This is one of the best slates of the season so far for both hitting and pitching with lots of options at various pricing tiers. Below are three pitchers that I (Tommienation1) am keying in on for this 12-game main slate, but if you want to hear more analysis on each game, check out our MLB Strategy Video from this morning. Awesemo will update this article with notes later this afternoon, so make sure to check back before lock!
Corey Kluber ($12,100 DK/$11,400 FD)
Kluber is going to be on my radar pretty much every time he gets a start, and today is no exception. On the road in Puerto Rico against the Twins, Kluber makes for a fantastic option tonight in all formats even in a neutral strikeout matchup. The Twins don’t have a lot of guys that K in the top of their order outside of Sano, but near the bottom of the lineup, Kluber can rack up the strikeouts against Morrison, Buxton, and Castro, who all K over 25% against righties since the start of 2017. He’s the best pitcher on the slate and probably has the highest raw point projection over guys like Ohtani, Corbin, and McCullers.
Patrick Corbin ($9,800 DK/$9,500 FD)
Corbin has looked fantastic in his first three starts of 2018, posting the 2nd-best Whiff/Swing% in the MLB and Swinging-Strike rates of 16.1, 19.4 and 18 (against these Giants). There are some individual matchups that will be tough (McCutchen, Posey, Longoria), but Corbin just navigated this lineup easily in 5 innings last week before losing some command in the 6th. The Giants are still one of the most swing-happy teams in the MLB (Top-10 in Swing%, O-Swing%, Swinging-Strike%) which should play right into Corbin’s hands. He’s not going to be heavily owned in tournaments because of where he’s priced, but I like him a lot as a GPP option and would get some exposure if multi-entering.
Trevor Cahill ($5,100 DK)
Cahill is simply too cheap on DraftKings tonight in a matchup that is solid for most right-handed pitchers. His slider got over 20% whiffs last year and it can be devastating to righties, especially righties that strikeout over 25% of the time (Castillo, Davidson, Anderson, Engel). Cahill is coming off a Triple-A outing in which he threw 5.2 innings and struck out 7 while allowing 3 runs, and he was 29th in Whiff/Swing% last year which was above guys like Lance McCullers and Stephen Strasburg. He’s a guy that has struggled with walks, but this is about as good of a matchup that he can ask for, as the White Sox are one of the least patient teams in the MLB this year (Top-3 in Swing% and O-Swing%).
I agree with Jake about Cahill on DraftKings, his price jumps off the page at me, and will at everyone else who played fantasy baseball last season. Cahill started around the same price but ended up around 7500 on DK because of his high strikeout totals. Expect him and Kluber to be the most popular plays on tonight’s slate, along with Yonny Chirinos if people manage to scroll down that far. The variance is significant in pitchers though, so it can be a smart strategy to go contrarian with a guy like Corbin. I’m a bit nervous that his hot streak will drive up his ownership among casual baseball fans though, so make sure to check our ownership projections before lock to decide if he’s going to be underowned.