It’s a tough slate for pitching, but let’s take a look at my top 10 options for tonight. As always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Top 5 Pitchers
1) Robbie Ray – NYM vs ARZ – $9,600 – Ray faces a Mets team he just saw in his last start, where he put up 22 points, pitching seven innings, allowing no runs on three hits with a 4:0 K:BB ratio. Granted, the park shift from Citi Field to Chase Field is a big one, but this is also a Mets team that is not hitting well on the road. Coming into tonight, they own a .309 wOBA with a .298 OBP and a .426 SLG. We’ll have some K upside with Ray tonight against a Mets team with a 23.1 K% against lefties.
2) Max Scherzer – WAS vs. COL – $10,800 – Scherzer is going to be extremely popular tonight, even with his start at Coors Field. Scherzer will be facing the Rockies for the first time this season, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Scherzer has been cruising as of late, averaging at least 20 FPPG since June 24th, marking a streak of eight straight games. Even more impressive has been the fact that Scherzer has double-digit strikeouts in four of those starts. It will be no easy task taking on the Rockies tonight at Coors Field, but no one has been more consistent on this slate tonight than Mad Max.
3) Matt Moore – SFG vs. PIT – $8,800 – One might look at this start for Moore and scoff at the idea of starting a left-handed pitcher against the Pirates. However, for as good as the Pirates have been on the road, they’ll be playing in AT&T Park, a huge advantage for Moore. This will be his first start at home in a Giants uniform, as his previous two starts yielded four runs in 12 innings with a 14:11 K:BB ratio. The walks have been terrible for sure, but Moore still managed 18 fantasy points in both of these starts. For his price and the park behind him, I think Moore will flourish in the National League, especially at home.
4) Daniel Norris – DET vs. KCR – $6,900 – I’m quite ok with picking on the Royals, as they just continue to look lost at the plate. In the past seven days, the Royals own a .292 wOBA with a .303 OBP and a .391 SLG. Norris has made four starts this season and has shown flashes of fantasy goodness, but nothing consistent. At this point, he has an easy matchup on tap against a Royals team that owns a .312 wOBA against lefties with a .311 OBP and a .414 SLG. The strikeout potential looks decent as well, as Norris owns a 9.5 this season with a season high of eight in a start against the Marlins.
5) Drew Smyly – TBR vs. SDP – $9,000 – Smyly has been pitching much better as of late, but then again, it wouldn’t take much to show improvement. Over his last five games, Smyly is averaging 14.5 FPPG, which isn’t great, but’s it’s certainly an improvement. Over the course of the season, Smyly has pitched better at home than he has on the road, owning a 4.43 ERA with a 1.05 WHIP and a K/9 of 10.3. This is an intriguing spot for Smyly, as the Padres own a 24.5 K% against lefties, which ranks 2nd in the league.
6) Felix Hernandez – SEA vs. LAA– $9,100 – So the gripe that I have with this start is the lack of strikeout potential. Hernandez continues to see his strikeouts drop and his walks go up, which is not exactly a trend we want to see. Hernandez currently owns a 7.5 K/9 on the season in 15 starts with a 3.8 BB/9. Now, Hernandez has faced this Angels team once already and grabbed nine strikeouts, his second highest total of the season, but that was back in May when the Angels were REALLY struggling. Since the All-Star break, the Angels own just a 17 K%, which is the lowest in the league. With that being said, I think Hernandez could end up pulling out a decent game here at Safeco Field.
7) Ryan Vogelsong – PIT vs. SFG – $4,200 – Vogelsong, admittedly, has been pretty solid over his past two starts, even though they came against the Braves and Padres. In those starts, Vogelsong went 12 innings allowing three runs (one earned) on six hits with an 11:2 K:BB ratio. He faces one of the worst hitting teams since the All-Star break in the San Francisco Giants, who own a .288 wOBA during that span with a .310 OBP and a .348 SLG. No matter how you slice it, the value on Vogelsong is huge.
8) Bartolo Colon – NYM vs. ARZ – $6,800 – Just like Robbie Ray, Colon is coming off a start against the team he faced his last time out, the Arizona Diamondbacks. I’m not thrilled with the park in this one, but Colon at $6,800 certainly holds some value. In that start against Arizona, Colon threw seven innings, allowing one run on seven hits with an 8:1 K:BB ratio. Colon has fairly even numbers on the road and at home, but Chase Field certainly isn’t going to do him any favors. This D-Backs lineup is full of right-handed batters, who Colon has been tough on, especially on the road, allowing just a .282 wOBA with a .349 SLG.
9) Ian Kennedy – KCR vs. DET – $9,800 – I’m not a big fan of this matchup by any means, so it’s tough for me to feel good about taking Kennedy at just under $10K tonight. Overall, he’s having a good year, the owner of a 3.91 ERA with a 1.20 WHIP and a K/9 of 9. However, this Tigers team is one of the biggest hitting teams at home, and they don’t strikeout a ton either. In his prior start against the Tigers at home, Kennedy registered just three strikeouts in 5.1 innings where he allowed one run on four hits. Kennedy has been exactly as advertised, flashing some fantasy goodness at times, but struggling at others. With a Royals team that is struggling so much at the plate, I can’t imagine him getting much run support tonight either.
10) Luis Perdomo- SDP vs. TBR – $5,000 – This is 100% a park factor type of play as Perdomo plays the Rays at home. I keep seeing how great Perdomo’s stuff is, and he’s a hard thrower, etc. etc., but it never comes to fruition in a fantasy sense. Perdomo is averaging just 4.6 FPPG, but has flashed some brilliance off and on this season, like his 18.1 fantasy point performance against the Diamondbacks or the 18.2 points against the Washington Nationals. The Rays are one of the worst hitting teams against righties with a .318 wOBA and a 23.4 K%, ranked fourth highest in the league. Perdomo has a decent K/9 of 7 that could push him as a sneaky play tonight, but it’s very, VERY hard to trust his ability at this point.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Steveazors) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.