With four pitchers over $10,000, it’ll be an interesting night for pitcher selection. Let’s get right to it!
1. Jake Arrieta – CHC vs PHI – $10,900
Arrieta has a 4.66 ERA thus far, but it is almost entirely a product of an inflated HR/FB rate. He has an xFIP of 3.19 and a SIERA of 3.2, which both suggest positive regression is coming his way. Arrieta should also be aided by the wind tonight. The wind is expected to be blowing in from center field, which should help keep the HRs to a minimum. Arrieta has a 21.1 percent K-BB rate, which would be the best of his career. He is generating a ton of swing and misses (11.1 percent), which has lead to 10.55 strikeouts per nine innings. The Phillies have hit just 20 home runs against right-handed pitching, which is 20th in baseball. Everything is lining up for Arrieta to be able to suppress the long ball this evening.
2. Jacob deGrom – NYM @ ATL – $10,400
After a month of baseball, deGrom is leading the league with 12.51 strikeouts per nine innings. He also has an absurd 17.6 percent swing and miss rate. One of the main causes for this has been a spike in velocity for deGrom. Last year his fastball averaged 93.4 MPH and this year his average heater is sitting at 95.2 MPH. He has also increased the usage of his slider from 18.5 percent all the way up to 23.2 percent. Considering that deGrom’s slider has been his most effective pitch at plus 15.1 runs above average, it appears wise to use it more frequently. Something of interest is that this will be deGrom’s sixth start, and he is yet to pitch outside of the division. In nine career starts, deGrom has a 1.71 ERA against Atlanta.
3. Drew Pomeranz – BOS vs BAL – $8,100
Really, this matchup again!? This will be Pomeranz’s fifth start of the season, and this will already be his third matchup against Baltimore. Pomeranz has an average of 18.15 DKFP in his first two games against the Orioles. Baltimore’s struggles against left-handed pitching have been well documented at this point of the season. Against lefties, they are ranked 20th in .wOBA while striking out at the second-highest rate in baseball. On the year, Pomeranz has a sparkling 27/7 strikeout to walk ratio.
4. Charlie Morton – HOU vs TEX – $6,900
Mark my words, 2017 will be the breakout year for Charlie Morton. He is coming off his best start of the season when he posted 28.75 DKFP with 12 strikeouts in seven innings against Oakland. Morton has an average fastball of 95.4 MPH, which is a huge increase from his career average of 91.8 MPH. He also has a well above league average FIP of 3.46. Though the first month of the season, Houston’s Minute Maid Park is ranked as the top pitcher’s park in baseball. It also ranked as the top pitcher’s park in baseball last year, so Morton has a very favorable environment. The Rangers’ offense has also been slightly below average this year with the 18th ranked offense against right-handed pitching by .wOBA.
5. Antonio Sentazela – COL @ SD – $6,200
Sentazela has been impressive limiting runs thus far. He has just a 2.81 ERA despite making three of his five starts at Coors Field. He has held hitters to a 26.5 percent hard contact rate, which has lead to a .232 BABIP thus far. That number will regress some, but in the minor leagues, he did hold hitters to batters to BABIPs of .265, .282, .267 over the last three years. This implies the possibility that he could be above average at creating outs on balls put in play. The Padres’ offense is 24th in baseball with a .297 .wOBA against right-handed pitchers. They are also striking out in 26.3 percent of their plate appearances, which is the most in baseball.
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.