The final week before the All-Star break opens with an eight-game slate on DraftKings; seven on FanDuel where they’ve omitted the DET/KC double-header. Max Scherzer, who looked brilliant in his return from an oblique injury, headlines tonight’s pitching. For bats, the Padres at Coors Field against José Ureña should create a ton of overlap.
Top Tier Pitching
Note: As we go through tonight’s pitching options, you’ll find their line from their previous outing, and in the table above you’ll find their stats from this season.
Aaron Nola: ($10,000 DK, $10,100 FD): vs WSH (L) – 7.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 97 pitches.
Max Scherzer: ($10,300 DK, $10,700 FD): @ CIN (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 11 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 44% CSW, 79 pitches.
Max Fried: ($9,600 DK, $10,400 FD): vs STL (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 82 pitches.
Scherzer missed just about two months and proceeded to stack up 11 punchouts in his first start back. And he only needed 79 pitches too. Granted it was against the Reds, but it’s hard to argue against him tonight considering his track record and how sharp he looked five days ago. Atlanta has a ton of power, but they also whiff a lot with a 24.4% team K rate, the third-highest.
If you’re avoiding Scherzer, there are two excellent alternatives in Fried and Nola. Choosing between them is difficult though; they even have identical xERA at 2.81 and neither has a matchup that sticks out. I’ll side with Nola though given that his K-BB% is a bit better, but also note that the Mets have the lower implied team total at under three and a half runs. Again, it’s really close.
Alex Cobb: ($7,400 DK, $8,400 FD):@ ARI (ND) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 97 pitches.
You’re likely well aware of the refrain for Cobb; the results have been bad, but he should be better than this based on his underlying numbers including a 2.70 xERA. His velocity is up too. I think he bounces back so I’m a fan of him at this salary, especially on DraftKings as an SP 2. He’ll have the advantage of pitching at home at Oracle Park against a below-average DBacks offense (.302 team wOBA, 23rd).
Lance Lynn: ($8,200 DK, $8,600 FD): vs MIN (ND) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 91 pitches.
I totally get going after Lynn at this salary if you want to chase the idea of him bouncing back to the guy he was last year. But, I’m inclined to fade him tonight, mostly because I don’t think he’s looked right based on what we’ve seen so far: His fastball velocity is down about two ticks, and his K rate is down considerably too. The Guardians also have the lowest team K rate in baseball at 18.5%. On that note, he could be an interesting add in contrarian lineups to consider in tournaments.
Daniel Lynch ($7,000 DK):@ LAA (L) – 4.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 5 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 104 pitches.
Lynch is only available on DraftKings with this game being the second half of a double header. There’s a little added risk because he’s coming off the IL (blister), but at this salary, he could be a decent SP 2, especially against the Tigers, who have the sixth-highest K rate in baseball at 23.6%.
One last option is Brayan Bello. He had a rough debut against this same Rays team, but he did have fantastic numbers in Triple-A including a 24.4% K-BB%, 2.81 ERA, and 1.17 WHIP across eight starts with the Woo Sox. He could definitely pay off on DraftKings at only $5,000.
Bats and Stacks
- SD (6.7 implied run total) at COL José Ureña (RHP) 2.51 ERA, 1.40 WHIP: The Padres are really underpriced on DK and should create a lot of overlap, especially on an abbreviated slate. Machado should easily be the most popular 3B on DK. Nomar Mazara is an interesting punt play: He’s always shown incredible raw power, it just never really translated into game power. If he’s starting, he seems like a decent gamble for just $2,000 on DK. Top to bottom, the Padres aren’t a particularly strong lineup, so even though they project well given their implied total and a great matchup against Ureña and his career 4.73 ERA, there is, of course, merit in fading them, especially in tournaments. The Rockies should be the contrarian side of the game; They’ll face a much tougher pitcher, on paper at least, in Sean Manaea.
- CLE (4.6 implied run total) vs CWS Lance Lynn (RHP) 5.33 ERA, 1.33 WHIP: An interesting contrarian stack if you want to bank on Lynn’s struggles continuing. José Ramírez seems like a fantastic pivot off of Manny Machado in tournaments.
- TEX (5.0 implied run total) vs OAK Adrian Martinez (RHP) 6.00 ERA, 1.40 WHIP: This is a tricky slate in terms of stacks as they aren’t really too many bad pitchers going. Martinez is making just his fourth start and has a shaky bullpen behind him so it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Rangers stack up some runs. Corey Seager has hit a home run in three straight. Can he make it four?
Honorable Mentions: CWS at CLE (RHP Cal Quantrill), COL vs SD (LHP Sean Manaea).
Design by J.R. Caines (@JRCainesDesign on Twitter and @caines_design on Instagram)