We have a nice eight-game slate on the docket for Wednesday night in Major League Baseball with interesting pitching options and a few fantastic stacks to fit in as well. The slate consists of a few big names, a few rising stars based on early performances, and a few mid-tier pitchers that I believe don’t get enough respect. There are not a ton of gas cans, but there are a few guys on the slate that I love targeting against.
Chris Sale is the best play on the slate, and it is not even close. This is coming from a guy that has not rostered Chris Sale in a single lineup all year long, and I actually stacked against him in games 2-4. Sale started off the season rough, and that was because there was something severely wrong with him. Now this actually happened towards the end of last year as well, and the Red Sox wrote it off as a mechanics issue, but I’m really unsure of that. Basically, Sale was throwing anywhere from 89-97 on his fastball, which is not at all normal. This lack of velocity caused his fastball to get crushed early in the season.
In the Yankee start, Sale returned to much more normal velocities, but he still got hit around pretty hard. After that start, I have been sitting on the sidelines of the Chris Sale debate until I knew which way he was headed. Two starts later, and he now seems to be back to where I would expect him in most advanced stats once we throw away the low-velo games. Sale now looks to be back in form and gets a horrible Orioles offense. I would play Sale everywhere unless I was paying down for pitching.
The rest of the top tier is “fine.” Clayton Kershaw has been good, and I don’t expect much to change there, but he is nowhere near Sale today, so I won’t have much exposure. Boyd faces the Angels at home, which isn’t the worst spot, but I still drastically prefer Sale. Foltynewicz, Skaggs, Peacock, and Hendricks are all solid pitchers. I would rank them Skaggs, Hendricks, Peacock, and Folty.
Skaggs has the best K matchup of the four, and Hendrick is a run prevention pitcher that is facing a team that struggles to score runs, which does provide upside with his profile (see his last start).
The rest of my lineups on two-pitcher sites will include these four guys from the next tier; Sonny Gray, Jon Gray, Kyle Gibson, and Trent Thornton. I have no real interest in anyone else besides a dart throw on Urena’s raw talent in a lineup.
Sonny Gray is a talented pitcher that struggled to deal with life and pitching in New York City. These struggles have really changed the perception of Gray, and I am looking to attack that. Sonny Gray is a really good pitcher, and Oakland is a great spot for him to stay away from the long ball issues.
Jon Gray is in Coors, but he faces a lineup that he is simply better than. If Gray is low-owned, I will attack him in GPPs heavily.
Kyle Gibson has a nasty slider, but everything else he throws isn’t great. I hope he gets into a better system to develop himself as a pitcher, but in the meantime, I will use him as a guy with upside should he throw 40% sliders in this game. Trent Thornton has been hit or miss in his early career. I think Thornton is talented enough to win on any given day, but this is not a good matchup at all. I will sprinkle Thornton into a few lineups for the talent upside.
The best three stacks on the day are the three most expensive ones. I would rank them, in order, Boston, Houston, Colorado. I am going to do everything possible to fit as many players from these three teams into my lineups.
My favorite sneaky stack is the Dodgers facing Mike Foltynewicz. He has struggled while coming back from injury and the Dodgers are a great offense. I doubt the Dodgers will have much ownership, due to the similar options facing much less talented pitching than Folty.