Wednesday’s 8-game evening slate brings us some solid pitchers by name, but not by matchup or price. Avoiding the landmines on a small slate is of the utmost importance, so I hope to help you here today. You can find me on Twitter, @RyNoonan. Let’s dig in.
Top 5 Pitchers
|5||Jose Quintana||White Sox||Red Sox||$7,900|
#1) Cole Hamels – Rangers vs. Reds – $10,400 – – Cole Hamels’ main issues has been walks this season, which should be mitigated a bit in this spot against the Reds. Despite having Joey Votto, who’s considered to be one of the most patient hitters in the league, the Reds have the second lowest walk rate in the MLB against left-handed pitching. They also strikeout more than the league average as well, so we have upside here too. Vegas has Texas as the slate’s largest favorite at -205, so I’d give Hamels a long look in any format.
#2) Chris Archer – Rays vs. Indians – $8,000 – – No other pitcher on tonight’s slate possesses the strikeout upside that Chris Archer has, so that alone makes him an interesting play at this price point. His continued struggles with fastball location are surprising, and they’ve led to damaging innings and home runs at a rate nearly double of what he allowed last season. We’ve seen glimpses of the stud we fell in love with last season, and I believe better days are to come. The Indians are a middle-of-the-pack offense against right-handed pitching, so we shouldn’t fear them here.
#3) Jeff Samardzija – Giants vs. Pirates – $8,900 – – We’re getting Jeff Samardzija at a bit of a discount tonight. He’s been up around the $10,000+ range most of the season, and he’s pitching more like the ground ball generating machine that we’ve seen in years past. The Pirates are a solid offense and they are above average against righties, but their .140 isolated power is one of the lowest marks in the league. That helps here, because when ‘Shark’ is off he is very homer prone.
#4) Trevor Bauer – Indians vs. Rays – $10,600 – – I don’t love the price here for Trevor Bauer, but I do love the strikeout upside. The Rays’ 25.2% K-rate against right-handed pitching is the highest in the league, and we saw Corey Kluber make them look foolish on Tuesday night. No one is going to confuse Bauer with Kluber, but Bauer has the ability to miss bats and his high price will keep enough people away to make him tournament viable.
#5) Jose Quintana – White Sox vs. Red Sox – $7,900 – – It’s clearly a less than ideal spot for Jose Quintana, but he’s just too good to be less than $8,000. The Red Sox offense has been quiet lately, and Quintana’s consistent ability to work deep into games and pile up quality starts makes him an interesting play. On the road in Fenway, as a left-hander, is a tough spot for any pitcher, but Quintana is quietly putting together a ‘top-10 starter’ season.
#6) Julio Urias – Dodgers vs. Nationals – $6,900 – – With his solid recent form and favorable price, I think Julio Urias is going to be a popular play on Wednesday. However, I don’t think he will work deep into the game, and the Nationals rake against lefties. They have the second best isolated power mark at .208, and their .345 wOBA and 115 wRC+ are both inside the top-5. Don’t go crazy here.
#7) Michael Fulmer – Tigers vs. Mariners – $9,700 – – $9,700 for Michael Fulmer is a bit rich for me, but I’m buying in on his talent. He’s been both lucky and good so far this season, so while I don’t expect his sub-3.00 ERA to hold up all season, I do think he’s a talent that’s worth considering on most days. The problem here is that the Mariners possess a top-5 offense against right-handed pitching, and their relatively low strikeout rate limits a bit of Fulmer’s upside.
#8) Joe Ross – Nationals vs. Dodgers – $8,800 – – This isn’t a terrible spot for Joe Ross, and perhaps I have him a bit too far down the list. The Dodgers have been disappointing offensively this season, and have really struggled against right-handed pitching with just a .305 wOBA and 92 wRC+. Ross’ splits are so pronounced though, so he might struggle against the Dodgers’ lefties.
#9) Hisashi Iwakuma – Mariners vs. Tigers – $8,100 – – The Tigers are a top ten offense against right-handed pitching on the season, so it’s hard to get too excited about Iwakuma and his middling strikeout rate here, but he’s been consistently decent outside of his last start against the Red Sox. The lack of whiffs limits his tournament upside, but his likely low ownership totals will make him worth considering.
#10) Ubaldo Jimenez – Orioles vs. Padres – $4,300 – – This is what happens when pitching is slim on an 8-game slate. There are a ton of position players that’ll cost you more than Ubaldo Jimenez does tonight, and he’s facing the league’s worst offense against right-handed pitching. He’s been terrible, there’s no debating that, but in a GPP he’s worth a look if you’re building multiple lineups.