We have an 11 game slate to kick off our week with five pitchers priced at $10K or above tonight. Weather is also going to be a factor, which could dramatically change how this slate is approached. I’ll give my top 10 pitchers for tonight (weather not factoring in) and get you set. As always, you can find me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Top 5 Pitchers
#1) Carlos Martinez – STL vs NYM – $11,400– Martinez feels like the most attractive option on a night that certainly has it’s fair share of good pitchers taking the mound. Be warned, the weather doesn’t look good here tonight, but a lot can change from now until first pitch. Martinez has been solid on the road this season, owning a 1.71 ERA with a 1.04 WHIP and a K/9 of 7.4. The Mets haven’t done much against righties this season, owning a .308 wOBA with a .307 OBP and a .408 SLG. The strikeout potential is certainly a factor here tonight as well, as the Mets have a 22.6 K% against righties, ranked 8th in the league. If the weather turns for the better, Martinez is certainly in play as the top option on the night.
#2) Dallas Keuchel – HOU vs. NYY – $8,000 – -I have Keuchel highly ranked tonight because I think he brings the best values\ on this slate. At just $8,000, Keuchel faces a Yankees team that has struggled against lefties all season. Keuchel has been his best at Minute Maid Park owning a 3.86 ERA in eight starts with a 1.19 WHIP and a K/9 of 7.7. The Yankees are near the bottom of the league offensively against lefties this season, owning a .304 wOBA with a .316 OBP and a .383 SLG. They don’t strike out a ton, with a 17.1 K%, but Keuchel was able to register five K’s in his only start against them this season. For his price, I think Dallas will be a solid SP2.
#3) Aaron Sanchez – TOR vs. SDP – $10,900 – – Sanchez comes into this contest with poor numbers at the Rogers Centre. This season at home, Sanchez owns a 4.07 ERA with a .317 wOBA and a K/9 of 7.2. On the other hand, Sanchez has been pitching his best this month, with a 1.80 ERA in 20 innings, allowing just four runs on 14 hits with a .240 wOBA. The strikeout potential is a bit hard to predict here, but for what it’s worth Sanchez has only faced one team in the top five for K% and owns a 10.6 K/9 in two starts against the Orioles. Personally, I think Sanchez is a bit overpriced for this start, but grabbing a score in the mid 20’s would do the trick.
#4) Michael Pineda- NYY vs. HOU – $8,800 – Lots to love about this start and a lot to hate about it. First, let’s start with the positive. Pineda priced at $8,800 is certainly a plus, because if he was any higher I wouldn’t be a fan. He takes on the Astros, who are fourth in the league in K% at 23.7%. Pineda is most certainly a guy that can rack up the K’s, owning a 10.7 K/9 on the year and an 11.4 K/9 in 18 innings in the second half. Those are the good aspects of this start. On the other hand, the Astros are hitting well once again and have shot up the ranks against righties with a .326 wOBA, a .328 OBP and a .430 SLG. Those numbers don’t exactly instill you with a whole lot of confidence for Pineda, the owner of a .344 wOBA on the road.
#5) Jake Arrieta – CHC vs. CHW – $12,400 – – Man, it’s been rough for Arrieta lately and his fantasy supporters. In the midst of his worst month this season, Arrieta currently possesses a .332 wOBA, a 5.40 ERA and a K/9 of 8.8 in 18.1 innings. He gets a matchup with hometown rivals the White Sox tonight at U.S. Cellular Field. Immediately I see the $12,400 price tag for Arrieta and I scoff at the thought of taking him tonight. Maybe it’s a bit crazy, but I have a hard time trusting a pitcher that is averaging just 12.8 FPPG over his last five starts. With that being said though, the White Sox don’t strike fear in anyone, but strictly going off the “value” of Arrieta is enough to keep me away. If you’re fine with going YOLO, Arrieta does indeed have a good matchup on tap against a White Sox team that owns a .305 wOBA against righties with a .310 OBP and a .390 SLG. So if you are inclined to take him, I can certainly see why. He does possess the upside to bring a solid start; I’m just personally not a huge fan.
#6) Noah Syndergaard – NYM vs. STL – $11,100 – Syndergaard is facing a less than 100% healthy Cardinals squad. Matt Carpenter, Jhonny Peralta and Brandon Moss are all on the DL, so one would think that this matchup could be a layup, right? Not so much, in my opinion. Even taking away those player’s stats, the Cardinals still rank 10th in wOBA against righties at .329 with a .329 OBP and a .439 SLG. Mix in the fact that they rank 24th in K% at 19.1% and I have hard time finding the overall value for Noah here. With that being said, Thor has been fantastic at home this season and is coming off a great start against the Cubs at home. He’s certainly capable of spinning a fantastic game on any particular night, especially at home where he’s averaging 23 FPPG in 11 starts. He’s a risky play in my opinion, but he commands the upside.
#7) Drew Pomeranz – BOS vs. DET – $10,300 – – This is the first real test for Pomeranz in my opinion, as he gets an American League team in his second start at Fenway Park. On paper he certainly has the advantage as the Tigers have struggled against lefties. On the season, the Tigers own a .311 wOBA with a .318 OBP and a .405 SLG to go along with a 21.5 K%. If Pomeranz can grab any of that magic he had with the Padres, his 10.2 K/9 on the season can certainly be showcased in this matchup. I don’t love that it’s at Fenway Park, but I think the majority of people will be staying off of him because of his last start and the park factor. If the weather doesn’t disrupt the other games, I think Pom ends up being the lowest owned pitcher in the $10K+ range.
#8) Jeremy Hellickson – PHI vs. MIA – $8,300 – – Even with Hellickson being borderline solid this season, I always cringe at the thought of drafting him on my roster. However, Hellickson has been great against the Marlins this season. This will be the fourth time they face off, with Hellickson averaging 19.8 FPPG in those starts. His price is low enough to certainly reach his value tonight and he is a legitimate SP2 tonight.
#9) Anthony DeSclafani – CIN vs. SFG – $9,300 – – Right off the bat, you have to love the matchup at AT&T Park, that’s an automatic plus. You can’t however, love the lack of strikeout potential here. DeSclafani isn’t a big strikeout pitcher to begin with, owning a 7.1 K/9 on the season, but he’s been better on the road where it jumps to 8.8. However, this is a Giants team that has the third lowest K% against righties at 18%. His price is a bit inflated which I don’t like, but I can see him being overlooked across the board. He won’t grab anything over 20, but a mid teens score is plausible. I just don’t think that’s enough to be worth the money, so he’s a strictly GPP play for me.
#10) *Braden Shipley- ARZ vs. MIL – $5,000 * – – The bottom of the list for pitchers is a cold, dreary place tonight except for an intriguing option in Shipley. The Diamondbacks top prospect will make his debut tonight in a matchup against the Brewers team that leads the league in K% at 25.8%. Shipley doesn’t have huge strikeout potential in him, but this matchup at this price certainly warrants a look. Coming into tonight, Shipley owns a career 6.4 K/9 in three years in the minors with a 2.9 BB/9. Nerves could play a factor as always for the rookie, but even a decent outing will return value on his price. If you’re looking to save some dough, Shipley is an interesting option.
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.