Happy Friday, Pitcher List fam! DraftKings and FanDuel give us a massive 14-game schedule to parse through tonight. With so many pitchers on the mound, today’s article is more of a peak at the values of starting pitchers rather than the usual must-have plays on each site. However, both sites will lock their competitions at 7:05 pm Eastern, so double-check those lineups before you enjoy a baseball-filled Friday night.
Pitching Kings on DraftKings
Don’t let the season-long line scare you off Charlie Morton. His $9,200 price tag on DK is a steal against the Washington Nationals. Since the calendar flipped to June, old man Morton has been en fuego. Across 37.2 innings, the 38-year-old is rocking a 2.87 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, and a 37.2 percent (!!) strikeout rate. The early-season struggles are behind the Atlanta righty, and he will continue to enjoy the summer months against a league-average Washington offense.
It’s tough to say whether Lucas Giolito can turn his season around, but he’s an excellent DFS option as your SP2 on Friday night. Giolito enters this start after two of his cleanest starts of the year. The walks are crushing him at times, but, over 12 innings against the Giants and Angels, the 27-year-old only issued three free passes. Nevertheless, the strikeouts are there (89 Ks over 75.1 innings), and if he keeps those walks to a minimum, he will smash the Tigers. Since May 1, Detroit strikes out 24 percent of the time versus right-handed pitching and can only muster a .603 OPS on offense.
Usually, I’m not the biggest proponent of going without an ace in your DraftKings lineup. However, combining Giolito and Aaron Ashby’s strikeout upside for $15,200 leaves so much money for your hitting lineup. It’s incredibly tempting. Ashby’s surface numbers make us squeamish (4.60 ERA, 1.47 WHIP), but 73 strikeouts over 58.2 innings make him a great value play on DK. Pittsburgh pummeled him a bit last time out (four earned runs, two homers), but if Ashby is the pitcher we all hope he can be, Milwaukee’s southpaw will bounce back against this weak offense. Over the last two months, the Pirates struck out 27.4 percent of the time versus lefties, and their .289 wOBA shouldn’t scare us off the 24-year-old.
These Dudes Rule on FanDuel
If you came to FanDuel looking for a premier pitcher who’s almost guaranteed a quality start, let me give you Zack Wheeler. The Phillies’ stud has reached the QS threshold in 10 of his last 12 starts and feels reasonably safe for the 14-game slate. Another date with St. Louis raises some concerns, but he also shut this same lineup down five days ago. Wheeler threw seven innings of shutout baseball while allowing four hits, a walk, and striking out five redbirds. The former-Mets pitcher is averaging 45 FanDuel PPG over his last nine starts, so even with a $10,200 cost, he’s likely to hit his value and then some.
George Kirby is the play if you want to risk it for the biscuit. The Mariners rookie is dazzling us in his first go-around in the bigs as he continues to produce on the brightest stage. After a rough few turns to begin his big league career, Kirby is settling down and showing us why he was such a highly-touted prospect. A 3.38 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, and 3.6 percent walk rate accompany five quality starts in his previous seven outings. It raises his floor on FD despite a tougher-than-we-would-like opponent in the Blue Jays. Kirby’s shown us he can provide strikeouts with the best of them (at least 6 K in 6 of 11 starts), and it’s enough for me to have him in a risky tournament lineup to kick off the weekend.
It’s the age-old conflict of a bad pitcher versus a bad team with José Urquidy and the Oakland Athletics. On the one hand, you can’t trust Urquidy as far as you can throw him. On the other, the A’s are miserably bad. In the last two months, Oakland’s sporting a .202/.259/.315 slash line against right-handed pitching and is pairing it with a 23.7 percent strikeout rate. To Urquidy’s credit, he’s thrown a quality start in four straight starts and has racked up 20 Ks over 25 innings. Still, it’s a risky proposition to have him as your sole starting pitcher on FD, but it’s not going to get any better than a matchup with the A’s
- This lineup was pretty scary without Mookie Betts at the top, but now the perennial MVP candidate is back. He is still hitting as well as he did pre-injury, and his presence makes everything easier for all the Dodgers. A Bellinger-Lux-Betts wraparound stack is one way to attack this matchup and maintain some cash in your hitting lineup.
- Baltimore’s playing some good baseball right now (five wins in a row) and averages 5.2 runs per game during this winning streak. Reid Detmers has a no-hitter under his belt in 2022, but that’s about the only good thing we’ve seen from him. He loves giving up walks and home runs, and that’s a far-from-ideal combination in Camden Yards.
- You’ll have to limit this to a two-person stack if you want to maintain any semblance of balance in your lineup, but the Yankees can crush a tournament any evening. This week, they’ve put up 13, six, 16, and six runs in their last four wins. I wouldn’t be bold about Seabold’s chances to shut this offense down.
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