It doesn’t get any chalkier than Corey Kluber ($12,500) who will likely be the cash game pitcher du jour. Always a high strikeout pitcher, Kluber is coming off a 10 K performance against the Detroit Tigers and has racked up 18 Ks in his last 14 IP. Tonight he gets the excellent matchup with the Philadelphia Phillies, who despite sweeping the Nationals, only scored ten runs in the three-game series. They still rank 26th in the league in wOBA this season, while striking out at the 8th highest rate. Kluber should greatly benefit from heading to a National League park and facing a pitcher in the nine-hole.
Steven Matz ($7,900) season could not have started any worse, getting shelled for seven ER in 1.2 IP in his first outing. Since then, Matz has allowed just two runs in 13.1 IP, while racking up 17 Ks. That has produced fantasy games of 34.8 and 24.3 DraftKings points. The Giants are a solid offense, but have struggled on the road this season, ranking 20th in wOBA. There are big names on this slate with Kluber, Strasburg, Liriano, Felix but it’s Matz who has the best K/9 checking in at 10.8.
In terms of value, it’s hard to look past Adam Conley ($6,600). He’s been a serviceable starter for the Marlins, despite volatile fantasy outputs. He’s turned in 28.5 and 17.6 DraftKings points in two of his last three outings and will get easily his best matchup tonight against Milwaukee. The Brewers strike out at the second highest rate in the league while checking in with the ninth fewest runs scored. Conley has a sneaky good K/9 this season at 9.78 which puts him just ahead of Liriano, Kluber and Strasburg. I wish this game was being played in Miami, but we will have to look the other way on this bad ballpark to gain access to this excellent matchup at a discount.
Oh god. Pray for Adam Blair tonight as he will be facing the Chicago Cubs. Blair has pitched 5.1 innings in the Majors and looked a bit out of his league in his first start against the Mets. He surrendered six hits, three runs, walked two and only struck out one batter. It’s a small sample, but he’s currently sporting the highest xFIP and lowest K/9 on this slate. Now he has to take on the Cubs, who are quite clearly the league’s most potent offense. They are rocking a .412 wOBA in the last seven days (best in the league) and already have twelve different guys with HRs this season. They are putting an incredible amount of pressure on pitchers with their 0.72 BB/K ratio which is second-best in the MLB. That’s a tall task for a rookie pitcher to step into tonight.
NOTE: Save this for tomorrow. Juan Nicasio is getting the nod for Pittsburgh today. A much sneakier stack tonight will be in the Cincinnati Reds. They will take on Francisco Liriano who was dazzling in his first start of the season, and has hung plenty of crooked numbers since. Liriano allowed three hits, no runs and struck out ten in six innings of work on Opening Day. In the 15.1 IP since (3 games), Liriano has allowed 16 hits, 11 runs and five homers. Even more concerning, he’s walked 12 batters in that stretch. Now, he will have to face a Reds team, that owns the 8th best wOBA versus LHP this season and have seen plenty of Liriano over the years. There are nine Reds that have at least 10 PAs versus LHP this season and five of them (Suarez, Phillips, Duvall, Cozart, Holt) are hitting at least .375.
That’s all folks! Be sure to follow me on Twitter for more player analysis and news as starting lineups are released! Commentary based on DraftKings strategy and scoring.