With a full 15 game slate ahead of us, we have a lot of options at pitcher to choose from. So let’s take a look at who I like for tonight to give you a nice jump start on your research. As always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Top 5 Pitchers
1) Max Scherzer – WAS vs MIL – $13,900 – First off, I hate this price for Scherzer. We’re entering Clayton Kershaw territory at $13,900 and it makes it really hard to justify paying that for anyone. Scherzer is honestly going to have to throw a near perfect start to return value on the price we’re paying for him. With that being said, I think he has a legitimate chance to be the pitcher with the highest score on the night. Going up against a Brewers team that leads the league in K% against right-handed pitching has me feeling all the feels tonight. Scherzer enters this game with an 11.3 K/9 on the season, which spells nothing but a high score for Max tonight. Pitching better on the road than he has at home, Max is truly in such a good spot tonight that I may even consider breaking my own rule of not rostering pitchers that are over $12K. The Brewers only own a .315 wOBA against righties this season with a .325 OBP, which feels like the cherry on top of this matchup.
2) Carlos Martinez – STL vs. SEA – $10,000 – When I was going through the list of starters tonight Martinez going up against Seattle at Safeco Field caught my eye. Martinez has been solid this season, but on the road he’s been fantastic. Coming into this start, Martinez owns a 1.78 ERA with a .233 wOBA. His strikeouts go down a bit on the road to 6.1 per 9, but I think he’s in a good spot this evening. At $10,000, his price feels really fair for this matchup in a nice pitchers park like Safeco. The Mariners are hitting ok at home this season, owning a .327 wOBA with a .325 OBP and a K% of 20%. I think Martinez will be overlooked tonight and could come away with a nice start here.
Over his last three starts, against good teams no less, Price is averaging 29.2 FPPG with a 25:2 K:BB ratio
3) David Price – BOS vs. TEX – $11,100 – I think it’s safe to say that Price has finally found his rhythm and is back to looking like the David Price we’ve all come to know. His overall numbers haven’t evened out just yet, but they will get there. In this start against the Rangers, it certainly isn’t the easiest matchup, but I like where Price is heading in terms of his pitching. Over his last three starts, against good teams no less, Price is averaging 29.2 FPPG with a 25:2 K:BB ratio. These starts came against the Giants, Orioles and Mariners, so this is a good sample size in my opinion. The Rangers own a .333 wOBA against lefties this season with a 19.9 K%, but I think Price is able to grab another solid start here.
4) Aaron Sanchez – TOR vs. CHW – $11,400 Sanchez is a different pitcher on the road compared to at the Rogers Centre this season. At home, Sanchez owns a 4.79 ERA with a 1.54 WHIP and a K/9 of 8. On the road, Sanchez owns a 2.43 ERA with a 1.06 WHIP and K/9 of 9.1. Tonight he takes on the White Sox who own a .302 wOBA against righties with a 20.9 K%. The White Sox are coming off a nice series against the Red Sox, but I think that might give a false perception that this team is hitting, as the Red Sox have one of the worst pitching staffs in the American League. Sanchez has only allowed two of his eight home runs on the road this season in eight starts while giving up just 15 runs. I think he’s a solid option tonight.
5) Zach Davies – MIL vs. WAS – $8,600 – Davies has quietly been putting together a solid season for the Brewers. Coming into tonight, Davies carries a 3.62 ERA with a 1.15 WHIP and a K/9 of 7.2. After a bit of a rough start, Davies owns a 2.88 ERA at home this season with a .276 wOBA and a .381 SLG. Facing the Nationals tonight, who currently rank 18th in the league in wOBA against righties at .312 with a 20.4 K%, I think Davies has the ability to be a sneaky pick for tonight. His price tag isn’t going to hurt you much, and he’s averaging 19.3 FPPG at home this season in eight starts. With the Nationals slumping at the plate a bit, Davies could be a real difference maker for your roster tonight.
6) Kyle Hendricks – CHC vs. MIA – $9,500 – Hendricks on the road is not even close to Hendricks at home, which has me a bit concerned for this start tonight. If this was at Wrigley Field tonight, I’d have no problem putting Hendricks in my top three, but he’s just been that bad on the road. In seven starts on the road, Hendricks owns a 4.36 ERA with a 1.30 WHIP averaging 10.6 FPPG. At home, he sits with a 1.93 ERA with a 0.81 WHIP averaging 24.3 FPPG. Big difference, right? The Marlins are hitting righties fairly well this season, owning a .319 wOBA with a .408 SLG, which makes me think Hendricks could be in a bit of trouble here. He certainly has the talent to pull out a good start, but it’s not a lock.
7) Danny Salazar – CLE vs. DET – $13,000 – To be quite honest, I think this game has the potential to be high scoring, which is one reason I don’t like Salazar in this spot. Besides that, I HATE his price of $13,000. If I’m going to spend that much, I might as well just add the extra $900 and grab Scherzer in a fantastic spot against the Brewers. All in all, Salazar certainly has been pitching great this season and he could certainly ring up a high score. At the end of the day, I have a hard time justifying this price tag for him in a tough spot against a Tigers team that is sixth in the league in wOBA against righties at .334 and fourth in the league at home at .347.
. . . the Mets will be “watching Matz cautiously” during this start against the Braves
8) Steven Matz – NYM vs. ATL – $10,600 Yes, I really am ranking Matz 8th against the Braves tonight. Why on Earth would I do such a thing? It all comes down to Matz and his elbow issue. I don’t like the fact that the Mets will be “watching Matz cautiously” during this start against the Braves. That just shoots up a big red flag for me. I don’t feel inclined to pay $10,600 for a pitcher who could be pulled earlier than normal or even because of injury. Granted, that could happen to ANYONE on this list, but at least I had some warning of it. With that being said, he has a great matchup on tap and if he truly is healthy, he could pull out a great start here. Personally, I’m staying away, but the potential is certainly present.
9) Jameson Taillon – PIT vs. LAD – $7,500 – I personally haven’t been able to catch a start for Taillon from start to finish yet, but from what I’ve seen he’s got some great stuff. Taking on a weak Dodgers offense screams value tonight at just $7,500. In three starts this season, Taillon has faced the Cubs twice and the Mets, averaging 14.6 FPPG in those. Not too shabby for his first season. With a much easier start ahead, I’ll be interested to see what this kid can do on the mound tonight. The Dodgers own a .305 wOBA against righties this season with a 20.8 K%, making this start for Taillon a potential good one.
10) Jordan Zimmermann – DET vs. CLE – $7,100 – Zimmermann doesn’t offer a ton of upside in this start for me personally. After his red-hot month of April, Zimm has really come crashing back down to Earth, as he’s averaging 16.6 FPPG. The Indians are a solid hitting club against righties, owning a .325 wOBA with a .434 SLG. Zimmermann has also been struggling at home, owning a 4.43 ERA with a 1.21 WHIP. Hey, I have to profile 10 pitchers on the slate, can’t say liking 9 of them is too shabby.