Let’s waste no time and jump right into my top pitching options on tonight’s nine-game MLB slate.
1. Max Scherzer – WAS @ SF – $13,300
Mad Max is working on yet another terrific season. He currently has a career-best ERA of 2.77 and also is setting a new personal best for strikeouts with 11.72 per nine innings. Scherzer is coming off a dominant outing against the Padres where he came just an out shy of a complete game and finished with 44.50 DKFP. He has an ideal matchup tonight against the Giants. The game is being played at AT&T Park, which is ranked as the most pitcher-friendly park in baseball this season. The Giants are also ranked dead last in baseball against right-handed pitching by both .wOBA and wRC, and they are also the lowest scoring team in the National League.
2. Jacob deGrom – NYM vs MIL – $12,000
deGrom’s strikeout rate has exploded this season. He leads the National League with 12.09 strikeouts per nine innings due to an absurd 15.2% swing and miss rate. He has been the rock for a Mets rotation that has been marred by injuries and disappointing performances. The Brewers offense has been decent this year, but they strike out in 24.1% of their plate appearances against right-handed pitching, which is the third-highest rate in baseball. Combine the strikeout prowess of deGrom with the high whiff rate of the Brewers and there is potential for a monster game out of the Mets’ ace. It is also noteworthy that the Brewers offense is downgraded with Ryan Braun on the disabled list.
3. James Paxton – SEA vs COL – $8,200
Paxton had to go on the DL due to a forearm injury and is making his first start in a month, so there is a chance he could be limited tonight. However, prior to getting injured, he was arguably the second-best pitcher in the American League behind Chris Sale. In six starts, Paxton has a 1.43 ERA to go along with a 1.51 FIP. He is also averaging 25.34 DKFP per start, which is the seventh-most for any starter in baseball. Paxton has given up multiple runs in just one start this season. The Rockies offense has not been nearly as potent on the road as they are within the confines of Coors Field. They have a .315 .wOBA on the road, which is ranked 14th in baseball.
4. Masahiro Tanaka – NYY @ BAL – $8,100
Will the real Masahiro please stand up? Tanaka had back-to-back games of negative fantasy points before shutting down the Athletics and finishing the game with 37.5 DKFP. He didn’t have a single game with more than six strikeouts going into his last game, and he posted 13 strikeouts in that start. Tanaka has suffered from some bad luck this season. He has career-worst marks in BABIP and HR/FB% despite posting a hard contact rate better than his career average. The matchup against the Orioles is another positive for Tanaka. Against right-handed pitching, Baltimore is ranked 21st with a .312 .wOBA. Adam Jones was unable to play last night due to an ankle injury, which may also force him to sit out of tonight’s game.
5. Junior Guerra – MIL @ NYM – $5,900
Guerra will be making his second start since returning from a calf injury. He was solid in his first start back with 17.15 DKFP in 5 2/3 innings. He should be allowed to work deeper into tonight’s game now that he has a start under his belt. Guerra’s price is extremely cheap for somebody of his talent level. He needs just 11.8 DKFP to meet salary expectations and he averaged 17.49 DKFP per start last season. The Mets have an average offense, but Guerra will be getting a park upgrade for the matchup. Citi Field his ranked as the second-most favorable pitcher’s park this year, while Miller Park is the third-most favorable hitter’s park. Guerra doesn’t have a huge track record as an MLB pitcher, but he does have a career 2.95 ERA in 134 innings, which suggests he is a solid pitcher.
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.