June 28, 2016 Main Slate Pitching Thoughts
I hope some of you were able to use the recommendations last night! Gray, Duffy, Velasquez, Shoemaker all worked out pretty well! Back to a full slate, so picking pitching is even more important than normal.
Today, the sheet breaks down neatly into a top 4 and bottom 5, so that’s what I’ll be looking at. But I’ll also throw in my 2 cents on a couple other guys. So here we go:
Jon Lester: On paper, this is a great choice. But so was Arrieta yesterday… Lester has a lot working in his favor: a great K rate, a low Hard-hit rate, a low walk rate, a high number of ground balls, and CIN still isn’t the greatest team. He’s also the biggest favorite on the night. Here’s what’s working against him: he is on the road, in a great ballpark for hitting, with a wind blowing out. As I said, on paper, he’s a clear-cut top play tonight. But I will encourage caution. You have other options if you want them.
Julio Urias: This play is all about the strikeouts. Urias is merciless with Ks (~30%), and MIL Ks a ton (~24%). That’s a great combo. He has 35 Ks in 27 IP, but he costs $7400 on DK. Why so cheap? The Dodgers are extra careful with him, and he has yet to exceed 5.1 innings or 94 pitches. He also struggles from time to time with control, and the Brewers do walk a lot. The sheet loves him, and with good reason, but you’re looking at a guy with 25-pt upside (scored 23.7 against them last time). I think he is a safe cash play and has upside for GPPs, but I feel safer in cash with him.
Jerad Eickhoff: He won’t be popular, but perhaps he should be. His numbers—both primary and peripheral—match up almost identically to his opponent tonight, Zack Greinke. The overall matchup isn’t as good as Greinke, obviously, but he’s also $2k cheaper. What does the sheet like in him over Greinke? He’s been a little less hittable recently. Frankly, that’s about it. This is a rematch from a week or so ago, where Eickhoff was rather uninspiring (10 baserunners, 3 runs, 6 Ks for a meager 12.2 pts). Worse ballpark. All that said, I think Eickhoff is a fine GPP play. Ownership will be low, and ARI hasn’t been living up to their offense-heavy reputation recently. Not sure if he’s got 30 points in him, but 25 is within reach.
Corey Kluber: Oh look! Another pitcher facing Atlanta. And it will likely be another instance where you’re overpaying if you use him. I said yesterday in a like matchup, Bauer was a perfectly fine cash play (as ATL is really bad), but at his price ($12,800), he wasn’t worth it. He proved me right with a pedestrian 18.7 pts, good for 6th best on the night. Certainly a solid outing, but a waste of money. I predict the same with Kluber tonight. He costs $13,400, and that’s too much against a Braves team that is at least showing some signs of life (though they are still bad) and don’t strike out much. Very solid cash play tonight, but still likely to be a waste of your money. All that said, it’s Kluber, and he has the double-digit K upside that Bauer doesn’t really have. I’m not using him, but I understand if you want to.
Matt Wisler: Wisler’s not a terrible pitcher, but this is an exceptionally bad matchup for him. He Ks below average, he allows WAY too many hard hits, he gives up WAY too many fly balls, and he faces a CLE team with significant power. He does benefit in that CLE has to run their pitcher out there, but the Indians remain hot. Even if he were to somehow have a good real life game, I don’t see that translating to a good DFS game. I’d stay away tonight.
Eddie Butler: Mediocre pitcher facing the Blue Jays. Enough said. The sheet doesn’t even consider the fact that this one is at Coors, so it’s even worse. It’s baseball, so anything can happen, but Eddie Butler is an unwise play… You know this, though.
Tim Lincecum: Medicore pitcher facing Houston. Even if he somehow manages to avoid being awful, it’s likely that will involve inducing a bunch of weak hits rather than racking up strikeouts. The upside to Lincecum’s game is nearly gone, and the downside risk is enormous here. No thanks!
Erik Johnson: I’ll grant you that this one is at Petco. Should you wish to throw a dart this way because of the park, be my guest. However, Johnson has looked awful, even in his one Petco start. I’m not saying you should stack the Orioles (though that’s not a terrible idea), but there’s no way Erik Johnson should be on your radar tonight.
Albert Suarez: I am actually intrigued by this matchup, at least on smaller slates tonight. It’s always risky going with a converted reliever, and he just fired 100+ pitches in his last start—which bodes poorly for this start, as that was WAY over what he was used to—but SF is a nice pitcher’s park, and Oakland still isn’t all that good, despite their outburst last night. Not worthy of a pick in the full slate, but think about him in the late games.
Lucas Giolito? Stud prospect, facing the often-hapless Mets. I like the matchup, but I think he’ll be overowned. I’ll avoid because he’s the Shiny New Toy (like Urias before him), but not a bad play.
Zack Greinke? I’ll just repeat what I said for Ray last night: The Phillies are still a great team to play pitchers against. I like him, too! [At his price, though, I don’t think it’s wise to play him, though he’s fine for cash games]
Archer/Porcello? I expect one to pitch well and the other to not pitch well, but I don’t know which is which. Porcello has the better matchup, but Archer is the better pitcher. Neither one has been consistent. Archer should have lower ownership.
Hamels? Don’t like the upside or the price. GPP only.
Ubaldo? Good luck! He’s at Petco, so he makes for a great GPP choice. But it’s Ubaldo, so…good luck!
Who do you stack? Coors is popular as always. People will probably be on the Tigers/Marlins game, but I’m not sure how good an idea that is. Wind blowing out helps, though. Cleveland should again go overlooked. White Sox get Kyle Gibson and a wind blowing out to right (hello lefties!). HOU/LAA could see some HR’s. O’s have a big Vegas total in Petco. Mariners heavily favored. Remember: night game ownership is really small and chalky almost every night. Ton of stacking options, if you search them out!
Good luck to everyone!