With a 14 game slate on tap for tonight, we have plenty of baseball action to kick off your weekend. I’ll get you ready for this one, and as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.

Game Notes

Biggest Favorites

NYM (-270) vs. ATL – Matt Harvey – Has the real Matt Harvey arrived to the 2016 season yet? It seems to be trending that way, but I’m not fully jumping on board just yet. Fortunately for Harvey, he has a favorable matchup against the Braves tonight, as we all know, one of the worst hitting ball clubs in all of baseball. This will be the third start of the season for Harvey against this Braves teams splitting them with one at home and one on the road. In those two starts, Harvey has pitched 10 innings allowing five runs on 10 hits with a 9:3 K:BB ratio. Not a very impressive line if you ask me. Even with those two games to go off of, this was smack dab in the middle of his “slump,” so I’m comfortable of giving Harvey the benefit of the doubt on these. Over his last three starts against the White Sox, Marlins and Brewers, Harvey has gone 20 innings allowing just two runs on eight hits with a 17:3 K:BB ratio. I think Harvey is very safe tonight pitching at Citi Field.

HOU (-225) vs. CIN – Lance McCullers – Last time we profiled McCullers, he had a prime matchup on tap against the Rays. I’ll admit, I was ALL OVER this start and had McCullers in almost every lineup. Well, it didn’t go so hot. McCullers pitched six innings allowing four runs on seven hits with a 7:4 K:BB ratio. Tonight, McCullers has another favorable matchup against a Reds team that owns a .298 wOBA against righties with a .292 OBP and a .406 SLG. With this start coming at Minute Maid Park, I feel more comfortable taking McCullers in this spot. The Reds are striking out at a decent clip against righties with a 23 K%, ranked 8th in the league, and McCullers owns an 11.7 K/9 through six starts.

Highest Totals

SEA vs. BOS – 9.5 runs – The Red Sox once again are involved in the highest run total of the night, as they continue to solidify themselves as Coors Field East Coast. They take on the Mariners tonight, who will send Hisashi Iwakuma to the mound to take on recently called up and former Mariner, Roenis Elias. Making his first start of the season, Elias was sporting a 3.54 ERA in Triple-A in 10 starts with a 1.44 WHIP and an 8.8 K/9. While the Mariners aren’t hitting lefties incredibly well, they still remain one of the top hitting teams on the road, owning a .335 wOBA with a .336 OBP and a .445 SLG. In a hitter friendly Fenway Park, that trend could continue.

Weather Concerns

LAA vs OAK (Oakland Coliseum) – We don’t have any rain concerns for tonight, but this game will feature a 15mph wind blowing out to right field.

Park Factors

Park Factors are rated on a scale of 1.000. Anything at or above 1.000 favors hitters, anything below it favors pitchers.

  • Progressive Field – CHW vs CLE Progressive Field checks in as the number one ballpark for hitters tonight. With a favorable rating in every offensive category except triples, we always see plenty of offense here.
  • Kauffman Stadium – DET vs KCR – We had to go a little bit down the list to find the second best ballpark for hitters tonight, and Kauffman Stadium gets the nod. Coming into tonight, it has a favorable rating in runs, singles, doubles and triples.
  • Tropicana Field – SFG vs TBR – Tropicana Field and Dodger Stadium keep switching spots for worst in the league. Currently ranked 30th , Tropicana doesn’t favor hitters in any category.
  • Dodger Stadium – MIL vs LAD – Just like Tropicana Field, Dodger stadium hasn’t been very kind to hitters this season, as it doesn’t have a single favorable category.

Splits to Start

Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters

Mike Wright.988.354Jose Quintana.457.189
Matt Harvey.895.321Michael Fulmer.533.198
Adam Morgan.856.275Masahiro Tanaka.538.200

Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters

Julio Urias.943.333Joe Ross.571.196
Kendall Graveman.929.336Christian Friedrich.594.226
Adam Morgan.866.297Aaron Sanchez.696.232

Batter vs. Pitcher Splits

BatterOpposing SPABFP/AB
Chris DavisAaron Sanchez106.2
Alex AvilaTrevor Bauer112.8

  • Another day of some very unimpressive BvP stats to go off of. Chris Davis is the exception for today, as he’s got some solid numbers against Sanchez in just 10 at-bats. Davis is 6-10 with three home runs, four RBIs and three walks.
  • Pretty sad when Avila has the best of the rest against Bauer tonight. Avila is just 6-11 with a solo home run and two walks. 

Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Robbie Ray – ARZ vs PHI – $8,400 It’s Friday, I’m feeling good, so how about a different Pitcher to Build Around? Maybe I like Ray a bit more than the normal crowd, but I think this is a fantastic spot for him tonight. He takes on a Phillies team that is RELLY struggling against lefties this season, owning a .261 wOBA with a .321 SLG and a .277 OBP. Then we sprinkle in their 23.6 K% against them and what’s not to love here? Ray has been much better on the road than he has at home, owning a 3.06 ERA on the road with a K/9 of 10. At just $8,400, Ray is a very nice value tonight and someone I think will be looked over for the most part.

Heavy Hitter to Pay For

Nelson Cruz – SEA vs. BOS (Roenis Elias) – $5,500 – I was vastly disappointed that Cruz was one of the most expensive hitters on the night. When I take one of these guys, it feels like I didn’t actually put much thought into the pick when in reality, of course I did! Cruz faces off against a lefty in Elias, who is making his first major league start for the Red Sox. Cruz always hits lefties extremely well and thoughts of him taking a couple of balls off (or even over) the Green Monster tonight has me all over this spot for him. On the road against lefties, Cruz owns a .589 wOBA with a 1.000 SLG and an ISO of .614. Wow.

Save Big by Drafting…

Ryan Schimpf – SDP vs. WAS (Joe Ross) – $2,000 – Anytime I can grab someone at the absolute minimum price with some upside, I can’t stay away. Ryan Schimpf recently got called up to the Padres after killing minor league pitching this season. Schimpf was hitting .355 with 15 home runs and 17 doubles, so I mean that sounds pretty solid, right? He faces off against Joe Ross tonight, which isn’t the easiest matchup, but Ross struggles more against lefties than he does right. On the season, Ross owns a .330 wOBA when facing those lefties. It’s not the worst number we’ve ever seen, but for Schimpf to cost the minimum, I’ll happily take this matchup.

Stack Em Up

ARZ vs. PHI (Adam Morgan) – I’ll admit it; Morgan was impressive in his last start against the Nationals. He pitched six innings allowing three runs on five hits with an 8:3 K:BB ratio. On paper, that should have been a tough matchup for Morgan and tonight is no difference against the Diamondbacks. They currently rank 3rd in the league against lefties with a .348 wOBA to go with a .469 SLG and a .345 OBP. I can’t say I trust that Morgan will pull another impressive start, as I think the Diamondbacks will prevail here.