five home runs, 10 RBIs, and four walks.
  • Finally we have the Rangers taking on David Price, which is a cause for concern for me tonight. The Rangers have hit Price well and Beltre is no exception. In his career against Price, Beltre is 11-35 with four doubles, two home runs and six RBIs.

Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Madison Bumgarner – SFG vs COL – $11,700 Tonight is a relatively thin slate when it comes to pitching. You have your obvious choice of Bumgarner against the Rockies, and it quickly tails off after that. We have a few starts that I’m certainly a fan of, like Gio Gonzalez against the Brewers and Chris Tillman against the Dodgers, but none of those feel like a “solid” start. Thus, Bumgarner is the answer. I detailed some of the numbers for you up above, so feel free to check that if you haven’t already. Just to add on a few tidbits, Bumgarner owns a 9.6 K/9 at home this season, with a .245 wOBA and an incredibly low .295 SLG. Against a team that really struggles away from Coors Field, MadBum certainly feels the way to go.

Heavy Hitter to Pay For

Michael Saunders – TOR vs. KCR (Chris Young) – $4,300 – Saunders may not be the first batter to pop into your head as a must when you’re building your lineup, but I absolutely love this spot for him. Chris Young has been completely abysmal against left-handed batters this season, so Saunders is a must. Against lefties, Young is allowing a .527 wOBA with a .856 SLG and 15 of his 22 home runs he’s allowed. 15! That’s a huge number and we’re not even half way through the season yet. Saunders won’t kill your salary tonight either, which makes this a big play in my opinion.

Save Big by Drafting…

Neil Walker – NYM vs. MIA (Wei-Yin Chen) – $3,200 I always find Walker dwelling near the bottom of the list in salary on almost a nightly basis, and I never really understand why. I don’t expect him to be over $5K, but in the low $4K range would make sense. Nonetheless, I can’t complain about grabbing him at $3,200 tonight. The switch hitter owns a .412 wOBA against lefties with a .625 SLG. Taking on Chen tonight, this feels like a great spot for him and at low money to boot.

Stack Em Up

MIA vs. NYM (Steven Matz) – So, who was expecting this one? C’mon, let’s see your hands. Oh, nobody? I didn’t think so. I really like this stack tonight for a couple of reasons. First, I doubt you’ll be hearing about it, and rightfully so. Stacking against Matz probably isn’t always the safest option, but I’m not here to always go with the chalk (like with Bumgarner). Every since it was said that Matz was having elbow issues, he hasn’t looked like himself. He’s only posted one quality start in his last four and ended the month of June with a 5.74 ERA with a .380 wOBA and a .545 SLG. I don’t think many will be on this stack and thus you’ll get it at a low ownership.

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.