With a 10 game slate on tap tonight, we may have to get a bit creative with our pitching. A Coors Field slate featuring the Blue Jays will have the majority of us gravitating in that direction which will require some value at pitching. I’ll give my thoughts on my top ten pitchers for this slate. As always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Top 5 Pitchers
1) Jake Arrieta – CHC vs CIN – $13,700 – I had Noah in this spot, but my concerns with a potential elbow issue has me bumping him down a couple of spots. Arrieta comes into tonight facing the team he no-hit already this season, the Cincinnati Reds. Arreita has been a bit all over the place lately and has failed to reach the seventh inning lately, as he’s done so just twice in his last six games. However, this is a Reds team that owns a .297 wOBA against righties this season with a .293 OBP and a K% of 23. Even with his expensive price tag, Arrieta should be a solid option for tonight in this very tasty matchup.
2) Robbie Ray – ARZ vs. PHI – $9,300 – I have a feeling that I may have Ray higher than the rest of the industry, but that’s fine. I REALLY like Ray in this spot for a numbers of reasons that I’ll hit upon quickly. Overall, Ray doesn’t have great numbers, which I think will turn a lot of people away. However, Ray has some sneaky strikeout potential, as he owns a 10.4 K/9 this season. Coming into tonight, the Phillies are one of the worst teams against left-handed pitching, owning a .264 wOBA with a .279 OBP and a .330 SLG. Tie that together with their 23.6 K% and this is quite the matchup for Ray. I think Ray is in line for a solid score tonight.
3) Noah Syndergaard – NYM vs. WAS – $12,200 – This is essentially the same situation with Steven Matz against the Braves recently, where the Mets said they’ll be keeping a close eye on Noah and adjust accordingly. So it’s a bit tough to trust a pitcher who will cost you $12,200 in a very iffy situation. All THAT aside, I like his matchup a lot, and if all goes well, he could have a solid start ahead of him. Syndergaard pitched one of his best games of the season against the Nationals earlier this season, going seven innings allowing no runs on five hits with a 10:0 K:BB ratio. He’s been just as good on the road as he has at home this season, so this should be a great spot for him against a Nationals team with a .311 wOBA and a 20.3 K% against righties.
. . . pairing him up with Ray might be a great way to get some good pitching and some heavy bats in your lineup
4) Matt Shoemaker – LAA vs. HOU – $9,900 – It truly boggles my mind that this is the same Matt Shoemaker that had a 9.15 ERA in the month of April. It shocks me so much that I may just bring it up every time he starts and I write this article. Since then, Shoemaker has gotten better and better, owning a 3.28 ERA in May and a 2.50 in June. This will be the third time Shoemaker has faced this Astros team, and he’s left both starts with fantastic results. Shoemaker has gone 15.2 innings allowing five runs on 15 hits with an 18:2 K:BB ratio, averaging 27.2 FPPG in those starts. At $9,900, Shoemaker has the feel of a value play tonight, and pairing him up with Ray might be a great way to get some good pitching and some heavy bats in your lineup. Shoemaker has been his best at home this season averaging 17.6 FPPG in seven starts with a 49:8 K:BB ratio.
5) Trevor Bauer – CLE vs. ATL – $12,800 – The biggest problem I have with this start is the price for Bauer. As the second most expensive pitcher on the night against the Braves, one would understand taking him. However, the Braves continue to be a tough team to strikeout, and that has me thinking it would take A LOT for Bauer to make up the difference and return value on his price. With an 8.4 K/9 on the season and the Braves owning a 19.2 K% against righties, these numbers don’t exactly mix well. Bauer has been his best on the road, but we see a dip in his strikeouts, as they go down to 7.8. Without the strikeouts, Bauer would have a tough time cracking anything more than 20-25 on the night, which on a normal basis would be fine, but his price is too high for that kind of start. Overall, it’s a nice matchup for him, I’m just not expecting a big return.
6) Joe Ross – WAS vs. NYM – $9,500 – I want to love Ross, I really do, but he continues to make it difficult. He’s wildly inconsistent, and it’s hard to tell which Ross you’ll be getting on a particular night. One night he’s posting a score of 21.6 against the Cardinals and then next he grabs a 3.6-point game against the White Sox. Theoretically, he should have a nice spot here against a struggling Mets offense, one that owns a .307 wOBA with a .306 OBP and a .407 SLG. Their K% is slightly high at 22.8%, but Ross isn’t huge with strikeouts, owning a 7.5 K/9 on the season. His price tag feels a bit high to me for someone who is averaging just 13.8 FPPG, but you could overpay in other spots that are a lot worse in my opinion.
7) Jeff Samardzija – SFG vs. OAK – $8,400 – Samardzija’s price tag continues to tumble. Samardzija is in a really rough stretch lately, averaging only 7.1 FPPG over his last five starts. It hasn’t even been that bad of a schedule for him, as the Rays, Dodgers and Braves are included in that list. I’m hoping he can regain some of his fantastic home pitching splits against the A’s tonight, who own a .296 wOBA against righties with a .302 OBP and a .384 SLG. They continue to be a tough team to strikeout, as they K% of 18 remains one of the lowest in the league against righties. Still, pitching at AT&T Park has been very kind for Samardzija, and he should have the opportunity to have a good start tonight.
. . . he’s becoming a reliable middle of the order pitcher for the Cardinals this season
8) Adam Wainwright – STL vs. KC – $7,400 – I don’t think we’ll even see the Wainwright of old again, but he’s becoming a reliable middle of the order pitcher for the Cardinals this season. His price remains extremely fair as well, as $7,400 for a pitcher averaging 11.8 FPPG feels somewhat fair. Unlike someone like Joe Ross, Wainwright has been showing a more consistent string of games and has me more likely to trust him over Ross at a $2,100 saving. The reason Wainwright is lower is because Kauffman Stadium has been great for hitters this season, ranked third overall in the league. The Royals having been striking out more and more as of late, owning a 19.8 K% against righties, but it still isn’t high enough for my liking just yet. Wainwright is more of a money saver tonight but one that could end up surprising you.
9) Eduardo Rodriguez – BOS vs. TBR – $6,600 – Rodriguez isn’t the safest option on the board tonight. The Rays are hitting left-handed pitching extremely well this season, owning the second highest wOBA in the league at .348. In the same respect, they also have one of the highest K% in the league at 23.4%. The Rays are in the middle of a horrific slide, having lost 11 in a row now. I feel like this is one of those starts where Rodriguez could shine, as he could show some of that strikeout potential that he has.
10) Daniel Mengden – OAK vs. SFG – $7,500 – I’ve been impressed from what I’ve seen his the first three starts for Mengden, owning a 3.00 ERA with a 1.28 WHIP and averaging 18.7 FPPG. He gets a Giants team that owns a .313 wOBA against righties with a .327 OBP and a .394 SLG. They don’t strikeout much, however, which really puts a damper on the upside for Mengden for tonight. That being said, if you’re looking for a low owned pitcher that is in the cozy Oakland Coliseum tonight, here’s your guy.