We have an eight game slate going tonight with some pretty ugly pitching options to choose from. I’ll help you sort out this slate and do my best put you in a good position. Let’s get you set for tonight, and, as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.

Game Notes

CLE (-230) vs. ATL – Danny Salazar – The Indians are the no brainer favorites to beat the Braves tonight. Salazar takes the mount for the Indians, averaging 19.5 FPPG on the road with a 3.09 ERA with a 1.37 WHIP and a K/9 of 11.1. You would think Salazar would have his splits reversed, but he’s been better at the hitter friendly Progressive Field this season. The Braves are not hitting well at home this season, but to be honest, they aren’t hitting well anywhere. Owning a .278 wOBA at Turner Field with a .303 OBP and a .331 SLG with a decent 20.1 K% will put you in the position they’re in right now. Salazar will be one of the heavy favorites tonight even with his second highest price tag of $12,200.

NYY (-194) vs. TEX – Masahiro Tanaka – – I was a bit confused as to why the Yankees and Tananka would be favored in this one against the Rangers, but then I see that Nick Martinez is taking the mound, and it all makes sense. Tanaka has been very frustrating this season and continues to struggle at home. Coming into this start, Tanaka owns a 4.59 ERA with a 1.16 WHIP at Yankee Stadium this season. With his lack of strikeouts on top of all of this, it will be extremely hard to trust him in this spot against a Rangers team that continues to hit well.

Highest Totals

MIN vs. CHW – 9.5 runs – This game will feature two extremely volatile pitchers in Ricky Nolasco and James Shields. Nolasco has been decent on the road this season, owning a 3.92 ERA with a 1.19 WHIP in seven starts. However, this will be his second time taking on the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field this season, and the results don’t exactly tickle my fancy. In that start, Nolasco lasted five innings, allowing seven runs (five earned) on nine hits with a 6:2 K:BB ratio. The White Sox are starting to heat up at the plate a bit, so in no way am I trusting Nolasco here.

With Shields, I think we’ve all seen or heard about his horrific return to the American League thus far. In his last start against the Red Sox, he earned his first positive score as an American League pitcher with a whopping 5.9 fantasy points. Before that, he had four starts in the negative. Shields is always a pitcher that is taken deep and has been giving up a boatload of runs. The Twins aren’t a very sexy team, but they at least deserve a look.

Weather Concerns

No weather concerns as of right now, but be sure to keep an eye on it, as we get closer to game time. I’ve been seeing more and more storms pop up as we approach first pitch that weren’t even a thought earlier in the day.

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.

  • Turner Field – CLE vs ATL – Turner Field checks in at the number five spot for hitters as of today. Coming into this game, it favors hitters in every offensive category except doubles.
  • Yankee Stadium – TEX vs NYY – Yankee Stadium currently ranks ninth in the league for hitters, but gets the nod for number two tonight. As of tonight, Yankee Stadium favors hitters in every offensive category except triples.
  • Oakland Coliseum – SFG vs OAK – The Oakland Coliseum is not exactly the place to land if you’re looking for a batting title. Heading into tonight, only triples are favored here in this park.
  • Safeco FIeld – PIT vs SEA – With some inter league action going on here, we have the Pirates visiting one of the worst ballparks for hitters. Safeco Field only favors home runs so far this season.

Splits to Start

Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters

James Shields.913.323Sean Manaea.477.150
Jake Peavy.866.311Danny Salazar.480.150
Jameson Taillon.845.315Masahiro Tanaka.524.199

Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters

Logan Verrett1.033.293Carlos Martinez.405.173
Sean Manaea.895.316Max Scherzer.513.159
James Shields.852.286Danny Salazar.642.211

Batter vs. Pitcher Splits

HitterOpposing SPABFP/AB
Brian DozierJames Shields223.33
Billy ButlerJake Peavy352.66
Eduardo NunezJames Shields232.43

  • We start off with James Shields getting knocked around by one of the two Twins players I’ll be showcasing. Dozier is 8-22 off Shields with four doubles, two home runs and eight RBIs.
  • Next we have Billy Butler not making anything easier for Jake Peavy. Butler has gone 16-36 against Peavy with a double, three home runs and eight RBIs.
  • Back to some Shields bashing, and this one surprised me a bit. Eduardo Nunez is 10-23 with a double, two home runs and three RBIs.

Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Danny Salazar – CLE vs ATL – $12,200 Max Scherzer is taking the mound tonight against the Mets, but his $13,500 price tag has me laying off of him. For as good as Scherzer has been this season, he worries me a bit as he’s been inconsistent as of late. It’s tough for me to take someone like him, who certainly brings upside, but can also get whacked around. Salazar against the Braves feels very safe to me, and I like what he can bring to this start. The Braves are striking out more at home than they are on the road, so this plays right into the wheelhouse of Salazar with his K/9 of 11.1. It doesn’t hurt that you get a nice $1,300 savings from taking him over Scherzer either.

Heavy Hitter to Pay For

Corey Seager – LAD vs. MIL (Junior Guerra) – $4,800 – Is this kid ever going to cool off or nah? Seager has been on fire lately and takes that to Miller Park tonight. Over his last ten games, Seager is averaging 10.3 FPPG hitting 17-36 with seven doubles, a triple and a home run. When pitching at home, Guerra owns a .325 wOBA against lefties.

Save Big by Drafting…

Adrian Beltre – TEX vs. NYY (Masahiro Tanaka) – $3,200 Beltre is extremely cheap tonight, and I’m not going to let an impending matchup against Tanaka stand in my way. As I’ve stated earlier, Tanaka has not been the same person pitching at Yankee Stadium owning an ERA of almost 5. Beltre has been hitting fairly well this season against righties, with a .314 wOBA and a .421 SLG with seven of his 11 home runs. I think going against Tanaka could work out well tonight, and Beltre will be one of the hitters I’ll be looking toward to make that happen.

Stack Em Up

MIN vs. CHW (James Shields) – I get it, the Twins are not an exciting team to stack, but I like taking stacks like this. Shields is NOT pitching well by any means. If you take his last start against Boston as “progress,” you’re being VERY optimistic. Sure, he only gave up three runs instead of maybe seven or eight, but that does not constitute a good start in my opinion. Even with a start against Shields, I think the Twins will be low owned tonight and it will help offset that salary hit when taking Salazar or Scherzer.