The pitching is much better tonight than what we saw last night with multiple aces getting their second start of the year. We’ll make the case for both Kershaw and Verlander, as well as one of my favorite guys in all of the MLB that shows up as “B” on Awesemo’s player rankings. Awesemo will kick it off, and then I (Tommienation1) will provide some additional numbers and notes.
Clayton Kershaw ($12,200 DK/$11,500 FD)
“On almost any slate that he’s on, Kershaw is the highest projected player and also the most expensive. It’s usually a great strategy to put him in and pair him with value bats. The 3.4 team total for the D-Backs shows us that this is matchup he should dominate like usual.”
There isn’t much that’s needed to be said about Kershaw (“A” points grade). He threw 91 pitches in 6 innings while striking out 7 in his first start against the Giants, and we could see a similar performance here tonight in Arizona, as they have a few guys at the bottom of the lineup that have trouble making contact against lefties (Mathis, Marrero, Owings, Godley). He’s the highest-priced pitcher on the slate, but if he’s on his game, he could outscore the rest of the pitchers on the slate by a wide margin.
Justin Verlander ($11,600 DK/$10,300 FD)
“Verlander is one of the few that can rival Kershaw in terms of upside tonight, as tonight’s projected Orioles lineup strikes out around 20% more than average, and they only have a 4 team total.”
Verlander makes for a solid SP1 candidate in cash-games as well as an interesting tournament pivot if you’re not going the Kershaw route. On DraftKings, he will likely come at lower ownership than Kershaw because they’re so close in price, and he could rack up a bunch of Ks, as 7 out of the 9 players in the projected Orioles lineup strike out over 20% against righties since the start of 2017. If he’s able to push 100 pitches tonight (after 90 in his first outing), the upside is certainly there for Verlander to match or even exceed Kershaw in raw points tonight as the biggest favorite on the night.
Zack Godley ($9,000 DK/$7,500 FD)
“Godley makes for a better play on FanDuel because of the price discount, but his “B” points grade puts him in play for tournaments against a free-swinging Dodgers squad that both scores and strikes out a lot.”
When you talk about strikeout upside tonight, Godley has a lot of it tonight even against a scary Dodgers team in a good park. His fastball velocity was up in Spring Training after a solid 2017 in which he struck out 27% of righties, posted a 1.14 WHIP, and a 55.3% Ground-Ball Percentage. A bunch of the Dodgers regulars — Taylor, Seager, Bellinger, Grandal — all strike out over 20% of the time against righties, and Godley showed elite swing-and-miss stuff in 2017, posting the 8th-best Whiff/Swing-rate (33.1%). In tournaments, I love getting a piece of the low-owned, and in my opinion, underpriced Godley tonight.