Tonight’s slate finally gives us some decent pitching options to rely on after a few nights in a row of sub-par arms. Let’s dig right in to my top-five.
1. Yu Darvish – TEX vs PHI – $11,300
Darvish has a ton of upside every time he takes the mound, and each year he is among the league leaders in strikeouts. He has averaged double-digit Ks in every season of his career, and tonight he gets a matchup against the Phillies, who are striking out at the seventh-highest rate in baseball against right-handed pitching. He has also been fairly constant this season with at least 15 DKFP in six of his last seven outings. Darvish also has seen a velocity spike in the early part of 2017; he is averaging a career-high 94.2 MPH on his fastball.
2. Stephen Strasburg – WAS @ PIT – $11,400
Strasburg has managed to stay healthy this season, which has lead to him being one of the most dominant starters in baseball again. He has a 2.82 FIP, which is the best mark in the National League. His strikeouts are a bit down, but he has an 11% swinging strike rate, which suggests that his K rate should bounce back to his career average of 10.46 strikeouts per nine innings. The Pirates offense has also struggled since it lost Starling Marte to a PED suspension. The Buccos are ranked 28th against right-handed pitching with a .289 .wOBA.
3. Zack Greinke – ARI vs NYM – $11,000
After struggling in his first season in Arizona, Greinke appears to be back to being the pitcher the Diamondbacks thought they were getting when they signed him to a $206 million contract. He has a 2.79 ERA and a 3.05 FIP, which is in line with the numbers he posted with the Dodgers. Last year’s numbers can be ignored as they appear to be an outlier. Thus far, Grienke has a career-best 13.5% swinging strike rate, which has culminated in 10.10 strikeouts per nine innings. He has dominated at home this year with a 2.27 ERA, which is a welcome sign for the Arizona fans, who saw Greinke get destroyed at Chase Field with a 4.81 ERA last year. It is possible that Greinke was pressing a bit last year in an effort to try to live up to the large contract he signed.
4. Rich Hill – LAD @ SF – $8,700
Hill is a super risky option tonight, but he has plenty of upside. Hill is likely to be on a pitch count, but he doesn’t typically work deep into games anyway. Last season he averaged 21.57 DKFP per start despite averaging just slightly over five innings per start. In his first start of the season he was able to score 20.25 DKFP in a start where he went only five innings. We haven’t seen much of Hill this season, but he was dominant last year. He had a 2.12 ERA to go along with 10.52 strikeouts per nine innings. In three starts against the Giants in 2016, Hill had a 1.69 ERA, and this year the Giants are ranked 27th in baseball with a .285 .wOBA against left-handed pitching.
5. Clayton Richard – SD vs MIL – $5,900
Richard is a tough player to roster because he simply is not very good; however, the Brewers are a very beat up time at the moment. Ryan Braun was recently placed on the DL with a calf injury, Travis Shaw missed last night’s game with a finger injury and Eric Thames was unable to play last night due to an illness. Braun is obviously already out for tonight, while Shaw is not expected to play and Thames is questionable, so there is potential for Richard to face the same weak lineup that Perdomo was able to have his way with last night. The Brewers are striking out 24.8% of the time against lefties, which is the third most in baseball. Richard is coming off of a solid seven inning outing where he surrendered just one run and he has gone over 27 DKFP twice this season, so there is upside in him at a cheap price tag.
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.