We have a HUGE slate tonight, and it’s one where I think some really high scores will be needed to take this one down. I’m not going to run down all 30 pitchers, but let me tell you who stands out to me tonight:
Chris Sale ($13,000): He’s only failed to strike out double-digits one time this season—his first game against the Pirates. He needs one more double-digit K game to tie his and Pedro Martinez’s own record for number of straight games with 10+ Ks, and he stands a good chance of doing that tonight. Oakland doesn’t hit lefties very well, and Sale is just filthy right now. He gets a nice ballpark boost, too. He’ll be really chalky, but it’s hard to avoid tonight. His price means you don’t have to play him in either format, but there’s still a good chance he posts one of the top scores tonight.
Luis Severino ($8,800): The Rays bats have woken up recently; over the past two weeks, they have been the best team in baseball against right-handed pitching. Really! They are at home where they’ve actually performed slightly worse, but they are still dangerous. That pushes Severino ever so slightly towards GPP territory, but his strikeout upside is amazing tonight. He gets swinging strikes on over 10% of his pitches, and his K rate is a great 27.7%. The Rays, of course, K at absurd levels (26.4% vs Rs over the year and 29.1% over the last two weeks!), so this is a really nice spot to jump on, especially at his price. I do expect he’ll be pretty popular, and given how dangerous TB is, they could be an interesting contrarian play. But boy will the strikeouts be flowing in this one!
Taijuan Walker ($8,400): He’s been very lackluster recently, and I hope that drives a few people away. The 8 walks in his last 3 starts (16.1 IP) is a concern, as are only 10 Ks, but a date with the Padres in Petco is a nice one. The last time he faced them, he posted 11 Ks at Chase Field. Yes, that was a month ago, but this Padres team didn’t get any better. They still K at over a 25% rate, and Walker still has the stuff to rack up the Ks. There’s a bit of risk here, but the mild temps, the low humidity, the breeze blowing in, and the bad team make for a prime spot for Walker to bounce back. I like him in either cash or GPPs.
Nate Karns ($8,000): I told you not to take him last time, and that was a mistake!! Granted, he did what I said he was going to do and failed to pitch deep into the game. But he also fired up 12 strikeouts to an Orioles team that was in the midst of being very tough to strike out. He has a 13% SwStr rate which is excellent, and he’s striking out 28.4% of the guys he faces, which is also excellent. The Twins are a bit tough at home, but they aren’t any tougher than the Baltimore team he just ate for lunch. On the season, MIN Ks 22.2% of the time vs Rs, but this has ticked up to 24% over the past two weeks, while their wRC+ against Rs is just 85 over that same timeframe (compared to 106 for the season). We might be seeing a return to normal for this team. There is still quite a bit of risk here, but I think ownership will be pretty low again, and you might be able to grab a nice start.
Daniel Norris ($7,000): I’m going out on a limb here, and I recognize that. Here’s why I’m recommending this as a GPP-only play: (1) Norris has a 9.1% SwStr rate but only a 17.6% K rate. That latter number should rise; (2) Vegas favors the Tigers; (3) The Rangers are surprisingly free-swinging against lefties, striking out 26.4% of the time on the season (for comparison, that’s the same rate as the Rays vs. Rs tonight). Over the last two weeks, that number is 28.9%; (4) The Rangers are also really bad against lefties so far this season. They currently have a wRC+ of 59, which is an improvement over the 47 it was a week or so ago! This could go south in a hurry if Norris’s control is not there, but this could also be a surprising start.
Michael Wacha ($7,800): Love him for cash against a weak-hitting Giants team. Upside may or may not be there, but SF is easier to K than they used to be.
Lisalverto Bonilla ($5,100): Bonilla was impressive against a weak Giants lineup. The Rockies’ lineup is better, but they aren’t very good away from Coors. I think you’ve got a chance at a decent chunk of points here, but I do worry about the HRs.
Lastly, I don’t think Jacob deGrom ($11,100) is a great play because he’s so expensive, and there are other good plays up there, but he’s got a fair matchup against the Angels. deGrom is better at home, and Vegas is a huge fan. I’d feel comfortable for cash games.
That’s who I like tonight! If you have questions about anyone else, hit me up on Twitter, and I’ll let you know what I think! @msonichdrhass
Good luck and win some money!
About the Author:
Dr. Mike Hass is a lifelong Detroit Tigers fan and a lawyer who lives in Washington DC. He started playing DFS a couple years ago when he no longer had time for season long leagues, and has been hooked ever since. He plays most DFS sports but he focuses most of his time on MLB, especially pitching. He started posting his pitching analyses on Twitter @msonichdrhass last season mostly because it helped him organize his thoughts. Eventually, there were enough people reading, and asking for it daily, so he now does it as regularly as possible (around family and career). He’s primarily a GPP player, but also writes advice for cash games, too.