Thursday night brings us a small five-game slate to research. Let’s dive right into all the information, and, as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.

Game Notes

Top Pitcher

UPDATE: Jacob deGrom WILL NOT start tonight. Rafael Montero will take the mound for the Mets.

*New York Mets vs. San Diego Padres – Jacob deGrom ($12,100)* – deGrom and the Mets are the heavy favorites for tonight as they take on the Padres. deGrom is the most expensive pitcher on this slate, costing $2,200 more than Justin Verlander. His matchup against the Padres is a great one since the Padres own the second highest K% against righties. deGrom has been stellar at Citi Field, posting a .280 wOBA with a .326 SLG and a K/9 of 13.1. You’ll notice the DTD tag listed next to his name for tonight, as a blister on his ring finger came up in his last start against the Angels. It certainly didn’t hinder his performance, as he posted 33 fantasy points against them, but it’s worth checking any updates before first pitch.

Highest Total

Texas Rangers vs. Boston Red Sox – 9 projected runs – The Red Sox have the highest projected run total of the night against the Rangers at 5.3 runs. They’ll be taking on Nick Martinez, who has struggled in three road starts. Martinez has averaged 6.9 FPPG in those starts, lasting 16.1 innings allowing 12 runs (10 earned) on 21 hits with five home runs allowed and a wOBA of .402. Against righties, the Red Sox own a .327 wOBA with a .339 OBP and a .417 SLG. The Sox are also the toughest team to strike out against righties with a K% of 18. I expect them to be the most popular stack this evening.

Weather Concerns

Texas Rangers vs. Boston Red Sox (Fenway Park) – A chance of rain will threaten this game all throughout the night. On top of that, winds will be blowing in from right field at 15-17 mph. It could be a messy night all around. 

San Diego Padres vs. New York Mets (Citi Field) – Same situation as Boston, but with thunderstorms in the mix as well. Even if they do end up playing, it’ll be far from ideal conditions.

Park Factors

Park Factors are ranked on a scale of 1.000. Anything above 1.000 is favorable towards the hitters. Anything below that mark favors pitchers.

  • Fenway Park – Texas Rangers vs. Boston Red Sox – Fenway Park checks in our most favorable park for hitters tonight. Last season, all offensive categories except walks were favored there.
  • Citi Field – San Diego Padres vs. New York Mets – Citi Field wouldn’t usually make it this high on the list, but because of the short slate, here we are. Home runs and walks were the only favorable categories here in 2016.
  • Dodger Stadium – St. Louis Cardinals vs. L.A. Dodgers – Dodger Stadium was the worst ballpark for offense last season. No offensive category was favored here in 2016.
  • Minute Maid Park – Detroit Tigers vs. Houston Astros – Minute Maid Park is our second least favorable ballpark tonight for hitters. In 2016, triples were the only favored category.

Splits to Start

Pitchers vs. Left-Handed Batters

Drew Pomeranz1.176.406Robbie Ray.545.225
Kenta Maeda.836.274Jacob deGrom.616.224
Zach Davies.831.242Justin Verlander.688.202

Pitchers vs. Right-Handed Batters

Mike Fiers1.151.286Michael Wacha.597.220
Zach Davies.992.371Kenta Maeda.684.227
Nick Martinez.776.289Justin Verlander.698.258

Batter vs. Pitcher Splits

HitterOpposing SPABFP/AB*
George SpringerJustin Verlander102.6
Jose AltuveJustin Verlander112.36

*(Fantasy Points Per At Bat)

Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Kenta Maeda – LAD vs. STL – $8,800 – As you’d expect, deGrom is the favorite tonight, but the weather has me worried. With that being said, Maeda will slide into my top pitcher slot on this five-game slate. Maeda will be returning from injury, having last pitched 15 days ago. Pitching at Dodger Stadium certainly plays into his favor, as he’s averaged 17.6 FPPG in four home starts with a .272 wOBA and a K/9 of 8.1. The Cardinals have been decent on the road, posting a .319 wOBA with a .419 SLG, but Dodger Stadium is hardly a favorable road ballpark. Maeda at $8,800 feels like a steal tonight.

Heavy Hitter to Pay For

Jake Lamb – ARI vs. MIL – $5,300 – Zach Davies has been hit extremely hard at Miller Park this season, posting a .408 wOBA with a with a .546 SLG with three of his eight home runs allowed. Lefties have hit all three of those home runs while sporting a .366 wOBA. Lamb is smashing righties on the road, owning a .537 wOBA with a .854 SLG with five of his 13 home runs allowed.

Save Big by Drafting…

Ian Kinsler – DET vs. HOU– $3,500 – Kinsler hasn’t exactly been crushing the ball lately, but it’s hard not to love his matchup against Mike Fiers tonight. Fiers has been having a nightmare of a time against righties, allowing a .410 wOBA to them at home with a .733 SLG and four of his 17 home runs. With Kinsler batting leadoff, he should at least get a couple of cracks at Fiers, who is also my top pitcher to target against tonight.

Stack Em Up

Detroit Tigers vs. Houston Astros (Mike Fiers) – This Tigers lineup is stacked with right-handed bats, which has been the kryptonite to Fiers this season. The Tigers haven’t been good on the road thus far, posting just a .295 wOBA with a .372 SLG. With that being said, it’s hard not to want to pick on Fiers and his struggles with the home run ball and the 9.6 FPPG he’s averaged in eight starts.


I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Steveazors) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.