I’m back!!!! 8 days at Disney with 3 kids, and you might not be surprised to find out that I’m exhausted and in need of another vacation. I had hopes of doing a detailed look at tonight’s slate, but my first day back at work kinda kicked me in the butt, and so I’m late getting around to the Notes tonight.
It’s a shorter slate, so hopefully I can give you some quick hits that will help you figure it out. I’ll be working off DK pricing in my analysis, but you can always adapt what I have to say to the FD pricing.
So here goes:
Kershaw ($14,200): The superlatives aren’t needed with Kershaw. The guy is the best of the best and is pitching at the top of his game. I’ll never go so far as to say that his matchup is irrelevant, but he’s pretty close. Tonight, he gets the Nats at home. I think another 30+ DK pts is very likely, though WAS isn’t a pushover. They K at about an average rate, and they are pretty good against lefties. You’ve got some interesting options if you want to play WAS hitters, as everyone is super-cheap, but they are all dart-throws tonight. The price is prohibitive—you’ll need to get creative with your hitters—but that should suppress ownership a bit tonight. There are many strong options tonight for Ps, so you don’t have to go there in cash, though he’ll likely be good there. He’s always in play for GPPs, and LAD’s stadium is a pitcher’s park at night.
Strasburg ($13,200): He’s no slouch, but his upside and his price do not match up very well. He’s having a great season; everyone is always waiting for that implosion, but it hasn’t come yet. At only a $1000 discount to Kershaw, most people will simply pay up for Kershaw when comparing the two. That would be the +EV move, and if you’re playing cash games—and picking between the two pitchers in this game—that’s what I’d do. I think there’s a lot of merit for SS in GPPs, though, as I think ownership levels come into play. He’ll probably be low-owned (at least on DK), and he has the talent to twirl a gem. Sometimes, you get two aces battling it out and you get a 1-0 game. That could happen here. On DK, where the win doesn’t matter (much), there’s a chance he puts up a ton of points where people are afraid to use him. Worthy of consideration.
Bumgarner ($12,800): This is interesting. He’s pretty expensive, and he’s facing a good-hitting Pirates team on the road. Ownership will probably be small. PIT, though, has the 2nd worst K rate against lefties in all of baseball (24.7%), and even though they have the well-deserved reputation of being a good-hitting lineup, their wOBA and ISO against lefties leaves a lot to be desired. MB is favored, so that will bump up ownership a bit, but I like him in GPPs a little more than I do Strasburg. He’s a fine cash play, too.
Lackey ($11,800): Lackey’s numbers stack up to Bumgarner’s almost exactly. The matchup isn’t quite as favorable, though. K potential is much less, and damage potential is a little higher (even if Vegas doesn’t quite agree). I don’t like him much for cash, though he warrants a look for GPPs. If the Cards have an off night, Lackey could score big at what will likely be small-ish ownership.
Wright ($11,200): He’s too expensive to me to warrant consideration. His absolute ceiling is about 30 points, and the risk he doesn’t make it there is pretty big. If you’re paying $11k for a pitcher, you either want 35+ point upside or at least be assured he’ll get you 2X salary. Neither is true here, so I’m staying away. The knuckleball is too fickle.
Tomlin ($9,100): He will probably be a somewhat trendy pick, at least for GPPs, because he comes at a discount to the expensive guys and the Rays certainly know how to strike out. I don’t foresee Tomlin continuing to walk just 2.3% of his batters. I certainly don’t like the upside that his 16.5% K rate gets you. Could have a very nice game, but his price is a bit too high for me to consider him tonight.
Fister ($7,800): Contact pitcher against a contact hitting team. No. Angels performing much better than they had been earlier, so this one is a non-starter for me.
Karns ($7,300): Too many pitches, too many walks, and not enough innings pitched to warrant a long look from me. It’s Detroit—and they randomly get shut down by nobodies, and they are without JD Martinez—so I can see the GPP appeal, but I think 2X his salary is about the best I’m expecting tonight.
Smyly ($6,700): Very favorable price for a guy with 30+ point potential. Sadly, I think he’ll be very popular. If you don’t think he’ll be popular, he makes for a great play in GPPs tonight. I like him in cash as well. Indians are favored, so perhaps that will suppress ownership. Remember when this guy cost $11k+? He’s still the same pitcher.
De La Rosa ($5,900): Somewhere along the line, Stanton will wake up. He looks like he might be starting. And Miami has some other talented right-handed hitting. That said, I’m intrigued by a guy who Ks 23%, has a SIERA of 4.06, has been victimized by pitching at Coors, has an unreasonably high BABIP, and is facing a team with not much firepower. At a cost of $5900. GPP only, but I like him a good bit. As long as Stanton can wait another game or two before he starts hitting HRs again.
Chacin ($5,800): I see little I like here. Does induce a lot of ground balls, and HOU can strike out a bit, but Chacin is more of a contact guy and is in a hitter’s park tonight. No go for me.
Garcia ($5,700): I go away for a week, and his price drops to $5,700??? I get that the Cubs are amazing, and they are favored and at home, but Garcia has a very respectable SIERA (3.83), limits hard contact, keeps the ball on the ground, and doesn’t kill himself with walks. He might get beat up tonight, but there’s no way he should be priced down quite this far. Viable GPP play as no one will play him against the Cubs.
Gausman ($5,600): He’s been a little rough recently, and summer games in TEX are not a recipe for success. That said, he’s got talent, and is cheaper than he should be. Not by a ton, but by enough. Not sure if I will play him, but perhaps he lights it up tonight.
Holland ($4,900): So, his K rate is awful, his walk rate is high, and he’s in a hitter’s park with a high Vegas score. He makes for a terrible cash play. However, if you can get another game out of him like he pitched against SEA a few starts ago, you’ll be sitting pretty. It’s the Orioles, and this is not at Camden Yards, so there’s hope. You’re really risking it by going there, but it’s the type of GPP play that could be worth a flyer.
Locke ($4,500): Absolutely not for cash games. I’d rather go Holland for GPPs as SF doesn’t K much.
Pelfrey ($4,400): Until he shows that he has a ceiling higher than about 15 points, you can’t play him. Certainly not against a very dangerous SEA team. Any pitcher can go out at any time and have a dominant outing, but it’s exceedingly unlikely here.
Gonzalez ($4,200): I’m again intrigued. But not too much. For a $4200 pitcher, his K rate (19.2%) sure is nice. However, it’s Boston, in Boston, with a wind blowing out. Could he get you some Ks and have a nice game? Maybe. But it’s not very likely.
Clemens ($4,000): It’s Colorado away from Coors. Clemens doesn’t have a shabby K rate nearly 8 per 9 innings, and he pitches in the offense-happy PCL in the minors. That said, he’s an afterthought minor-leaguer who clearly isn’t good enough to be pitching at this level on a regular basis. Clearly not a cash game play, but I wouldn’t think you’re crazy if you throw him in a GPP.
That’s all I’ve got tonight! Good luck everyone!