We have an eight game slate going tonight as we start to look forward to the 4th of July weekend. Let’s get you set for tonight, and, as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.

Game Notes

WAS (-200) vs. CIN – Gio Gonzalez – Gonzalez and the Nationals are the heavy favorites for tonight and it’s not even close. Gonzalez checks in with a very low price of $7,400. Over his last two starts against the Padres and Brewers, Gonzalez pitched a combined 8.1 innings allowing 11 runs on 14 hits with a 8:5 K:BB ratio. The Padres, I’m inclined to give him a pass on because they hit lefties so well. The Brewers on the other hand, not sure what happened in that start. For tonight, the Reds are one of the worst offenses in the league against lefties, owning a .306 wOBA with a .303 OBP and a .408 SLG. Gonzalez has been his best at home this season, although that isn’t saying much with his inflated numbers as of late. At his price, I think Gonzalez is still worth a shot in both tournaments and cash games.

STL (-171) vs. KCR – Mike Leake – – Leake and the Cardinals will take on the Royals in some inter-league action. The chances of Leake and the Cardinals coming away with a victory in this one is good, as Chris Young has been a nightmare on the mound this season, allowing a 6.54 ERA with a 1.57 WHIP with 21 home runs allowed in 13 starts. Leake has been good at Busch Stadium this season, but he’s not a really great fantasy pick on any given night. He doesn’t grab a lot of strikeouts, owning a 5.8 K/9 on the season, and he’s only averaging 12.4 FPPG in 15 starts this season. His upside is extremely limited in this start, even against a team that owns a .315 wOBA against righties in 2016.

Highest Totals

KCR vs. STL – 8.5 runs – We have a handful of games that checked in with an 8.5 run projection for tonight, so I wanted to focus on this game with the Royals and the Cardinals. St. Louis has to be considered one of the top stacks of the night going up against Chris Young. The amount of home runs Young is allowing right now is alarming. In 18 starts last season, Young would average 1.1 home runs per nine innings, not bad by any means. This season in 11 starts, he’s averaging 3.5 per nine innings. That’s horrific! Lefties are giving him a boatload of trouble this season, as they own a .529 wOBA with an .867 SLG, hitting 14 of the 21 home runs he’s allowed. With guys like Matt Adams, Matt Carpenter and Brandon Moss in the lineup, this game could end up getting ugly.

Weather Concerns

MIA vs. ATL (Turner Field) – This game will feature a chance of thunderstorms near the tail end of the game, although at the time of writing, the chances looked slim. I wouldn’t be overly concerned here, but check it out again around first pitch.

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 – MIN vs ATL – Turner Field checks in at the number six spot for hitters as of today. Coming into this game, it favors hitters in every offensive category except doubles and home runs.
  • Rogers Centre – CLE vs TOR – Rogers Centre is ranked eighth overall this season and second on our list for today. Coming into this game, it favors hitters in runs, singles and doubles.
  • 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.
  • Tropicana Field – DET vs TBR – Tropicana has been one of the worst parks for hitters this season. Coming into this series, it does not own a single category favoring hitters.

Splits to Start

Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters

Chris Young1.310.368Madison Bumgarner.450.160
Mike Foltynewicz1.024.308Gio Gonzalez.511.197
R.A. Dickey.868.258Jake Odorizzi.619.205

Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters

Jake Odorizzi.821.269John Lackey.592.203
Wei-Yin Chen.814.269Madison Bumgaerner.627.214
Taijuan Walker.811.309Steven Matz.671.286

Batter vs. Pitcher Splits

HitterOpposing SPABFP/AB
Brandon MossChris Young193.1
Logan MorrisonJordan Zimmermann202.1
Robinson CanoChris Tillman341.47

  • As I mentioned earlier, lefties are crushing Chris Young and Brandon Moss is the perfect example. Moss is 5-19 against Young with four home runs, six RBIs and two walks.
  • Next, we have Logan Morrison against Jordan Zimmermann. Morrison hasn’t exactly hit Zimmermann well, but when he has gotten a hit, he’s made it count. Morrison is 4-20 with a double, three home runs, five RBIs and a walk.
  • Robinson Cano takes on an old division rival in Chris Tillman tonight. Cano is 14-34 with a double, two home runs, eight RBIs and three walks.

Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Madison Bumgarner – SFG vs OAK – $13,000 I’m not sorry about taking the most expensive pitcher of the night. Bumgarner continue to be THAT good this season and tonight has a solid matchup against the Oakland A’s. Oakland is a decent hitting ball club against lefties this season, owning a .322 wOBA with a .311 OBP and a .442 SLG. Their strikeouts aren’t that high with an 18.3 K%, but Bumgarner has seen success against teams that also own low K%, as he struck out 11 Atlanta Braves earlier this season. The price tag is going to be a bit tough to swallow, but he should be well worth the price admission at the Oakland Coliseum.

Heavy Hitter to Pay For

Brandon Moss – STL vs. KCR (Chris Young) – $4,800 Believe it or not, Moss is quietly putting up a monster season for the Cardinals. Coming into tonight, Moss owns a .255 average with 16 home runs, 37 RBIs and a .912 OPS. I mentioned earlier how poorly Chris Young has been against left-handed batters this season, owning a .529 wOBA with a .867 SLG, not to mention the 14 home runs he’s allowed. Moss, along with the rest of the Cardinals lineup, should be a very enticing option to get in your lineup tonight.

Save Big by Drafting…

Victor Martinez – DET vs. TBR (Jake Odorizzi) – $3,400 Martinez continues to be someone that consistently gets overlooked because, quite frankly, if you’re taking a first baseman from the Tigers, it’s going to be Miguel Cabrera. However, Martinez is doing his part to have a solid season as well, batting .323 with 14 home runs, 42 RBIs and a .896 OPS. Facing Jake Odorizzi today, who owns a .348 wOBA against righties this season with a .489 SLG, Martinez could be a nice sneaky play for tonight at a low price of $3,400.