Well, this looks like an interesting slate. After having a bunch of pitching options to sort through last night, we’re left with what seems like just a few tonight that stand out. And as far as bats go, tonight’s 13-game slate is wide open with plenty of suspect pitchers taking the mound.
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.
Nestor Cortes: ($10,400 DK, $10,500 FD): vs TB (W) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 91 pitches.
I want to say Cortes is overpriced but he has been remarkable all year. The lefty has held batters to a .249 wOBA (.256 xwOBA), an xBA of .200, and has an xERA of 2.34 all in the top 6% or better. The Rays have also really struggled this year offensively and have the fourth-lowest team wOBA at .293.
Dylan Cease: ($9,800 DK, $9,600 FD):@ DET (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 108 pitches.
Kevin Gausman: ($10,200 DK, $10,200 FD): vs BAL (L) – 2.1 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 53 pitches.
This feels like the game of the night. In terms of strikeout upside, this game features two of the best. But, Gausman’s struggles in his last time out coupled with a park that amplifies power in Guaranteed Rate Field adds plenty of uncertainty. And the weather tonight also looks like it could potentially boost hitters too with a good gust of wind blowing out and temps in the low 90s.
On the other side, Cease gets the Jays. You know what he is capable of; dominance and then, well, that start against the Red Sox back on 5/24. That is to say, the spectrum of outcomes is vast and against an offense like the Jays (.329 team wOBA, second-best in baseball), the potential for a dud seems amplified further.
All things considered, I’m looking at Cortes as having the highest floor in tonight’s top tier. Between the two options in this game, Gausman would seem to get the edge, on paper at least, by being the favorite and the White Sox being a weaker offense (.304 team wOBA, 21st in baseball).
Roansy Contreras: ($7,400 DK, $7,700 FD): @ STL (ND) – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 85 pitches.
Contreras flashed a 28.9% K rate across five starts with Triple-A Indianapolis. The Pirates are installed as solid home favorites tonight against the Cubs and while there is added volatility with the rookie, he has strikeout upside and a reasonable salary that fits as an SP 2.
Spencer Strider: ($8,600 DK, $8,700 FD): @ WSH (W) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 11 Ks – 24 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 106 pitches.
He’s fun to watch, isn’t he? Armed with his triple-digit heater, Strider rolled right through the Nationals en route to a career-best 11 Ks in his last start. The Giants are tough against RHP as they have a .319 team wOBA in that split, eighth in baseball. But, Atlanta is one of the biggest favorites on the board tonight (-175) and his salary is still reasonable on both sites.
Sean Manaea ($9,000 DK, $9,900 FD): @ CHC (ND) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 72 pitches.
Manaea has a chance at redemption tonight after his latest dud against the Cubs. The D-Backs have the fourth-highest K rate in baseball at 24.3% and currently have the second-lowest implied total of the slate ahead of only the Rays. Manaea has dominated them once before, in his first start of the year. The spot is even better if Ketel Marte (hamstring) is still sidelined.
Bats and Stacks
- WSN (n/a implied run total) at BAL Jordan Lyles (RHP) 5.10 ERA, 1.52 WHIP: Lyles has allowed a .371 xwOBA this year along with a below-average K rate of 19.1%. On DraftKings, Josh Bell ($3,500) and Nelson Cruz ($3,800) both look a little too cheap. He’s been relatively quiet this year, but if you could draw up a spot for Juan Soto to go off it would look like this.
- HOU (4.9 implied run total) vs NYM Trevor Williams (RHP) 3.53 ERA, 1.26 WHIP: Williams is making a spot start for the injured Tylor Megill. To his credit, he’s pitched reasonably well this year but looking at the longer sample; a 5.21 ERA and 1.47 WHIP over his previous three seasons combined (292.0 IP) points to the Astros having the advantage.
- BOS (5.4 implied run total) vs DET Beau Brieske (RHP) 3.79 ERA, 1.21 WHIP: The rookie could be ticketed for some regression considering his 5.68 xERA and .383 xwOBA allowed. Jarren Duran remains affordable on both sites as the leadoff man.
- LAA (5.1 implied run total) vs KC Jonathan Heasley (RHP) 3.72 ERA, 1.40 WHIP: The one great start he had against the Orioles might be an anomaly; a 3.8% K-BB% just looks like trouble waiting to happen. Taylor Ward and Jared Walsh have power upside and are favorably priced on either site.
- TOR (4.8 implied run total) vs RHP Dylan Cease (RHP) 2.91 ERA, 1.35 WHIP: The Jays are an interesting tournament stack if you’re multi-entering. Cease has terrific strikeout upside but he can get into trouble with deep counts and if he’s forced from the game early, the Jays could easily break the slate wide open. Consider his start against the Yankees back on 5/12 as a potential blueprint; he struck out 11 but was forced from the game after only four innings.
Honorable Mentions: PIT vs CHC RHP Swarmer, BAL vs WSN RHP Fedde, NYY at TB LHP Fleming.
Design by J.R. Caines (@JRCainesDesign on Twitter and @caines_design on Instagram)