With a nine game slate going tonight, you’ll have 18 pitchers to choose from. Who are some of the best options for tonight? I’ll break down some of my favorite to steer you in the right direction. As always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Top 5 Pitchers
#1) Johnny Cueto – SFG vs MIA – $12,400– I flip-flopped from Cueto and Jose Fernandez numerous times before I officially landed on Cueto as my top choice. Cueto and Fernandez are in peculiar positions tonight because their opponents don’t strikeout a ton. The Marlins own an 18.3 K% against righties, ranked 26th in the league, and the Giants own a 16.6 K%, ranked 29th. Cueto has not faced the Marlins this season, but he certainly has pitched well at AT&T Park. Cueto gets the slightest bump over Fernandez because of the small margin of K% difference and nothing more.
#2) Jose Fernandez – MIA vs. SFG – $12,800– As I mentioned with Cueto above, the Giants are one of the toughest teams to strikeout. However, Fernandez has done wonders against teams that are tough to strikeout. He’s faced three teams that have the 10 lowest K% in the league and in those four games he owns a 10.6 K/9. That’s pretty impressive. In his previous start against the Giants, Fernandez only grabbed five strikeouts in six innings with just seven swinging strikes, his lowest total of the season. This start was back in April, when Fernandez was not looking like himself and the Giants were healthier. I think he has a MUCH better start tonight and racks up some strikeouts.
#3) Jake Odorizzi – TBR vs. TOR – $9,900 – Odorizzi has been much better at home than he has been on the road this season, but a matchup against the Blue Jays has drawn my interest. Since the All-Star break, the Blue Jays have been struggling at the plate. Since that time, the Blue Jays own a .302 wOBA with just a .300 OBP and a .399 SLG. Odorizzi will take the mound for the third time this season against the Jays and he’s had some success. Averaging 20.7 FPPG in those starts, Odorizzi has pitched 17.2 innings allowing five runs (four earned) on eight hits with an 18:8 K:BB ratio. The Blue Jays have a healthy 23.7 K% since the All-Star break, which Odorizzi should be able to capitalize on tonight.
#4) Michael Fulmer – DET vs. SEA – $8,900 – After hanging out in the $10K plus range for the majority of July, Fulmer has come down to a nice $8,900 salary against the Mariners tonight. Fulmer induces a ton of ground balls, in fact he has forced double-digit ground balls in every start he’s made since July 1st. With his price slightly under $9K, Fulmer is certainly worth a look tonight.
#5) Zach Davies- MIL vs. ATL – $8,600 – The Braves have actually been hitting much better since the All-Star break. Owning a .333 wOBA with a .340 OBP is a vast improvement from where they were. On the other hand, how much longer will it realistically last? I think Davies at $8,600 is a fine play tonight against these Braves. Davies hasn’t been earning a ton of swings and misses, but he’s never been a big strikeout guy to begin with. For what it’s worth, he has a vastly different K/9 at home than he does on the road, where it jumps to 8.1 compared to his 5.5 on the road. He’s cheap enough that I think he’s worth a look against Atlanta tonight.
#6) Tyler Anderson – COL vs. TEX– $6,100 – Anderson is a tough one to gauge here. He’s been great pitching at Coors Field this season- I mean look at the numbers. In eight home starts, Anderson owns a 3.32 ERA with a 1.39 WHIP (averaging 15.9 FPPG). That’s incredible for Coors Field! Anderson has had a relatively easy schedule at Coors Field if we’re being quite honest, so I think tonight is a good test for him. But like I said, the numbers are the numbers.
#7) Cole Hamels- TEX vs. COL – $8,200 – I don’t hate Hamels in this spot, but I don’t love the price tag. Granted, he dropped $2,900 from his last start against Baltimore, but it still feels a bit pricey. Hamels has been fantastic recently, averaging 21.7 FPPG with a 33:14 K:BB ratio, but the Coors Field factor certainly scares me a bit. I hate using this example because so many factors go into it, but Hamels has been decent at Coors Field in the past, pitching five games with a 3.99 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP.
#8) Collin McHugh – HOU vs. MIN – $6,000 – This is another tough one that I wrestled with before typing up this article. McHugh is insanely cheap, espicially when you look at how he’s pitched lately. In his last five games, McHugh is averaging 13.5 FPPG, which is heavily weighted by an awful start against the Tigers where he had -16.3 points. He faces the Twins tonight, who are surprising against righties, owning a .330 wOBA and a .436 SLG. Honestly, my gripe here is that with McHugh, if it seems to good to be true, it usually is. He is one of the hardest guys to trust in my opinion and this feels like a classic spot where it looks good for him and it blows up in his face. Is that a concrete reason to fade him? Not at all, I can see the value here and why you’d take him. Personally, I’m out.
#9) Kevin Gausman – BAL vs. OAK – $8,500 – If we throw out his start against the Blue Jays recently (because it’s my article and those are the types of rules I demand) Gausman has looked pretty decent as of late. He’s coming off a 25 fantasy point performance against the Rangers, going seven innings, allowing two runs with a 7:1 K:BB ratio! He faces Oakland at the Coliseum tonight, which certainly helps his chances of another good game. The A’s have been one of the worst hitting teams at home, owning a .299 wOBA, a .294 OBP and a .404 SLG. Gausman could be a sneaky play tonight in my opinion.
#10) Michael Wacha- STL vs. CIN – $6,500 – I can’t tell you the last time Wacha made a Top 10 pitchers article of mine, but he’s cheap enough to make it today. He faces the Reds for the third time this season and he’s come away with decent results. In those starts, Wacha went 11 innings allowing five runs (three earned) on 13 hits with an 8:2 K:BB ratio. Again, not anything mind blowing here. The Reds aren’t anything special against righties, especially with the loss of Jay Bruce, as they own a .304 wOBA, a .309 OBP and a .396 SLG, so Wacha could be a sneaky play here tonight. Then again, don’t expect any big score here, as Wacha is averaging 13.4 FPPG.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Steveazors) 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.