Tonight brings us one of those slates that has A LOT of pitching options to choose from. Usually when that happens, we have to pay up the big bucks for them; well, not tonight! With the $10,600 being the highest salary tonight, we have so many directions we can take our lineups. I break down my 10 favorite pitchers for tonight here, so let’s get to it. As always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Top 5 Pitchers
1) Matt Harvey – NYM vs ATL – $10,600 – I’m not personally sold that Harvey is back into his old form just yet, but I can’t deny this matchup in against the Braves at Citi Field. Coming into tonight, the Braves own some truly horrible road numbers with a .279 wOBA, a .297 OBP and a .340 SLG. They don’t strike out a ton, with only a 20.3 K%, but I think Harvey can do enough here to come out with a solid score. Some may point out that Harvey has not necessarily pitched well against them already in two games this season, but that was in the midst of whatever it was he was going through that was preventing him from pitching to his full capabilities. Harvey isn’t breaking the bank salary wise, and I think he’s in line for a solid start here tonight.
2) Jeff Samardzija – SFG vs. TBR – $10,000 – I’m hoping Samardzija brings his National League success with him tonight and not revert back to his American League ways. He has a fantastic matchup on tap against the Rays, who own a .312 wOBA against righties with a 25.5 K%, which ranks second in the league. Samardzija isn’t striking a ton of guys out, owning a 7.4 K/9 in 13 starts, but he has reached nine twice this season in back-to-back games against the Rockies and Reds. Again, with a price tag that isn’t going to crush you by any means, Samardzija should be highly popular tonight.
3) Lance McCullers – HOU vs. CIN – $8,900 – McCullers is coming off a disappointing start against the Rays his last time out that saw him go six innings allowing four runs on seven hits with a 7:4 K:BB ratio. He saved that start with his seven strikeouts, or else his 12.9 score could have looked A LOT worse. Tonight he takes on a Reds team that continues to scuffle against right-handed pitching with a .298 wOBA and a high 23 K%, which ranks 8th in the league. McCullers, for as average of a season he’s having, is still striking out a ton of guys, owning an 11.7 K/9 in six starts. With this game taking place at Minute Maid Park, I feel a lot better about this one for McCullers as he’s been fantastic at home this season, owning a 2.50 ERA with a K/9 of 13.
“He’s not the sexiest name on this slate, but I think he can turn out a very solid start here…”
4) Robbie Ray – ARZ vs. PHI – $8,400 – I think I’m going to be a lot higher on him than the vast majority of people tonight, and I’m ok with that. I just think the numbers add up here for posting up a solid start. This Phillies team is not good against left-handed pitching and their numbers show it. Coming into tonight, the Phillies own a pathetic .261 wOBA with a .277 OBP and a .321 SLG. On top of that, their 23.6 K% is one of the highest in the league, ranked 8th. I totally understand that Ray is not the sexiest name on this slate, but I think he can 100% turn out a very solid start here.
5) Jon Gray – COL vs. MIA – $10,100 – I’m a huge fan of Gray, when he’s on the road. His splits are incredible, but that’s what happens when you call Coors Field home. Gray has had one bad start on the road that really screwed up this numbers, but since then against the Red Sox and Padres he’s gone 14.1 innings allowing four runs on 10 hits with a 18:4 K:BB ratio. Facing the Marlins tonight, who really struggle at home with a .297 wOBA and a 18.9 K%, Gray is in a nice spot for tonight. Granted, the strikeout potential could be a bit low, but Gray is certainly someone I can consider for tonight.
6) Joe Ross – WAS vs. SDP – $9,400 – I don’t hate Ross by any means tonight; quite frankly, he could be in the top five. I just think we have a few guys ahead of him that I think can outperform him. Coming into tonight, Ross owns a 2.54 ERA on the road with a K/9 of 8 and WHIP of 1.15. He goes up against the Padres, who have been hitting better as of late. I feel like the Padres are a bit sneaky with guys like Wil Meyers and Matt Kemp hitting much better lately. As I said, I don’t hate this spot for Ross at all, and I think he will perform well, I just like a few guys more than him.
7) Michael Fulmer – DET vs. KCR – $10,600 – I think I’m lower on Fulmer compared to a lot of people tonight. That’s cool; I’m fine with that. I can’t deny that Fulmer isn’t pitching fantastic this season. One look at his numbers and they can do all the talking for you. What I’m not excited about is the prospect that Fulmer won’t be able to grab a lot of strikeouts in this one. With the Royals owning a 20.1 K%, ranked 18th in the league, and Fulmer not exactly punching out a ton of guys, I’m a bit skeptical of him grabbing a high score here tonight. He is the most expensive pitcher on the slate tonight and I just don’t think he’ll be worth it. The Royals are hitting very well at home this season with a .326 wOBA and their strikeout percentage drops even lower to 18.4%. Call me crazy, but I’m not a big fan.
“His price isn’t terrible, but playing in the second best hitting ballpark in the league can always brew up some trouble”
8) Jose Quintana- CHW vs. CLE – $9,600 Quintana hasn’t been as dominant as he was earlier this season, but he’s still pitching extremely well for the White Sox. In this matchup tonight, Quintana faces a team that owns .313 wOBA with a .321 OBP and a .404 SLG. Their K% sits at 21.1 sits near the middle of the league in 17th. His price isn’t terrible, but playing in the second best hitting ballpark in the league can always brew up some trouble. At home this season, the Indians own the third highest wOBA at .349 with a .452 SLG and a .344 OBP. I think this isn’t the safest spot for Quintana.
9) Zach Davies – MIL vs. LAD – $9,800 – Davies is quickly turning his season around after a real rough go of it. Over his last four starts, Davies is averaging 26.2 FPPG with all of those starts coming at home. With eight of his 11 starts coming in Milwaukee, we really haven’t got a good sample of how Davies is on the road. In the three starts, it hasn’t been good. Davies has allowed 12 runs on 18 hits in just 12.2 innings on the road this season with a 6:8 K:BB ratio. Granted, it’s not a big sample size, but it’s still an indication of what we MAY see here tonight. He is pitching in Dodger Stadium tonight, which certainly gives him plenty of wiggle room against a weak offense, but I’m not about to play almost $10K for someone with some awful road splits. He’s trending in the right direction with his last three starts, I just want to see it on the road first.
10) Matt Shoemaker – LAA vs. OAK – $8,700 – Speaking of guys that had a really rough start to the season, Shoemaker has really done a complete 180 of his season. Averaging 28.1 FPPG over his last four starts, Shoemaker has come miles from where he was in the month of April. He’s fared much better at home than he has on the road, but playing in Oakland might as well be like playing at LAA Stadium tonight. In his only start against the A’s this season, Shoemaker lasted six innings allowing no runs on one hit with a 5:3 K:BB ratio. I think he’s a solid option for tonight, although I’m a bit skeptical of him bringing in another high score with how little the A’s strikeout at home with their 17.7 K%.