WATCH: MADISON BUMGARNER’s UPSIDE AGAINST THE ROYALS TONIGHT
Here are my top-five pitchers for tonight’s 11-game slate:
1. Clayton Kershaw – LAD vs COL – $13,800
Kershaw and Madison Bumgarner are two of the best pitchers in baseball, and both are on the mound tonight. Due to their expensive pricing, it is likely that we can only fit one of them into our lineups tonight. When comparing Kershaw to another pitcher, Kershaw is almost always going to be the choice for me. He struggled in his last outing against the Rockies, but that game came in the hitter-friendly environment of Coors Field. Tonight should go much differently with this game being played in Los Angeles. In Kershaw’s only start against the Rockies at home last year, he got the win while pitching seven shutout innings. While many people may think of Colorado as an elite offense, this is really not the case when the Rockies play away from the cushy environment of Coors Field. On the road last year, the Rockies were ranked 25th with a .301 wOBA.
2. Chris Archer – TB vs DET – $9,700
Archer appears to have reestablished himself as one of the elite pitchers in the American League. Last season was a down year for Archer, but in 2015 he had a breakout year where he was regularly priced around the $12,000. Assuming he is back to performing at the same level he did in two years, there is a tremendous discount in Archer’s current price. While the matchup against the Tigers is not ideal, it is worth noting that he just put up a good performance in Fenway Park. He has the stuff to succeed in any matchup. Archer has started the year with 2.02 FIP and has at least 19 DKFP in each of his starts.
3. Zack Greinke – ARI @ SD – $8,700
While Greinke has started the year with a 4.32 ERA, his 2.90 FIP suggests he has pitched better than his ERA would imply. Greinke has suffered from a bit of bad luck with a .346 BABIP. Given he has a career .298 BABIP, he should see more batted balls find his fielders going forward. Greinke has given up just an 18.9 percent line-drive rate, which would be the second-lowest mark of his career, if he could keep it up. Greinke also gets a bump from a park upgrade. Chase Field is one of the best hitters parks in baseball, while Petco Park is considered more of a pitcher’s park. On top of the game being played in a larger park, the Padres’ offense is simply awful. They were bad last year and haven’t improved much this season. They are 20th in baseball with a .303 .wOBA against right-handed pitching. They are also striking out 23 percent of the time against righties, which is more than average.
4. Dallas Keuchel – HOU vs LAA – $9,900
Keuchel is another pitcher who has looked solid after a down season last year. Keuchel is averaging 24.48 DKFP per start and he is yet to allow multiple earned runs in a start. He has only given up two runs this season and both have come on solo home runs. He has not allowed many hitters to reach base. Keuchel has always had extreme home/road splits. Over the last three seasons, Keuchel has a 2.43 ERA at home and a 3.99 ERA on the road. He also draws a plus matchup against the noodle bats of the Angels. They have a pathetic .073 ISO against left-handed pitching and are ranked 24th with a .265 .wOBA against lefties.
5. Amir Garrett – CIN vs BAL – $4,800
Garrett is a bit of an unknown entity. He came into this year as one of the Reds’ top prospects, but was not considered a lock to make the Reds’ rotation. Not only has he earned a spot in the rotation, but he has performed extremely well. He has a 1.42 ERA and is averaging 22.55 DKFP per start. Given his cheap price, he only needs 10 DKFP to pay off his salary. There is clearly risk in rostering Garrett tonight due to both his inexperience and a difficult matchup, however he undeniably has enormous upside given his current price and recent performance. The Orioles have the seventh-highest strikeout rate in baseball against left-handed pitching at 24 percent, so even if Garrett gives up some runs, he may be able to makeup for it with some strikeouts.
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.