For a five-game Thursday night slate, there are quite a few fun options to pick from tonight at starting pitcher. On the offensive side, it’s going to be a challenge looking past the Phillies in their matchup against Patrick Corbin.
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.
Luis Severino: ($ 9,400 DK, $10,400 FD): vs CHC (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 103 pitches.
Zack Wheeler: ($ 9,600 DK, $10,600 FD): vs ARI (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 98 pitches.
After being derailed by injuries the past three seasons, it looks like the Severino resurgence tour is well underway. In his last start against the Cubs, he averaged 96 MPH with his heater while his slider returned a CSW% of 51.9%. That’s what we love to see! The Rays have really bottomed out this year and are currently the fourth-worst offense in baseball by wOBA at .296.
We saw Spencer Strider run roughshod over the Nationals last night and there’s no reason to believe that Wheeler can’t do the same especially if Juan Soto is still out. After a slow start to the year with a lingering shoulder injury, Wheeler has really turned it on; in his last start, his heater returned a 35.7% CSW. The choice between Severino and Wheeler is really close but I would lean with Severino given that the Rays have been a little bit worse of an offense this year and they also have the lowest implied run total on the slate at three runs (the Nationals are currently just under four runs).
Martín Pérez: ($9,000 DK, $10,500 FD): @ CWS (ND) – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 12 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 101 pitches.
Considering his career 4.55 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, and 15.6% K rate, I think we were all waiting for Pérez to have a dud of a start and it finally happened. He gets the Tigers who have the fifth-highest team K rate in baseball at 24.3%, but I still think the right call is to fade Pérez at his current salary especially considering the options tonight; just a few hundred more (DK) can net you Wheeler/Severino and you can also save some salary to go after Ohtani.
Shohei Ohtani: ($8,200 DK, $10,200 FD): vs BOS (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 100 pitches.
Ohtani is just flat-out underpriced on DraftKings. Pairing the reigning AL MVP with one of Wheeler/Severino should be the popular way to build rosters tonight on DK as it allows for a reasonable $4,025 avg salary remaining for bats.
George Kirby: ($6,500 DK, $9,400 FD): vs BOS (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 97 pitches.
Given his salary, Kirby should carry a lot of steam as an SP 2 on DraftKings. But I’m a little leery of him, especially in tournaments given his likely high roster percentage. He does an excellent job limiting walks as he pumps the zone with fastballs, but the lack of a secondary pitch that can consistently get swings and misses is a little alarming; his slider, his main secondary pitch, has returned just a 16.5% whiff rate so far. On DraftKings, I would be more inclined to spend a few hundred more for Ashby. On FanDuel, Kirby seems like an easy fade based on salary alone.
Aaron Ashby: ($7,100 DK, $8,200 FD): @ WSH (L) – 4.2 IP, 6 ER, 13 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 104 pitches.
Ashby didn’t pitch well his last time out as he allowed a whopping 13 hits, but I’m viewing it as an opportunity to buy low on him tonight. He’s shown terrific strikeout upside while holding batters to a .281 xwOBA. He’s a road dog tonight, but the lefty is still a terrific value SP 2 on Draftkings. His stuff is filthy, how could you not want to take a chance on him? If you’re looking to spend on bats, pairing Ashby and Ohtani could give you a little more flexibility without sacrificing strikeout upside.
Tylor Megill: ($8,600 DK, $9,200 FD): @ LAA (ND) – 3.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 64 pitches.
Megill returned from an extended absence so he had a limited pitch count. He averaged 96.4 MPH with his fastball so he’s on his way. But, I think we’re probably one more start away from being really ready to unleash him at his current salary.
Bats and Stacks
- PHI (5.7 implied run total) at WSN Patrick Corbin (LHP) 9.2 K-BB%, 6.65 ERA, 1.73 WHIP: We’re looking at some especially awful numbers from Corbin this season; he’s allowed a .407 wOBA to lefties and a .365 wOBA to righties with a career-worst 17.5% K rate. Nick Castellanos seems underpriced on FanDuel at just $2,700 and is a strong play at $4,100 too on DraftKings. With an implied total of just under six runs, expect Bryce Harper and the Phillies to be extremely chalky especially with only five games to pick from.
- TEX (5.0 implied run total) at DET Beau Brieske (RHP) 7.9% K-BB%, 4.34 ERA, 1.28 WHIP: Brieske is a regression candidate considering his 6.42 xERA and .402 xwOBA allowed. Corey Seager is by far the top option at short. If you’re looking for a punt play at 2B, look no further than Ezequiel Duran who showed off some power with the Rough Riders in Double-A this season. On the other side, the Tigers, who will face Pérez, have some cheap punts with the likes of Victor Reyes and Spencer Torkelson if you just a need way to make things work.
- NYY (4.8 implied run total) vs TB Jalen Beeks (LHP): The Rays, as of now, have the lefty Beeks listed as the probable starter. He peaked at 43 pitches back on June 1st so can we expect this to be a bullpen game. They’ve been baseball’s most productive offense by wOBA this year (.333) so expect to see Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton continue to carry a sizable portion of rosters tonight. Josh Donaldson is a cheap option with power upside on FanDuel ($2,700).
- LAA (3.9 implied run total) at SEA George Kirby (RHP) 20.1% K-BB%, 3.65 ERA, 1.14 WHIP: Kirby should be fairly popular as an SP 2 on DraftKings given his salary so the Angels should carry some leverage in tournaments. It’s very early, but the young righty has shown significant reverse splits; a .227 wOBA allowed to LHB versus .418 against RHB. With so many rosters likely drifting toward Bryce Harper and Aaron Judge at the top, it might mean Mike Trout comes in a little lower at least relatively speaking on a five-game slate. Jared Walsh is also very affordable at DraftKings and has a .381 wOBA against RHP for his career.
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