WATCH: PITHING DUEL: PORCELLO vs ARCHER
We have a juicy 13-game slate tonight, which brings a plethora of stud pitching options. With Kershaw, Cueto, Syndergaard all over $11,000 in salary, we’ll have some intriguing decisions to make in our lineup building. Let’s get to my top-5 pitchers on the slate.
1. Clayton Kershaw – LAD vs ARI – $13,500
Kershaw should be considered the top pitching option every time he takes the mound. Don’t fret about his last performance. He gave up three home runs, but that start came in Colorado. It was an extreme outlier and Kershaw should have no problem bouncing back. Kershaw scored at least 20 DKFP in all but three of his starts last year. The one time he did give up four runs last year, he bounced back with a 14 strikeout shutout and 55.45 DKFP. Kershaw has had an ERA under 2.00 in three of his last four seasons. Kershaw had 34.9 DKFP in his lone start against the Diamondbacks last year and that game was being played in Arizona.
WATCH: IS NOAH SYNDERGAARD THE FAVORITE TO WIN THE NL CY YOUNG?
2. Noah Syndergaard – NYM @ MIA – $11,400
Thor has picked up right where he left off last year. In his first two starts, he racked up 16 strikeouts in 13 innings pitched, with just one run allowed. Syndergaard is averaging 28.63 DKFP per start. The Marlins have been striking out a pretty high 23.5 percent mark to begin the season. This should play into the hands of Syndergaard, who has some of the best stuff in baseball. Thor had the fourth most strikeouts per nine innings last season. In three starts against the Marlins last season, Syndergaard gave up just four runs and averaged 30.33 DKFP per start.
3. Dallas Keuchel – HOU @ OAK – $9,600
Keuchel won the CY Young award in 2015, but really struggled last year and didn’t pitch at anywhere near the level of being the best pitcher in the American League. It also had a huge negative impact on his fantasy output. In 2015 Keuchel averaged 23.54 DKFP per start, but last year he dipped all the way down to 15.52 DKFP per start, which had him ranked 57th in DKFP production for pitchers. Through two starts, Keuchel has looked more like the pitcher he was in 2015 when he won the CY Young. Through two starts, Keuchel has allowed just one earned run and is averaging 22.65 DKFP per start. He also has a positive matchup tonight against the Athletics, who are 22nd in baseball with a .280 .wOBA against left-handed pitchers.
4. Rick Porcello – BOS vs TB – $9,400
Porcello has never been a high strikeout pitcher, but that may be changing this year. Through two starts he is striking out 9.49 batters per nine innings, which would be a career-best mark. He is also generating a career best swing and miss percentage (10.6), which has helped lead to the bump in strikeouts. Porcello has been throwing a ton of strikes this season. 59.2 percent of his pitches have been in the strike zone, which is one of the highest marks in baseball. It is not surprising that he has only walked two hitters this season. His strikeout numbers tonight should be aided by a strong matchup against the Rays. They are striking out 27 percent of the time against right-handed pitching, which is the third most in the league.
5. Julio Teheran – ATL vs SD – $8,500
Teheran has some ridiculous splits throughout his career. He has a 3.02 ERA at home and a 3.68 ERA on the road. Basically, he is always a very strong target when pitching in the confines of Atlanta. He also gets to face the Padres, who were one of the worst offenses in baseball last season. They had a .291 .wOBA against righties, which was dead last in baseball and had the second most strikeouts. Teheran averaged 29.28 DKFP in his two starts against San Diego last season. Julio is also yet to allow an earned run in 2017.
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.