April 25th Pitching Notes
- Syndergaard (NYM): The slate starts and ends with Thor. Sick numbers v Rs (44 K%!) and totally dominating right now. Favorable park, at home, against a poor team that was absent v the Cubs. Easiest cash game call of the night. GPPs? He’s solid there, too, of course. But two warning flags: ultra-high ownership and some concern about K numbers. Of all the teams going Mon. night, CIN has the 5th lowest K% vs. opp. pitcher handedness (just 19.5% v Rs), and FWIW, Thor has held CIN hitters to 3/34 in his career but with just 8 Ks (23.5%). Fade at your own risk, but there are other good matchups out there. You may not have to use Thor to have a good night.
- Bumgarner (SF): Great matchup v SD, but more $$ than Thor. Might consider fading in cash, but makes for a great GPP pivot. Expect ownership to be low b/c of Thor. Though SD has good #s v Ls thus far, that’s not a concern here. Hard hit rate of 40% (!!) should come down.
- Salazar (CLE): Elite K guy facing an unimpressive team. Walk rate (12.5%) and FB% (46.2%) thus far are big concerns. MIN K-ing a bunch but also can hit Rs at home. Should have a fine game, but with other good expensive options, I’d fade in cash. Good GPP pivot but riskier than MadBum.
- Archer (TB): I don’t know what to do with Archer right now. Normally, an elite K guy facing BAL away from Camden Yards would be an easy pick. Archer still striking guys out (29.6%) and his SIERA is 3.35 but his 11.2 BB% and 46.6 Hard% (wtf?) is distressing. At his $10k price, stay far away in cash. A GPP option for only the heartiest of souls. If he fixes himself, then he could win you a GPP.
- Greinke (ARI): I touted him successfully in his last start, but this is a worse spot. Tough park and tough opponent. Also unimpressive peripherals. Still a great pitcher, but I have a hard time seeing how he’ll reach value against STL with his $9.7k cost. No in cash; no in GPP.
Iglesias (CIN): If only he weren’t facing Thor. Mets bats have woken up, but Iglesias could rack up a lot of Ks in a favorable park. Susceptible to Ls, and Mets have a few. Also not efficient with pitches, so IP could be limited. At $9.2k, no in cash. Don’t hate him as a GPP pick.
- Walker (SEA): If he keeps the BBs under control, I love this matchup. HOU still K-ing at a crazy rate v Rs (26.8%) but can be patient (9.5 BB%). HOU a huge HR threat, but Walker limiting both hard-hit (25.5%) and fly balls (25.5%) this year. Don’t like his $9k price tag. So-so cash option, but like him as a GPP.
- Kennedy (KC): These results will not last. The flyballs (an astounding 51.1%) will start leaving the park just as they have every year, esp. with his 37.5 Hard% (avg batted ball distance is 13th longest among Ps with 30 ABs against). He won’t keep leaving 90% of guys on base. Matchup v LAA intriguing. They have been truly awful to start the year (v Rs: WRC+ is 59, wOBA is .244, SLG is .288 (!), and ISO is 0.09). But they don’t K (16.7%). So, add up lots of balls in play with lots of hard-hit, fly balls, and you get alarm bells. Fade in all formats.
- Stroman (TOR): Nothing about him excites me this start. CWS not great, but low K upside and possibility of getting hit hard-ish make me want to stay away in both cash and GPP.
- Gausman (BAL): First start of the year. High K possibility intrigues me, esp. as TB is striking out at a big rate v Rs (27.1%). Too much risk for cash; dart throw in GPPs. I won’t go there this time, but I’ll be watching.
Richards (LAA): Not pitching too badly, but you don’t look to target KC hitters very often. That includes this game. Slight favorite, but I don’t expect him to meet value at 8.5k. No in all formats.
- Chen (MIA): Another guy pitching pretty well, but this is a dangerous lineup. At 8.4k, you’ll probably be disappointed. Even if not, not seeing upside for GPPs, either.
- Garcia (STL): Love him for GPPs, don’t mind him in cash. K% (32.9%) will come down, but he avoids trouble by keeping the ball out of the air. Bad park, and ARI can hit (and can K), but I don’t hate this matchup for cash, and I love it for GPPs.
- Zimmerman (DET): Below average K guy facing a team that doesn’t K much. His 0.00 ERA doesn’t mean much. I don’t see him paying off his 8.2k salary, and I’m a big Tigers homer.
- Porcello (BOS): Great cash play, favorite GPP play. 2nd best SIERA of starters on Monday (Thor is #1), K% above 30% (will come down), and has been death to all hitters. Has given up some HRs (v TOR), but that’ll stop if he keeps his hard-hit % under 25% where it is now. ATL has an anemic offense. The Ks will eventually slow down, but Rick’s in a great spot here.
Teheran (ATL): Much better at home, but he’s been pretty bad to start the year and gets to face BOS now. Big Vegas underdog for a good reason. Avoid.
- Pomeranz (SD): Still cheap despite 3 big outings. Makes for a great GPP play. SF can be tough (and Posey/Pence have hit him hard), but could turn out a good performance. At 6.6k, you can pair him with one of the top guys. Not my favorite cash play, but his price makes him viable.
- Eovaldi (NYY): Pitching far better than numbers say. Lots of Ks. But in TEX, lots of risk of HRs. I’ll stay away, but if you told me you were using him in a GPP, I wouldn’t call you names.
- Milone (MIN): CLE has been surprisingly bad v Ls this year (lots of Ks, few hits, few runs), but Milone is not a guy you want to try out here. No K upside.
- Bettis (COL): Destroyed the Padres in a home start earlier this year, but PIT is not SD. Maybe PIT will be tired after their wild game, but it doesn’t seem likely that Bettis will be a great pick.
Graveman (OAK): Here’s your sneaky GPP pick. DET almost all Rs and struggling at the plate. Graveman has had two decent games and one great one. No one will go here. No one at all. But at 5.9k, I think he could very easily return value and then some.
- Fister (HOU): I like Doug Fister, but he’s not very good anymore. Almost no DFS relevance. You can pass.
- Stripling (LAD): Marlins aren’t scary, but Stripling can’t keep walking guys at his 10%+ rate and get away with it. Super-cheap, and I don’t hate the matchup, but I also don’t love it.
- Locke (PIT): Do you know he has yet to strike out a lefty this year? Good times. Playing at Coors, terrible numbers. Even though PIT needs him to go deep b/c of the crazy Sunday game, just don’t go here.
- Gonzalez (CWS): Not yet available on DK. That’s probably just as well. He’s not very good and is pitching in TOR.
- Ramos (TEX): Not yet available on DK. Competent reliever but not a very good starter. Against NYY, likely no value here.
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