Baseball is BACK everyone! I know that many of you were struggling finding something to do during the All-Star break. Many of you resorted to WNBA (hopefully you read Cody’s article!), maybe you were more productive at work or maybe you weren’t. Whatever the case may be – we can all breathe a sigh of relief because the break is OVER.
As for us, we spent our break digging into a handful of DFS Scams on Twitter and doing what we can to notify the public and protect the community (more of them to come).
Also, if you haven’t checked out our Patreon page, do so NOW: Patreon.com/FanForecast. We’ll be offering a lot of great premium content for this upcoming NFL season and have even more big plans in the works, so stay tuned.
As for tonight, we’ve got a full fun slate of baseball on tap. Below are my favorite pitching options in their respective price tiers. For more advice, follow @FanForecast on Twitter. If you want to ask me questions directly, follow me at @JMetz34!
Top Tier ($10,000+)
Jacob deGrom ($10,900)
If it weren’t for Max Scherzer’s flat out dominance this season, deGrom’s name would be in consideration for the NL Cy Young award – he’s been THAT good. He’s posted career-high marks in K-rate (28.4%), SwStr% (14.1%) and ground-ball percentage (46.1%) en route to a 9-3 record coming into the second half of the season. While he’s allowed more HR per 9 innings than desired (1.46) and elevated hard contact (35.6%), he finds himself in a nice spot tonight at a rather reasonable price tag for his ceiling.
He gets to host the Rockies in the friendly confines of Citi Field (HUGE park downgrade for COL) and while many may stray away because of the Rockies’ impressive play this season, $10.9k is a price I’m willing to pay. Against righties on the road, they rank 24th in wOBA (0.298), 30th in ISO (0.126) and have the 12th highest K-rate (22.6%). Even if this game was in Coors field I’d likely recommend deGrom as a viable GPP play, but everything in this scenario points towards deGrom being an elite cash-game option.
Mid Tier ($8,000 – $9,900)
Carlos Carrasco ($9,500)
Carrasco can be a frustrating pitcher to roster, seeing that every handful of games he implodes for 5-15 FanDuel points and you can never predict when (once was against the Royals for Christ’s sake..), but he finds himself in an elite spot against the Athletics tonight.
He’s posted at least 49 FDP in 3 of his last 4 games and on the season has produced a 27.5% K-rate, a 3.49 SIERA, 30.3% hard-contact percentage and an elite 12.8% SwStr%. He’s also done a respectable job of limiting damage from home runs (1.03 per 9 innings) and as you can see, limiting hard contact as well.
The Oakland Athletics have a bit of pop in their lineup, but overall present a rather neutral matchup for Carrasco with their 0.321 wOBA and 0.198 ISO against right-handed pitching. The biggest reason to pay for Carrasco is for his strikeout upside tonight, as his 27.5% strikeout rate looks even better alongside Oakland’s 25.4% strikeout rate against RHP.
If you’re pivoting away from deGrom (and that’s totally reasonable with the amount of playable options in the mid-tier), Carrasco is the most elite pivot.
James Paxton ($9,200)
If you insist on dipping a few hundred dollars down from Carrasco tonight, James Paxton is also a great option. While he’s been somewhat rusty following his return from the disabled list, he’s begun to round into form over his previous four contests.
On the season as a whole, Paxton sports a beautiful 2.85 FIP, 3.83 SIERA, 27.2% strikeout rate and a 0.55 HR/9 inning rate, igniting his case for the league’s most improved player.
While the White Sox are typically a team we don’t heavily target with a left-handed pitcher, they still strike out over 20% of the time against them and Paxton does come in as the -150 favorite, in large part due to the fact that the Mariners will get to TEE OFF against James Shields. He’s a shoe-in for a quality start (knock on wood), racks up strikeouts, and is in a perfect position for a win – what else do you want out of a pitcher in DFS?
*Other option – Johnny Cueto ($9,000) @ SDP – typically, I would always include someone against the Padres in Petco, but Cueto’s peripherals do not suggest that his performance will improve and I don’t feel comfortable deploying him in cash games.
Bottom Tier (Below $8,000)
Zach Davies ($7,200)
This is a GPP play and a GPP play only, unless you’re one of those maniacs with the giant balls in cash games. His sabermetrics are nothing special, with a 4.83 SIERA and a 14.7% K-rate, but he happens to lead the Brewers in wins (10) and also has done a nice job of limiting hard contact (30.5%) despite allowing 1.39 HR/9 innings. He’s also managed to post 31, 27 and 31 FanDuel points over his last three games respectively.
The appeal to Davies is almost entirely matchup-based, as he comes out of the All-Star break with the opportunity to pitch against the dismal Philadelphia Phillies. Against right-handed pitching this season, the Phillies rank 28th in wOBA (0.300), 29th in ISO (0.143), 28th in wRC+ (82) and have the 6th highest strikeout rate (23.9%).
All of these numbers will likely inflate Davies’ success and cover up his flaws – making him an incredible GPP play, especially since he’s priced below Ricky Nolasco (???).