Today’s slate is full of a bunch of pitchers that are in “solid” spots and very few that are in great spots. There are PLENTY of offenses to attack on this slate and I think GPP scores will come down to the hitters more today than normal. I don’t see a ton of slate breaking pitching spots barring one of the elite guys throwing a gem, which is always a possibility. I think the overall strategy today is to build with the bats and fill in the pitchers later.
Max Scherzer is elite, but please don’t play him unless you want to chase the gem. These crazy expensive pitchers just need to have a great game, even for their standards, just to be necessary. The Braves offense has not been a cakewalk all year and they’ve only gotten better recently via trades and injury recovery. I can’t play Max today at such a high price tag with the bats on the board and the cheaper pitching options.
Zack Greinke is a really interesting case of guessing ownership percentage. Greinke hasn’t been known as a strikeout pitcher over most of his career, but he seems to be changing his style slightly recently with multiple big K games. The Phillies strikeout the most in the league vs. right-handed pitching, so this should be a spot Greinke could exploit. IF Greinke is low-owned, I will have a decent amount of him for the upside and safety combination at a lower price tag.
Best of the rest in the upper tier of pitching:
Miles Mikolas: If you insisted on playing Mikolas in cash games today, I would understand. He seems to limit the damage as good as almost anyone in the league and faces a bad team in a great park to limit the damage. Could Mikolas go 8 strong and post 31 DK points to win a GPP? Sure, but you need him to post a top 5 percentile performance to get you into that spot.
Carlos Carrasco: Carrasco is probably a top 10 ARM in baseball, but you just never know exactly what you are going to get. Carrasco just dominated these Twins last starts, so I think the ownership will likely be higher than I want.
Nick Pivetta: Pivetta’s talent is undeniable and very capable of throwing a great start every time out. This D-Backs team isn’t superimposing, but they aren’t a cupcake spot either for Pivetta. IF he is unowned, I’ll chase the upside in this spot, but it’s not a place I’m really honing in on.
The mid-tier at pitching is full of guys that I think I would play if they were slightly cheaper.
Chase Anderson has had a quality year and now faces what has been the best matchup in baseball, but do I really want to pay almost $8,000 for Chase Anderson? Not really. I won’t tell anyone not to play Chase Anderson, but I won’t be doing it personally.
I could say similar things again about CC Sabathia, Mike Montgomery, Felix Hernandez, and Brad Keller. Wow, this is actually worse than I even realized. Let’s be honest, there has not been a person that I truly LIKE at the price tag on this slate, BUT we will get there. Surprisingly, I almost feel more comfortable with multiple players at a very cheap price tag today than anyone should. If you must play someone in this range, I’ll take Anderson>CC>Keller>Felix>Monty but you probably shouldn’t be heavily invested in any of these guys.
Pablo Lopez is a decent right-handed pitcher facing a right-handed heavy Cardinals team in a good ballpark for pitchers. There are actually pitchers I like more than Lopez at a cheaper price, but I think Lopez gives you a start you can’t really complain about, although you will probably be left wishing you had a little more.
So… Here we are. Alex Cobb is my favorite play on 2 pitcher sites today. Cobb isn’t as bad as his numbers so initially. He gets a ballpark upgrade going into Tampa. The Rays offense isn’t the best in the league and should be a downgrade to what Cobb’s average opponent offense typically is. He’s really cheap. Cobb’s movement seems to be coming back and he was supposed to be a solid pitcher. If Cobb can return to normal form, which it seems like may be happening, he is probably a $7k pitcher on D today. I have to take the discount on Cobb today, even though it means I have to actually roster Alex Cobb.
I THINK the DFS community is going to be able to spot this Alex Cobb matchup. If he is going to be highly owned, I will play a little Marcus Stroman. Yeah, I know it’s a bad spot, but he’s just capable of having a solid outing. Stroman is a legitimately good pitcher at his best and a “solid” 7 innings, 5 K’s and, 2 runs start is very possible for Stroman tonight. It’s most likely only going to be a pivot play, but I do think it’s a viable tournament strategy.
There are a million solid spots tonight and breaking each and every one down would really be splitting hairs. I am going to rank my top 5 in GPP (factoring in perceived ownership) with a brief rundown of why.
The Yankees: Reynaldo Lopez has blow-up issues and the Yankees have the ability to exploit that tonight. There are so many great options on the slate and I don’t expect the Yankees to top the stack list for most people tonight. Lopez can lose control and that would spell massive problems against a patient and powerful Yankees team. The Yankees scored 7 yesterday, but they were about 5 feet short of 3 more home runs. I love the stack here looking for a massive upside game tonight on this offensive slate.
The Mariners: Bartolo Colon is getting rocked and I wouldn’t expect it to stop any time soon. The Mariners’ power is really nice to see when looking to stack and I think anyone in the lineup is a solid option tonight. The top of the lineup is full of quality hitters and the bottom still has the power to make them worth the roster.
The Angels: Jacob Turner is a disappointing prospect that was drafted ninth overall 11 years ago. Turner has jumped around from team to team and has barely scratched the MLB surface. Turner has struggled massively in his few appearances this season and it should continue. Most season-long projections systems project this player with a high 5’s ERA and a K/9 under 6. Uhhhh, that’s BAD. The Angels will probably be popular tonight, but it seems like a great spot regardless.
The Blue Jays: Drew Pomeranz has been bad all year, especially recently. Even in his rehab starts, Pomeranz struggled to limit damage and get outs. Those two things are generally important things to do as a major league pitcher. Toronto has the power to hurt Pomeranz and the Red Sox bullpen isn’t very scary, especially the underside of it.
Pirates: The Pirates see a massive park upgrade going from PNC Park to Coors Field and they get a great matchup with Chad Bettis. Bettis is coming off of 3 minor league starts where he still struggled and posted an ERA over 5. Before those 3 starts, Bettis hadn’t passed 15 DK points in his last 10 starts and posted negative points in 2 of those.