WATCH: PIVOT PLAY – TREVOR BAUER
Let’s take a look at my top-5 pitchers ahead of tonight’s 12-game MLB slate.
1. Alex Wood – LAD vs ARI – $11,600
We have gotten to a point where I am comfortable saying that Alex Wood is one of the best pitchers in baseball. Every time he starts, I feel the need to point out that he is the leader in both ERA and FIP this year. The most impressive part of his pitching this year has been the ridiculous consistency. Wood has gone 10 starts in a row scoring at last 17 DKFP, so he is extremely unlikely to have a game that ruins a lineup. Wood also gets a big boost from pitching against the Diamondbacks, who have been miserable against left-handed pitching this year. Arizona has a 74 wRC+ against lefties, which is the second-worst mark in baseball. The D-backs have also struggled away from Chase Field – on the road, they are ranked 25th with a .300 wOBA.
2. Jacob deGrom – NYM @ WAS – $12,300
The man with the best hair in baseball is simply on fire right now. He has posted four consecutive games of at least 31 DKFP and has allowed just three earned runs over that stretch. While the matchup against the Nationals isn’t ideal, deGrom has averaged 32.28 DKFP in his last two outings against them, so we know he is more than capable of having a huge performance against the Nationals. Washington also is not as strong an offense as their current numbers indicate. They lost Trea Turner to a broken wrist and he is one of their most valuable offensive weapons. He has been one of the best hitting shortstops over the last couple of seasons, while his replacement, Stephen Drew, is nothing more than a bench player at this point of his career. DeGrom is only 18 strikeouts away from matching the total he posted for the entire 2016 season.
3. Trevor Bauer – CLE vs SD – $7,300
On a night full of boom or bust options, Bauer, who defines the risk/reward play, actually checks in as one of the safer options on the slate. He has an ideal matchup at home against the weak-hitting San Diego Padres. They have the highest strikeout rate in baseball against right-handed pitching, which increases the upside of Bauer, who is striking out a career-best 9.86 hitters per nine innings. While Bauer does have a career-worst 5.24 ERA, he also has a 4.16 FIP, so he should see his ERA come down as the season progresses. Despite the high ERA, Bauer is still posting a career-best 15.17 DKFP per start due to all the strikeouts he is racking up. He has also had better command at home this year with a 53:12 strikeout to walk ratio.
4. Jon Gray – COL vs CIN – $7,600
Bauer figures to be the more popular and safer pitching option, but Gray has a huge amount of upside whenever he takes the mound. He makes for a strong pivot play in tournaments. He shut down the Diamondbacks with a dominating 10 strikeout performance in his first game back since suffering a foot injury and was allowed to work without any restrictions. He does not appear to have any rust on his game and he also dominated in his minor league rehab starts. While there are concerns about him pitching in Coors Field, he has an average fastball velocity of 95.5 MPH, which plays well in any ballpark. Gray is only 25 years old and he has the potential to be one of the top pitchers in baseball. His 12.1% swinging strike rate was the third best mark in the National League last year.
5. Zack Godley – ARI @ LAD – $8,200
Godley has flown under the radar due to pitching in Arizona, but he has been an extremely solid pitcher this year. While he does have a difficult matchup against the Dodgers, Godley does benefit from getting a massive park upgrade. His price is also still a bit off from the level of production he been at in 2017. Godley needs just 16.4 DKFP to meet salary expectations, and he has been over 20 DKFP in seven of his last nine starts. He has a 2.67 ERA, which is a better mark than he posted in any of his seasons as a minor league pitcher. This may seem like a red flag, but his 3.19 FIP implies that he is no fluke. Godley has simply been dominating hitters this year.
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.