The Chris Sale train just keeps chugging along! Four straight games of 7+IP to start the season including 35 total Ks over his last three starts. It’s no surprise that his K/9 (12.74) and his xFIP (2.07) are both the best on the slate. He’s going to face the rival Yankees tonight who actually own the league’s best wOBA to this point (.340) but drop down to .318 against LHP, which is about middle of the pack. On a slate that includes Noah Syndergaard in a prime matchup for less money, I wonder how overlooked Sale will be.
Don’t forget that Julio Urias will be making his season debut for the Dodgers today. The 20 year old lefty made 15 starts for LA last season, posting a solid 9.8 K/9 and only surrendering five homers in 77 IP. He never looked out of place in the Bigs and really settled in towards the end of the season. Over his last 8 appearances (33.2 IP), he boasted a 1.34 ERA while striking out a better per inning. He should benefit from the pitcher friendly park in San Francisco while facing a Giants team that has scored the 6th fewest runs in the league this season with the third worst ISO.
There’s something that doesn’t add up for Jeremy Hellickson. By all accounts, he’s having a great year, but the advanced metrics can’t figure out why. He has a 1.88 ERA but a 5.48 xFIP which is the second worst on the slate. That would indicate there is some type of correction coming for Hellickson who is pitching well above expectation. He’s the type of pitcher we like to target as he only strikes out 3.75 batters per nine (worst on the slate) and his GB% is only 28.8%, second worst on the slate. I mean it’s really amazing that he’s had such a good start to the season because this makes no sense! He will face the Marlins today who are, by most accounts, a very average team but should benefit from the ballpark tonight. The Marlins have scored the 5th most runs on the road this season.
I’m interested in the Houston Astros who have the highest batting average (by far) on the road this season, while scoring the 6th most runs. For the entire season, they check-in with a .329 wOBA which is 7th best in Major League Baseball. There are few road parks more beneficial than Progressive Field which allows the 2nd most fantasy points last season, behind only Coors Field. I suspect the Astros to be significantly under-owned as they face Corey Kluber who is coming off an absolute dime — complete game shutout worth 44.3 DraftKings points. Yes, that is giving me pause, but we’ve seen volatile Kluber this young season as in his first three starts of the year he allowed 13 ER in 18.1 IP.