With 8 games on tap for tonight, we have some interesting pitching options. Let’s break down my Top 10 for tonight, and as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Top 5 Pitchers
1) Adam Conley – MIA vs. PHI – $8,200 – I like Conley and J.A. Happ a lot tonight, but I give the nod to Conley because of the price difference here. Conley has been very boom or bust this season, but I think he’ll have a “boom” tonight against a Phillies team that is owns a .273 wOBA against lefties with a 24.1 K%. Conley owns a 9.1 K/9 through seven starts this season, which just adds to how enticing he is tonight. He will most certainly help you afford some of the higher priced players on this slate.
2) J.A. Happ – TOR vs TBR – $10,900 – It’s slightly amusing that the answer to losing David Price in the offseason was signing J.A. Happ. Guess who’s been pitching much better than the other? Happ comes into this matchup against the Rays, who own the 8th highest K% against lefties at 24.3%. Happ has faced these Rays twice already this season with average results, but they’ll be without Logan Forsythe in this one, a major piece to their offense. Happ owns a solid 2.05 ERA with a 1.16 WHIP in seven starts this season.
3) Jordan Zimmermann – DET vs. MIN – $10,300 – I certainly like this matchup for Zimmermann, but I don’t like his price. This all stems from him pitching out of his mind in April, and it hasn’t really recovered since. On the flip side, Zimmermann gets a Twins team that ranks 20th in wOBA against righties with a high 23.2 K%. Even for how well Zimmermann pitched, his K’s are way down this season, owning a 5.2 K/9 through seven starts. This could be a bit of a tough matchup to reach his value, but overall on a shorter slate, the options are limited.
“The last time these two teams faced off, Smyly pitched six innings allowing two runs on two hits with an 8:1 K:BB ratio”
4) Drew Smyly – TBR vs. TOR – $11,100 – This isn’t an easy matchup for Smyly, but it’s not a rough one either. The Blue Jays currently rank 13th in the league against lefties with a league average 21.6 K%. The last time these two teams faced off, Smyly pitched six innings allowing two runs on two hits with an 8:1 K:BB ratio. The problem with Smyly lately is that he’s not going deep into games, as he’s pitched six, five and five in his last three. Against a tough offense like the Jays, he certainly has the potential to run into some trouble here. On the flip side, he does have some good upside with the K potential, I just like some safer, lower priced guys here instead.
5) Rick Porcello – BOS vs. KCR – $10,700 – Porcello continues to surprise almost everyone with his solid pitching through seven starts. Averaging 22.7 FPPG, Porcello faces off against a Royals team ranked 20th in the league In K% at 19.2. Porcello has been striking out batters at a career high pace, but this is not the start where you’re expecting a lot in that department. With a K/9 of 8.9 thus far, it would be difficult to reach that point in this one. Nonetheless, Porcello should receive plenty of run support in this one and can tack on to his six wins on the season.
6) Kenta Maeda – LAD vs. LAA – $9,700 – Maeda has some solid numbers on the surface, but as we dig a little deeper, it could get a bit deceiving. First and foremost, Maeda does not go deep into games. He’s only surpassed six innings once this season. Second, he does walk a decent amount of guys. Over his last three games, Maeda owns a 15:7 K:BB ratio. Even though the Angels are not hitting well at all, they don’t strike out much, so the upside for Maeda here is very limited. At his price, you could do better, but I understand the reasoning if you do take him.
7) Chad Green – NYY vs ARZ – $4,000 – Yes, I’m throwing out the kid who hasn’t thrown a single pitch in the majors. Green has looked solid in the minors this season, making seven starts for Triple-A owning a 1.22 ERA with a 1.11 WHIP to go with a 36:12 K:BB ratio. Green takes on a D-Backs team that ranks 12th in wOBA against righties and strikeout at a decent 20.7%. At just $4,000, Green could be worth taking a flier on facing a lineup that will include a pitcher. He won’t have to do much to reach value and is a potential punt play on this slate.
8) Robbie Ray – ARZ vs. NYY – $6,800 – Ray entices me justttt a little bit here. Granted, he’s been getting lit up by right-handed bats this season, as they own a .390 wOBA against him. But in the same respect, the Yankees continue to struggle against lefties, owning a .296 wOBA. They don’t strike out a lot against lefties, which brings Ray value down some here. At the least, they’ll be without one of their bats playing in a National League Park, which helps Ray a bit. Again, it’s a short slate and if you want to be different, Ray could be one of those options.
9) Jonathon Niese – PIT vs. ATL – $5,800 – Niese has very minimal upside in this one, but he’s a body taking on the Braves and costs less than $6K. Niese hasn’t done much of anything productive this season, owning a 5.63 ERA with a 1.60 WHIP. He’s shown a couple of flashes of brilliance this season, mainly in his starts against the Tigers and Brewers, but it has not been consistent. With a 6.5 K/9 and a Braves team that is tough to strikeout, the upside for Niese is small. Then again, it is the Braves.
“This is most certainly a GPP play but one that could save you a bunch”
10) Matt Shoemaker – LAA vs. LAD – $4,600 – No way to spin it, Shoemaker has been BAD this season. When we look at his career numbers though, he’s not THIS bad. Owning a 9.12 ERA with a 1.91 WHIP through six starts has been the worst start of his career. Four times this season he’s ended up with a negative score and has recorded only one strike out twice. However, you’ll get him at the near minimum of $4,600 against a Dodgers team in the bottom five in wOBA against righties at .299 with a 21 K%. This is most certainly a GPP play but one that could save you a bunch.