Back again with the first TRUE full slate of the MLB season. That means all 30 teams are in action and both sites have an “All-Day” slate. I am a big fan of removing the narratives from MLB and using analytics since they are so readily available in this sport. I will continue to provide charts as often as possible and use them to provide potential plays of the day. Let’s not waste anymore time and let’s see the pitchers:
This is sorted by the pitches K/9 and immediately there are two pitchers who jump off the page. Rich Hill and Michael Pineda are both high strikeout pitchers (10K/9+) and facing prolific strikeout teams. The Rays and Padres strikeout at 24.5% and 25% respectively. Rich Hill has opened as a massive -250 favorite which is indicated in his inflated pricing on both sites. It’s Pineda that offers an appealing pivot option for $2,400 less on DraftKings and $1,400 less on Fanduel. Pineda, himself, is a -126 favorite in a game that has been pinned with a small 7.5 total.
We will talk about Jameson Taillon plenty this season, but not today against the Red Sox.
It’s probably worth noting the pricing discrepancies on Garrett Richards and James Paxton. Both are significantly cheaper on DraftKings than Fanduel. Richards checked in at only $7,100 compared to $8,600 on FD. Richards is in a beneficial matchup with Oakland who doesn’t strikeout often, but they also don’t score a ton of runs. Richards will also benefit from that big ballpark in Oakland. James Paxton is $6,900 on DK and $7,700 on FD. Paxton has a dazzling 3.35 xFIP last season and will face a high strikeout team in Houston.
Let’s switch to the team stacks:
“Big Game” James Shields is in for a world of hurt today. In fact, that “Big Game” nickname really just means that everyone he faces has a big game. Shields sported a brutal 5.21 xFIP last season and allowed 40 (!!) dingers. He will face a tough Detroit Tigers lineup which had the third best wOBA in the league.
The Arizona Diamondbacks will get Matt Moore who is extremely volatile. I think the Diamondbacks as a GPP option. They were a top offense against LHP last season.
I like to think that J.A. Happ had the best season of his career last year, with a 20-4 record. Despite that record, his advanced metrics were fairly pedestrian. His 4.18 xFIP and 7.52 K/9 provide very little to be excited about. He will face a tough Baltimore Orioles lineup who was ranked 8th in wOBA at home last season.
If you’d like to see other metrics and charts, give me a shout on Twitter. These will evolve over time based on the feedback that I receive.