Back to a normal slate of games and it’s a Friday. Is that not the best sentence you’ve read today? What about if I inform you that Friday also means it’s ticket giveaway day? Is this the best day of your life or what? How do you win a ticket you may ask? Well, you can follow me on the Ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24, and I will tweet out the instructions by 8 am ET and we’ll announce the winners at 2:30 PM ET on Twitter. Good luck!

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Heaviest Pitcher Favorites

Madison Bumgarner vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (-204) – Yes, I’m on board with Bumgarner being the favorite tonight. I usually agree with Vegas, I mean why shouldn’t I. But when I thought about it, was I crazy to think that Bumgarner hasn’t been as dominant as I recall? He comes into tonight with a 3.38 ERA with 72 strikeouts in 77 innings pitched. He’s given up at least three runs in his last three starts, which isn’t the worst stat in the world, but still, it’s happening. I would never ever be off Bumgarner, but out of the top five priced pitchers tonight, Bumgarner is averaging the lowest points out of them all. Just a thought.

Clayton Kershaw vs. San Diego Padres(-188) – Tonight is one of those nights where you look at the matchup for Kershaw and you can’t help but get all giddy. He takes on the Padres, who strikeout out the most in the majors only behind the Astros and Cubs. Kershaw comes into tonight with a 11.3 K/9. I mean, you can figure out how this one is going to go. Throw in the fact that this is in San Diego, and I love the matchup. Just remember however, Kershaw is going to run you almost 13K if you roster him.

Jeff Locke vs. Philadelphia Phillies (-177)- I mean sure, I get it. The Phillies are almost dead last in every offensive category. They’re 26th in batting average, and last in runs, OPS, and home runs. I just can’t really get behind Locke. He owns a 5.37 ERA and is only averaging 10.7 fantasy points per game. Now, could he be a decent option if you paried him with, Kershaw for example? Of course, it can help offset your salary a bit. I understand it “should” be an easy matchup for him, but I just have a hard time trusting him.

Over/Under Lines

Top Overall Game Over/Unders

Minnesota Twins at Texas Rangers (Ballpark in Arlington) – 9 Over/Under- This game features Tommy Milone taking on Wandy Rodriguez. One of the big reasons I think this one is projected so high, is that the Rangers rank 10th in the league in home runs, and Milone has already given up seven this year in only 27 innings pitched! Rodriguez has been surprisingly solid, as he owns a 3.25 oveall ERA. However, at home, Rodriguez owns a 6.75 ERA.

Toronto Blue Jays at Boston Red Sox (Fenway Park) – 9 Over/Under – Anytime you bring an offense like the Blue Jays at Fenway Park, I’d bet on a good chance of seeing some runs. Drew Hutchison and Joe Kelly take the mound for this one. Both pitchers have given up seven home runs a piece this season, while Kelly is seeing his ERA almost creep up into the six range. He’s also already given up eleven runs in 11 2/3 innings against the Blue Jays this season. Toronto is ranked first in OPS and runs scored while they’re fourth in home runs. Toronto is a good bet in this one.

Toughest Left/Right Matchups

Toughest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters

Hector Santiago Vs. Oakland A’s- Santiago has been solid this season. As he goes into tonight, lefties are only hitting 169 against him. His K/9 for the season sits at 8.

Madison Bumgarner vs. Arizona Diamondbacks – This number has been dropping as the season has progressed. Against lefties, they’re only hitting .189 against Bumgarner. His K/9 is at 8.4 on the season.

h3. Toughest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters

Felix Hernandez vs. Houston Astros- Hernandez has almost identical splits when it comes to what batters are hitting off of him this season. Against righties, they’re only getting him for a .194 average. His K/9 sits at 8.9.

Jesse Chavez vs. L.A. Angels – It just goes to show how dumb the win-loss record is in baseball when a player like Chavez, who is 2-6 with a 2.51 ERA, owns that type of record. He’s been fantastic agaisnt righties, as they’re hitting .205 against him. His K/9 is at 7.8 this season.

Best Left/Right Matchups

Easiest Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters

Brett Oberholtzer vs. Seattle Mariners – Yikes. Oberholtzer seems to have a bad day, every five days, when a left hander comes to the plate. They’re hitting an astounding .385 against him this season. I mean, you could intentionally walk them if you want.

Bartolo Colon vs. Atlanta Braves– I’m not going to give Colon a hard time because he has the most entertaining at bats I’ve ever seen in my life. Against lefties, they’re hitting .319 against him. I’ll take a .319 average against, for one of those at bats any day.

Easiest Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters

Brett Oberholtzer vs. Seattle Mariners – C’mon man! What is up with this!?? Righties are hitting .361 against you? What are you doing! You realize your job is to get them out correct? Batting practice is before the game.

Tommy Milone vs. Texas Rangers– Milone is picking a bad time to be struggling against any type of hitter, as he takes on the Rangers. Against righties, they’re hitting .329 against him. Don’t forget about all those home runs he’s let up either.

Hottest Hitters

Jose Reyes ($5200) – Reyes is really doing a little bit of everthing right now. He’s 9 for his last 24 with two home runs, five RBIs, five stolen bases and six runs scored. Hitting at the top of that lineup in Toronto, he’s going to have plenty of opportunites to score you some runs and get those stolen bases.

Giancarlo Stanton ($5700) – If he could pick his average up and limit the strikeouts more, he’d by far be the best hitter in baseball. But for now, enjoy this hot streak he’s on. Stanton is 11 for his last 30 with five home runs, nine RBIs, and seven runs scored.

Jose Bautista  ($5500) – Two Blue Jays coming into Fenway Park tonight that are totally locked in spells bad news for Kelly. Bautista is 6 for his last 19 with three home runs, five RBIs, two stolen bases and seven runs scored.

Best Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups

Colby Rasmus vs Felix Hernandez – Ready for a real, mind blowing moment, here? Rasmus is 7-10 against Felix Hernandez. 7-10. So he’s come to the plate ten times against Hernandez, and out of those ten times, he’s got a hit seven. I mean yeah, wow. His OPS is 1.550 against him too.

JJ Hardy vs. Michael Pineda – I’m curious as to how Pineda will perform today, as he’s had eleven days rest. Those never seem to wor out well. Hardy has had great success against him as he’s 6-11 with three home runs and a 1.909 OPS. Also, when Pineda has six or more days off, he owns a 4.50 ERA.

Albert Pujols vs. Jesse Chavez – I wanted to put this one in here because Pujols continues to crush the ball and he has a good matchup against Chavez tonight. He’s 7-16 against him with a home runs and a 1.125 OPS.

Weather Concerns

Well, looks as if we’re all going to be watching the weather for quite a few games tonight. The following games have a chance of rain/thunderstorms at some point. Make sure to check these closer to game time.

Phillies at Pirates

Indians at Tigers

Royals at Cardinals

One Pitcher To Build Lineups Around

Felix Hernandez ($11300) – Yup, Kershaw would look great here too. But he’s the most expensive, which usually means he’s one of the best choices, which means why are you even reading this. So I’ll just go with the second highest priced pitcher. But really, Hernandez has a great matchup with Houston tonight, as they’re second to last in batting average and strike out more than any other team except the Cubs. Righties are only hitting 194 and lefties 197. With Hernandez and his 8.9 K/9, I would expect a high scoring game for Hernandez.

Superstar Worth Paying For…

Jose Reyes ($5200) – I really like Reyes tonight because I fully expect Kelly to get shelled tonight. Reyes has been playing so well that hitting at the top of the order for the Blue Jays, I really think he could be in line for a big game. Since he’s fully healthy, he’s been stealing so much more lately that he could quickly nab you eight points before you realize the game has already started.

Save Big Bucks By Drafting…

Colby Rasmus ($3100) – Do you believe in the BvP stat? Well, let’s put it to the test tonight. I get it, ten at bats isn’t a huge sample. In the game of baseball, anyone can start off 7-10 and then go 0-20 to balance it off. Totally understand that. However, for the fact that Rasmus is costing you next to nothing, going against an ace pitcher, so you know that no one will really be on him,  I will happily draft Rasmus and smile big and wide. If he doesn’t work out, you can always tweet me how stupid BvP is.