We have some terrific pitching options on tonight’s 12-game MLB slate. Let’s waste no time and get right into my top options.
1. Zack Greinke – ARI vs SD – $12,400
While most people wouldn’t think of Greinke this way, he is one of the most improved players from 2016 to 2017. Greinke had a significant dip in velocity last season, which made it fair to question if he would ever be an elite pitcher again. The velocity hasn’t returned, but Greinke has worked around it by upping the usage of his off-speed pitches. This has allowed him to pitch at an elite level again as he is finding success by relying on finesse as opposed to the power he used to be able to blow hitters away with. This has enabled Greinke to have a career-best 29.7% strikeout rate. He also has a plus matchup against the Padres, who allow the most DKFP to pitchers of any team. Greinke has been extremely steady with at least 20 DKFP in eight of his last nine starts.
2. Yu Darvish – TEX vs NYM – $10,500
The matchup for Darvish is not as juicy as the matchups for other top options on the board; however, it would be a mistake to write off Darvish. Among the top starters on the slate, Darvish has the highest career strikeout rate. He is also cheaper than the other aces and could come at lower ownership due to the offensive outburst from the Mets yesterday. However, the Mets are 15th in baseball with a .320 wOBA against right-handed pitching, and they have also lost six of their last seven games.
3. Dallas Keuchel – HOU @ KC – $12,500
Keuchel has also been incredibly steady this season. In 11 starts, he has only given up more than two earned runs once. Keuchel has had issues pitching on the road in previous years, but he has been successful both at home and away from Houston this season, posting a 2.20 ERA on the road. Keuchel has been extremely successful at limiting hard contact, and over the last four seasons, he has the lowest hard contact percentage of any starter in baseball. This has allowed him to be successful despite having an average fastball velocity of just 88.7 MPH. The Royals are a plus matchup, and they are the lowest scoring team in baseball this year. Against left-handed pitching, the Royals are last in the American League with a .277 wOBA. When pitching against Kansas City earlier this year, Keuchel yielded just one run over seven innings.
4. Jimmy Nelson – MIL vs SF – $7,900
Jimmy Nelson is in the midst of a breakout season. He is posting a career-best ERA and strikeout rate, and he has also nearly halved his walk rate from last season. His average fastball has gone up from 92.9 MPH last season to 94.2 MPH this season, which has definitely helped him find success. Nelson needs to score 15.8 DKFP to meet salary expectations, and he has scored at least 24 DKFP in four of his last five outings. He has even been able to dominate good offenses like the Dodgers, Red Sox and Diamondbacks over this stretch. He is line to have another good start tonight against the Giants who have struggled against righties; they are currently last in baseball with a .284 wOBA against right-handed pitching.
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.