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Mets at Nationals: 1st Team to Score and Win
Going by the MLB Odds over at FTN the Nationals are this evening’s second-largest favorite at -215 (Cubs -220). The Nationals will be starting their ace Max Scherzer (33.1% CSW, 30.3% K-BB%) who was his usual phenomenal self in his last start against Toronto where he fired 7 and 1/3 scoreless innings while piling up 11 K’s. He’ll face a Mets team that’s going through some things, to put it mildly. They recently lost Yoenis Cespedes for the season and Robinson Cano was just shipped to the IL with an adductor strain. They also have a pair of day-to-day type injuries to keep an eye on with Jeff McNeill and Amed Rosario. So their lineup, while still dangerous, isn’t at full strength right now. Last year’s rookie sensation, Pete Alonso, is off to a very slow start too hitting just .167 with a 30.8% through the first eleven games. The Mets will be countering with Rick Porcello (25.7% CSW, 12.8% K-BB% in 2019) or The Thief as he is sometimes affectionately referred to. Porcello is not off to a rip-roaring start for the Mets having allowed twelve hits in his first six innings while failing to get out of the 4th inning. The Nationals just recently welcomed back Juan Soto. We should not be surprised to see Porcello blink first here.
Pick: Nationals (+123) DK
Toronto Blue Jays Run Total: Over/Under 4.5
Sean Newcomb (26% CSW, 12.3% K-BB in 2019) is an interesting case study in pitching prospects. After debuting in 2017, the former first-round pick in the 2014 MLB Draft has seen his K rate drop each season. Through his first two starts, both against the Mets, his K rate currently sits 13.5%. That’s not good. In his career as a starter (278.1 IP) Newcomb owns an ugly 1.44 WHIP so it’s not hard to imagine a lineup with some dangerous righty bats in Vladimir Guerrero Jr, Bo Bichette, and Teoscar Hernandez making some noise here.
Pick: Toronto Over (+118 DK)
Toronto Blue Jays Money Line: (+120 DK)
As mentioned earlier, Newcomb has not been a particularly effective starter in his career and so far that’s what we’ve seen here in the early going. The gap in pitcher talent in this game looks fairly wide considering how effective Hyun-Jin Ryu (28.4% CSW, 19.2% K-BB% in 2019) was for the Dodgers last season. Yes, Ryu has not gotten off to a great start with Toronto, but let’s overlook this early blip in favor of the greater body of work as the Korean lefty owns a very impressive 3.04 ERA and 1.17 WHIP for his career. According to the FTN DFS tools, the implied run totals for both teams are incredibly close with the Braves at 4.7 just edging out the visiting Jays at 4.6 runs. The narrowest of margins, we’ll go with the road dogs who have a clear advantage at starting pitcher.
Pick: Jays (+120 DK)
Seattle Mariners: Money Line: (+145 DK)
Julio Teheran ( 25.9% CSW, 10.5% K-BB% in 2019) will be making his Angels debut after a long layoff from illness. It’s fair to wonder how effective he’ll be even against an unimposing Mariners lineup. Even at his best Teheran is a pitcher with susceptible skills evidence being an xFIP just below 5.00 in the past two seasons combined (350.1 IP). Given the Angels struggles in the bullpen as well and it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see the Mariners put together enough runs to pull off the home upset. Skills-wise Marco Gonzales (26.5% CSW, 10.5% K-BB in 2019) was very similar to Teheran last year, as he carried an xFIP of 5.11. Both teams implied totals are currently within a half run of each other and considering how close the starters are there could be some value to be had here in wagering on the home underdogs.
Pick: Mariners (+145 DK)
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Featured image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)