With a short slate on tap for this Thursday night, we’re going to have to do a bit of hunting in the pitching department to get some good matchups. As always, you can find me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.

Game Notes

Biggest Favorites

TOR (-150) vs. BAL – Marcus Stroman- The Blue Jays and Marcus Stroman get the nod for one of the two heavy favorites tonight. Stroman has been mediocre at best in four of his last five starts, with two of those games coming against Boston. In his last five games, Stroman is averaging only six fantasy points per start, raising his overall numbers to a 4.82 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP. A lot of the damage has been coming at home, where Stroman is averaging just 8.6 fantasy points per start in six games. With a .353 wOBA at Rogers Centre, Stroman may have a really tough game ahead against an Orioles team that owns a .344 wOBA against righties and a .471 SLG.

STL (-150) vs. CIN – Adam Wainwright – Wainwright will take the mound for the Cardinals in this one, coming off two decent outings against the Giants and Nationals. In those two games, Wainwright has pitched 11 innings allowing six runs on 11 hits with a 11:1 K:BB ratio. Even though he’s not the dominating pitcher he once was, Wainwright at $5,600 is a VERY intriguing option against a Reds team ranked 23rd against righties with a .304 team wOBA and a 23 K%.

Highest Totals

LAA vs NYY – 9.5 runs – These two teams certainly put on a show last night, scoring a combined 18 runs in a 12-6 win for the Yankees. I’m expecting another high scoring affair with Ivan Nova and Jhoulys Chacin taking the mound. Chacin has been struggling on the road for the Angels, allowing seven home runs in eight road starts coupled with a 4.48 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP. Nova has been good at home, owning a 2.22 ERA with a 1.07 WHIP. Much has been said about this Angels offense this season, but don’t count them out on the road, where they own the 11th highest wOBA at .321 with a .411 SLG. I think this is another good game to target for hitters, and I’ll certainly be doing so myself.

Weather Concerns

1) WAS vs. CHW (U.S. Cellular Field) – We have a chance of thunderstorms all throughout the night here. Keep an eye on this game.

Park Factors

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

  • Rogers Centre – BAL vs TOR – Rogers Centre has quickly been moving up in the ranks as a favorable park to hit in. Currently ranked 5th overall, Rogers Centre favors runs, singles and doubles in 2016.
  • Yankee Stadium – LAA vs NYY – An 18 run outburst will certainly kick you up the ranks in Park Factors. Ranked 6th overall, Yankee Stadium favors every offensive category except triples this season.
  • U.S. Cellular Field – WAS vs CHW – Currently ranked 24th overall, U.S. Cellular favors only triples and walks so far in 2016.
  • Safeco Field – CLE vs SEA – Pitchers most certainly love throwing in the friendly confines of Safeco Field. So far this season, only home runs have been favored for hitters.

Splits to Start

Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters

Tom Koehler.836.295Gio Gonzalez.538.200
Miguel Gonzalez.795.277Brandon Finnegan.627.242
Marcus Stroman.760.270Jhoulys Chacin.629.210

Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters

Ervin Santana.887.307Tom Koehler.657.233
Adam Wainwright.857.298Marcus Stroman.692.256
Nate Karns.788.292Bartolo Colon.707.301

Batter vs. Pitcher Splits

HitterOpposing SPABFP/AB
Albert PujolsIvan Nova122.66
Jay BruceAdam Wainwright392.10
Ichiro SuzukiErvin Santana911.73

  • We start off with the shortest sample size on this BVP list with Pujols taking on Nova. Pujols is 4-12 with two solo home runs.
  • Next we have a much bigger sample size with Jay Bruce taking on Adam Wainwright. Bruce is 12-39 with two doubles, two home runs, nine RBIs and five walks.
  • This is quite an impressive sample size here with Ichiro against Santana. Ichiro is 30-91 with seven doubles, two triples, two home runs, seven RBIs and eight walks. What I think is absolutely remarkable is that in those 91 at-bats, Ichiro has only struck out five times.

Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Adam Wainwright – STL vs. CIN – $5,600 – Yeah, this is a really tough slate for pitching to be quite honest. The first choice would normally be Gio Gonzalez, but unless that weather clears up, I can’t trust the game to be played. With the price Wainwright is at, he’s a huge value on this slate against the Reds. Wainwright has most certainly been performing better as of late which gives me a bit of confidence in him. I will say that I would MUCH rather this game be at Busch Stadium and not the Great American Ballpark, but this is a REALLY tough slate to find two solid pitching matchups This is a very boom or bust pick tonight, but it’s one that I’ll be jumping on.

Heavy Hitter to Pay For

Stephen Piscotty – STL vs CIN (Brandon Finnegan) – $4,800 – Ah yes, one of my favorite bats to roster when the Cardinals are facing a left-handed pitcher. Piscotty has been crushing lefties all season, and I suspect that trend will continue tonight. On the season, Piscotty owns a .513 wOBA against lefties with a .680 SLG and a .260 ISO. I like the Cardinals as a whole tonight, and Piscotty should be one of the main beneficiaries of this matchup.

Save Big by Drafting…

Jefry Marte – LAA vs NYY (Ivan Nova) – $2,600 – I was glad I had some exposure to Marte last night, as he put up 17 fantasy points at the measly salary of $2,400. Marte has always been regarded as someone who could bring some serious talent to the MLB, and he may just be doing that now. We don’t have a ton of stats to go off of, because his time up in the majors has been brief. However, in what is deemed as the highest run total game of the night, getting some exposure at a weak position like second base at just $2,600 is something I most certainly would be interested in doing.

Stack Em Up

STL vs. CIN (Brandon Finnegan) – I don’t think I’ve made it a secret that I really like the Cardinals against Finnegan tonight. At home Finnegan has really had a rough go of it, owning an overall wOBA of .352 with a .508 SLG and eight of his 10 home runs allowed. Right-handed batters have really had success against him, hitting him for a .368 wOBA and a .556 SLG on the season. With so many players hitting well on this Cardinals team, and Finnegan really struggling at the hitter friendly Great American Ballpark, a Cardinals stack makes the most sense on this short slate.