The Memorial Day main slate features six games including the second half of a doubleheader between the Brewers and Cubs along with another game at Fenway Park that should feature plenty of runs.
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.
Drew Rasmussen : ($10,100 DK, $ 8,900 FD): vs MIA (W) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 87 pitches.
Rasmussen comes into tonight’s contest against the Rangers in sharp form with consecutive seven strikeout performances. The only real knock against the Rays right-hander is that he’s at a high point in salary and has yet to clear 90 pitches. But the inflated salary should keep his roster percentage low relative to Buehler.
Zac Gallen: ($9,400 DK, $ 10,100 FD): vs KC (ND) – 5.1 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 96 pitches.
Gallen is coming off an ugly start, but Atlanta has struck out at a league-leading 26.7% this year, so that could give him a boost tonight. On DraftKings, paying $200 more for Gallen over Buehler could be a potential contrarian route in tournaments.
Walker Buehler: ($9,200 DK, $10,300 FD): @ WSH (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 92 pitches.
Buehler holds a 2.93 ERA and 1.23 WHIP, but his K rate of 19.1% is down significantly from last year. He’s had one dominant start, the CGSO against the D-Backs on April 25th, otherwise, his K totals have been pedestrian. The odd thing is his fastball, as it hasn’t gotten the same results that we’ve been accustomed to and is returning a career-low whiff rate of 14.7% (20.3% last year). Does it come back? Who knows, but the results in his last start weren’t encouraging in that his heater did not return a single whiff out of 27 thrown. That’s not what we want to see. As far as tonight goes, he’s a huge favorite (-326) as he’ll look to reap the rewards of hosting the Pirates, who are tied with the Reds for the fourth-highest K rate in baseball at 24.4%. Their team wOBA of .290 is tied with the White Sox and Orioles for third-lowest. You know what Buehler is capable of considering his track record, but the dip in his K rate this year does provide a potential reason to look elsewhere on a slate where he should be massively popular.
David Peterson: ($8,200 DK, $8,700 FD): @ SF (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 99 pitches.
Injuries have afforded the southpaw an extended opportunity in the Met rotation. Last year across 15 starts he held a 5.54 ERA and 1.40 WHIP, so the results weren’t too great and they were supported by a 5.96 xERA and .367 xwOBA allowed. This year through four starts he’s been more fortunate on the surface, but otherwise, I don’t think much has changed with Peterson. His K rate remains right around the same at 22.4% this year despite his slider returning a whiff rate of 52%, which is probably a small sample mirage anyway. In the context of a bigger slate, he’d probably be overshadowed by more prominent options, but given that the Mets are big home favorites (-192), he’s a reasonable SP 2. The Nationals don’t strike out much as a team at 19.4%, the second-lowest rate in baseball, but they also haven’t shown much power either with an ISO of .117, tied for the second-lowest.
Aaron Ashby: ($7,300 DK, $ 7,200 FD): @ SD (ND) – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 91 pitches.
Walks have been a thing for Ashby early on, but there’s no denying the strikeout upside which made him a popular choice late in season-long drafts. He’s gotten off to a slow start, but the path in front of him is now wide open after the injury to Freddy Peralta. In his latest outing against the Padres, his strikeout ability was on full display with a 34.1% CSW%. Tonight, he’ll face the Cubs, who have struck out at a 23.9% rate this year, ninth-highest in baseball. He’s a standout option as an SP 2 tonight especially given the lack of choices, but an elevated walk rate along with gusts blowing out in Wrigley Field, add to the risk.
Glenn Otto: ($6,500 DK, $7,000 FD):@ LAA (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 87 pitches.
Otto picked up seven Ks in his last outing against the Angels, so he might have some potential to return value at his salary as an SP 2 on DK.
Rich Hill: ($7,700 DK, $7,300 FD): @ CWS (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 65 pitches.
Hard to get excited about Hill and his 7.5% SwStr% at this point, but he’s there as a home favorite. I’d have more interest in taking a chance with some Orioles bats like Trey Mancini and Ryan Mountcastle, who is very cheap on DK, especially considering Boston’s struggles with their bullpen.
Spencer Strider: ($6,900 DK, $6,800 FD)
Atlanta’s mustachioed, flame-throwing rookie is going to be a fun pitcher to watch moving forward now that he’s been officially inserted into the rotation. This will be his first start, so while he’ll be facing a limited pitch count, his outstanding numbers as a reliever and low salary puts him firmly in play as an SP 2 on DK.
Bats and Stacks
- LAD (5.3 implied run total) vs PIT Zach Thompson (RHP) 8.3 K-BB%, 5.50 ERA, 1.54 WHIP: Another night with the Dodgers near the top. Edwin Ríos remains a value option at 1B especially considering Thompson has shown weaker splits against lefties, along with a below-average career K rate of 19.7%.
- MIL (5.7 implied run total) at CHC Drew Smyly (LHP) 12.9% K-BB%, 4.08 ERA, 1.34 WHIP: Smiles has coughed up a .370 wOBA to RHB so far this year. Combine that with a stiff breeze blowing out, and we could see some dingers from the Brew crew tonight. Andrew McCutchen and Keston Hiura are potential values that’ll have the platoon advantage. The Cubs are a potential leverage stack on the other side facing what should be a reasonably popular Ashby.
- BOS (5.8 implied run total) vs BAL Tyler Wells (RHP) 12.3% K-BB%, 4.30 ERA, 1.17 WHIP: This game has the making of another slugfest. The Red Sox have the highest implied total on the board, but their salaries on DK seem a little inflated due to recent performance. As mentioned with Hill earlier, there are some potential values on the other side with O’s bats like Mancini and Whitecastle.
- WSN (3.7 implied run total) at NYM David Peterson (LHP) 13.3% K-BB%, 2.16 ERA, 1.00 WHIP: Peterson hasn’t really been terribly impressive, and the Nationals are candidates to be overlooked tonight. There’s always appeal in taking a chance on Nelson Cruz and Juan Soto in tournaments. On the other side, the Mets have a robust implied total of five runs as they’ll face Erick Fedde and his career 1.47 WHIP, so there should be plenty of opportunities for Pete Alonso and company.
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