This is as top-heavy of a pitching slate as I’ve seen since opening day, so trying to sort through the 5 aces is going to be tough. I like Syndgergaard, Sale, and Scherzer as my top-3 for tournaments tonight, but there is certainly a case to be made for Verlander or Kershaw as well. If you’re looking for more analysis on each game, check out the MLB Strategy Video from this morning. Awesemo will update this article with his analysis on each pitcher, so make sure to check back before lock!
Noah Syndergaard ($10,800 DK/$10,600 FD)
On DraftKings, Syndergaard’s price is $1600 and $1900 cheaper than Scherzer and Sale, and I think he has similar upside to both of them in this matchup against the Braves. Over the last two weeks, the Braves are 7th in O-Swing% and 2nd in Swing%. Syndergaard is allowing under 26% hard-contact with over 11.8 K/9 against both handedness on the year, and if the Braves are not going to be patient, he should be able to efficiently rack up strikeouts and be well on his way to a huge performance tonight.
Chris Sale ($12,400 DK/$11,300 FD)
Sale certainly deserves a mention tonight in all formats against a Royals team that doesn’t have much to offer. Kansas City is striking out at the 10th-highest rate against lefties this season, and while Salvador Perez being back in the lineup provides a boost, there are a bunch of bats (Cuthbert, Jay, Duda, Escobar) who are over 22% strikeout guys. Sale is 10th in Whiffs/Swing% and is striking out both lefties and righties at an over 35% clip this year, and I expect him to mow down the Royals on his way to another solid outing.
Kyle Gibson ($6,500 DK/$7,800 FD)
With 5 legitimate aces on the slate, it may be hard to convince yourself to get to Kyle Gibson tonight, but on DraftKings I love him as an SP2 at this price. Gibson ranks 13th in Whiffs/Swing on the year, and his slider has been downright nasty, getting the most Whiffs/Swing (72.4%) of any pitcher than has thrown at least 50 sliders on the year. The Blue Jays are a mostly neutral matchup against right-handed pitching, but they rank 6th in Swinging-Strike% on the year, and Gibson is coming off two starts where he posted 17.7% and 19% Swinging-Strike rates. There is undoubtedly some risk, but for $6,500 on DK, give me one of these top SP1s, Gibson at low ownership, and a bunch of big bats in tournaments.
I agree with Jake that Syndergaard, Sale, and Scherzer are going to be the top 3 pitchers tonight. You can’t really go wrong with any of them, so I like putting whichever one spends the rest of your salary. I didn’t notice Gibson’s 25% strikeout rate so far this year until Jake mentioned him. He has a long track record of not getting great strikeouts, so I might need to see a bit more before I start to play him on a slate this big. An alternative I like more is Nick Tropeano around the same price. Baltimore strikes out more than Toronto, and their team total is less.