Thursday night brings us a seven-game slate of baseball. Let’s dive right into all the information, and as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.

Game Notes

Pitcher Favorite

Josh Tomlin vs. San Diego Padres – Cleveland Indians ($6,400) – While the Indians are favored in this game, I am not a fan of Tomlin. Maybe it has to do with his .407 wOBA at home or his .592 SLG? He has a decent 7.1 K/9, but that’s still not enticing enough to grab him, even at his $6,400 salary. Tomlin is coming off the worst month of the season, posting a .425 wOBA in 25.2 innings to go with a .628 SLG with seven of his 17 total home runs allowed. Personally, I’m not going for Tomlin at all. The Padres are bad, but Tomlin may be worse.

Highest Total

Oakland A’s vs. Seattle Mariners – 9.5 runs – None of tonight’s games have a huge total, but Seattle owns the highest projected run total of the evening. They’ll be facing off against Paul Blackburn, who will be making his second major-league start of his career. He looked fantastic against the Braves, holding them to one unearned run on three hits in six innings of work. In the minors, Blackburn has pitched well overall, but doesn’t overpower hitters and sports a small career K/9 of 5.5 He’s also sported a good GB/FB ratio, but again, anything can change once you get into the majors. For what it’s worth, the Mariners’ run total has gone up almost half a run since this morning.

Weather Concerns

Atlanta Braves vs. Washington Nationals (Nationals Park) – This game has a very high chance of being delayed or even postponed. Washington will be experiencing rain almost the entire day, putting tonight’s game in serious doubt. As always, it’s worth checking before first pitch.

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.

  • Target Field – Baltimore Orioles vs. Minnesota Twins – Target Field is our top ballpark for hitters tonight. All offensive categories get the nod here.
  • Progressive Field – San Diego Padres vs. Cleveland Indians – Progressive Field is our second most favorable ballpark for hitters tonight. Home runs, doubles and singles are all favoring batters here.
  • Safeco Field  – Oakland A’s vs. Seattle Mariners – Safeco is our least favorable ballpark for hitters tonight. Walks have been the only favorable category in 2017.
  • Tropicana Field – Boston Red Sox vs.Tampa Bay Rays – The Red Sox will visit the second worst ballpark for hitters tonight at Tropicana Field. Home runs have been the only category favoring hitters this year.

Splits to Start

Pitchers vs. Left-Handed Batters

Dinelson Lamet1.026.301Gio Gonzalez.465.172
Mike Foltynewicz.849.305Jacob Faria.491.233
Rich Hill.843.242Lance McCullers.569.222

Pitchers vs. Right-Handed Batters

Josh Tomlin.940.330Dinelson Lamet.438.114
Francisco Liriano.870.280Chris Sale.544.198
Sam Gaviglio.846.282Jacob Faria.579.191

Batter vs. Pitcher Splits

HitterOpposing SPABFP/AB*
Matt KempGio Gonzalez193.1
Freddie FreemanGio Gonzalez362.3

*(Fantasy Points Per At Bat)

Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Chris Sale – BOS vs. TB – $13,300 – Sale will likely be the chalk pitcher of the night, even at his $13,300 salary. He takes on the Rays for the third time this season, a team he’s averaged 36.8 fantasy points against with a stellar 24:5 K:BB ratio in 14 innings. Doing some quick math, that comes out to a 15.4 K/9 on the season against them. Honestly, what else is there to say about Sale this season? He’s been back to dominating hitters and has double-digit strikeouts in four of his last five games, and he was only one away against the Twins with nine during that span.

Heavy Hitter to Pay For

Miguel Sano – MIN vs. BAL – $4,700 – Dylan Bundy has essentially crashed and burned since the beginning of the season, posting a .368 wOBA in the month of June with a .535 SLG. Bundy has been hit so hard lately, he’s allowing a whopping 55% hard hit rate in his last three starts. Facing someone with power like Sano should spell trouble for Bundy, as Sano has been one of the top leaders in hard hit percentage all season long.

Save Big by Drafting…

Alex Bregman – HOU vs. TOR – $3,500 – I think an Astros stack will be a popular one tonight, but I think Bregman is someone that will be left off the majority of them. Granted he bats near the bottom of the order, but he’s sporting a .399 wOBA against lefties on the road this season with a .500 SLG and a .447 OBP. I think in a tournament he could be a low owned player with upside.

Stack Em Up

Minnesota Twins vs. Baltimore Orioles (Dylan Bundy) – As I mentioned, I think the Astros will be the chalk tonight, but I’m leaning toward the Twins against the Orioles. As I mentioned, Bundy is allowing a 55% hard hit rate in his last three starts and gave up seven home runs in that span. A Twins stack won’t hit you hard regarding salary either, as the majority of their hitters are under $4,500.


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.