My goodness, do we have some pitching options for you tonight! With nine, count em, nine pitchers costing at least $10K tonight on DraftKings, you know we have some solid guys to choose from. I give you my top 10 list of pitchers for tonight to help you get ready for this monster slate. As always, you can find me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Top 5 Pitchers
#1) Johnny Cueto – SFG vs LAD– $13,100 – You may be surprised that Kershaw isn’t my number one choice for tonight, more on that in just a bit. Instead, let’s look at why I really like Cueto in this spot. He’s very expensive, with a $13,100 price tag, but I think against a weak Dodgers offense in AT&T Stadium this is a fantastic spot for him. Cueto has had two starts against the Dodgers with mixed results. In one start, he gave up only one run and the other he gave up six. At home this season, Cueto has been fantastic, owning a 2.01 ERA with a .252 wOBA allowed to opposing hitters. With the Dodgers near the bottom of the league in wOBA against righties and SLG%, you have to like this spot for Cueto.
#2) Clayton Kershaw – LAD vs. SFG – $13,900 – – It’s a Clayton Kershaw night, so of course he will be one of the top pitchers on this slate. Now it’s just a matter of if you can afford him or not. At $13,900, he’s the most expensive pitcher on the slate by only $400, however he most certainly deserves this price tag. Averaging a whopping 31.3 FPPG, Kershaw just can’t be stopped this season. In a pitcher friendly park like AT&T Stadium against a Giants offense that ranks 13th in wOBA against lefties, Kershaw should have another fantastic outing tonight. The Giants don’t strike out much against lefties, owning the second lowest K% and Kershaw only owns a 6.6 K/9 in two starts against them. Those factors puts Kershaw at #2.
“Strasburg only went five innings against the Reds his last time out, allowing three runs”
#3) Stephen Strasburg – WAS vs. PHI – $13,500 – – Believe me, Strasburg could very well be one of the top options tonight, I’m just a bit worried about his DTD tag he has slapped next to his name. Strasburg only went five innings against the Reds his last time out, allowing three runs on four hits while striking out ten. That’s a decent line for sure, but concerns about his calf were raised and I can’t say I’m thrilled with ponying up over $13K for someone who may not be 100%. Otherwise, this matchup is a juicy one for him against one of the worst hitting teams against right-handed pitchers. If you can get past the DTD status, Strasburg could easily be one of the highest scoring pitchers on the night.
#4) Jason Hammel – CHC vs. ATL – $11,100 – – Look at this major “discount” you get for Hammel tonight at just $11,100! Truly, when $11K feels cheap, you know it’s quite a night for pitching. Going against one of the worst offenses in the league, Hammel brings his solid season to Turner Field tonight. Hammel brings some great road splits, a 2.23 ERA and a .271 wOBA against a Braves team that barely belongs in the majors. The only caution I would give for this game is that the Braves do not strikeout much against righties, owning a 19.9 K%, which ranks 18th in the league. I think Hammel is still in a great spot here and will kind of, soft of save you some money?
#5) Corey Kluber – CLE vs. LAA – $11,400 – – Home field advantage isn’t always an advantage, especially if you’re the Angels. They’ve been hitting much better as of late, but coming into this game they still own a .303 wOBA at home this season with a .381 SLG, both ranked in the bottom 20s in the league. Kluber has been much better on the road this season, holding opposing hitters to a .244 wOBA with a 3.18 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP. Like the Braves, the Angels are a tough team to strike out, owning the lowest K% at home this season at 16.6%. Kluber has been hovering around 5-6 strikeouts per game this season, which I think is a possibility here and won’t necessarily cause a major fluctuation in his value.
#6) Chris Sale – CHW vs. KCR – $11,800 – – Chris Sale in the number six spot eh? I know, it doesn’t look right, but Sale is a bit too expensive for this start in my opinion. Sale is not the strikeout pitcher he once was, as he has yet to reach double-digit strikeouts this season. Mix that in with a Royals team that ranks 28th in the league in K% and how can you feel good about this? Sure, Sale struck out seven Royals his last time out against them, but he only grabbed 20.4 fantasy points in the that game. I’m looking for quite a bit more if I’m paying $11,800 for Sale. Overall, I think you have better options that are priced lower and even higher than Sale. He has the talent, don’t get me wrong, but I’m not getting a lot of exposure here.
#7) Lance McCullers – HOU vs. TBR – $10,300 – – Here is someone I think will most certainly get overlooked tonight. McCullers has now had four solid starts in a row and gets the weak hitting Rays tonight. McCullers certainly hasn’t lost his ability to strike guys out, owning a 12.4 K/9 on the season in five starts. Facing a Rays team that has a 23.8 K% against righties is something I most certainly want to get exposure to. The biggest problem for McCullers has been the walks, as he’s been averaging an insane 6.1 per nine innings this season. The Rays are one of the worst at drawing a walk tonight, so I’m hoping he’ll be able to get that under control. This is an extremely boom or bust pick tonight.
#8) Steven Wright – BOS vs. MIN – $12,200 – – Wright is someone I most certainly like on a normal basis, but between the other options we have tonight and his price tag, I’m having a hard time trying to justify paying up for him. Wright has been solid this season, averaging 21.6 FPPG with a 2.29 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. Overall, I don’t think Wright will have a bad game and I think he should be able to handle this Twins team that owns a .307 wOBA with a 23.1 K%. I just think that his price tag is too high and with the options below him, I think you can save the money and get close, or even exceed, the production Wright will have.
“Harvey at $8,300 SCREAMS value on this slate, it’s just figuring out which Dark Knight actually ends up on the mound”
#9) Matt Harvey – NYM vs. MIL – $8,300 – – Harvey at $8,300 SCREAMS value on this slate, it’s just figuring out which Dark Knight actually ends up on the mound. Will we get the Harvey that scored 30 points agains the White Sox or the Harvey that only managed 8.7 points against the Phillies? The Brewers are certainly a decent hitting team, owning a .316 wOBA against righties with a .400 SLG, but it’s their strikeouts that have me intrigued. Owning the highest K% in the league at 26%, Harvey could seriously rack them up in this game, improving upon his 7.1 K/9. No matter how you slice it, Harvey possesses some serious value here tonight, but his inconsistent season is a major worry.
#10) Ian Kennedy – KCR vs. CHW – $9,300 – – Anyone that has a four digit salary hit for tonight feels like a value play, doesn’t it? Kennedy takes on a White Sox team that really struggles against righties with a .298 wOBA and a decent 20.7 K%. Kennedy is one of those guys that could very easily be overlooked and could be in line for a solid outing. Kennedy has been a bit shaky on the road this year, allowing a .327 wOBA, but his matchup has me thinking he could pull off something decent here. No matter what, you’ll have to save money somewhere, so at pitcher with someone who will most certainly be under owned, Kennedy could be in consideration.