The first day of May brings us a full slate of games this afternoon with a ton of solid match ups to work with. Let’s jump into al the information for today and as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.

Game Notes

Biggest Favorites

LAD (-270) vs. SDP – Clayton Kershaw – When Kershaw takes the mound, you know the Dodgers are going to be the heavy favorites on the slate. Kershaw takes on a Padres team that has been hitting left-handed pitching well so far, owning a .343 wOBA against them. In that same respect, they also strike out a ton, ranked third in the league averaging 9.5 per game. Kershaw comes into this start with a 2.43 ERA to go with a 0.81 WHIP and a K/9 of 9.7. He’s the most expensive pitcher on the slate by $2,000 but should carry some strong strikeout potential as usual, as the Padres are striking out 23.6% of the time against lefties this season.

CHC (-230) vs. ATL – John Lackey – It feels as if the Cubs are constantly favored on a nightly basis, but I guess that’s what happens when you face off against the Braves. With the amount of big name pitchers going today, Lackey is a nice discount at $9,100 today. Facing off against a Braves team that owns a .275 wOBA against righties with a 20.9 K%, it’s going to be rather difficult to not feel good about rostering Lackey today. Lackey is coming off a rough start against the Reds where he allowed six runs on seven hits in 5.2 IP, but don’t let that influence you much. Lackey has been solid the rest of the way this season and today should be an easy bounce back from him.

Highest Totals

COL vs. ARZ – 9.5 runs – We have a lot of games on this slate that feature either a teams number one or number two starter. This game, not so much. Chad Bettis takes on Shelby Miller with a 9.5 projected run total. Bettis has come out of the gate strong, owning a 3.77 ERA in five starts to go with a 1.07 WHIP. However, I look at his career .366 wOBA against righties and I feel like something has got to give soon. This will be his second start in Arizona, where he went 5.1 allowing five runs on seven hits striking out four and walking three. Miller on the other hand has been getting rocked all season, including his first matchup against the Rockies. Miller scored a whopping 0.1 points (hey, it wasn’t negative at least) pitching six innings allowing six runs on eight hits striking out two and walking one.

DET vs MIN – 9 runs – Another game that is very far away from any ace pitching in this one is Mike Pelfrey taking on Ricky Nolasco. Boy, do I wish I had tickets to this one. Pelfrey hasn’t looked good in his four starts this season, owning a 4.64 ERA with a 1.97 WHIP. He’s also not helping himself with the walks, allowing a 5.09 BB/9 in those starts. The Twins aren’t a great hitting team, but Pelfrey has even made the Oakland A’s look good in his last start. As for Nolasco, he’s been solid more often than not in the early going, averaging 19.8 FPPG in four starts. The Tigers own a .330 wOBA against righties this season, but Nolasco SLIGHTLY intrigues me as a GPP play because I fully believe he will be extremely low owned today. Obviously not the safest option, but that’s just one mans opinion.

Weather Concerns

1) SFG vs NYM (Citi Field) – In what would be one of the best pitching match ups of the day, Madison Bumgarner against Noah Syndergaard, this contest features rain throughout the day. Check closer to game time how heavy it will be and if it will knock this game off the slate or not.

2) CHW vs BAL (Camden Yards) – This game has some rain in the forecast but not nearly as prominent as the Mets game. It does clear out later in the day, so a delay could be likely here.

3) CIN vs PIT (PNC Park) – These afternoon games are getting hammered with potential weather issues. This game will feature a chance of thunderstorms all throughout the afternoon, so keep an eye on this one.

4) CLE vs PHI (Citizen Bank Park) – Rain leading up all the way to game time and a bit after that as well. This could be another candidate for a delay, as it clear out a bit later in the day. However, this could end up being a lengthy delay if they do indeed go that route.

5) NYY vs BOS (Fenway Park) – As if you haven’t heard this already, we have another game with a threat of rain the entire night. It lightens up as the game goes on, but it doesn’t look like it will be clear at any point.

Park Factors

Park Factors are rated on a scale of 1.000. Anything at or above 1.000 favors the hitters. Anything below 1.000 favors pitching.

  • Camden Yards – CHW vs BAL – Camden Yards was the third ranked overall park in 2015 for hitters, obtaining favorable ratings in runs, home runs and singles.
  • Fenway Park – NYY vs. BOS – Ranked fourth overall in 2015 for hitters, Fenway had favorable rankings in runs, singles, double and triples.
  • Citi Field – SFG vs. NYM – If they’re able to fit this game in, Citi Field will rank as the worst ballpark on the slate, as it didn’t have one favorable ranking for hitters in 2015.
  • Safeco Field – KCR vs SEA  – Safeco gets the nod as the second worst hitter park on this slate today. In 2015, Safeco didn’t have a single category that favored hitters.

Splits to Start

Now that the majority of pitchers have made at least four starts, I’ll be switching over to the 2016 stats for pitchers.

Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters

Ian Kennedy1.055.318Nathan Eovaldi.303.091
Drew Pomeranz1.033.368Carlos Martinez.332.115
Max Scherzer.932.318Garrett Richards.416.130

Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters

Jeff Locke.987.364Chris Sale.446.159
Shelby Miller.970.291Carlos Martinez.484.162
Wily Peralta.954.337Danny Salazar.497.139

Batter vs. Pitcher Splits

HitterOpposing SPABFP/AB
Brian McCannDavid Price292.31
Adrian BeltreGarrett Richards401.92
Nick MarkakisJohn Lackey681.67

  • With so many solid starting pitchers going today, I wasn’t surprised to see the BvP section to be unimpressive. McCann has gone 10-29 off Price with three home runs, seven RBIs and a walk.
  • Beltre has seen a lot of the 27 year old Richards. He’s gone 12-40 with a double, three home runs, seven RBIs, and two walks.
  • Markakis’ BvP against Lackey looks much more impressive as a whole, not as much when you break it down by fantasy points per at-bat. Markakis is 23-68 against Lackey with six doubles, a triple, six RBIs and eight walks.

Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Carlos Martinez – STL vs. WAS – $9,700 – Ok, here’s the deal. We have A LOT of weather issues going today, so I’m trying to do my best to pick the best pitcher going that does not have a weather issue. Thus, Carlos Martinez jumps to the front of the pack. He’s been fantastic to start this season, owning a 1.93 ERA with a 0.86 WHIP and a 6.4 K/9. The Nationals have been scuffling against right handed pitching, owning a .288 wOBA against them, which is ranked 26th in the league. Add in the fact they own a 20.4 K%, and this starts sounds all the more enticing for Martinez. Again, I have other options I like  more than Martinez on this slate, but weather issues brought me here.

Heavy Hitter to Pay For

Ryan Braun – MIL vs MIA (Tom Koehler) – $4,600 – I don’t know what the reason is, but no one really talks about Ryan Braun anymore. Maybe that will work in our favor, but he’s been having a solid start to the 2016 season. Coming into today, Braun owns a .333 average with five home runs, 18 RBIs and a .986 OPS. When you sprinkle in the fact that he’s crushing right-handed pitching to a .437 wOBA, he feels like he’s in a good spot on nightly basis.

Save Big by Drafting…

Derek Dietrich – MIA vs MIL (Wily Peralta) – $3,600 – Believe me, when I started this article, I wasn’t planning on having two players from this game featured in my hitters to draft tonight. However, here we are. Dietrich lead off for the Marlins last night and had a fantastic game. With Dee Gordon gone for his 80 game suspension, Dietrich could see himself in the leadoff spot, which is a huge boost to his overall value. Owning a .443 wOBA against right-handed pitching coming into today, he’s in a great spot against Wily Peralta.

Stack Em Up

COL vs ARZ (Shelby Miller) – It’s hard NOT to stack against Shelby Miller. I mean, he’s been getting shelled on a nightly basis (when he starts of course). Coming into tonight with a .415 wOBA against lefties and a .401 wOBA against righties, it’s hard to stay away from the Rockies hitters today. In one of the highest projected run totals of the day, this game should feature plenty of offense.