WATCH: PITCHER TO CONSIDER – CHRIS ARCHER
We have a full 15-game slate tonight with some of the top pitching options in the game to choose from. Let’s get to my top-5.
1. Chris Archer – TB vs CHW – $10,600
There are a ton of great pitching options on this slate, but I believe that Chris Archer has the most upside relative to his price. He has a 3.74 ERA, but he has a career best 2.73 FIP, so he should see better results going forward. Archer always gets a significant boost whenever he is pitching at home. He has a career 3.15 ERA at Tropicana Field and a 3.91 ERA when pitching on the road. He has struck out at least 11 hitters in each of last three home starts and is averaging 31.65 DKFP over that stretch. Archer also benefits from a plus matchup tonight. The White Sox are ranked 28th in baseball with a .294 wOBA against right-handed pitching while striking out at a clip of 23.2%, which is the eighth highest rate in baseball.
2. Robbie Ray – ARI vs SD – $11,900
Ray is developing into one of the best pitchers in baseball. He is putting up career highs in strikeout percentage, ERA ad FIP. He has also been on fire over his past few starts. Over his last three outings, Ray has scored at least 30 DKFP with an average of 37.88 DKFP per game. The key to Ray’s success has been an increase in his fly ball rate. He is turning ground balls into fly balls and the result has been a drop in his BABIP and fewer baserunners. The Padres have been the worst offense in baseball against left-handed pitching, evidenced by their .262 wOBA, which is 16 points behind the 29th ranked team. In his one outing against the Padres this season, Ray posted 30.25 DKFP.
3. James Paxton – SEA vs MIN – $8,800
There is an argument to be made that Paxton has been the best pitcher in baseball this season. He is leading the majors with a 1.26 ERA and a 1.44 FIP. The only reason he isn’t higher up on my list is due to concerns about his pitch count. Paxton is making just his second start since returning from the DL. He was limited to 73 pitches in his first outing back, but he was still able to pitch into the sixth inning and scored 26.2 DKFP. He only needs 17.6 DKFP to pay off his salary, which he should still be able to do even if he is held to 80 or so pitches. Paxton averages 25.54 DKFP per game while averaging about 100 pitches. Even prorated to 80% of the workload, he would still have a baseline average of 20.32 DKFP. He has given up a run in just two of the seven starts he has made this season. While pitching at home, Paxton has a .35 ERA in 2017.
4. Dinelson Lamet – SD @ ARI – $6,800
Lamet has been electric in his first two pro outings. He has a 2.70 ERA with an average of 24.95 DKFP per game. While the matchup isn’t ideal, the positive side is that Lamet only needs 13.6 DKFP to meet salary expectations. The Diamondbacks’ offense has also been struggling a bit lately as they have scored over five runs just once in their last 11 games. Lament’s strikeout numbers are not a fluke. He has had double-digit strikeouts per nine innings in each of his minor league seasons. He almost certainly won’t continue his current pace of striking out 14.4 hitters per nine innings, but his 15.1% swinging strike rate is an elite rate for a starting pitcher. Lamet has the potential to develop into a future ace.
5. Aaron Nola – PHI @ ATL – $6,000
Nola has struggled in his last couple starts, but he still produced nine strikeouts to just three walks. He has been hurt by ground balls finding holes in the defense. His 3.99 FIP is much lower than his current 5.06 ERA. The Braves have been a productive offense recently, but I don’t expect this trend to continue. Atlanta is 20th in baseball against right-handed pitching with a .316 wOBA. Those numbers are also higher than they should be since they include Freddie Freeman being active for most of the year. Without Freeman, this Atlanta offense isn’t as much of a threat.
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.