There are 30 pitchers on the slate today and I was drawn to exactly ZERO of them. Not even one looks like they’re good for the price. ***This is a warning*** No pitcher you play today will be exciting to roster. That being said, I can’t pretend to be taking the day off, so I’ll do this dreadful task of trying to maybe? Somehow? Possibly? Justify (congrats on the Triple Crown, by the way, I think I’d be better off talking about the horse than most of these pitchers today anyway) some of these pitchers and their prices, especially on DraftKings.
I am going to operate under the assumption that price tags almost don’t exist and just evaluate the best matchups and what I expect out of guys, that I could maybe see myself playing. I wanted to fade the top tier until I kept scrolling down further and further and saw absolutely nothing. Now, I have conceded that maybe $12,000 Nola is better than $7,600 Trevor Richards after all.
Aaron Nola is clearly the best pitcher on the slate today in terms of stuff and talent level. That being said, is he worth the top price tag on a massive slate with SOOOOOO many bad pitchers to play against? Probably not, but if you have the money, I won’t argue spending it on Nola. The Rockies have been bad outside of Coors for years, but they do have power and Citizens’ Bank Park won’t keep too many balls in the yard. The strikeouts should be there and Nola should be able to put together a nice start, but he’s not quite a complete stud yet and can be hit around from time to time, which is scary at the high price tag.
Eduardo Rodriguez has really good stuff and seems to have settled into the season nicely putting up multiple quality outings in a row. The matchup is a rather polarizing one vs. the right-handed heavy Orioles that will strike out a lot. E-Rod’s biggest struggle comes with control and the massive upside normally eludes him because he struggles to go deep into games. E-Rod could really put up a solid start, but the upside is still a bit questionable at such a high price tag on DK.
Miles Mikolas faces one of the worst rosters in baseball in a decent park on a slate where no one seems safe. Mikolas is a guy that has focused on control and limiting damage throughout the game and he has done it well all season long. Mikolas has shown the ability to grind out quality starts and get through the game with a score you can’t really complain about. I know, I know, it’s not quite a rousing endorsement, but you may have to take what you can get today.
Lance McCullers is not performing like we have seen him in the past, but he may have as much upside as anyone on the slate. Oakland is a team that is very boom or bust offensively. They swing for the fences and McCullers could be great or terrible tomorrow, simply based on how well Oakland is seeing the ball today. Again, not a rousing endorsement, but I did say he could be great and I really don’t think I feel confident saying that about anyone else.
Jon Gray has been similar to McCullers in terms of his talent not matching up to his results much this year. Gray seems to be pitching similar to previous years but has not gotten many great results. Gray goes into a park upgrade and up against a team that strikes out the most in baseball. Gray is probably my favorite play as of now, assuming he isn’t the chalk come lock time.
Sabathia and Leake are both veteran pitchers that attempt to limit hard contact and really bad games. Both have shown the ability to at least semi-consistently have games that would be very solid at their price tag. Both also face above average lineups that could punish them if they are not on their A-game. I will be taking shots with both of these guys in GPP’s and MAYBE even cash if there are expensive bats that I like enough to justify it.
Okay, but really, maybe avoid playing against the top 5 or 6 arms, but they are all live to get beat up. Let’s get into the stacks that I would really try to force into as many lineups as possible.
In his last 5 starts, Sal Romano has given up 27 earned runs. Yep, 27. Any other questions? Is regression coming? I meannnnn, maybe a little, but he’ll regress from a bottom 5 pitcher in the league to a bottom 20 pitcher in the league. The park isn’t great and the Royals’ offense is exactly explosive, but there are a few bats at the top that are worth a look in every single lineup you make today.
Since returning from the DL with an illness, Chase Anderson has really struggled to piece together good outings and the Cubs will not make it easy to piece on together today. Anderson has to face a rather potent offense in Miller Park, which almost always spells disaster for even an average pitcher. Anderson hasn’t really proven he is a league average pitcher since returning from the disabled list and even if he was, I’d still be very interested in the Cubs today.
James Shields has been decent this year at not getting absolutely blown up, but the Indians are an elite offense that has been clicking on all cylinders recently. I can’t pass up on them in a matchup against one of the worst pitchers in the league the past few years. Shields has made slight improvements, especially in adding movement to his slider, which makes me believe that he isn’t quite as bad as he is perceived in the industry, but today is not the spot for Shields to show he isn’t THAT bad.
If you like a floor, stack the Brewers. Why? Let’s take a look at Tyler Chatwood’s walk rate. Here’s how bad it is: To find his walk rate, I went to Fangraphs’ league leaders section and sorted by BB/9 and looked at the top of the list. Sure enough, there he is at 8.64 BB/9. HOW?!?!?! That is over 2 walks worse than the guy in second and almost 4 more BB/9 than his teammate Yu Darvish, who has the 8th highest rate. There will be 4 Brewers who walk, if not more, and the more baserunners, the more ways to score fantasy points.
Secondary Stacks: Again, EVERYONE, maybe besides the ones going against the pitchers I mentioned.