After a lot of split slates to start the year, we’re back to the ol’ fashioned 15-game Friday slate tonight with a lot of pitching options. We’ve got 4 studs that we can make a case for up top, and then a lot of viable GPP pitchers for cheap. Here are the 3 guys that I (Tommienation1) am considering for GPPs tonight, but if you’re looking for some notes on each pitcher, check out the MLB Strategy Video from this morning. Awesemo will update this article later with his own notes, so make sure to check back before lock!
Justin Verlander ($12,000 DK/$11,400 FD)
Verlander has arguably the best matchup of the night for any pitcher against the White Sox. Chicago ranks 2nd in both Swing% and Swinging-Strike% as well as 4th in O-Swing% on the year, and we know that Verlander can miss bats with the best of them. In all four of his starts this year, Verlander has posted at least an 11.1% Swinging-Strike rate, and the great part about him is that the Astros have shown they’ll let him go deep in games even early in the season as he’s thrown 100 or more pitches in each of his last three outings. There is definitely some power in the White Sox lineup, but Verlander’s strikeout upside is huge here, so I love him in all formats.
Noah Syndergaard ($11,400 DK/$10,700 FD)
Syndergaard is the cheapest of the four studs tonight on both sites, but I like him over Kershaw and Scherzer tonight in GPPs. He’s 4th in Whiff/Swing% this season at over 37% (above Scherzer, Kershaw, and Verlander) and has a 37% K-rate and 10.5% hard-hit rate against lefties. Freddie Freeman’s bat and Syndergaard’s inability to hold runners is a bit worrisome here, but we’ve seen the Braves get shutdown by some of the top right-handed arms in the league this year. Give me Thor in GPPs at a discounted price.
Lance Lynn ($6,400 DK/$7,100 FD)
I haven’t clicked on Lance Lynn’s name in a while, but it’s hard to deny what he’s done this year in terms of missing bats, and the matchup is great. He ranks 13th in Whiff/Swing% on the year out of all starting pitchers with 100+ pitches at 33.3% and is coming off a 5 IP, 9K performance against the Astros where he had a 15% Swinging-Strike rate. The sample size is small for Lynn this year and he’ll always have trouble getting lefties out, but the lefties in the Rays lineup (Span, Wendle, Smith) are not ones that we’re scared will take him deep. In a great pitching park, Lynn is a guy that I’ll be considering for GPPs if I can’t force Syndergaard and Verlander into my DK lineup.
Pretty much any day that Kershaw is pitching he’s going to be my #1 pitcher. Today Verlander makes it tough with a much better matchup, so I think you can play them interchangeably. On a normal night, Syndergaard would be in a ton of my lineups, but tonight, I have him behind Verlander and the Kershaw v. Scherzer game with a crazy 6 over under. I think he’s a good option in tournaments but I would stick to Verlander or Kershaw in cash.
I’m intrigued by Jake’s suggestion of Lance Lynn; he’s grading out as a great value on DK for me but not appearing in a lot of my lineups. I think it could be good contrarian strategy to pick him then and spend up on bats on a day with a lot of stud pitchers.