We start a new week with a SOLID slate of games tonight with a lot of big name pitchers on the board. Let’s get right into all the info, and as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.

Game Notes

Biggest Favorites

CHC (-260) vs. SDP – Jon Lester – Consistently ranked as one of the heavy favorite teams on the night, the Cubs send Jon Lester to the mound to take on the Padres. The Padres are most certainly hitting left-handed pitchers much better than they are righties, but that still isn’t saying much. Owning a team wOBA of .311, the Padres rank 17th in that category so far this season. With that being said, they lead the league in K% against lefties at 26.6%. Lester comes into this start with an 8.5 K/9, which has him hovering right around his career average. With the second most expensive salary on the night, Lester is in a prime spot to have a big outing here tonight.

MIA (-200) vs. MIL – Jose Fernandez – When it comes to Fernandez this season, we’re seeing more negatives than we are positives at this point. Entering this start tonight, Fernandez owns a 4.28 ERA with a 1.34 WHIP and a K/9 of 12.5. That K/9 is what is essentially keeping him afloat and maintaining his 20.3 FPPG. Otherwise, we have a Fernandez that his not pitched past the sixth inning this season, has allowed three or more runs in three of his six starts, and his a BB/9 of 4.2. Facing the Brewers, he certainly gets a boost facing a team that is fourth in the league in K% at 25%. They do walk a decent amount, with a 9% BB ratio, which could spell some trouble for Fernandez. All and all, the strikeout appeal is what’s keeping Fernandez alive at this point, so you have to determine if that’s worth it or not for tonight.

Highest Totals

CHW vs TEX – 9.5 runs – The highest projected run total of the night belongs to the White Sox and the Rangers. Miguel Gonazlez and Colby Lewis will take the mound in this one and a game that should most certainly have some offense. Gonzalez makes his second start for the White Sox and brings his 5.03 career ERA with him. With Lewis, he’s coming off a nice start against the Blue Jays where he went seven innings allowing three runs and striking out seven. Both of these teams have very similar wOBA against righties, with the White Sox at .314 and the Rangers .309. That’s a bit of a common theme with these teams, as they find themselves ahead or behind each other by one rank in categories like OPS, SLG. Neither of these pitchers are exactly near the top of my list to roster, so this should be a great game to target for some offense. 

PIT vs. CIN – 9 runs – The Pirates and Reds do battle in what is the second highest projected game of the night. Jon Niese takes on Dan Straily in this one. The Pirates are hitting right-handed pitching extremely well in the early going of this season, owning a .342 wOBA (5th) with a .782 OPS (5th) and a .423 SLG (12th.) With the Reds, they aren’t exactly killing lefties with a .310 wOBA (18th) .709 OPS (17th) and a .393 SLG (18th.) Both of these pitchers are having their issues, Straily is seeing a lot of fly balls in his start, with a 15:19 FB:GB ratio, which doesn’t exactly sit well pitching in the Great American Ballpark. With Niese, he’s seeing his WHIP fast approach the two mark, sitting at 1.68 coming into tonight. In one of the top ballparks favoring hitters, this game has fantasy goodness written all over it.

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PitchersWeatherCheat Sheet

Weather Concerns

1) PIT vs CIN (Great American Ballpark) – After I mention how well this game could be for fantasy goodness, we do have a threat of rain to deal with. The chance of rain diminishes as the night goes on, but it’s enough to disrupt the flow of the game.

2) SDP vs. CHC (Wrigley Field) – We have a lot going on in this game. We have a high chance of rain all throughout the night. On top of that, we have a wind blowing in from right field at 16 mph. Watch this game closely.

3) BAL vs MIN (Target Field) – We could see a brief delay for this one, as a chance of rain is prominent around game time. It should clear up and be fine for the rest of the night. We do have a strong wind blowing in from left field at 16 mph. 

Park Factors

Park Factors are ranked on a scale of 1.000. Any offensive category scoring 1.000 or higher favors the hitters. Anything below that mark, favors pitching.

  • Coors Field – ARZ vs. COL -Anddddd we’re back. After a nice layoff from Coors Field, we have the Coors Effect to deal with for the immediate future. This was by far the top rated ballpark for hitters in 2015, with a favorable rating in every offensive category.
  • Fenway Park – OAK vs BOS – Fenway Park was ranked the fourth best overall ballpark for hitters in 2015. It had a favorable rating in runs, singles, doubles and triples.
  • AT&T Park – TOR vs SFG -Ranked the worst overall park for hitting in 2015, AT&T Park only favored hitters in triples last season.
  • Safeco Field – TBR vs SEA – Safeco Field is notorious for being a pitchers park and 2015 didn’t disappoint. Safeco Field did not have one favorable rating for hitters last season. 

Splits to Start

Pitchers vs. Left Handed Batters

Jake Peavy1.200.411Stephen Strasburg.376.155
Wily Peralta1.007.357Tyler Chatwood.489.209
Matt Moore.970.346Dan Straily.531.106

Pitchers vs. Right Handed Batters

Jake Peavy1.038.333Aaron Sanchez.466.200
Wily Peralta1.009.373Corey Kluber.501.185
Jonathon Niese.950.319Steven Matz.509.205

Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Jose Fernandez – MIA vs. MIL – $11,300 – I RELLY wish Fernandez wasn’t having some of the issues that he is because otherwise this start would be no brainer. So let me start with why I’m not a huge fan, and then I’ll go to why I am.  Fernandez is having issues with walks. The 4.2 BB/9 is concerning no matter WHAT team you’re facing. Even if it’s the Braves, putting guys on base is playing with fire. The Brewers don’t walk a ton, registering a 6.8 BB%, which is 26th in the league, but still it’s an issue we face. Besides that, the strikeout potential in this game is massive, with Fernandez owning a 12.5 K/9 and the Brewers owning a 21.4 K% which is 8th in the league. I totally understand that the good outweighs the bad here, but I think it’s still worth noting. I’ll be all in on Fernandez tonight, just with a wee bit of worry.

Heavy Hitter to Pay For

Eric Hosmer – KCR vs. NYY (Ivan Nova) – $4,600 – I feel like it wasn’t long ago this season that Hosmer was struggling at the plate. With so many options at first, I wasn’t even paying attention. Fast forward to now and he’s batting .336 with five home runs, 15 RBIs and a .925 OPS. He faces off with Ivan Nova, who is making his first start of the season. Hosmer has been CRUSHING right-handed pitchers thus far, owning a .420 wOBA with an ISO of .176. Playing at Yankee Stadium tonight, I love this spot for Hosmer.

Save Big by Drafting…

Justin Bour – MIA vs MIL (Wily Peralta) – $3,400 – Any time I can get someone with power for cheap going up against Wily Peralta, I get a little giddy inside. Bour returned to the lineup this weekend after dealing with a dislocated finger and responded with a solo bomb, his fourth of the season. Taking on Peralta tonight, Bour owns a .353 wOBA against righties with an ISO of .224. All four of his home runs have come against a right-handed pitcher this season and Peralta has allowed five this season. 

Stack Em Up

MIA vs. MIL (Wily Peralta) – I guess I’m liking all things Miami tonight, eh? A stack against Peralta will be quite friendly on the ol’ salary cap, which in turn allows you to take some of the big name pitchers on the night. That alone is enticing, as Peralta owns a career .355 wOBA against lefties and a .315 against righties. In his short instances this season, Peralta owns a .421 against lefties and .431 against righties. Not shabby numbers for a stack that is truly not going to run your very high on your salary.