We have a 10-game main slate on Wednesday and the top plays on the board are in the top pricing tier, making it an interesting day for lineup construction. With a lack of viable discounted pitchers we need to make sure we’re spending up in the right spots. Which of the big names are in the best spot? Let’s dig in and find out. You can find me on Twitter, @RyNoonan.
Top 5 Pitchers
1) Jose Fernandez – MIA vs. KC – $12,600 – There’s really nothing better than a Jose Fernandez home start, and that’s what we have on Wednesday night. The young right-hander and the Marlins are the largest favorite on the slate, while Kansas City has the slate’s lowest implied team total as well at just 2.7 runs. Yes, he’s expensive, but most of the other viable plays are pricey as well, so why not go all the way up for the clear top play of the day? He’s an auto-start in cash games in my opinion.
2) Yu Darvish – TEX vs. CIN – $12,000 – Rarely is there a pitcher on the slate with more strikeout upside than Yu Darvish, but he’s not far behind Jose Fernandez here. His opponent, Cincinnati, strikes out at an above average rate against right-handed pitching and their 89 wRC+ is among the bottom five in the game. Like I mentioned before, I think most will spend the extra $600 to get to Fernandez so that may drive Darvish’s ownership totals down in tournaments.
3) Jacob deGrom – NYM vs. STL – $9,100 – Jacob deGrom struggled last time out, but I think his price is too low here. He’s been priced above $10,000 in his past twelve outings, including $12,200 just two starts ago. There’s nothing under the hood here that should lead us to think that deGrom is any less of a pitcher just because he was hit hard last time out.
4) Zack Greinke – ARZ vs. ATL – $9,600 – I think Zack Greinke is a strong cash game option and could be your SP1 in cash if you’re looking to save salary. The Braves have an implied team total of just 3.8 runs, and the Diamondbacks are favorites. Outside of the one fairly large hiccup in Boston, Greinke has been solid since coming off of the disabled list. He doesn’t have the ceiling of those listed above, but his floor feels just about as high as theirs on Wednesday.
5) Rick Porcello – BOS vs. TB – $11,900 – Are we sure that Rick Porcello contract was terrible, or do we maybe want to rethink that? Pretty Ricky has been really strong lately, stringing together numerous quality outings over the past few months. It’s driving his price to a nearly unapproachable place though because he lacks the elite strikeout upside of his $11,000+ peers. The Rays’ 23.7% K-rate helps his cause, but it’s difficult to justify the minute $700 savings you get with Porcello from not going up to use Jose Fernandez instead.
6) Rich Hill – LAD vs. SF – $9,400 – A month after being traded to the Dodgers, Rich Hill will finally make his debut and gets to face his team’s top rival, the San Francisco Giants. Hill has been on the disabled list with blister issues, so we don’t know much about how long he’ll work in this one which makes him a GPP-only play in my opinion.
7) Carlos Martinez – STL vs. NYM – $9,200 – Carlos Martinez continues to walk a fine line of batted ball fortune and reduced strikeout numbers, something that makes it difficult to trust despite his occasional run of solid starts. He’s not walking quite as many batters as he has in the past, but 3.5 per nine is still quite a bit.
8) Marco Estrada – TOR vs. LAA – $8,600 – Marco Estrada’s extreme fly ball ways didn’t play well in Yankee Stadium last time out, which isn’t a surprise, but he’s set up for a better outing on Wednesday at home against the Angels. Both Estrada and Angels’ starter, Matt Shoemaker, will benefit from home plate umpire Chad Whitson’s large and pitcher-friendly strike zone.
9) Julio Teheran – ATL vs. ARZ – $7,700 – There were some holes in Julio Teheran’s excellent first half and some of them have been exposed here in July and August. He does have some value at $7,700 though, and while his strikeout upside isn’t great, it’s good enough to get by at this price. He’ll need to keep the ball down to get more ground balls than normal here if he’s going to survive the hot Arizona night.
10) Matt Shoemaker – LAA vs. TOR – $7,900 – See Estrada, Marco. The strikeouts that we saw from Matt Shoemaker in May and June have all but vanished, but perhaps Chad Whitson being behind the plate will help. Targeting a pitcher against the Blue Jays isn’t a popular way to go, but their hefty 24.7% K-rate against right-handed pitching makes them a viable target if you need a discounted tournament arm tonight.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is RyanFix) 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.