We kick off the weekend with a 14-game slate tonight with plenty of pitching options to choose from. We may not have many solid ones, but we can dive into all that information. As always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Top 5 Pitchers
1) Corey Kluber – CLE vs. PHI – $12,500 – Kluber is a bit of a tough sell for me tonight, but going up against one of the worst offenses in the league tonight, it’s tough to stay off of him. Kluber has gotten off to a bit of a rough start this season, owning a 4.67 ERA with a 1.07 WHIP and a K/9 of 9.6. With that being said, the Phillies are very inconsistent at the plate, and Kluber SHOULD be able to handle them without problem. The Phillies against RHP own a team .245 batting average with a .378 SLG. Let’s hope we see the Kluber we saw in DET his last time out, where he scored 38.8 points.
2) Felix Hernandez – SEA vs KC – $10,100 – Hernandez really hasn’t been doing anything to hurt his stats except for walks this season. They are WAY up and extremely above normal. In four starts this season, Hernandez owns a 5.4 BB/9 which is an absurd number for him. Otherwise, everything else has been right in line, owning an 8.6 K/9 and holding opposing batters to a .251 wOBA. With the Royals ranked almost dead last in walks, Hernandez should be able to keep this number down and come away with a solid outing against a middle of the line offense.
“Ranked second in the league in strikeouts, the Blue Jays are averaging 9.4 per game . . .”
3) Drew Smyly – TBR vs. TOR – $10,400 – In my MLB Cheat Sheet today, I mentioned how crazy it feels that we’re about to enter the month of May and were still throwing starting pitchers out against the Blue Jays. This Blue Jays team is really under performing, and we have to ride it out as long as we can. Ranked second in the league in strikeouts, the Blue Jays are averaging 9.4 per game and face Smyly who owns a 10.3 K/9 in four starts. The Blue Jays own a 25.6% K% against lefties this season, ranked 5th overall.
4) Adam Conley – MIA vs. MIL – $6,600 – I like Conley A LOT today. I just don’t think he’s capable of putting up that elusive 30+ point game that we all look for. Regardless, he’s in a huge spot here against a strikeout happy Brewers team for a cheap price. Against LHP, the Brewers have the second highest K% at 26.7% and a .297 wOBA, which ranks 22nd. With how cheap Conley is, I feel like he could be a complete steal on the night and has the potential to be low owned. I would give a hard look at him, especially if you’re looking to go with one of the big guns like Kluber.
5) Stephen Strasburg – WAS vs. STL – $11,400 -I’m not a huge fan of Strasburg tonight on paper. With with $11,400 price tag going up against one of the best hitting clubs in the league, I can’t guarantee we’ll see a solid game from Stras. The only nudge I will give Strasburg is that St. Louis does have the potential to give him a few strikeouts. They’re averaging 8.2 per game while Strasburg owns a 9.6 K/9 in the early going this season. If he can stifle this hot offense, he’s in for a good game. I’m just not sure if I want to pay all that salary to find out.
6) Mike Fiers – HOU vs OAK – $7,800 – Fiers has the luxury of going up against a weak Oakland lineup, one that ranks near the bottom of the barrel in batting average, OPS, and OBP. Mix that in with their .293 wOBA against RHP and we may have something going here. But for all the offensive categories they fail in, the A’s don’t strike out much, and Fiers only has a 6.9 K/9 in four starts this season. Oakland currently ranks 23rd in strike outs, averaging 7.1 per game. Fiers is not the guy to bump that number up. Limited upside here, but he has potential for a decent score.
7) Masahiro Tanaka – NYY vs. BOS – $8,200 – You’d think that with how Tanaka is priced that he’s been pitching poorly thus far this season. Not the case. Tanaka owns a 2.92 ERA with a 0.97 WHIP and a K/9 of 8.3. Because of his price, he could be worth a shot, but I’m not thrilled with his matchup against the Red Sox. The Red Sox currently own a .353 wOBA against RHP and could once again mash in this game. However, Tanaka does have a lower than normal price and is always capable of going out and throwing a gem. This is strictly a GPP play for me and a potential money saver.
“In the minors, Manaea owned a 10.5 K/9 in three starts this season . . .”
8) Sean Manaea – OAK vs. HOU – $7,600 – Not much can be said about Manaea because this is his debut in the majors. He gets the top team in the league in strikeouts with the Astros, but also gets their raw power as well. In the minors, Manaea owned a 10.5 K/9 in three starts this season. He is not a safe play tonight, but he is one that could pay off with his K potential. I’m not 100% if he’s on a pitch count, but I would imagine he is. If news comes out that he is, proceed with caution.
9) Aaron Sanchez – TOR vs. TBR – $7,100 – Sanchez is a bit of a one trick pony for me. He’s solid against right handed batters, holding them to a career .186 wOBA in his two years in the majors. On the other side, he’s not a big strikeout guy, and he’s atrocious against lefties, who own a .351 career wOBA against him. The Rays will certainly load up on the left-handed hitters in this one, thus making Sanchez an unsafe option. At $7,100 though, he could produce some value depending on how that Rays lineup shapes out.
10) Alex Wood – LAD vs. SDP – $6,400 – I’m slightly sick at featuring Wood in this article. He’s been an abomination this season thus far. But I’m giving him ONE MORE CHANCE here against a weak Padres team. They rank fifth in the league in strikeouts, which gives me some sort of hope. The Padres have been hitting lefties well so far this season, but at $6,400 against a team that has some strikeout potential, it could be worth a GPP flier. Believe me when I say, he will be extremely low owned. But be warned, I’m not expecting much of anything here.