Buckle up, we’ve got a barn-burner of a slate this Thursday. Today’s four-gamer is of the matinee variety and features the Mets in a potential bounce-back spot after last night’s disappointment with the Astros’ Luis Garcia headlining the pitching options. Note that last night’s Astros/Twins game was suspended due to rain so today’s start time is TBD.
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 combined stats from the 2021-22 seasons.
Luis Garcia : ($9,200 DK, $9,800 FD): vs DET (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 91 pitches.
The righty from Venezuela is easily the most talented starter on the board and should be the most popular. He’s coming off a fantastic outing against the Tigers and has seen his fastball velocity tick up slightly this season averaging 94.5 after sitting 93.3 last year. So far, the key for Garcia has been his cutter which has returned a brilliant 52.3% whiff rate.
James Kaprielian: ($7,500 DK, $7,700 FD): @ MIN (L) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 99 pitches.
Kaprielian, a former New York Yankee first-round pick out of UCLA, made his debut in 2020 and really shone last season as he posted a 24.5% K rate across 21 starts. A shoulder injury delayed his season, but 99 pitches his last time out is certainly an encouraging sign. The Tigers have once again been a plus for strikeouts and are tied with the Pirates for the ninth-highest K-rate at 24.2%. Beau Brieske is the nominal favorite in this game but has returned just a 14.3% K rate through his three starts. Even against the A’s, there might not be enough upside there.
Josh Winder: ($8,700 DK, $8,900): vs OAK (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 80 pitches.
The Twins’ rookie is coming off an impressive outing against the Athletics but gets a much stiffer challenge today against the Astros. He began the season in the pen and is making his third start today out of necessity with Ober and Bundy both on the shelf. We’ve yet to see him reach 90 pitches, and given that he’s making only his third start, he might be limited in terms of length. I think I’d be more inclined to save salary and give Kaprielian a shot against a much easier lineup in the Tigers. Still, Winder’s been very efficient with just one walk across both of his starts and is one of the few options on the slate that at the very least has shown a ceiling worth rolling the dice on.
Jordan Hicks: ($7,800 DK, $7,500 FD):@ SF (ND) – 4.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 68 pitches.
Hicks would normally be an option that we’d ignore considering that he’s yet to go over 70 pitches and returned just four whiffs in his last outing. But we’ve only got four games to pick from. In that case, there is a scenario where maybe the Cardinals push him to 80 pitches and he posts a decent line against the Orioles, who are tied with the Cubs for the seventh-highest team K rate in baseball at 24.3%.
**Update: Hicks is a late scratch. Steven Matz gets the nod for the Cardinals and is now the biggest favorite on the board today (-205) and is a strong option to pair with Garcia on DK.
Taijuan Walker: ($6,400 DK, $6,800 FD): @ PHI (ND) – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 80 pitches.
Walker has the benefit of being the biggest favorite on the board, but that’s probably more of an indictment on today’s gross slate than anything else. Other than being favored, it’s hard to get too excited about Walker and his 21.8% K rate over the last two seasons. The Nationals have also been a really tough team in terms of strikeouts this year (20.0% K rate, fourth-lowest in baseball.) And don’t look now, but Nelson Cruz might be waking up from his early-season slumber as he comes into today’s game with a modest five-game hitting streak.
Bats and Stacks
- NYM (4.8 implied run total) at NYM Joan Adon (RHP) 9.6 K-BB%, 6.42 ERA, 1.66 WHIP: Well the Mets were an entertaining stack for the first three minutes of the game or so last night. And then, the rest of the game happened. But they get a chance for revenge today against Adon, who has allowed a ton of baserunners during his albeit limited sample size of seven career starts in the majors. Dominic Smith is a potential value play, although he’s much more enticing on FanDuel where you can roster him as an outfielder. Leadoff man Brandon Nimmo looks underpriced on FanDuel at $3,100. On the other side of this game, the Nationals could certainly make some noise against an average-type pitcher in Walker, and given their implied run total of under four runs, they should probably be the less popular side of this game.
- STL (N/A implied run total) vs BAL TBD: The Orioles have yet to announce an official starter, regardless the Cardinals should project well. Juan Yepez and Dylan Carlson are potential values. The Orioles are interesting too if you want to look at this game from what will likely be the contrarian angle. Anthony Santander, Ryan Mountcastle, Trey Mancini, and Austin Hays are all very affordable and could form an interesting stack opportunity if you want to gamble against Hicks, who doesn’t exactly have a great track record as a starter.
- HOU (4.6 implied run total) at MIN Josh Winder (RHP) 19.8% K-BB%, 1.61 ERA, 0.72 WHIP: As mentioned Winder has been very good, but it’s been all of two starts. Yordan Alvarez and Kyle Tucker are always prime targets against righties.
Design by J.R. Caines (@JRCainesDesign on Twitter and @caines_design on Instagram)