Hope everyone’s had a good week! I’m out on vacation today but that won’t stop me from getting you all at least a short article. It’s an interesting slate tonight, as most Fridays tend to be, and though I can’t give you a rundown of all thirty guys going tonight, I can at least give you my thoughts on a few guys to look at or avoid. So let’s jump in and see what we have!
Alex Wood ($11,700): Pretty safe as a cash play, but I don’t like his upside in GPPs. The Giants already don’t strike out much, and Wood has scuffled a small bit in his last couple starts. Even the Marlins game two starts ago where he was great, he only recorded 4 Ks (in 6 IP). My data says he’s not missing as many bats as he did previously which tells me that stat is moving in the wrong direction. To be sure, he’s not a bad play, but you have 30 pitchers to pick from. You can find a better spot for your GPP lineup.
Dallas Keuchel ($11,600): On a pitch count. 100% fade.
Jose Quintana ($9,800): Boy, this is a tough one. Like, really tough.
Here are reasons you should pick him: (1) the matchup is great as the Brewers strike out like it’s their job, and this is especially so against Ls; (2) Quintana can strike guys out, as seen by his outing two starts ago when he fanned 12 Orioles. The upside is the same here; (3) his price tag is nice. He absolutely has 30-point upside for your GPPs, and even if he were to give up a few runs and not reach 30 points, he’s a good bet for a pile of points in cash games.
Here’s why you should fade him: (1) ownership will be staggering, even on a slate of 30 pitchers. He’s reasonably priced with upside that could put him as the highest scorer on the night. You won’t be the only one to have seen that; (2) on the season, his SwStr% is just 8.8%. It’s hard to keep striking people out at a 26% rate when you don’t miss that many bats. Even over his last two starts (including a rather mediocre one vs STL), he’s only at 12.6%. Over that same time period, he’s striking out over 40% of the batters he faces. This will not continue; (3) his ERA is over 4, and his peripheral stats are just barely under 4. Those are decent numbers, but there’s some downside risk here.
The verdict? He’s not a bad play. He’s a good play. He’s a great play. He’s also not likely to win you your GPP. I may use him anyway simply because he could score 40 points, and it’s hard to reject that sort of upside, but there’s a lot to be said for the fade. If you do fade, go far away from this price point so that you’re sure to construct a different lineup. If you’re fading, you might check out some of the guys I note below.
Danny Salazar ($9,500): Enticing K upside, but I’m sure that people will forget how much downside is actually there. Again, not a bad play here, but I’m more inclined to take a flyer on the White Sox bats who no one will be playing.
Julio Teheran ($8,100): Teheran’s overall numbers aren’t great, but he’s still tough enough on righties. The Phillies K a lot and are largely right-handed. At $8,100, I think this is a play that will go mostly overlooked on such a large slate. Worthy GPP option, but not without its risk.
Tanner Roark ($7,500): This is an outstanding play. Rockies on the road, and Roark has bigger K upside than most realize. He’s also trending up. This may be my favorite play of the day, in fact.
Masahiro Tanaka ($7,800): Solid if obvious play. All kinds of K upside and facing the Rays at a pretty cheap price. There is no reason he should be giving up as many HRs as he is giving up, and this limits his upside considerably (hence the low price), but he’s still a good GPP option.
Parker Bridwell ($7,000): Those Ks are still coming. He’s missing too many bats for the higher K numbers to not follow. Ownership will be very low, and he’s worth a good look against a TOR team that can be had for some Ks and low damage.
Jaime Garcia ($6,900): Like him a ton for cash games; cheap enough for GPPs.
Matt Moore ($5,700): Oh I think this one is a sneaky, sneaky play! First, start off with the fact that the Dodgers are scuffling against lefties recently, having struck out 26% against them in the last 2 weeks and nearly 29% over the past week with poor production. This season, they have crushed lefties, but if you recall 2016, they were terrible against them. This suggests that this recent correction will stick a bit. Second, Matt Moore has been pitching surprisingly well lately, as shown by a jump in his SwStr% and his K% (and with CLE as one of his past 2 opponents) and a big reduction in his hard-hit rate. Third, he historically has pitched well against the Dodgers (a .181 BAA and a 22.3% K rate). I might save him for the late slate, but I love this play tonight.
Chris Tillman ($5,400): I mention him not because I love the play (I like it but don’t love it) but because Vegas has the run total in this game like it was being played at Coors. That seems high to me. Tillman’s got some K upside, and the Rangers K a bit. They also pound the ball, and Tillman’s not as good, but he’s been pitching much better lately. I wouldn’t think you were nuts if you wanted to play him.
Austin Pruitt ($4,600): Tons of risk; some K potential; low ownership.
That’s what I’ve got for you today! It’s going to take a big score to pull down a win, but it can be done! Good luck!
About the Author:
Dr. Mike Hass is a lifelong Detroit Tigers fan and a lawyer who lives in Washington DC. He started playing DFS a couple years ago when he no longer had time for season long leagues, and has been hooked ever since. He plays most DFS sports but he focuses most of his time on MLB, especially pitching. He started posting his pitching analyses on Twitter @msonichdrhass last season mostly because it helped him organize his thoughts. Eventually, there were enough people reading, and asking for it daily, so he now does it as regularly as possible (around family and career). He’s primarily a GPP player, but also writes advice for cash games, too.