With a nine game slate on tap for tonight, we have plenty of baseball action to kick off your week. 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

SFG (-184) vs. PIT – Madison Bumgarner – Bumgarner and the Giants get the nod in this one over the Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw, as he’ll face off with Stephen Strasburg tonight. Bumgarner takes on the Pirates tonight for this first time this season at PNC Park. Against lefties, the Pirates own a .339 wOBA with a .437 SLG and a .347 OBP. The big plus for Bumgarner here is that they do strikeout a ton, owning a 24.7 K%, which ranks second in the league. Bumgarner is indeed expensive tonight, but he checks in as the third highest at $12,800. Bumgarner has been equally as good on the road as he has at home, averaging 26 FPPG in six road starts with a K/9 of 11.1. Even with the Pirates hitting as well as they are against lefties, Bumgarner is and should be one of the top options on this slate.

LAD (-183) vs. WAS – Clayton Kershaw – Kershaw is coming off another fantastic start against the Diamondbacks, where he pitched 7.1 allowing two runs on five hits with a 11:1 K:BB ratio. Like Bumgarner tonight, Kershaw has a matchup against a Nationals team that hits lefties extremely well. Coming into tonight, the Nationals own a .349 wOBA against lefties with a .481 SLG and a .345 OBP. They don’t strikeout a ton either, owning a 19.5 K%. With all that being said, it’s still almost impossible to make a case against Kershaw with how well he’s been pitching. Without the large Dodger Stadium surrounding him, Kershaw has allowed five home runs on the road compared to the one at home this season. It’s the smallest nit pick I could come up with in this start, as the Nationals do own 25 home runs against lefties this season, which ranks 7th in the league. As always though, if you can afford the $14,200 price tag, Kershaw could do wonders for your roster once again.

Highest Totals

BAL vs. TEX – 9.5 runs – We have three games tagged for 9.5 projected runs tonight with this game, the White Sox against the Red Sox and Seattle against Detroit. I wanted to showcase this game because I think this really does have some serious potential tonight. For Baltimore, they haven’t been hitting lefties much at all this season, owning a .309 wOBA against them, but Derek Holland has really been getting hit hard by right-handed batters this season, owning a .344 wOBA with a .479 SLG with nine of his ten home runs allowed. With a number of right-handed power bats in this lineup, this could be quite a troubled spot for Holland.

For the Rangers, aside from being one of the hottest teams in all the majors, they face Kevin Gausman, who has not found much success on the road this season. Coming into this start, Gausman is allowing a .348 wOBA with a six of his 11 home runs. The Rangers continue to rise up the ranks against right-handed pitching, currently owning a .317 wOBA with a .423 SLG. I would most certainly grab some exposure to this game.

Weather Concerns

TBR vs CLE (Progressive Stadium) – This game should be the biggest problem we’ll encounter on this slate, with a chance of thunderstorms all throughout the night. Along with that, we’ll see a 16mph wind blowing out to right field.

SFG vs PIT (PNC Park) – While this game won’t have any issues to start, we could see thunderstorms roll in later in the evening. Pitchers should be fine in this one as of now, but certainly keep an eye on this one.

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 – TBR 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.
  • Globe Life Park – BAL vs TEX – Globe Life Park is one of the top hitting parks in all the majors this season and gets the nod for number two tonight. It has a favorable rating in every category except walks this season.
  • Dodger Stadium – WAS vs LAD – Dodger Stadium is ranked as the worst ballpark in all the majors for hitters in 2016. Without a single category favored for the hitters, it’s easy to see why.
  • Minute Maid Park – LAA vs HOU – No real advantage for either team here, as both teams play in parks favored toward pitchers. Minute Main Park only has a favorable rating in doubles and triples.

Splits to Start

Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters

Jorge De La Rosa.936.311Clayton Kershaw.320.135
Mike Pelfrey.905.347Madison Bumgarner.410.141
Doug Fister.877.287Derek Holland.523.196

Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters

Jeff Locke.885.299Clayton Kershaw.491.182
Jorge De La Rosa.884.290Doug Fister.517.180
Kevin Gausman.859.287John Lackey.551.186

Batter vs. Pitcher Splits

BatterOpposing SPABFP/AB
Chris IanettaMike Pelfrey153.2
Mark TrumboDerek Holland452.31
Jayson WerthClayton Kershaw291.82

  • We start off our BvP section with Chris Ianetta taking on Mike Pelfrey. Ianetta is 7-15 with two solo home runs and three walks.
  • Next we have Mark Trumbo doing what he does against Derek Holland. Trumbo is 14-45 against Holland with three doubles, five home runs, 12 RBIs and three walks.
  • Finally we have Werth taking on Kershaw in our final BvP showcase. This isn’t the greatest one I’ve ever seen, but Werth continues to hit lefties well on top of all this. Werth is 9-29 against Kershaw with two solo shots and four walks.

Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Madison Bumgarner – SFG vs PIT – $12,800 – I’ve made my case for Bumgarner already in this article, as I feel the strikeout potential for this one is huge. Owning an 11.1 K/9 on the road is a vast difference from what he’s been doing at home, where his K/9 checks in at 9.6. I also like Bumgarner and his other numbers on the road, where he’s only allowing a .289 wOBA with a 2.09 ERA and a .387 SLG. I realize $12,800 is in no way a cheap price either, but it does give you a $400 savings over Strasburg and a $1,400 savings over Kershaw. Nonetheless, all three of these pitchers will be popular tonight, so it’s up to you to decide which one has the most upside. For me, I like Bumgarner.

Heavy Hitter to Pay For

Marcell Ozuna – MIA vs. COL (Jorge De La Rosa) – $4,800 – Ozuna continues to crush it at the plate and he has quite the matchup ahead of him. Taking on Jorge De La Rosa is like a dream matchup at this point for Ozuna, who continues to mash left-handed pitching. Coming into tonight, Ozuna owns a .609 wOBA at home against lefties with a .750 SLG and a .339 ISO. Overall against lefties, he owns a .503 wOBA with a .750 SLG. De La Rosa has been getting crushed on almost a nightly basis, as righties are tagging him for a .408 wOBA with a .549 SLG with five of his eight home runs allowed. I don’t know how you will do it, but I’d recommend getting Ozuna in that lineup.

Save Big by Drafting…

Jayson Werth – WAS vs. LAD (Clayton Kershaw) – $3,100 – If you’re not getting Kershaw in your lineup tonight, Werth is an intriguing option to save some money for the other pitchers on the board. Yes, I gave some BvP on him against Kershaw, which isn’t too shabby, but Werth has been hitting lefties well all season. Coming into tonight playing at home, Werth owns a .459 wOBA with a .667 SLG and a .300 ISO. I realize this matchup isn’t ideal, but it will certainly be go low owned, and he does have the potential to make something happen here.

Stack Em Up

MIA vs. COL (Jorge De La Rosa) – De La Rosa isn’t getting out anyone at this point, so stacking against him no matter who it is feels like the right way to go about this. Coming into tonight, De La Rosa has made three road starts, where he owns a 14.40 ERA with a 2.90 WHIP. The Marlins don’t crush left-handed pitching this season, owning a .318 wOBA with a .405 SLG, but they’re mostly cheap enough that you can still fit in a Strasburg or a Bumgarner in your lineup. That alone makes this stack all the more valuable for tonight.