With only five games on the slate, every pitcher will be profiled in this article! So let’s take a look at what this night slate has in store for us. As always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Top 5 Pitchers
#1) Tanner Roark – WAS vs. PHI – $9,600 – – Facing the Phillies, Roark easily slots into my number one spot for today. Roark has been fantastic this season, owning a 2.71 ERA with a 1.22 WHIP and a K/9 of 8.2. This Phillies team continues to be near the bottom of the league in all offensive categories against right-handed pitchers. In fact, they don’t surpass being ranked 25th in wOBA, ISO, SLG, or OBP. On top of it all, they own the 11th highest K% against righties at 21.4%. Roark should be a great option tonight, and he even saves you a bit of salary, being only the fourth most expensive pitcher.
#2) Ian Kennedy – KC vs. TB – $9,800 – – Personally, I’m not a huge fan of Ian Kennedy. I’ve been burned by him many times in the past and this feels like a classic case of where that will happen again. On the other hand, matchup wise – this is a fantastic spot for him. The Rays currently rank second in K% against righties (25.8 K%) which plays perfectly into Kennedy and his 8.9 K/9. Kennedy has been much better at home than he has on the road, so I’ll give him an extra bump for that as well. This Rays team is struggling from top to bottom, so a solid game from Kennedy is certainly not a reach.
#3) Marco Estrada – TOR vs NYY – $8,600 – Estrada is coming off a start against the Yankees, his opponent for today, with some less than impressive stats. In that game, Estrada went seven innings allowing three runs on four hits with a 4:2 K:BB ratio. The biggest difference in this game is that it will be played at the Rogers Centre, where Estrada as seen the majority of his success. At home, Estrada is averaging 22.2 fantasy points per start allowing only five runs over 26.2 innings. The Yankees continue to dwell near the bottom of the league in most offensive categories against righties, so I think a nice bounce back is due for Estrada. The bad news here is that the Yankees don’t strike out much, so don’t be expecting a 20+ point game from Estrada.
#4) Ivan Nova – NYY vs. TOR – $7,400 – – If Nova made just a few less mistakes against the Blue Jays in his last start, he could have had a fantastic outing. In his last start, Nova pitched 6.2 innings allowing four runs on seven hits with a 8:2 K:BB ratio. It was the longest outing of the season for Nova, who kept the Jays in check for the majority of the game. The Blue Jays continue to strikeout against righties at a fast pace, ranked 7th in the league with a 23.2 K%. Nova isn’t a huge strikeout guy, but he certainly has the potential to grab six or seven in a start. In the Rogers Centre, this start is more attractive than it was at Yankee Stadium.
#5) Jeremy Hellickson – PHI vs. WAS – $8,500 – – I can’t really put my finger on Hellickson this season. Historically, he’s a very inconsistent pitcher and not one I’m exactly trusting to anchor my lineup. However, one of his best starts this season came against this Nationals team. During that start, Hellickson pitched seven innings allowing no runs on two hits with a 8:3 K:BB ratio. Hellickson certainly has some decent strikeout abilities, owning a 9.1 K/9. This Nationals team ranks 15th in K% at 20.5% and their wOBA against righties isn’t very impressive at .305. I’m a bit concerned with this start being in Philly, which is where Hellickson has struggled a bit, owning a 4.87 ERA with a 1.48 WHIP. Otherwise, he could end up being a great value for tonight.
#6) Justin Verlander – DET vs. LAA – $10,900 – – If we had more games on this slate, I could see Verlander dropping even further down on this list. However, after Verlander this pitching slate gets awful ugly. Verlander faces the Angels who own the lowest K% in the league against righties at 15.6%. With Verlander relying so heavily on his K’s, a matchup where he may not get much at all makes him a very unattractive option, especially at his $10,900 price tag. Verlander has been averaging just under 21 FPPG this season, but taking out those strikeouts makes a very obvious difference in his scores. I’m not saying Verlander can’t grab some in this start, but expecting more than five would be getting greedy. Even on this short slate, you have better options to take.
#7) Matt Andriese – TB vs. KC – $10,200 – – Like Verlander, Andriese has a price tag higher than I would like in this start. After back-to-back solid starts to begin his season, Andriese didn’t look good against the Tigers and Marlins. Against a good hitting Royals team and one that strikesout right around the league average with a 19.4 K%, Andriese and his $10,200 price tag don’t feel very attractive. Oh did I mention he has a K/9 of only 5.6 this season? Yeah, I’ll take a hard pass on this start.
#8) Jeff Locke – PIT vs. MIA – $5,500 – – At this point, these bottom three aren’t options for me at all. Locke isn’t doing much for fantasy players, owning a 5.6 K/9 with a 4.2 BB/9. Righties are crushing him, as Locke owns a .381 wOBA against them allowing seven of his eight home runs. The Marlins are hitting lefties quite well with a .339 wOBA and a .446 SLG. The Marlins are striking out at a decent clip against lefties with a 23.1%, which would be the only upside Locke has. As I mentioned though, Locke with a K/9 in the five range isn’t that enticing. For what it’s worth, Locke has registered one or less (yup) strikeouts in a game four times this season.
#9) Jhoulys Chacin – LAA vs. DET – $6,100 – – Facing one of the top hitting teams against righties Chacin won’t be on any of my rosters tonight. Chacin is allowing a .346 wOBA to righties this season, which is enough for me to stay off of him, as he’ll face the likes of Miguel Cabrera, Ian Kinsler and JD Martinez. Chacin does own a 7.5 K/9 against a team that owns the 10th highest K% against righties in the league, but that’s not enough for me to take him.
#10) Justin Nicolino – MIA vs. PIT – $7,500 – – Nicolino faces one of the best hitting teams against righties with one of the lowest K% at 18.4%. Oh, Nicolino owns a 3.9 K/9 this season. My God, the humanity…..