Top 5 Pitchers
Dallas Keuchel – HOU vs. MIN – $9,900 – Keuchel has really been stumbling out of the gate so far this season. So, what’s the cure to a stumble? A date with the Twins! The Twins are near the bottom of the barrel in wOBA against left-handed pitching checking in at .269. Truly, that’s horrible. On top of that, their 25.9 K% is one of the highest in the league. You have to love this matchup for Keuchel, as he should be one of the most popular pitchers on the night.
Johnny Cueto – SFG vs. CIN – $10,800 – Last time I was high on Cueto, he scored 46.5 points on the night, making me look like the smartest man on the planet. I’m looking for a bit more of that magic tonight against the Reds. He gets a road matchup with this Reds team who own a .281 wOBA against right-handed bats, which ranks 28th in the league. They don’t strike out nearly as much as the Twins, owning a 21.7 K%, which makes them slide into my second pick and not first. Cueto should be in for another solid outing tonight.
Gio Gonzalez – WAS vs. KCR – $8,400 – Gonzalez has been a tough pitcher to fade this season, simply because of how friendly his salary has been along with his solid outings thus far. Gonzalez comes into tonight with a 1.42 ERA with a 0.99 WHIP and a K/9 of 8.8. The Royals don’t strike out much, so I won’t be looking for a big strikeout game from him here, but projecting around five doesn’t seem too far out of the realm. If anything, Gonzalez is a nice money saver tonight in a good matchup, as the Royals are ranked 20th in wOBA against righties at .307.
Jon Gray – COL vs SDP – $7,900 – I’m curious how much or how little Gray will be owned tonight. I think the perception (and his numbers) will keep your average player away. He comes into tonight with a 11.42 ERA with a 2.19 WHIP. Pretty awful, right? But that’s what happens when your home base is Coors Field. In his short time in the majors, Gray owns a .275 wOBA on the road compared to his .441 at home. Going against a strikeout happy Padres team, Gray could be a sneaky (maybe) pick tonight, as he 100% has strikeout potential.
Edinson Volquez – KCR vs. WAS – $7,300 – All it takes is one start for people to change their perception of you. After four solid starts, Volquez was lit up by the Angels (how?) to a score of -7.2. Ouch. On paper, Volquez has a good matchup against a Nationals team that is really struggling against right-handed pitching with a .292 wOBA. Their strikeouts are right in the middle of the league, so don’t expect a ton here. The salary of $7,300 bring us some great value tonight, and I’m thinking people might be off of him after that Angels game.
Bartolo Colon – NYM vs ATL – $6,700 – I don’t mind any pitcher on any given night going against the Braves. I also don’t mind a pitcher going against the Braves who costs $6,700. Colon gets this Braves team that owns a whopping .271 wOBA against right-handed pitching, which is dead last in the league, and a K% of 20.4%, which ranks 17th. While I think this is an excellent matchup for Colon, he’s only averaging 12.8 FPPG and hasn’t pitched past the sixth inning so far this season. He’s a nice value play, but don’t go to crazy here.
Jimmy Nelson – MIL vs. LAA – $7,500 – From one bad offense to another, the Angels play some interleague action in Milwaukee tonight. This is an obvious boost for the Brewers, as the Angels will be running Weaver out to bat and makes the Angels offense even worse than it already is. The Angels are down to a .282 wOBA against right-handed pitching, but like the Braves, they don’t strike out a ton with a 16 K% against righties. That kills the majority of value on Nelson, as he’ll need to have consistent clean innings to rack up a score worth his salary.
Jason Hammel – CHC vs. PIT – $8,000 – This is one of those situations where people will look at the season numbers for Hammel, see a 0.75 ERA with a 1.04 WHIP and not understand how an $8,000 salary is justified. What you won’t see in those season stats, is that the Pirates own a .351 wOBA, ranked 4th, against right-handed bats and only an 18.3K%, ranked 28th. Hammel has been great so far, don’t get me wrong, but I think he get’s lit up tonight. He is GPP only for me.
Gerrit Cole – PIT vs. CHC – $9,400 – Just like Hammel, this is not a good spot for Cole either, and his salary is $1,400 more expensive. The Cubs lineup against right-handed pitching is what nightmares are made of. They own a .351 wOBA against them with a 19.7 K%. They’ve hit 24 home runs off RHP, which is tied for fourth in the league. In a park that was rated just shy of the top 10 for home runs in 2015, I think this has the potential to be a horrible spot for Cole.
Jose Berrios – MIN vs. HOU – $7,700 – We’ve only seen one start from Berrios in the major leagues, and it didn’t go well. I’m not here to judge him off that and I’m willing to give him a second chance against a very boom or bust Astros team. On one hand, they strike out a ton, 27 K% against right-handed pitchers which ranks second in the league. On the other hand, their ISO is high at .178. So this is a tough spot to choose to either go with Berrios or stack against him. For what it’s worth, Berrios had a K/9 just shy of 10 in the minors last season with a 0.65 HR/9. It certainly isn’t the safest play, but it could reward you handsomely.