As we all get back to our working lives (boooo) we can take some of that pain away with a solid slate of baseball tonight. We have a ton of information to get to, so let’s break this slate down. As always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.

Game Notes

Biggest Favorites

CHC (-230) vs. LAD –Jake Arrieta – Ah yes, another five days, another Arrieta start, another big favorite on the slate. Arrieta comes into this start with his $13,000 salary to take on the light hitting Dodgers at home. Arrieta is coming off his worst start of the season, where he earned only 9.9 fantasy points, pitching five innings allowing four runs on seven hits with a 4:1 K:BB ratio. I’m certainly not hitting the panic button here by any means, but maybe it was a bit refreshing to see that Arrieta is indeed human. On the other hand, Arrieta has a perfect bounce back spot here against a Dodgers team ranked 23rd in wOBA against righties at .303 with a 20.6 K%. Even with the high price tag, I have no doubt Arrieta will be highly owned and should be a fine play tonight.

NYM (-178) vs. CHW –Steven Matz – That start against Miami where Matz earned a -13.1 score sure seems like that was a long time ago, doesn’t it? Since that start, Matz hasn’t had a game where he hasn’t pitched less than six innings and giving up no more than two runs. Tonight should be an interesting one, as the White Sox hit lefties well, owning a .323 wOBA with a .416 SLG. They do strike out at a decent clip, owning a 21.8 K% which ranks 12th in the league. To be quite honest, it’s hard to go against Matz at this point with how well he’s been pitching and his strikeout potential. Coming into this start, Matz owns a 9.1 K/9 in eight starts this season. I wouldn’t say I LOVE this start for Matz, but I certainly will be rolling with him in GPPs.

Highest Totals

CIN  vs COL – 11.5 runs – 11.5 runs is about as high as you get with these Coors Field slates, so make sure to be targeting this one. Jon Moscot makes his fourth start of the season for the Reds, as he’s been sidelined since late April with a shoulder issue. Before that injury, Moscot wasn’t doing anything special, averaging 6.5 FPPG in three starts with a 4.02 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP. Moscot was having some serious control issues, evidenced by his 9:6 K:BB ratio. As a right-handed pitcher, he’ll have his hands full in with one with the likes of Carlos Gonzalez and Charlie Blackmon.

With Jon Gray, I’ve stated a few times how well he pitches on the road compared to at home, but how can you blame the guy? Even though it’s so hard to trust pitchers at Coors Field, I’m at least SLIGHTLY intrigued with Gray here, as the Reds continue to struggle at the plate. Even more encouraging, was that Gray pitched extremely well at Coors against the Mets his last time out, going seven innings allowing two runs on five hits with a 8:1 K:BB ratio. I’m not saying go all out with Gray, but he’s an interesting GPP play.

Weather Concerns

LAD vs CHC (Wrigley Field) – This is the most important weather forecast of the day, as if people are going in on Arrieta, a lot of salary will be spent on him. This game should start out fine, but thunderstorms will be lingering throughout the night after that. If you’re thinking of taking Arrieta, make sure the weather looks good throughout the night. You certainly don’t want to pay over $13K for a couple of innings of Arrieta.

TBR vs KCR (Kauffman Stadium) – Another game that has as chance of thunderstorms, but the threat will be throughout the entire day into game time. We should know before first pitch what the outlook will be on this one.

CIN vs COL (Coors Field) – The second most important forecast of the night belongs to Coors Field. Thunderstorms will be looming in this one, so how much will it be a threat? This is certainly worth monitoring as big money will be needed for exposure to this game.

Check Out Today’s Full Weather Report Here

Park Factors

Park Factors are rated on a scale of 1.000. If an offensive category has a rating of 1.000 or higher, it favors the hitters. Anything below 1.000 favors pitching.

  • Coors Field – CIN vs COL – We’ve switched over to the 2016 ratings for ball parks and guess which park is at number one?  No surprise that Coors Field remains the number one ballpark for hitters, owning a plus rating in every offensive category.
  • Rogers Centre – NYY vs TOR – In the early going of the 2016 season, Rogers Centre has quite a few favorable categories for hitters thus far. Just like Coors Field, Rogers has a favorable rating in every offensive category.
  • Oakland Coliseum  – MIN vs OAK – The Coliseum currently ranks as the second worst park for hitters and number one on our list tonight. It does not have a single category favoring hitters so far in 2016.
  • Wrigley Field – LAD vs CHC – This one took me be surprise, as Wrigley Field is currently ranked as an unfavorable park for hitters. So far this season, it only has favorable rating in triples and walks.

Splits to Start

Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters

Jake Peavy1.126.402Kevin Gausman.435.153
Eric Surkamp1.012.333J.A. Happ.532.217
Wily Peralta.882.316Aaron Nola.547.174

Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters

Wily Peralta1.087.393Jake Arrieta.411.138
Eric Surkamp.910.299Steven Matz.494.194
Jake Peavy.876.285Jose Fernandez.534.185

Batter vs. Pitcher Splits

HitterOpposing SPABFP/AB
David OrtizKevin Gausman133.84
Matt CarpenterWily Peralta352.28
Jonathan LucroyMike Leake322.31

  • First we start off with the red hot David Ortiz, who hasn’t seen a ton of Gausman, but has made it worth it when he has. Ortiz is 6-13 with three doubles, two home runs and four RBIs.
  • Next we have Matt Carpenter who takes on Wily Peralta. Carpenter is 16-35 with four doubles, three home runs, seven RBIs and four walks.
  • Finally, we stay in the same game and take a look at Lucory against Mike Leake. Lucroy is 15-32 with two doubles, a home run, six RBIs and three walks.

Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Joe Ross – WAS vs. PHI – $8,500  I think this is a fantastic spot for Ross and one that may go looked over with some of the names on this slate. Ross is facing one of the worst hitting teams in the league in the Phillies and had a fantastic game against them already this season. In that start, Ross went seven innings, allowing no runs on three hits with a 5:2 K:BB ratio for 28.3 fantasy points. With Ross only owning a $8,500 price tag, he feels like an absolute steal on the night. It also doesn’t hurt Ross has been fantastic on the road, owning a 1.61 ERA with a 1.14 WHIP and an 8 K/9. You’ll most likely need to save some money tonight, so Ross could be a fantastic option.

Heavy Hitter to Pay For

Carlos Gonzalez – COL vs CIN (Jon Moscot) – $5,200 – Gonzalez is going to cost you some dough tonight, but getting him against a below average right-handed pitcher in Coors Field is something I cannot simply pass up. On the season at Coors, Gonzalez owns a .426 wOBA with a .625 SLG. Moscot was having issues with the home run ball earlier this season before he was injured, allowing three to lefties in just three starts. When we combine all this with his wildness and lack of command this season, Gonzalez feels like a must play in my opinion. As I mentioned, Coors Field is going to warrant some exposure, so Gonzalez is the most sensible option here.

Save Big by Drafting…

Darwin Barney – TOR vs NYY (CC Sabathia) – $2,300 – More than likely you’ll be looking to punt at least one position to night because of all the expensive players we have to pick from. What if I told you we have a player eligible at both second and third and is hitting over .300 for the season and costs almost the bare minimum? “MY GOD, THAT’S DARWIN BARNEY’S MUSIC.” Barney has been seeing more regular playing time with injuries piling up in the Blue Jays infield. He takes on CC Sabathia tonight, who has always had issues with right-handed bats. On the season, Barney is hitting .295 against lefties with with a .326 average. He won’t be putting up huge numbers for you on a nightly basis, but simply grabbing a couple of hits or a hit and a run would surpass the expected value with him. If you’re going to punt a position, at least have some upside.

Stack Em Up

STL vs. MIL (Wily Peralta) – Last time I said to stack against Peralta it didn’t go so well. Now this time, I’m coming back with a vengeance and bringing the St. Louis Cardinals with me. Peralta has faced this team earlier this season, pitching five innings and allowing five runs on seven hits with a 5:2 K:BB ratio. With how well the Cardinals are hitting right now, .349 wOBA against righties with a .476 SLG, a Cardinals stack seems like it should come through in the clutch here tonight.