WATCH: MLB IN 90 SECONDS – MARCUS STROMAN
Wednesday night brings us a 10-game MLB slate with some intriguing pitching options to choose from. I rank my top-5 below.
1. Marcus Stroman – TOR vs MIL – $9,300
After a strong showing in the World Baseball Classic, Stroman had a solid start to begin his 2017 season. Stroman picked up a victory and allowed just one run over 6 1/3 innings against the Rays. Tonight he gets to face the team with the highest strikeout rate in all of baseball. Last night with J.A. Happ starting, the Brewers struck out 13 times. Happ registered 8 strikeouts in just 4 2/3 innings. This goes to show how much upside pitchers have when facing this Brewers team. They have struck out in 32% of their at bats to begin the year. As a team, the Brewers have just a .201 batting average against right-handed pitching.
2. Vince Velasquez – PHI vs NYM – $9,200
I certainly don’t expect many people to be on a Phillies’ pitcher after the fireworks show that the Mets put on last night. Velasquez was dominant last year in the first half of the season before burning out after the All-Star break. Vince had a 3.32 ERA and struck out 93 batters in just 78 2/3 innings in the first part of the year. The Mets were also unable to solve him in 2016. In 3 starts against the Mets, Velasquez had a 1.76 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 15 1/3 innings. He averaged 20.57 DKFP per start against the Mets. Velasquez has some of the best stuff in baseball and has tremendous strikeout upside.
3. Jason Hammel – KC vs OAK – $7,700
Jason Hammel is another pitcher who got off to a strong start in 2016 before the wheels came off at the end of the year. He had a 3.46 ERA in the second half of the year, but just a 4.35 ERA in the second half of the season. He also had a ridiculous 0.75 ERA in the month of April. Hammel will be making his first home start as a member of the Royals, which adds a bit of a narrative to this game. He should be able to benefit from pitching against a weak Athletics’ offense. Last year the Athletics’ offense ranked 27th in the MLB with a .302 .wOBA against right-handed pitching. They haven’t improved much this year, with just a .305 .wOBA against right-handed pitching through the first eight games.
4. Steven Wright – BOS vs BAL – $7,600
Does anybody remember Wright’s unhittable knuckleball dancing through the breeze last season? Remember when he was priced near $10,000? He was never priced below $8,000 outside of the first month of the year. My point here is his talent level is clearly greater than his current price point. He also dominated the Orioles last season. He averaged 24.23 DKFP per start against Baltimore last year and had just a 2.76 ERA in those starts. Even with a star-studded rotation, Wright posted the second best ERA amongst Boston starters last season. Wright generated swing and misses on 10.8% of his pitches in 2016, which is the best mark of any pitcher on the slate tonight.
5. Jesse Chavez – LAA vs TEX – $7,500
I was high on Chavez in his first start of the year and I am going right back to the well tonight. Chavez is always a guy to target at the beginning of the season. For his career, he has a 2.54 ERA in the month of April. He continued that trend by shutting down a potent Mariners’ offense in his first start of the season. He gave up just one run in 5 2/3 innings on his way to 23.75 DKFP. Chavez was a reliever last season, but he has always been more effective as a member of the starting rotation. He has a career 4.09 ERA as a starter, but just a 4.89 ERA when coming out of the bullpen. For this reason, I am ignoring the numbers of his poor 2016 campaign where he was utilized as a long reliever by Oakland.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is gehrenberg) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.