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Top SP: Carlos Carrasco, CLE ($9,900 DK, $9,800 FD) at PIT
Carlos Carrasco has been very good overall with a 20.4% K-BB% across his first four starts. His line wasn’t great his last time out but he did manage to get plenty of swings and misses including 13 whiffs (31% CSW). More importantly, he cracked the 100 pitch mark and that’s what we want to see. The one thing that stands out with Carrasco in the early going is an elevated walk rate of 11.8% way off his career mark of 6.2%. He’ll have the chance to cut down on the walks against an aggressive Pirates team that has by far and away the worst team OBP this year at .273. The Brewers a distant second at .298. The Pirates best hitter, Josh Bell, has been striking out at a 32.4% clip and walking at a 5.4% rate, I don’t think we can expect that to continue but it serves to highlight this team’s offensive struggles right now.
Blake Snell has been getting a ton of swings and misses as you’d expect with a 39% CSW his last time out. He’s tempting against a really depleted Yankee lineup but the fact that he hast yet top 70 pitches has me wanting more of a discount on DraftKings. He’s priced more fairly on FanDuel at $8,400.
Kenta Maeda has pitched really well for the Twins so far posting a 19.3% K-BB% and gets a second crack at a Brewers offense that has struck out at a 27% clip. But considering his pitch count upside seems to be capped at around 85 or so, it’s probably worthwhile to pay up a bit extra for either Carrasco or Yu Darvish (23.7% K-BB, 31.4% CSW in 2019) who is coming off a stellar outing his last time out against the Brewers where he tallied 11 strikeouts (39% CW) across seven innings and 104 pitches.
Honorable Mentions: Yu Darvish, CHC ($10,500 DK, $9,900 FD) vs STL.
Value SP: Tarik Skubal, DET ($6,600 DK, $6,800 FD) at CWS
This is a pretty interesting pitching slate in the bottom tier, highlighted, of course, by the much-anticipated debut of Tarik Skubal. The question is do we want to unleash him in his first-ever start on the road against a White Sox lineup with plenty of righty power? On a two pitcher site like DraftKings he makes sense given the price point and the fact that really, there aren’t any other options that stand out at the bottom. Skubal has a funky, deceptive delivery and an arsenal dominated by a fastball that sits 93-95. In 42 innings in Double-A last season, he dominated the competition with a completely insane K rate of 48.2% (21.5% swinging K rate).
Another name in the bottom tier is Zach Eflin (11.5% K-BB% in 2019) who is coming off a huge 10 strikeout outing (36% CSW) against the Orioles his last time out. Considering that his K rate last year was just 18.3% this seems like an outlier. An outing at Fenway against the Red Sox doesn’t seem like an ideal spot, especially considering Boston’s implied total of just over five runs.
Another option to consider in the lower tier is Nate Pearson. Pearson, considering his prospect hype, has been a little underwhelming through his first three appearances with his K rate sitting at an even 20%. He struggled in his last outing against the Marlins where he managed to get just seven outs before being chased. Still, we’re just three starts into his big-league career so, of course, there’s still plenty of upside here. Can he tame the Orioles and their third-best team wOBA of .340?
The rookie southpaw David Peterson doesn’t really profile as a high-upside pitcher but he’s coming off a solid start his last time out against the Nationals (31% CSW) and gets a much friendlier draw against the Marlins.
One last pitcher to keep a lookout for is Corbin Burnes. He’ll be returning to the rotation this evening after previously taking turns piggybacking both Brett Anderson and Eric Lauer. He’s topped out at 77 pitches in an appearance against the Reds on August 8th, so you’d guess he’ll be able to approach 80 pitches here. Burnes has shown an electric K rate of 36.4% so far this year but it comes with walks and home runs making a trip to Minnesota a dangerous endeavor. He’s someone to keep a close eye on as he could definitely emerge as an option later on. Tonight, though it’s probably best to take a wait and see approach unless you’re feeling especially frisky in tournaments.
Honorable Mention: Nate Pearson, TOR ($7,400 DK, $7,000 FD) at BAL; David Peterson, NYM ($7,600 DK, $8,00 FD) at MIA.
OF Marcell Ozuna, ATL ($4,600 DK, $3,100 FD) vs WAS
It’s only been three appearances for Austin Voth, but something seems off. His fastball is down a tick and the whiff rates on both his breaking pitches are half of what they were last year. Overall, his swinging K rate sits at 6.6% for the year a big dip from last year’s 12.6%. Maybe, he rights the ship tonight, but what we’ve seen from him this year has not been good so Braves bats should be firmly on the radar. Marcell Ozuna has been crushing the ball this year with a .381 xwOBA. And a 97.7 average MPH on FB/LD puts him 18th among qualifiers currently.
Honorable Mentions: Freddie Freeman, 1B ($5,500 DK, $3,800 FD) vs WAS; Christian Yelich, OF ($5,100 DK, $4,000 FD) at MIN; Justin Turner, OF ($4,900 DK, $3,200 FD) vs SEA; Pete Alonso, OF ($5,200 DK, $3,400 FD) at MIA.
3B Rafael Devers, BOS ($4,400 DK, $3,000 FD) vs PHI
As you might have been able to tell earlier, I’m not yet a believer in Zach Eflin. Neither is the lineup optimizer at FTN as several Red Sox bats project really well tonight. Rafael Devers has been absolutely awful but at this price, there has to be some interest. The lefty Devers will hold the platoon advantage against the righty Eflin, who last year allowed a .356 wOBA and just a 17.5% K rate to LHB.
Honorable Mentions: Teoscar Hernandez, OF ($4,700 DK, $3,200 FD) at BAL; J.D. Martinez, OF ($4,900 DK, $3,700 FD) vs PHI; Michael Conforto, OF ($4,700 DK, $3,100 FD) at MIA; Kyle Schwarber, OF ($4,100 DK, $2,700 FD) vs STL.
Value Batter: 3B Alec Bohm, PHI ($3,300 DK, $2,400 FD) at BOS
Alec Bohm a first-round pick from the 2018 amateur draft was a recent callup for the Phillies. In Double-A last year he showed off a solid 10.4% BB rate and 14.1% K rate to go along with a .231 ISO. He’s got power upside at a very cheap price and projects as one of the better value of the night according to the FTN DFS Projections. The Phillies have an attractive implied total of well over five runs as they take on Zack Godley and the Boston pen at Fenway.
Honorable Mentions: Alex Verdugo, OF ($3,400 DK, $2,700 FD) vs PHI; Adam Eaton, OF ($3,000 DK, $2,600 FD) at ATL; Travis d’Arnaud, C ($3,000 DK, $3,200 FD) vs WAS; Ian Happ, OF ($3,200 DK, $2,900 FD) vs STL.
Lineup Stack: Mets at Marlins (RHP Humberto Mejia)
The Marlins will be using the righty, Humberto Mejia, as an opener of sorts as he last pitched on August 7th and managed seven outs. So we should expect to see plenty of the Marlins pen in this one. This season Marlins relievers have combined for a K-BB% of 7.7% that’s second from the bottom. So this another opportunity for the Mets to stack up some runs. Fresh off a big game last night Pete Alonso is an excellent play once again. The rest of the Met bats project really well too including Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, and J.D. Davis. And don’t look now but Robinson Cano has seemingly come back from the dead hitting three home runs in his four games back from the IL.
Both sides of the Boston vs Philadelphia game are certainly playable with two suspect pitchers in Eflin and Godley going at it. The Dodgers currently have the biggest implied total of the slate at just under six runs. They’ll face the softy tossing lefty Marco Gonzales. The Twins are another potential tournament stack to consider if you want to bank on Corbin Burnes struggling in his return to the Brewer rotation.
Honorable Mentions: LAD vs SEA (Gonzales); PHI at BOS (Godley); BOS vs PHI (Eflin).
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Featured image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)
Marcell Ozuna is with the braves, not the cards
Thanks, Andrew, fixed that.