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White Sox at Indians: Moneyline (-115 DK)
The story of Lucas Giolito‘s first start really came down to poor fastball command and that was evident on the very first pitch. Catcher Yasmani Grandal set up with a fastball on the outer half (that’s where you want to attack an extreme pull hitter like Max Kepler) only Giolito missed completely and the pitch ended up middle-in AKA the Kepler wheelhouse. The encouraging thing is that we did see a good amount of whiffs on the changeup. If he gets the fastball command back, we know that Giolito is capable of dominating even the best of lineups.
The other side of this game features Zach Plesac. Considering his K rate sat at an underwhelming 18.3%, I’m not buying last year’s 3.81 ERA and 1.23 WHIP for a second. The White Sox are down Eloy Jimenez at the moment, but they still have a very capable top of the lineup that should provide plenty of run support against the suspect Plesac, who allowed a .353 xwOBA last year to opposing hitters.
Pick: White Sox (-115) DK
New York Mets Run Total: Over/Under 4.5
I was intrigued by a possible Nathan Eovaldi bounce-back season, but his first start against the Orioles wasn’t terribly impressive as he tallied just a 7.9% swinging K rate from his 89 total pitches. After being dormant through the opening series against the Braves, I don’t think it’s surprising to see the Mets come alive, scoring 15 runs the last two nights against these Red Sox. This is a lineup that’s got plenty of firepower with Pete Alonso, Michael Conforto, J.D. Davis, Jeff McNeil, and a now-healthy Yoenis Cespedes. Looking at the FTN DFS tools, the Mets have one of the highest team totals of the slate at well over five runs.
Pick: NY Mets Over (4.5 +110 DK)
Kansas City Royals Run Total: Over/Under 4.5
Matt Boyd was a strong target in season-long drafts as despite the bloated ratios last year he still posted an exceptional 30.2% K rate. His first start against the Reds was not great to put it nicely. Of course, he showed that nasty slider still but we didn’t see him utilize his changeup much and that’s a pitch that can really help him out against righties. Even at his best, Boyd seems like a pitcher who is particularly susceptible to the long ball as he allowed 39 of them, 32 of those were against righties. This Royals team has got some threats from the right side in Jorge Soler, Whit Merrifield, Adalberto Mondesi, and Sal Perez. Don’t look now but Maikel Franco the former Philly prospect could also be figuring something out. According to the FTN DFS tools, the Royals run total is pegged at just under five runs. Add in a Tigers bullpen that had to burn through multiple relievers last night as their starter was scratched and there could be some value here in the KC run total.
Pick: KC Royals Over (4.5 +112 DK)
Tampa Bay Rays at Atlanta Braves: O/U (8.5 DK)
Charlie Morton was not good, to say the least in his first start lasting just four innings while coughing up six earned runs against the Jays. His velocity was down a tick, but I think it’s probably premature to jump ship on Morton who, over the last two seasons, has posted a 3.09 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, and 29.7% K rate. He’ll be opposed by an excellent Braves lineup, but Morton will have the advantage in that several of these Braves hitters have yet to face him.
The other side of this game features the sensational rookie Mike Soroka, who tallied a spotless 2.68 ERA and 1.11 WHIP. He picked up right where he left off and was incredibly efficient in his season debut needing just 70 pitches to get through six frames against the Mets. In a similar fashion to Morton, most of the Rays hitters have not yet faced Soroka, giving him a strong advantage. Add in Soroka’s penchant for groundball contact and it’s not difficult to imagine this game turning into a really low scoring pitcher’s duel.
Pick: Under 8.5 (-108 DK)
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Featured image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)