Tonight’s seven game MLB slate brings some interesting pitching options to work through. Let’s waste no time and get right to my top-5 options.
1. Jacob deGrom – NYM vs STL – $12,600
The recent form of Jacob deGrom has been insane. He has scored at least 31 DKFP in five of his last six starts and has given up just six total runs over that span. He is also going to be pitching at home tonight, where he has had a ton of success. DeGrom has a 2.37 ERA at Citi Field this year, which is significantly better than his 4.63 road ERA. This isn’t all that surprising since Citi Field ranks as the fourth most favorable pitcher’s park this year. The Cardinals are a slightly below average offense against right-handed pitching with a 98 wRC+.
2. Gerrit Cole – PIT vs MIL – $8,900
Cole hasn’t returned to the ace form that he showed prior to getting injured last year, but he has been much better as of late. Cole has scored at least 15 DKFP in five of his last six starts, and tonight he gets a matchup against the Brewers, who he has dominated this year. In two starts against Milwaukee, Cole has pitched 14 innings and given up just two runs, good for an average of 26.05 DKFP per start. There is a ton of upside in targeting pitchers against the Brewers due to their astronomical strikeout rate this year. Against right-handed pitching, Milwaukee has a 25% strikeout rate and 96 wRC+. The biggest flaw to Cole’s game has been his tendency to give up home runs this year; however, PNC Park has been the fifth most difficult park to homer at this year, so this should help Cole solve his home run woes.
3. Kenta Maeda – LAD @ CHW – $7,800
The peripheral stats for Kenta Maeda suggest that he has been a top of the rotation pitcher that is performing better than his ERA would make you think. He has a 13.5% swinging strike rate, which is the fourth best mark in the National League. He is generating way more swing and misses this year than last year but is striking out fewer batters, which shouldn’t be the case. Maeda has a 26.6% hard contact rating, which is the third best rate in the National League, but he still has a higher BABIP this year than last year and is giving up more home runs. He should be much more effective going forward. Maeda may also be able to work deeper into this game than usual since it is taking place in an American League park. The Dodgers are very quick to lift him for a pinch hitter, but this won’t be an issue since they will have a DH. The matchup against the White Sox is also a boost since they are ranked 25th with a .305 wOBA against right-handed pitching.
4. Carlos Rodon – CHW vs LAD – $7,000
Rodon is the biggest risk/reward play on the board tonight. He has only made three starts this year, and they have been all over the place with DKFP totals of 10.45, 30.05 and 3.20. He shouldn’t be trusted in cash games, but he could make for a likely low owned GPP play with plenty of upside. Rodon is striking out more than a batter per nine innings over the course of his short career, and the only thing preventing from being an ace is control issues. Rodon hasn’t been healthy much this year, but this hasn’t prevented the White Sox from allowing him to go over 100 pitches since returning, so he doesn’t have any limitations. His fastball velocity is also sitting at 93.1 MPH, which leads me to believe that he is fully healthy. Considering that he finished last year priced at $10,700, his current price point should be considered a bargain even in a tough matchup.
5. Jason Hammel – KC vs DET – $6,400
In case you haven’t heard, the Tigers traded away J.D. Martinez yesterday to the Diamondbacks. This signals that Detroit is giving up on their playoff chances this year and will be sellers at the trade deadline. The loss of Martinez is a significant downgrade to the Tigers’ offense, and it makes the matchup for Hammel far more favorable than the numbers indicate. Hammel needs to score 12.8 DKFP to meet salary expectations, which he has done in six of his last eight starts.
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.