WATCH: PITCHER TO CONSIDER – JOHNNY CUETO
The All-Star Break has come and gone, and we have all 30 teams in action tonight. Let’s get right to my top-5 arms on the slate.
1. Jacob deGrom – NYM vs COL – $11,800
Of all the pitchers on the slate tonight, deGrom has the most upside. He has already had eight games of at least 31 DKFP this year, while no other pitchers going tonight has more than four. He has also scored at least 31 DKFP in six of his last nine starts, so he is starting the second half of the season in good form. The Rockies have also been reeling after a hot start to the season. Colorado has won just five of their last 18 games and the bats have been a large part of the problem. Despite being one of the highest scoring teams in baseball, their offense is not good once we weigh the park factor. The Rockies are last in baseball with a 77 wRC+ against right-handed pitching this year. They are also 24th in the league with a .299 road wOBA and Citi Field ranks as the fourth most favorable pitchers’ park in 2017.
2. Carlos Carrasco – CLE @ OAK – $12,100
Carrasco does not posses the same upside as deGrom, but he is a slightly safer option. Carrasco has scored at least 25 DKFP in four of his last five starts and for the season has scored at least 15 DKFP in all but four starts. He has also already faced this same A’s squad earlier this year and was able to post a solid outing. Carrasco went seven innings and gave up just two runs while punching out seven hitters on his way to 26.75 DKFP. Oakland also has a 25.4% strikeout rate against right-handed pitchers, which is the second highest rate in the league. The Athletics also have the second worst record in the American League, so Carrasco is in a good spot to pick up a win bonus.
3. Jon Gray – COL @ NYM – $7,900
Gray struggled in his first few starts of the season before a broken foot forced him to the disabled list. He missed nearly three months of baseball but has been strong in his first two starts since returning. He has struck out 15 hitters in 11 2/3 innings and given up four runs. The gaudy strikeout totals have lead to an average of 23.03 DKFP in his two post-disabled list starts. Gray posted a 3.18 FIP and struck out 10.21 hitters per nine innings after the All-Star Break last year, so it is possible that he is a pitcher who gets stronger as the season goes along. He has always had fantastic stuff, but he gets limited by having to make half his starts at the hitter friendly Coors Field. Gray gets a massive park upgrade whenever he pitches on the road.
4. Gerrit Cole – PIT vs STL – $8,500
The first half of Cole’s season was defined by alternating good and bad stretches of effectiveness. He started poorly but seemed to figure it out, before completely falling apart gain and then closing out the first half with a solid stretch of consistency. He has scored at least 20 DKFP in four of his last five outings and needs just 17 DKFP to meet salary expectations tonight. One thing that really stands out about his season thus far is his average fastball velocity. Cole has always been a hard thrower, but he has upped his fastball velocity to a career best average of 96.2 MPH. In two starts against the Cardinals, Cole is averaging 21 DKFP.
5. Jason Hammel – KC vs TEX – $5,300
Jason Hammel is the best value play on the slate. He needs just 10.6 DKFP to pay off his salary and he has scored at least 14 DKFP in six of his last seven starts. His recent stretch has been buoyed by a strong 37:9 strikeout to walk ratio. This allowed Hammel to finish the month of June with a 2.51 ERA. It may have taken him some time to get comfortable moving to a new team and ballpark. Now that he has settled in, his performance is on the upswing. Hammel should also benefit from a matchup against the Rangers, who have the fifth highest strikeout rate in the league against right-handed pitching.
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.