This is one of the better pitching slates we’ve seen all year with three obvious top guys in Sale, deGrom, and Strasburg, as well as a bunch of guys in the mid-tier that have big upside. If you want more information on pitching (and the slate in general), check out the MLB Strategy Video from this morning. Here are a few of my (Tommienation1) top options of the night, and we’ll get Awesemo to weigh in later today with his thoughts.
Stephen Strasburg ($10,800 DK/$9,800 FD)
Strasburg is one of the top plays on the slate tonight as far as pitchers due to his solid numbers against lefties, and it doesn’t hurt that this team was just dominated by Max Scherzer last night. He strikes out lefties at a 27.5% rate with only a 1.10 WHIP and 23.3% hard-contact dating back to the start of 2017, so the lefties shouldn’t be a huge problem for him at the top of the Braves order. As a -220 favorite and with these prices on DK and FD, Strasburg makes for a popular, but fantastic option on both sites in all formats.
Aaron Nola ($8,200 DK/$8,500 FD)
Nola hasn’t shown great swing-and-miss stuff yet, but this is a matchup where he can have his first real breakout performance of 2018. He’s a solid value tonight at face value, but he becomes very hard to ignore when you look at some of the bats in the Reds order. Winker, Gennett, Schebler, Duvall, Mesoraco, and Pennington all strikeout against righties over the league average, and Nola’s 29.7% K-rate against righties is near the top of the list for pitchers on this slate. Add in some 50 degree weather in a neutral park and Nola becomes one of the more attractive options in all formats tonight.
Aaron Sanchez ($7,500 DK/$6,700 FD)
The Orioles are one of the most swing-happy teams in the MLB, posting the 2nd-highest swing rate and the highest Swinging-Strike rate thus far. Sanchez is coming off a game where he had a 16.3% against the White Sox who are full of right-handed bats. The Orioles are similar in that they are righty-heavy with likely 6 of them in the lineup tonight, 4 of them striking out above 20% of the time against righties. He’s got a 28.8% whiff/swing rate which puts him in the top-25 for pitchers this season, so he is a guy that has a lot more K-upside in this matchup than most people think. As a tournament play, I like Sanchez a lot tonight.
I think Jake did a great job picking out pitchers today. On DraftKings, Strasburg and Nola are looking like my two top owned pitchers, and I have Sanchez as a good play, but not necessarily someone I’ll have in a lot of lineups. Nola in particular is clearly underpriced on DraftKings due to a recent downswing, so I think he’ll be particularly popular among sharp players. With that effect magnified in higher stakes games, I think given the volatility inherent in pitchers, he could be a potential ownership fade in top heavy higher stakes formats.