Starting pitching is tough for me today, as the high upside strikeout pitchers are all in pretty tough matchups, but outside of them, there isn’t much I feel comfortable with. Below, I (Tommienation1) make a case for 3 Spotlight Pitchers for tonight’s slate. Awesemo will update this article later with his notes/analysis, so check back before lock!
Lance McCullers ($11,200 DK/$8,800 FD)
McCullers is striking out both righties and lefties at an over 30% rate this year with a near 14% Swinging-Strike rate. With the lack of top options on the main slate, McCullers has a great chance to be the top scorer as he has the best strikeout repertoire of any of the pitchers going tonight. The Athletics are a neutral strikeout matchup, but there are few options that have close to the same floor and upside that McCullers does tonight, so he makes for a solid play in all formats.
Masahiro Tanaka ($8,900 DK/$9,100 FD)
Tanaka, like McCullers, doesn’t have the greatest matchup in the world, but because of his strikeout stuff, he’s certainly an option I’m considering in tournaments. The Angels’ team season numbers look like a terrible matchup for Tanaka, but over the last two weeks, they have the league’s 8th-highest K-rate and the 9th-lowest ISO. If Tanaka is controlling his sinker, he should be able to rack up some strikeouts near the end of the Angels order with some upside at this price.
Jack Flaherty ($7,200 DK/$6,200 FD)
The theme for today is to bet on the talent, and Flaherty flashed his upside in his only MLB start on April 3 where he struck out 9 in 5 innings. He had a 15.4% Swinging-Strike rate in that start and has gone at least 6 innings and 5 Ks in each of his 3 Triple-A starts since then. Once again, the matchup is not perfect, but the Pirates have the 5th-highest O-Swing% as well as the 5th-highest Swinging-Strike rate over the last two weeks, so for this price, it’s tough to ignore Flaherty as a GPP SP2.
I agree with Jake about McCullers as the top stud of the night. I’m not as keen on Tanaka with the matchup vs. the Angels; it’s not that it’s a bad spot but I think he’s going to be overowned in a matchup that isn’t that favorable. I would rather spend down on a guy like Flaherty that is facing a team with a similar total and has a lot of strikeout potential, for a cheaper price.