Aces on aces! So many great pitchers to talk about, let’s get to it! Commentary based on DraftKings strategy and scoring.
The most expensive pitcher on the slate, Chris Sale ($13,200), also has the highest upside. The prolific strikeout pitcher has tallied 38 Ks over the course of his L4 starts including 15 in his last time out. He gets the big time matchup with the Mariners who has a 25.2% K rate over the L14 which is second most in all of baseball in that span. Safeco Field is one of the best pitcher’s parks in the league (see below) so I certainly expect Chris Sale to keep it going tonight.
I am not nearly as optimistic on David Price ($12,300). The matchup with the Angels is good in terms of wOBA, but they aren’t striking out a ton, only 19% in the L14. Also, David Price’s strikeouts have been a little too inconsistent for my liking (see below). Without the high strikeout ceiling tonight, I think his fantasy points are capped a bit and his price tag is too steep for that risk.
Is it possible for the hottest pitcher in the league to be overlooked tonight? It’s certainly possible considering that’s Madison Bumgarner ($12,200). With the rest of the slate composition, including the highest priced pitcher having an awesome matchup, plus a ton of other big names, Mad Bum may be significantly under-owned. Bumgarner is averaging 34.68 DK points a game over the course of the L30, which is by far the highest on the slate. The Pirates are swinging it well (2nd best wOBA in the L14) which may be a deterrent to rostering Bumgarner. However, I think he is matchup proof and I will have a ton of exposure to him.
Is it time to be concerned about Felix Hernandez ($9,900)? A roller coaster of performances in his last four outings and has not come close to paying for himself in that time. Coming off a really terrible outing, the worst of his career (see below). I think Felix makes for an interesting GPP play. I suspect many will stay away from him and the White Sox are back down to 25th in wOBA in the L14. We already mentioned how great Safeco Field is to pitch in and Felix is still sporting a 9.1K/9 during this bad stretch.
You know who checks in at #4 on our value ratings today? How about Jimmy Nelson ($8,200)! Averaging 23.11 DK Pts a game in the L30 which would be 2.857x his price tag today. Nelson owns the 7th best xFIP on this slate full of top-notch pitchers. A better xFIP than Tanaka, Cueto, and Price. The Nationals, outside of a Coors series, have been absolutely brutal recently. Now they have to travel back how to an average ballpark and face a dealing Nelson. A very fair price for a respectable option today.
I am not prepared to endorse him heavily tonight, but you need to be aware that Justin Verlander ($7,300) is really dealing right now. Averaging 23.04 DK pts a game in the L30 (see below) and ranks #2 on the value chart today. I am a little wary of the Texas Rangers offense which is turning the corner (again!). They rank 9th in wOBA in the L14. However, I couldn’t kill you for having some exposure to JV today since Comerica is a good park to pitch in and he’s been proving his worth in the last month.
Finally, the man who tops the value rankings is Chris Bassitt ($6,900). Only Mad Bum, Sale, and Carrasco have a better xFIP in the L30. His average game in that span has returned 22.19 DK points over that span and if he has that same outing tonight, it would produce 3.2x his salary, the best rate on the board! The matchup with the Rays is a little difficult to figure out. While they rank 11th in wOBA, they rank 22nd in runs scored. The damage that they are doing, is not leading to any runs. The game being played in OAK is an ideal scenario for Bassitt. Not only will he be at home, but O.Co Coliseum is below league average for almost every hitting metric!