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OwnersBox- Main slate (10 games) – starts 7:05 PM EDT
DK/FD – Main slate (10 games) – starts 7:05 PM EDT
Nothing to report. Back to you in the studio, Tom!
Few starting pitchers have been overly reliable this season and that includes Los Angeles ace Shohei Ohtani, who was underwhelming in his past two starts against the Cardinals and Athletics. He was better than he seemed last week against St. Louis though with a 41% CSW despite giving up four earned runs in five innings. He also had a 13:1 K:BB ratio.
So, if that’s Ohtani at his worst, we’re still getting value out of it and I wouldn’t avoid him even against Houston tonight.
Speaking of the Astros, they counter with their own ace in Framber Valdez. He has recorded six straight quality starts, and I don’t see any reason he couldn’t make it seven in a row.
Valdez comes about $1,000 cheaper than Ohtani for today’s slate and could give you equal or better numbers. The Angels offense is fifth in the league with 190 runs scored, but the Halos haven’t exactly been tested with the most difficult schedule the past couple weeks.
Logan Webb is another excellent option and shaves even another $1,000 off the pitching price tag (depending on your DFS site of choice). Webb’s changeup has been impressive this season with a 34.3% whiff rate. It’s become his main put-away pitch, but I’ve really liked the look of his slider too. If we were making pitching tiers, Webb would be up in Tier 1 with Ohtani and Valdez against a below-average Nationals offense.
The second tier would feature George Kirby (vs TEX), Jesús Luzardo (at ARI), and Lucas Giolito (at KC). Kirby has displayed excellent control this season, but does not generate a lot of swing and miss. Luzardo has one of the meanest fastballs in the league but has had trouble keeping the ball in the yard. Giolito might be the best of both worlds. He doesn’t have Kirby’s control or Luzardo’s velocity, but he’s been steady and gets the Royals tonight.
Clarke Schmidt is an interesting case. As you can see in above, his price varies more wildly than any other pitcher on today’s slate. While Fanduel rates Schmidt as an $8,200 arm, he’s priced significantly lower by DraftKings and OwnersBox. I feel myself siding more with Fanduel’s evaluation here and I think Schmidt is, at worst, a pitcher to avoid when looking at hitters, and, at best, a value play from the mound.
Finally, while I’m not brave enough to buy into it tonight, I’m curious to watch Brandon Pfaadt at home against the Marlins. Pfaadt’s rookie debut was fairly disappointing, but sometimes guys just need to work through their nerves that first time out. The Marlins are a much friendlier matchup tonight as the lowest-scoring team in the majors.
Pfaadt’s stuff looked excellent in the spring and he was heating up at Triple-A before he got the call. Pfaadt’s underwhelming 3.91 ERA at Triple-A Reno is skewed by a rough debut. He had a 2.49 ERA in his past four starts before the call to the majors. He’s a top prospect but is being written off in just his second start. He could surprise tonight.
I’m still waiting for the Nationals to give Patrick Corbin the Madison Bumgarner treatment out of town. Until that day comes, Corbin remains one of my favorite pitchers to pick against for DFS. Michael Conforto is hitting .323/.344/.871 with five home runs and 12 RBI in his career against Corbin having played against him often with the Mets.
Thairo Estrada has hits in 11 of his past 12 games and home runs in two of his past three. LaMonte Wade Jr. has also been on a heater, though he has cooled some since the end of April. Mitch Haniger is ice cold at the plate, but he profiles well against lefties.
Andrew Heaney has offered batting practice lately, giving up five home runs in his past two starts. The spin on all of his pitches is down and hitters have been teeing off.
Julio Rodríguez has been absolutely crushing baseballs this season but is mired in a bad-luck slump with a .256 BABIP. He homered two days ago against Houston, so hopefully that’s a sign of positive regression. Teoscar Hernández is on a six-game hitting streak and has a 1.074 OPS this season against lefties. Jarred Kelenic also enjoys southpaws with a .346/.393/.654 slash line this season.
The STL@CHC matchup looks destined to be a slugfest with Jameson Taillon on one side and Jack Flaherty on the other. Flaherty has completely unraveled after a strong start. He allowed 10 earned runs in 2 1/3 innings last time out against the Angels. He has a 9.94 ERA in his past four starts.
Cody Bellinger is as locked in as any hitter in the league right now. Ian Happ has also been heating up and owns a .352/.474/.571 line against righties this season. On the other side, I like Paul Goldschmidt, still fresh off Sunday’s three-homer bonanza. Nolan Gorman and Brendan Donovan are good fillers.
Nothing has gone right for Noah Syndergaard, who was bumped from the rotation last week in favor of rookie Gavin Stone. Now, Syndergaard finds himself back on the mound almost by default as Stone’s dreadful debut earned the youngster a one-way ticket back to the minors. There’s always a chance that an angry Sydergaard could channel his younger self, but I’ll take the Brewers instead.
Eight of Rowdy Tellez’s nine home runs this season have been against righties. Despite his cold streak, I always like putting my money on power. Willy Adames has two home runs and seven RBI in his past two games, and Christian Yelich has hit safely in all but one game this month.
Jordan Lyles has given up two or more home runs in five of his seven starts this season, which has factored heavily into his 6.69 ERA. Luis Robert Jr. is the hot hand for the Sox right now. He’s on a seven-game hitting streak with multiple hits in three of his past four and double-digit fantasy points for six straight.
Andrew Vaughn has shown a lot of life at the plate too, with two doubles, a triple, and six RBI the past two games. Hanser Alberto also continues to play well as he makes a case for more playing time.
Also of note, Aaron Judge is slated to make his return tonight and faces Oakland’s Drew Rucinski, who has a 7.71 ERA in two starts this season. Judge might still have the IL mark next to his name when you build your lineup, but don’t overlook him.