Hey all! I hope everyone’s having a great week as summer rolls into full force. We have our normal split Wednesday with an 11-game slate on tap for tonight. I’m going to hit the highlights of what I like tonight (no time to run through all 22 guys), and I hope it helps you!
Corey Kluber ($12,500): GPP only. He always has the upside to score you 30+ points, but he’s really priced up there (as usual). In his 8 games this season, he has returned 3X value or more just two times (against the weaker-hitting White Sox and the K-prone A’s), returned 2X value twice (against the Astros and the White Sox), and has returned 1X value or worse four times. For a while, the Dodgers were really bad against righties, so this would be a no-brainer, but now that Turner is back, they are much better. You could play him, but it’s a tall order to hope he scores 35+.
Michael Pineda ($11,100): I’m intrigued by Pineda tonight. His HR tendencies are still out of what is statistically normal, but that’s helped a bit by being in LA. Though the Angels don’t strike out as much as you would like vs Rs (20.1% on the year), their K rate has ticked up to 22% in the last week. Nothing to write home about, but with Pineda’s big K tendencies, it’s certainly the trend you want to see. He’s priced awfully high, but there’s a correspondingly high floor. I think he’s a good bet for cash games and a better bet in GPPs to reach 3X value than Kluber is.
Taijuan Walker ($8,200): A solid GPP play. His Ks have been a bit lacking, especially on the road, but Walker can be lights-out away from Chase Field. I will note that he hasn’t been particular amazing on the road this year, but we’re still looking at a small-ish sample size. As you can see from last night, the Tigers can be a great source of Ks, but they can also hit you hard at any given moment. Greinke was too expensive last night; Walker is priced right about where he should be given the risk/upside. Not safe, but more value than more will realize.
Jake Odorizzi ($7,900): Had I written up notes for yesterday, I would have told you I really liked Faria against the Jays. I like Odorizzi for the same reasons. Very quietly, the Jays have fallen back to earth offensively, compiling a league-second-worst 27.7% K rate against Rs this past week (Tigers are worst at 27.8% and face Walker…) to go along with a wRC+ of 75 (for comparison, the Tigers are at 105 over the same time span). Though the Jays have power in abundance, especially now that they are healthy, and Odorizzi is HR-prone, there is still a lot of upside here. Though a lot has changed in the past month, he did rack up 28 DK points against the Jays back in early May, giving up a single solo HR as the only damage. Risky? Yes. But not as risky as you might think. Very good GPP play.
Mike Leake ($6,800): He’s playable for the upside that MIL can provide in the K department. That said, I’m not a huge fan at the moment. Leake has been very hittable lately, and the Ks have been missing. He’s at home, and he still sports nice peripherals (including a superb 4.4% walk rate), but there’s a bit more risk than I like seeing. MIL has been tougher to K recently, as well. I’ll pass, but it’s not a bad play.
Brian Johnson ($6,500): I’m not a big fan of Johnson tonight, but his low price puts him squarely in consideration. He has done a mostly nice job of limiting hard hits overall, though that is weighed heavily by his one amazing start against the Mariners. In his two other games, he has yielded 4 HRs (vs TOR and DET, so it’s understandable). Tonight, he gets the weak-hitting Phillies, though they are marginally better against lefties and don’t K as much. I’m a bit worried by the HR potential in PHI’s park, and I worry about upside a bit, but I also think he’s a fairly decent play. GPP only.
Mike Montgomery ($5,300): At his low price point, I like him for either format. While the Mets are tough against righties (like, really tough), the same cannot be said for lefties. Their season-long 22% K rate has jumped to 28% in the past week to go along with abysmal production. I’m most worried about his innings. He’s not likely to throw more than 5 or 6 (at very most), and that doesn’t leave lots of room for error. If he pitches reasonably well, though, he could return 3X value to you at what I expect will be low ownership.
Andrew Cashner ($5,100): I don’t think Cashner is a good play tonight, but I will say this: he had a great start against the Nats last time, in another unfavorable spot. He also has 11 starts with 7 QSs. I see no reason why he will keep pitching as well as he has in spurts, but if you do, go for it! Just to be sure, though, I’m in the fade camp.
Chad Kuhl ($4,700): He’s been pretty rough all year, but he does get a nice matchup against the Rockies, who I’ve been beating on with SP just about any time they are away from Coors. I’m not in love with anything about this matchup, but the price is nice, and there’s a decent chance he gets you to double-digits. So……good for cash games?
Francis Martes ($4,300): There’s both a lot of risk and a lot of potential reward here. Martes has a minor league track record of lots of Ks. The Rangers strike out a lot, and they are on the road which is even nicer. Martes also has the history of walking a lot of guys and getting knocked around in the Pacific Coast League (which is a hitter-friendly league, but still not good). His one stint came out of the ‘pen a few days ago, and he wasn’t very good. That said, there’s enough K upside to warrant a look. Not saying he’ll go crazy and post a shutout, but with enough Ks, there’s a chance he gets you 15 points.
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.