WATCH: MLB IN 90 SECONDS – CC SABATHIA
A 15-game slate tonight will give us plenty of top arms to target. Let’s get right to my top-5.
1. Max Scherzer – WAS vs NYM – $12,700
Scherzer has been one of the most consistent DraftKings pitchers to start the year. He has made four starts and scored at least 25.4 DKFP in each of them. Coincidentally, that is exactly how many fantasy points he needs to post tonight to pay off his salary. Scherzer just pitched against this same Mets squad and posted 30.4 DKFP. That game also came at Citi Field, whereas he will be pitching at home tonight. He was also priced at $13,900 for a road game against the Mets and is only $12,700 for a home game against the same team. Cespedes also had to leave last night’s game with a hamstring injury and appears to be unlikely to play tonight. It goes without saying that the Mets’ offense is considerably weaker without Cespedes in the lineup.
2. Marcus Stroman – TOR vs TB – $9,100
Stroman has been another steady pitcher this year. He has scored at least 21 DKFP in 3 of his 4 starts. His only bad outing came against the Red Sox, who are one of the top offenses in baseball. Stroman has been working really deep into games this season and already has two complete games. Stroman’s strikeouts are a bit down this year, but that should be offset by the Rays’ high strikeout rate. They are striking out in 24.7 percent of their plate appearances against righties, which the fourth most in baseball. The Blue Jays also played in a double header yesterday and one of the games went into extra innings. They burned through a ton of their bullpen, which means they may need Stroman to throw extra pitches and work deep into this game.
3. Robbie Ray – ARI vs COL – $8,200
Robbie Ray possesses as much upside as any other pitcher on DraftKings. The reason for this is his absurd 11.41 strikeouts per 9 innings. This isn’t a fluke either since it isn’t far off from his mark of 11.25 strikeouts per 9 innings last season. The only thing holding Ray back from becoming an elite pitcher is his walk rate. This matchup is also not really as bad as it would appear to be. While the Rockies will likely be one of the highest scoring offenses on the year, most of this is due to playing half their games at Coors Field. The are a fairly pedestrian offense when they play on the road. The Rockies’ offense is ranked 20th in baseball on the road with a .295 .wOBA.
4. Kenta Maeda – LAD vs PHI – $8,700
More than anything, my liking of Maeda is a hope of him returning to last year’s form. He has been awful this year, which resulted in the Dodgers pushing back his turn in the rotation to iron out some mechanics. Now that they are willing to send him back out to the mound I am guessing that they have corrected some of those issues. Maeda has similar strikeout and walk numbers to last season, but has been killed by the long ball this year. If his home run rate returns to where it was last year then he should be able to right the ship. His price also comes at an extreme discount to where he was priced to start the year. Maeda has also been a stronger pitcher at home with a 3.22 ERA than on the road where he has a 3.74 ERA.
5. Charlie Morton – HOU vs OAK – $6,900
Charlie Morton is an under the radar candidate to have a breakout season. There were reports of his velocity spiking during Spring Training and it appears to have carried over to the regular season. Morton’s average fastball is sitting at 95.3 MPH, which is way up from his career average of 91.8 MPH. The results haven’t been terrific, as Morton is currently sitting on a 4.29 ERA; however, his 3.21 FIP suggest that he has pitched better than his ERA indicates. He is striking out 8.14 hitters per 9 innings, which would be a career high for him across a full season. This is very much correlated to his increase in velocity.
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.