WATCH: PIVOT PLAY – MASAHIRO TANAKA
We have a 13-game MLB slate on tap tonight, with some intriguing pitching options to consider.
1. Stephen Strasburg – WAS vs CHC – $11,600
Strasburg hasn’t performed as well over his last few starts as we have come to expect from him. While he hasn’t been great, it’s not as if Strasburg has been completely awful. Over his last three starts, he has pitched 15 1/3 innings and racked up 20 strikeouts, so there is still plenty of upside here. He was also hurt by some bad fielding in his last start. Bryce Harper dropped a fairly easy fly ball in the first inning and it was ruled a double. It could have easily been ruled an error and Strasburg would have had three less earned runs attributed to him. Don’t let recency bias get to you, Strasburg is one of the best pitchers in baseball and is he is likely to pitch at an ace level going forward.
2. Zack Godley – ARI vs STL – $8,800
Godley has been quietly dominating the National League this year, scoring at least 21 DKFP in seven of his last nine starts. What stands out the most has been the high amount of swing and misses he has been able to generate this year. Godley is fourth in the National League with a 13.9% swing and miss rate. Even though he is striking out a solid 8.21 hitters per nine innings, he should see more strikeouts going forward due to the amount of swing and misses he’s accruing. There is nothing about his performance this year that appears to be lucky or unsustainable. Godley has a 2.53 ERA, but it is backed up by his 3.18 FIP. He is also pitching at home tonight, where he has yet to score under 15 DKFP in 2017.
3. Masahiro Tanaka – NYY @ CHW – $8,300
Tanaka has been one of the most maddening and difficult pitchers to figure out this year. He has had zero consistency to his game and has alternated monster games with total duds. The good news is that he has already shut down this White Sox team once this season. In April he pitched seven innings of one-run ball against Chicago and totaled 24.95 DKFP. The White Sox have struggled against right-handed pitching the season and are ranked 27th in baseball with a .300 wOBA against righties. Tanaka has actually seen an uptick in both his strikeout and swinging strike percentage this season. His struggles have exclusively come from giving up a huge amount of homers. He has a 24.1% HR/FB rate, which should regress to his career average of 15.8%.
4. Rick Porcello – BOS vs MIN – $6,800
Tonight really feels like the night of struggling aces. Porcello was the AL Cy Young winner last year, but he has not had nearly the same form this season. He went into his last start posting seven consecutive outings under 16 DKFP, but then he was stellar at home against the Angels with a 22.85 DKFP performance. I have hope that this was a sign of him righting the ship. Porcello has posted some solid peripheral stats this season and has an excellent strikeout to walk ratio. He has striking out a career high amount of hitters, while still possessing the great control that he has become known for. Porcello has been crushed by a .371 BABIP this season.
5. Trevor Bauer – CLE vs TEX – $6,200
Bauer makes for one of the most intriguing DraftKings tournament plays on the board. He isn’t a great real life pitcher, but he is an excellent DraftKings tournament pitcher due to his strikeout upside. Bauer is striking out 10.29 hitters per nine innings, and tonight he is up against an extremely strikeout prone Texas squad. They strikeout at the fifth highest rate against right-handed pitchers at 23.8%. The Indians also frequently allow Bauer to throw 110 or more pitches, so if he is going well he can work deep into the game. He needs 12.4 DKFP to meet salary expectations and he has gone over 20 DKFP in six of his starts this year. On a slate without many secure pitching options, it could make sense to take the cheapest hurler with the most upside.
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.