WATCH: PITCHER TO WATCH – CHRIS SALE
We have a 10-game slate on the docket tonight, so let’s get right to the pitchers that fill out my top-five.
1. Chris Sale – BOS vs TEX – $13,500
Sale has been the American League version of Clayton Kershaw this season. Though nine starts he has a 2.19 ERA and leads baseball with a 1.62 FIP. He has an MLB-best 95 strikeouts, which has made him the leading DKFP producer at 32.2 per game. He has shown an incredibly high floor with at least 24 DKFP in every single start. Sale is also pitching at home tonight, where he has a 1.95 ERA. The matchup against the Rangers is another factor that plays into the hands of Sale. The Rangers have a .291 .wOBA against lefties, which is 26th in baseball. They are also striking out at the fourth-highest rate vs left-handed pitching.
2. Rich Hill – LAD vs STL – $8,900
Hill is working his way back from a blister issue, which has been the only thing holding him back from being one of the top pitchers in baseball over the last couple years. He was limited to five innings in his last outing, but he should be allowed to work deeper into the game tonight. We don’t have much data on Hill this year, but last year he posted a 2.12 ERA to go along with a 2.39 FIP. He has made three starts this season, but had to leave one of them with an injury. In his two full starts this season, Hill has an average of 18.7 DKFP per game.
3. Luis Severino – NYY vs KC – $9,900
Severino has been all over the map in terms of his performance this season. He has been incredibly high variance, which makes him best suited to be a GPP play. In eight starts, he has gone over 28 DKFP four times, but he has also been under 12 DKFP on three occasions. The reason for the fluctuation in performance is due to an extremely high 10.34 strikeouts per nine innings paired with an equally high 20.6% HR/FB ratio. In 180 big league innings, Severino has a 17.6% HR/FB ratio, so the long ball may just be his Achilles’ heel. The good news is that the Royals are far from being a powerful offense. They have hit 48 homers this year, which is 22nd in baseball and have the 27th-ranked ISO. The lack of power from Kansas City should help limit the home runs Severino allows.
4. Kyle Hendricks – CHC vs SF – $8,500
Hendricks has been on a solid run with at least 16 DKFP in five consecutive starts. Recently there have been strong winds blowing out to center at Wrigley, which has created gaudy run totals and lots of dingers. However, the tide is changing, as the weather report is calling for strong winds blowing in from center field. This is a massive boost for the pitchers in this game. Hendricks’ 2017 campaign hasn’t been as dominant as his 2016 season, but he has still managed to get by with a 3.35 ERA. In addition to the wind, Hendricks will be aided by a plus matchup. The Giants’ offense is dead last with a .280 wOBA against righties.
5. Erasmo Ramirez – TB vs LAA – $5,600
Ramirez has made just two starts this season. In those two starts, he is averaging 17.93 DKFP. The starts have also come in really difficult matchups against the Yankees and Tigers. Ramirez needs just 11.2 DKFP tonight to pay off his salary, which shouldn’t be difficult if he can keep up his current level of performance. Ramirez has a 3.00 ERA and a 3.30 FIP in 2017. He also has a 10.3% swinging strike rate, which suggests that he should be striking out more than his current rate of 6.90 Ks per nine innings. Ramirez has also upped his ground ball rate to a career-best 54.9%.
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.