WATCH: PITCHING DUEL – PERDOMO OR EICKHOFF
Yes, the rumors are true: it’s Monday. However, Major League Baseball is here to help us get the work week started with a fantasy baseball win thanks to nine solid games scheduled for tonight. As you set up your team, here are the top five starting pitchers to consider for your lineup:
1. Stephen Strasburg – WAS vs. ATL – $12,700
Strasburg is by far the most expensive pitcher in play for tonight, but he’s clearly the top option as well. He comes into tonight’s start with at least 25 DKFP in each of his last four outings. His last time out he took a hard-luck loss to the Dodgers but only allowed one earned run in six innings while striking out eight. He has at least seven strikeouts in each of his last four starts, and he has pitched at least six innings in 11 of his 12 starts this season.
As the Braves come to visit DC, Strasburg will be making his third start of the season against his NL East rivals. He went 2-0 in his first two starts against Atlanta allowing four runs on 11 hits in his 14.2 innings while picking up an impressive 21 strikeouts. At home tonight, he should be dialed into this good matchup and provide plenty of strikeouts to go with another solid start as he looks to improve to 8-2 with a win tonight.
2. Rick Porcello – BOS vs. PHI– $8,600
It has been a rough season for the reigning AL Cy Young winner, but he’s in a great matchup to attack tonight as the Red Sox host the Phillies. Porcello will be looking to bounce back after losing three straight starts to fall to 3-8 on the year with a 4.46 ERA. His strikeout numbers have still been solid, but he has struggled to find consistency with his sinker allowing 14 homers in 80.2 innings.
He had a pretty solid outing his last time out against the homer-happy Yankees but gave up a three-run homer to Chris Carter which ultimately cost him the game. Tonight, he gets a much easier matchup against Philadelphia as they are near the bottom of almost every offensive category and hit .232 on the road as a team.
3. Kyle Freeland – COL @ PIT – $8,100
Freeland has won four of his last five starts to improve to 7-3 on the season and is coming off 22.7 DKFP in his last start holding the Indians to six hits and one run over 6.1 innings at Coors Field. Freeland has been solid at Coors, but he has been even better on the road where he is 4-0 with a 3.18 ERA in six starts.
He’s in a good matchup tonight against the Pirates who have scored the sixth-fewest runs in the Majors this season. Pittsburgh has been hitting much better lately, but still hit just .227 as a team against southpaws. Freeland is a very solid mid-range play although his strikeout rate is a little low (just 44 in 70 innings) for him to have a super-high ceiling like the most expensive options on tonight’s slate.
4. Jacob deGrom – NYM vs. CHC – $10,300
Although he’s struggled in recent outings, deGrom can be absolutely dominant when he’s on his game. The Mets’ starter had over 33 DKFP in back-to-back starts against the Angels and Pirates toward the end of May dominating both lineups and striking out 19 in 15.1 innings.
Since then, though, deGrom has been hammered which is why he slides to fourth on this list. In his two starts against the Brewers and Rangers, he gave up a total 15 runs on 18 hits while lasting just four innings in each start and posting negative DKFP. deGrom’s ERA has ballooned to 4.75 after those two outings, and he’s in a tough matchup against the Cubs as he tries to bounce back. He’s definitely good enough to dominate and be one of the best pitchers of the night, but his last two starts make him riskier than the three options ahead of him on tonight’s list.
5. Adalberto Mejía – MIN vs. SEA – $6,500
If you’re looking for a cheap option on the mound tonight, my top bargain play of the day is Twins’ starter Adalberto Mejía as he faces the Mariners at Target Field tonight. Seattle has been hitting the ball well lately, but their offense has struggled at times on the road this season.
Mejía faced the Mariners in his last start and posted 11.7 DKFP allowing three runs on two hits (both homers) in five innings. He has over 11 DKFP in four straight outings since rejoining the Minnesota rotation and has a 3.52 ERA over that span. He has also been good in night games this year with a 2.81 ERA in 16 innings as opposed to a 5.51 daytime ERA in 16.1 innings. He has held opponents to a .204 average under the lights, and he makes the best cheap play of the day if you’re looking to stack your lineup with expensive hitters.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is <span Z.Thompson) 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.