With a 14 game slate tonight, we have a plethora of pitchers to choose from. I think the mid-tier pitchers are the most valuable tonight with the matchups they have on tap and the salary they own. Let’s jump right into it and as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Top 5 Pitchers
1) Jon Gray – COL vs PHI – $8,900 – Maybe this comes as a bit of a surprise, but I think the mid-tier priced pitchers are in a MUCH better position than the high priced guys tonight. I love this matchup for Gray, going up against one of the worst offenses in the league at a very friendly $8,900 price tag. Gray had a stretch last month where he faced really weak teams and his schedule was a cakewalk. It went Dodgers, Phillies, Braves, Braves; I mean you couldn’t ask for any better. In those four games, Gray averaged 22.05 FPPG with a 28:9 K:BB ratio. The Phillies game saw Gray go 6.1 allowing two runs on three hits with a 8:2 K:BB ratio. Aside from his last start against Miami, Gray really seems like he’s back on track and I think he’ll have a fantastic start against these Phillies, a team he had 14 swings and misses against just a few weeks ago.
2) Yu Darvish – TEX vs. DET – $11,200 – Darvish owns the highest K/9 on this slate with a 12.3 in just eight starts this season. He goes up against a Tigers team that hits right-handed pitching fairly well, but also strikes out a good amount. With a 21.6 K%, ranked 11th in the league against righties, Darvish should be able to do what he’s famous for, generating a ton of swings and misses and rack up the strikeouts. Darvis has held opposing teams to a .289 wOBA on the road with a .400 SLG and a .222 batting average. My only gripe here is that the Tigers are one of the best hitting clubs at home this season, where they have a .341 wOBA with a .456 SLG. Other than that, I think Darvish is most certainly worthy of a start here tonight.
3) Joe Musgrove – HOU vs. TOR – $8,300 – Is it possible I’m overvaluing Musgrove after just 2 starts? Potentially. But he’s faced this Blue Jays team once already, granted it was at home, but he looked fantastic in that short outing. Musgrove pitched 4.1 innings allowing no runs on one hit with an 8:1 K:BB ratio. He followed up that performance with a seven inning gem against the Rangers, allowing on run on five hits with a 6:0 K:BB ratio. The Blue Jays continue to stumble at the plate and own a K% of 22 at home with a .338 wOBA. That all sounds well and good, but this is also a Blue Jays team that has a 23.1 K% since the All-Star break (ranked 4th in the league) with a .302 wOBA (ranked 21st). For his price, I’d love to get Musgrove in my lineup.
4) Stephen Strasburg – WAS vs. ATL – $12,400 – Tonight will be the third time Strasburg has faced the Braves this season. He’s pitched 13.2 innings against them, allowing three runs on 10 hits with an 11:5 K:BB ratio. His 7.2 K/9 in those two games is certainly a surprise, as it’s his lowest K/9 against any team that he’s faced at least twice this season. While that’s way below his season K/9 of 11, the Braves are a tough team to strike out, owning a 18.4 K% since the All-Star Break. Stras is a bit expensive at $12,400, so I find it a bit tough for him to return value, but the matchup is certainly in his favor.
5) Dylan Bundy- BAL vs. SFG – $7,400 – I love this park shift for Bundy tonight, and I think he will be able to shine. Bundy takes on a Giants team that is scuffling since the All-Star break, owning a .296 wOBA with a .316 OBP and a .361 SLG. The Giants have been notorious for not striking out much, but they own a K% of 20 since the ASB. Bundy owns a K/9 of 7.2 in his five starts. Bundy has been racking up some major fantasy points since he became a starter, making his $7,400 salary tonight a potential steal. As a starter, Bundy is averaging 21.3 FPPG, which if he hits tonight will certainly return value on his salary.
6) Chris Archer – TBR vs. NYY– $9,400 – I’ll admit, I’m not sold on taking Archer only because his road numbers have been brutal. In 12 road starts, Archer owns a 5.83 ERA, a 1.52 WHIP and a .352 wOBA. Those numbers aren’t very impressive at all, but he’s facing the Yankees and whatever they want to call that lineup. At home, the Yankees only manage a .307 wOBA to go with a .313 OBP and a .393 SLG. They don’t strikeout a ton with an 18 K%, but Archer is certainly the type of pitcher that can bump that percentage up real quick. I would say he’s a GPP play only for me tonight as his upside makes him worth a spot.
7) Jimmy Nelson- MIL vs. CIN – $4,900 – Nelson is extremely underpriced tonight in my opinion and is facing a less than stellar Reds lineup. To be fair, Nelson has been in the negatives his past two starts against the Padres and the Diamondbacks. Nelson has allowed 13 runs (12 earned) in just 8.1 innings on 14 hits with a 8:7 K:BB ratio. However, his price is so low that he certainly should be a GPP consideration. Nelson has faced this Reds team three times already and is averaging 18.2 FPPG in them with a 17:5 K:BB ratio. It wouldn’t take much for Nelson to reach value.
8) Carlos Carrasco – CLE vs. LAA – $6,900 – My first thought when I saw his price is pure utter confusion. How is one of the most talented pitchers in baseball priced at just $6,900? Well, take a quick look at his game log and you might understand. Carrasco has been whacked around as of late, besides his last start against the Yankees. What I don’t like about this start tonight is that it takes place at Progressive Field. At home this season, Carrasco owns a 4.91 ERA with a .364 wOBA and only a 6.9 K/9. The Angels are a fairly tough team to strikeout to begin with, so honestly, I don’t love much about this start at all. But, his price is extremely low, and if Carrasco can spin a nice game here, the value you could potentially return would be huge.
9) David Price – BOS vs. ARZ – $10,300 – David Price has not been someone any of us fantasy players can trust, and thus that is the reason he ends up here. He faces a Diamondbacks team that hits left-handed pitchers VERY well this season, owning a .346 wOBA with a .469 SLG and a 22.3 K%. The strikeout potential is certainly here, and that’s one thing that Price has been consistent with. Price has an overall K/9 of 8.3 on the season that jumps up to 10 when he’s at Fenway Park. But that also comes with all the baggage of a 4.33 ERA at home as well. I think for this matchup he’s overpriced (no pun intended) and could very well get rocked here.
10) Ivan Nova- PIT vs. LAD – $7,000 – Nova rounds out our top 10 pitchers with his matchup against the Dodgers tonight in Dodger Stadium. Nova was acquired by the Pirates at the trade deadline, and he’s made one start against the Reds, going seven innings allowing three runs on six hits with a 5:0 K:BB ratio. Dodger Stadium will give him a nice boost tonight as will the Dodgers .316 wOBA at home with a 20.6 K%. My concern here though is that this lineup is STACKED with left-handed batters, and when I say stacked, I mean seven out of the nine. Nova is allowing a .355 wOBA against lefties with a .516 SLG, which will make it tough for him to go for a solid outing.
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