July 25, 2016 Main Slate Pitching Thoughts
Good evening DFS-ers! I hope you are surviving the heat of the summer and are experiencing at least moderate (if not great) DFS success. If you’ve been using the sheets the past few days, you’re likely doing really well. I hope that my pitching analyses can come in handy for you tonight!
So here we go!
Michael Pineda: In glancing over the slate tonight, Pineda stood out as my top play. The sheet agrees! Here’s a guy with an outstanding K%, supported by an elite SwStr of 14%. He allows more hard contact than you might want to see, but he does a good job of keeping the ball on the ground and the walks to a minimum. He gives up an inordinate number of home runs, and that’s dangerous against a team like HOU. There is risk here, and I would stay away for cash, but I think he’s a great GPP play. Ownership is a question mark. He was great last time out, and he’s very affordable, so his ownership might be up; but he’s also an underdog and shares the slate with Thor and others. I like him for GPPs even if he’s highly owned, though, as his K upside FAR exceeds anyone else’s.
Noah Syndergaard: Sure would be nice to know if he’s over his arm troubles. Thor’s a top option, and he’s priced like it, too. STL hasn’t been very hot lately, and Thor is a bona fide ace. I won’t delve into his stats too much, as he’s got pretty much everything you want in a pitching option (high K%, high SwStr%, low BB%, high ground ball %, low hard%, nice matchup). At $11,100, he’s only the third most expensive pitcher, so I expect he’ll be pretty popular. I like him for cash games, and you could play him in GPP’s, though I think you can also fade him if you want. Plenty of value elsewhere.
Jeremy Hellickson: Really paid off at low ownership in this exact same matchup his last start. For that reason, I think he’ll be considerably more popular (though I could be wrong); he’s still a great play. He has only an average K% (21.6%), but his SwStr% of 11.7% suggests his K ceiling is much higher. His BB% is just 5.5%, which is excellent. He doesn’t give up many hard hits (27.5%), and he completely shuts down righties, of whom MIA has a lot. On paper, MIA doesn’t look like they K much (and this is true), but they are also not very scary at the plate, and even if they don’t yield double-digit K’s, there’s a strong chance Hellickson has another great game. He’s also priced well below the top guys. I like him a lot for both cash and GPP’s.
Carlos Martinez: I see little justification for CarMart today. Very expensive, not enough K potential, and facing Thor. He’s likely to be low-owned, but I see it as very unlikely he comes close to paying off his salary.
Ian Kennedy: I am skipping Shipley, as he’s making his debut. Suffice it to say, I’m not impressed with his K upside, even against MIL, but you never know. As for Kennedy, I’m very intrigued. He has great K upside, though he gives up way too many hard hits and fly balls. His HR’s have always been his Achilles’ Heel, but LAA is a very weak lineup outside of Trout and (sometimes) Pujols. The trouble is LAA’s extraordinarily low K rate. That said, even without many K’s, Kennedy could have a very strong night at very low ownership. Worth a long look.
Bonus guy! I’ll review 6 today.
Aaron Sanchez: Here, you have an interesting choice. Sanchez has been very, very good this year, getting a fair number of Ks and keeping the ball on the ground at an elite rate (and softly hit at a good rate). The Padres are a favorite team to pick on. Indeed, their K rate against righties is 24.6% (pretty bad), they don’t walk much, and they have little power to speak of. He’s favored, as well, with a very low team total for SDP. Conventional wisdom says he’s a strong cash and GPP play, and there’s a good chance that’ll be right. However, let me throw something your way—two things actually: left-handers have a fair amount of success against Sanchez, and SDP has a few of those, including the hitting-the-cover-off the-ball-right-now Ryan Schimpf. Also, Sanchez is an elite ground ball pitcher, and no one has hit ground ball pitchers better than San Diego this year. Tons of guys with eye-popping numbers, and that’s with a bunch of games at Petco. I think San Diego could get shut down today, but I also think they are a very sneaky stack. At least their left-handed hitters.
Colin Rea: A huge underdog tonight and with good reason. Low K’s and susceptible to the long ball. Too many walks. He’s an easy one to avoid, and TOR is very likely to get a HR or 2.
Martin Perez: Ugly numbers here. He’s not getting you K’s, he’s allowing lots of guys to hit the ball (and hard), and he’s surrendering tons of hits and walks and runs. OAK is not the world’s most dangerous team, but this is a bad matchup. 10-15 points is his best possible result, and that’s not good enough tonight.
Chase Anderson: Likely to get rocked tonight. Too many walks, not enough Ks, too many fly balls, and really, really bad against righties. The D-Backs have been surprisingly weak this year, but this is likely a very bad spot, even considering that.
Jake Peavy: Not sure what I think here. Peavy had a detestable start to the year, but he has salvaged his season somewhat. He gets to pitch at home, where his fly balls and hard hits are less dangerous. Moreover, the Reds aren’t overpowering most nights. He’s likely to be a ho-hum option, suited for cash plays where you need a salary break. Very little upside for GPP’s.
Dallas Keuchel? Rock solid cash game play. At home against a NYY team that is not good vs Ls. Limited K upside.
Verlander/Pomeranz? GPP only, but not a terrible contrarian play either way. Between the two, I’d pick Pomeranz.
De La Rosa? Bad matchup, bad stadium.
Jake Arrieta? I like his matchup, but I dislike his price tag. Elite pitcher in real life, but borderline elite DFS guy. I think you’ve got better ways to spend this money tonight.
Who do you stack? You need to find HR upside tonight. KC will be low owned and should have some, HOU is dangerous either way (feast or famine), TOR a great stack target, SDP very sneaky, but I like it. ARI another good place to look. Ditto the Cubs. Lots of viable options tonight—I hope you pick the right ones!
Good luck, tonight!