With 15 games on the tonight’s slate, we have some decent pitchers taking the mound. Let’s take a look at my top 10 pitchers.
Top 5 Pitchers
1) Justin Verlander – DET vs NYM – $13,600 – I can’t believe how expensive Verlander is tonight. I mean, I can, because of how well he’s been pitching, but man, feels awful steep. On the other hand, he looks completely locked in right now and is pitching the best he has in a long time. Over his last five starts, Verlander is averaging 27.9 FPPG with a 40:11 K:BB ratio. Tonight he takes on the Mets at Comerica Park against Noah Syndergaard. Against righties, the Mets own a .306 wOBA with a .306 OBP and a 22.3 K%, which really gives the potential for Verlander to have a high scoring game. If you’re going strictly by price, Verlander isn’t a good play tonight as he very likely won’t return value on his salary. On the other hand, no one exactly dominates this slate tonight, so I think Verlander becomes the top option.
2) Steven Wright – BOS vs. LAD – $9,500 – I really like Wright in this spot at Dodger Stadium tonight. Not many ballparks are as cozy as this one, so Wright has a real advantage here against this weak Dodger offense. At home, the Dodgers own a .311 wOBA, ranked 24th in the league, with a .315 OBP and a .413 SLG. They also strikeout at a decent clip with a 20.2 K%. Overall, the Dodgers have been better against righties than they have lefties, I just feel like this is a perfect storm for Wright to come in and have a good game. Keep in mind that they’ll be playing by National League rules as well, so Wright has one less hitter to deal with in this lineup.
3) Jon Lester – CHC vs. OAK – $9,600 – We’re getting Lester at a nice discount tonight as he stumbled a bit in the month of July. Lester came out of that month with a brutal 7.36 ERA in 22 innings, allowing a .391 wOBA with a .540 SLG with six home runs. Fortunately for Lester, he faces an Oakland team that has a .313 wOBA against lefties with a .309 OBO and a .419 SLG. With Oakland as cozy as it gets in terms of ballparks, Lester certainly has the potential to start the month of August off on a good note. The only downfall here is that the A’s are a tough team to strikeout, owning a 17.4 K% against lefties, which is the second lowest in the league.
4) Noah Syndergaard – NYM vs. DET – $11,200 – I’m a bit skeptical on this start for Syndergaard because of how well the Tigers hit right-handed pitchers. In the same sense, they do strikeout a decent amount, so the upside for Syndergaard is here. Thor owns a 10.1 K/9 on the road this season while allowing just a .296 wOBA with a .382 SLG. He will have to face a DH tonight, so the lineup certainly gets a bit tougher for him. All in all, Syndergaard isn’t the safest option, but he’s pitched so well this season that you have to give him that respect as well.
5) Josh Tomlin – CLE vs. NYY – $9,900 – Tomlin usually doesn’t come to mind on a nightly basis when you’re looking to build your lineups, but his matchup with the Yankees tonight has him in the conversation. He’s been much better on the road than he has at home, but I wouldn’t exactly call Yankee Stadium an “upgrade” over Progressive Field. Nonetheless, the Yankees continue to dwell near the basement of the league in all offensive stats that have gotten even worse with the trade of Carlos Beltran. Currently, all active Yankees hitters own the worst wOBA against righties at .298 with a .306 OBP and a .379 SLG. Tomlin isn’t a huge strikeout guy, with a K/9 of 6.5 on the road, but this Yankees team can do wonders for opposing pitchers.
6) Jeremy Hellickson – PHI vs. SDP – $9,300 – I have to hand it to Hellickson, with just under a full month and a half left of baseball, he’s going to end up with a great season under his belt. Coming into this start against the Padres, Hellickson owns a 3.70 ERA with a 1.15 WHIP and a K/9 of 7.4. While his strikeout potential is average at best, the Padres bring out some crazy strikeout totals for pitchers this season. The Padres own the third highest K% against righties with a 24.1% rate. Hellickson has yet to reach double-digit strikeouts this season, but he has reached at least eight four times this season and a season high of nine. I think he’s a great GPP pick for tonight.
7) Anthony DeSclafani – CIN vs. PIT – $9,400 – The matchup itself is a bit of a worry, but man, has DeSclafani looked good since he returned. In 10 starts this season, DeSclafani owns a 2.94 ERA with a 1.22 WHIP and a K/9 of 7.6. Overall, the Pirates are hitting righties well, owning a .322 wOBA with a .334 OBP and a 20.6 K%. I like that DeSclafani is inducing a lot of swings and misses, getting at least 10 in six of his 10 starts this season. I don’t expect him to blow away the Pirates, but he is someone that can easily go overlooked on this slate tonight.
8) Ervin Santana – MIN vs. TBR – $8,200 – Santana is such a hit or miss that it usually keeps me away on a normal basis. I see his name taking on the Rays tonight, and I can’t help taking a peek. On the road, Santana is allowing a .347 wOBA with a .460 SLG and a 6.3 K/9. Not very appealing to say the least, but come on, this is the Rays we’re talking about! The Rays struggle against righties and don’t hit well at home either. At Tropicana Field, the Rays own a .306 wOBA with a .301 OBP and an extremely high 25.2 K%, which is second in the league. Santana hasn’t surpassed eight strikeouts this season, but that would be enough to produce a high score on his $8,200 salary hit. I think he’s a quiet, good potential pick tonight.
9) Francisco Liriano – TOR vs. KCR – $7,100 – Liriano has let us down MANY times this season. And I’m definitely skeptical about rostering him again tonight. However, THIS IS HOW BAD THE ROYALS ARE HITTING RIGHT NOW. Yeah, it’s come to this. Liriano makes his Blue Jays debut tonight against arguably one of the worst offenses in the league, not named the Orioles, since the All-Star break. Against lefties they own a .314 wOBA with a 19.3 K%. We know Liriano has the potential, so at his price he’s worth a shot, which is something I’ve said about him MANY times this season.
10) Jaime Garcia – STL vs. ATL – $6,900 – Garcia is another pitcher that has been up and down this season, but he gets a matchup with the Braves tonight so all could potentially be forgiven here. The Cardinals are favored tonight, so you have to believe Garcia can pull something out in this game. He’s been his best at Busch Stadium, averaging 15.8 FPPG in 11 starts with a 3.68 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP. His price is low enough that he could be a gem if paired with the right pitcher tonight. He’s been VERY inconsistent as of late, so, for me, he’s a GPP only.
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