After being spoiled with a 14-game MLB slate last night, the fantasy baseball schedule trims down to a six-game slate for Thursday night, locking at 7:10 p.m. ET. Thankfully, we still have a really solid pool of pitchers to choose from, so let’s get into it.
As always, feel free to follow me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Biggest Moneyline Favorite
Note: This section highlights the pitcher whose team is the largest favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Walker Buehler, $10,000, LAD (-215) vs. OAK (+180) — Buehler is being activated off the injured list tonight and will be making his first start since September 8. He was dealing with a blister on his throwing hand, which is why he only lasted 2 2⁄3 innings against the Diamondbacks. Tonight will be his first start against the Athletics, a club that owns a .317 wOBA, a .173 ISO and a 23% K% against righties. Barring any setback, Buehler is stretched out to likely go as far as he can, as he threw an 90-pitch simulated game on Saturday, lining him up for today. He’s only thrown 32 2/3 innings this season and sports a 4.77 FIP, with a 27% K% and a 12% swing-and-miss rate.
Other notable favorites: Ian Anderson ($8,800; -185) vs. Marlins, Kris Bubic ($6,600; -185) vs. Tigers
Highest Projected Total
BAL (+135; 4.5 runs ) vs. BOS (-157; 5.5 runs ) — The Red Sox own one of the highest projected team totals as they face Alex Cobb ($6,900) for the third time. In the prior starts, Cobb has thrown 10 1⁄3 innings, allowing three runs on 10 hits with seven strikeouts. The Red Sox seem to be one of the only teams he’s found success against, as the rest of Cobb’s season has been rough. On the road is where he’s really struggled, posting a .347 wOBA, a 6.02 FIP and five of the eight home runs he’s allowed. I would say this isn’t one of my favorite stacks of the night but it’s worth some consideration. Cobb is also coming off a decent start against the Rays where he allowed only two runs on four hits through six innings, so I’m not sure I’m entirely excited to fill up on Red Sox bats.
Other notable team totals: Kansas City Royals (5.5) vs. Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Dodgers (5.5) vs. Oakland Athletics
Miami Marlins @ Atlanta Braves - It looks like thunderstorms are in the forecast for tonight, so keep an eye on this one as the day progresses. If they end up over the park, this could end up getting postponed.
Splits to Start
UPDATE: With teams mostly caught up on game, these numbers will now reflect the 2020 stats.
Pitchers vs. Left-Handed Batters
Worst vs. LHB, wOBA, FIP
Alex Cobb, .352, 5.10
Cristian Javier, .335, 5.64
Pablo Lopez, .321, 3.15
Best vs. LHB, wOBA, FIP
Ian Anderson, .206, 1.97
Lance Lynn, .233, 3.31
Corbin Burnes, .242, 1.42
Pitchers vs. Right-Handed Batters
Worst vs. RHB, wOBA, FIP
Tyler Alexander, .398, 6.59 (Alexander is expected to pitch in long relief of Michael Fulmer)
Mike Fiers, .348, 5.22
Kris Bubic, .305, 3.99
Best vs. RHB, wOBA, FIP
Cristian Javier, .200, 4.24
Corbin Burnes, .202, 2.22
Kwang-hyun Kim, .241 4.50
Pitcher to Build Around
Corbin Burnes, MIL at STL, $8,400 — Burnes is being so overlooked this season, it’s incredible. He possess immense strikeout upside and is facing the Cardinals for the second time this month after tossing 4 2⁄3 innings against them, allowing one run on five hits while striking out 10. Yes, 10 strikeouts through 4 2⁄3 innings. While his command can be a bit shaky at times, you’re getting a pitcher with a 37.6% K% on the year at only $8,400. This Cardinals team will strike out as well, with a 23.7% K% against righties and a 25.1% K% in the month of September.
Heavy Hitter to Pay For
Rafael Devers, BOS vs. BAL, $5,500 —While I may not be crazy about stacking the Red Sox, I do want to use Devers. Cobb does not do well against lefties, as evidenced by his .352 wOBA, 5.10 FIP and four of the eight home runs he’s allowed. Devers, meanwhile, is posting some big time power at Fenway against righties with a .319 ISO, a .389 wOBA and five of his 11 home runs on the season.
Save Big by Drafting
Victor Reyes, DET at KCR, $3,200 — With these smaller slates, you have to get a bit creative with who you put on your roster. Reyes is not someone with much power, especially against lefties. It’s actually almost as low as you can go with his .028 ISO in that matchup. However, he does also have a .361 wOBA against them and a .425 OBP. Reyes racks up his fantasy points by getting on base and is always a base stealing threat with eight on the season. Hitting at the top of the Tigers’ lineup, he brings some good value and salary savings in the outfield.
Favorite Team To Stack
ATL vs. MIA (vs. Pablo Lopez) — If they can play this game, the Braves are by far my favorite team to stack. Getting Lopez on the road is always a situation you want to take advantage of, as he has a .324 wOBA and a 4.05 FIP away from Miami. The Braves have taken care of him prior in two starts this season, tagging him for nine runs on 11 hits through just 7 2/2 innings. Keep an eye on the weather in this one but if they can play, the Braves are one of the best offenses in the league against righties.
Major League Baseball trademarks and copyrights are used with permission of the applicable MLB entity. All rights reserved.
Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.
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. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL). Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ/WV/PA), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-800-522-4700 (NH/CO) or 1-800-BETS OFF (IA). 21+ (18+ NH). NJ/PA/WV/IN/NH/IA/CO/IL only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions.