We have a solid 14 game slate on tap tonight, but that doesn’t mean the strikeout will be coming easy. With a lot of pitchers going up against some tough teams to strike out, we might have to get a bit creative with our picks tonight. Let’s dive into the information and as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
#1) Chris Sale – CHW vs. NYY – $12,300 – – Sale is going to be the most popular pick by far this evening. Going up against the light hitting Yankees, Sale should be able to cruise through this start, despite it being in Yankee Stadium. On the season, the Yankees own a .305 wOBA with a K% of 19.7%. Even with Sale not having the amount of K’s he usually has, owning an 8.4 K/9, Sale could easily amass a double digit strike out game in this contest. What’s even more amazing, is that even with the lower strikeouts Sale is still averaging just shy of 28 FPPG. In feels like a no-brainer in most formats tonight.
#2) Rich Hill – OAK vs. TBR – $9,700 – – Realistically, Hill could be the number one pitching option of the night. The Rays strike out a TON and somehow, someway, Hill continues to mow people down. Coming into tonight, Hill owns a 10.9 K/9 over his first seven starts, which is way over his career K/9 average. With the Rays owning the ninth highest K% against lefties at 24%, Hill could continue the torrid pace he’s been on since last season. The reason he’s lower than Sale is because the Rays have hit lefties at a decent clip this season, owning a .331 wOBA, which ranks 10th in the league. Hill is still a solid option and I expect him to be a popular one as well.
#3) Michael Wacha – STL vs LAD – $9,300 – – Coming into this matchup against the Dodgers, Wacha owns a 3.12 ERA with a 1.27 WHIP which has equaled out to 16.8 FPPG. I like this matchup for him tonight because he’ll be pitching in Dodger Stadium, a pitchers park, and the Dodgers do not hit RHP well. Owning a .299 wOBA, the Dodgers also strike out at a decent clip at 21.6%. With so many people flocking toward Hill and Sale tonight, I think Wacha could be a nice change on your roster and isn’t in a bad spot to outperform those names. Wacha has been having a bit of an issue with walks lately, but the Dodgers own one of the lower OBP in the league at .310.
#4) Jake Odorizzi – TBR vs. OAK – $8,300 – – I view facing the A’s very similar to facing the Angels. They both have a similar offense where they don’t hit particularly well, but they don’t strike out much either, which puts us at a bit of a crossroad. On one side, Odorizzi faces this A’s offense that owns a .300 wOBA against righties, which ranks 23rd, and a K% of 18.6% which ranks 24th. Coincidently, Odorizzi faced the Angles his last time up and posted a line of six innings allowing two runs on five hits with a 4:1 K:BB ratio for just 13.9 points.
“Any pitcher who takes on the Braves and costs below $9,000 feels like a value to me”
#5) Edinson Volquez – KCR vs ATL – $8,000 – – Any pitcher who takes on the Braves and costs below $9,000 feels like a value to me. Only problem is, just like the Angels and the A’s, they don’t strike out a ton. The numbers for the Braves are down right pathetic, as they rank dead last against righties in wBOA, ISO, SLG, and OBP. Their strikeouts have been going up a bit, ranked 18th in the league at 19.7%. This isn’t horrible, but Volquez isn’t a huge strikeout guy either, owning a 7.7 K/9 on the season. Nonetheless, facing the Braves you have to always like your chances here.
#6) Gio Gonzalez – WAS vs. MIA – $8,100 – – Coming into tonight, the Marlins own a .327 wOBA against lefties with an OBP of .355. Both of these rank 13th in the league and it’s high enough to be a problem. In the same respect, they strike out a lot against lefties with a 24.6 K%. Gonzalez has seen his strikeouts dip so far this year, owning only a 6.8 K/9, which is obviously a bit different from his career 8.7 K/9. I don’t hate this spot for Gio, but I don’t love it either. At his price, I think he could be a solid number two if he can keep those Marlins bats in check.
#7) Jeff Samardzija – SFG vs. ARZ – $9,500 – – Samardzija has pitched MUCH better since landing with the Giants this season. Coming into tonight, he owns a 3.17 ERA with a 1.14 WHIP and a K/9 of 8.1. He takes on the Diamondbacks tonight who own a .330 wOBA against righties with an OPS of .768, both ranking in the top 10 in the league. Samardzija has actually been better on the road than he has at home, owning a .277 wOBA on the road so far this season. I don’t love this matchup for him because he is going up against a good offense in a hitters park, but overall Samardzija has looked solid from start to finish.
“It’s expected to rain in Boston all throughout the night and the game could end up being postponed”
#8) Steven Wright – BOS vs. HOU – $9,100 – – Boy does that salary continue to climb. Wright has been such a surprise for the Red Sox this season. He comes into tonight with a 1.52 ERA to go with a 0.99 WHIP and averaging 23.9 FPPG. The biggest problem for him tonight is the weather. It’s expected to rain in Boston all throughout the night and this game could end up being postponed. If the weather was clear, I would have Wright much higher on this list. Owning an 8.2 K/9, Wright faces an Astros team that is second in the league in K% at 26.3%. As of right now, it doesn’t look good for this game, but if anything changes Wright is in a great spot tonight.
#9) Nathan Karns – SEA vs. LAA – $8,200 – – Karns has quietly been putting together a solid 2016. Owning a 3.38 ERA with a 1.33 WHIP and averaging 18.7 FPPG, he has been a nice way to grab a solid number two and save some money. However, like I’ve mentioned before, he faces an Angels team that are hard to break when it comes to strikeouts. The good news is, Karns does own a solid 9.8 K/9 coming into tonight, so it is at least reasonable to think that Karns could grab around five in this one. He’s had some struggles with right handed batters, which the Angels are heavy on, but the Angels rank just 27th in the league in wOBA at .293.
#10) Julio Teheran – ATL vs. KCR – $8,400 – – After a horrible start to the season, Teheran has seemed to have turned things around a bit lately. Averaging 22.6 FPPG over his last three starts, Teheran takes on a Royals team that is around the league average in wOBA against righties at .309. In what seems to be a common theme of the night, they aren’t an easy team to strike out. What gives me some hope for Teheran tonight is that the Royals are mostly right handed bats, which he owns a .236 wOBA against this season. Just be aware of the risk in taking Teheran, as he’s always one pitch away from an epic implosion. On the plus side, he could be a solid low owned SP2.