June 2nd (Early Only) Quick Pitching Notes
June 2 Early Only Pitching Thoughts
Very small slate this morning, but plenty of stuff to mull over. Only one truly easy call (Bumgarner), and another two pretty easy calls (Hendricks, Blair). After that, it gets a bit harder. Success today will hinge on you picking the right hitters, most likely. So, without further ado, here’s the rundown!
Bumgarner: Bumgarner, a left-handed ace, is facing the worst-hitting team in the majors who also happens to be the worst-hitting team against lefties. He’s by far the safest play on the board. Even at his elevated price. Do you want a reason to fade him in GPPs? I’m reaching a little here, but consider the following: (1) his ownership will by enormous; (2) his BvP isn’t all that impressive against current Braves (.262 BAA, 15% Ks—though with a .285 wOBA, which is great); (3) he’s not as good on the road. I’ll be honest here, it doesn’t make sense to fade him in any format, but baseball is a funny sport sometimes. I can guarantee that if you fade him, and you’re right, you will jump to the top of any leaderboard.
Final analysis: Play him in any format!
Greinke: The strikeout upside against HOU is always intriguing, and Greinke—while he gets too much credit for being an ace—is a good pitcher with a double-digit SwStr%. On a slate with only 6 pitchers, 2-3 of whom are big question marks, I don’t blame you for going here. It’s not a bad play, per se. He could very well turn in a 25-30 pt. performance. But I don’t need to tell you that HOU is a dangerous team, especially at home, and Greinke’s upside doesn’t even approach Bumgarner’s. I think he’s playable in any format, but I don’t particularly like him in any format. Cost is irrelevant to this analysis, though his $10,900 DK price tag doesn’t help. Given all that, he’s also a big underdog, so it wouldn’t shock me if ownership is low enough to make a GPP play a smart one. Give that some thought before you decide.
Final analysis: Fade in cash, worth a thought for GPPs.
Hendricks: No wind at Wrigley cements this as a very, very solid play. Hendricks has the 2nd lowest SIERA on the slate (just barely behind MB and a tiny bit ahead of Greinke), is a big favorite, and LAD hasn’t been doing much of anything at the plate recently. He probably won’t be the top scorer on the day (avg Ks v. avg K team), but very good chance of being #2 or #3 and at a reasonable $8900 DK price. I do expect ownership to be very high on him as he feels like a very safe pick, so you could choose to fade him, but where else are you going to go?
Final analysis: Good for either format, though upside is rather limited to feel happy about a GPP play.
Keuchel: Lots of conflicting information here. He’s pitching poorly, but not as poorly as his numbers indicate. He’s better at home, and he’s favored. ARI is not as good on the road, but they are a very dangerous hitting team anywhere, and HOU’s park is nice for offense. In a small sample size, he has torched ARI hitters (6 for 50 (all singles) and 16 Ks (27.5%)). His walks are way up this year, and ARI can draw many walks. His velocity is down, and teams are hitting him harder than they have since 2013 when he was pretty awful. He’s cheap. So what does that all add up to? I’m going to side with Vegas, his BvP history, his last start, and the fact that he is nice salary relief at $7100.
Final analysis: OK for cash, maybe even OK for GPPs, but not sure if the Ks will be there.
Blair: All kinds of strange things can happen in baseball, but Aaron Blair has a SIERA of 5.88 (an improvement on his 6.67 ERA!), walks more than he Ks (so far), and is facing a Giants team that is both patient and does not strike out. Even if he somehow shuts them down (had a good last start), you’re looking at 15-point upside. You’re really hoping for some strange results to make that worthwhile.
Final analysis: No for either format.
Urias: Oh this is an interesting play. Throw out his last start, as he’s not that bad (though what a missed opportunity against a Mets team that Ks a ton). He’s a high-K pitcher facing a team with only average K numbers this year but with the propensity to K a lot from time to time. He will probably be on a pitch count. He’s at the minimum price. And it’s the Cubs offense, who can hit anything at any time, playing at home. I expect ownership to be in line with reality here, unlike his last start. High enough to reflect potential, low enough to reflect risk. So, you won’t be getting an edge on the field by either playing or fading him. Tons of risk but ample upside as well, especially when he’s minimum-priced.
Final analysis: No for cash (that should be obvious), but he’s a very viable GPP play on such a small slate.