Pitcher List is excited to be partnering with FantasyDraft, featuring advice articles every morning through the entirety of the 2018 season. Signup and play for free at FantasyDraft.
A lot of teams play early today which leaves us with a 5-game main slate. Rain is expected in a few of those games but they are not likely to be postponed. Luckily, Scherzer, Verlander, and Sale are all in the main slate tonight.
Top SP: Justin Verlander, HOU ($23,400) @ LAA
There are 3 top pitchers tonight, all valued similar at FantasyDraft, with only $700 separating them. I narrowed my choice between Verlander and Sale since Max Scherzer ($23,700) gets a tough matchup against the Yankees. Chris Sale faces the sneaky good A’s offense who have won 4 out of 5 games against the Red Sox and might be the top choice of the day. I prefer Verlander and his 11.61 K/9 and his league-leading 1.21 ERA. Verlander has faced the Angels’ hitters plenty of times (179 AB) and only allowed a .139 AVG with a 30% K-rate while maintaining a FIP under 3.00. The combination of Mike Trout and Justin Upton are 3-35 against Verlander with 13 strikeouts. I
Honorable Mention: Chris Sale, BOS ($23,000) vs OAK
Value SP: Caleb Smith, MIA ($12,900) vs LAD
Caleb Smith is still not getting the credit he deserves. In his last 4 starts (ATL, CIN, COL, MIL), Smith has pitched 24 innings and allowed only 4 runs while providing 31 strikeouts. He is 2-2 in that span – the problem is not Smith but the Marlins as they rank near the bottom in wRC+. I expect Buehler (Smith’s opposing pitcher) to be highly owned and deliver a quality start. Smith has more upside and I would prefer that plus the $3400 in savings which can be spent on batters.
Honorable Mention: Walker Buehler, LAD ($16,300) @ MIA
Top IF: Anthony Rendon, WAS ($7,700) vs NYY
Anthony Rendon has quietly hit 3 homeruns in his last 5 games and looks to be on his way to another great season. Jose Altuve ($9,400) would be my top choice here but Rendon is not far behind and the price difference convinced me to use Rendon here which allows me to roster the most expensive OF. He is also hitting lefties better and bats high in the order for a stacked Nationals lineup which will provide him with plenty of opportunities to drive in runs. Rendon also possesses great plate discipline with a .86 BB/K and his Soft Contact sits at a low 16.4%.
Honorable Mention: Jose Altuve, HOU ($9,400) @ LAA
Top OF: Mookie Betts, SEA ($10,900) @ TOR
How good is Mookie Man? He is the most expensive hitter today, yet he will have one of the highest % owned. Out of all qualified hitter, Betts is in the top 10 for the following categories – Homeruns, Runs, Batting Average and Doubles. It’s even more impressive once you consider that he has missed four games and does not have a homerun 10 of his last starts. Mookie is never a bad pick to have in your lineups, but he is even better at home – .392 BA and an impressive 10 doubles.
Honorable Mention: Andrew Benintendi, BOS ($8,300) vs OAK
Value IF: Justin Bour, MIA ($6,000) vs LAD
Justin Bour is stuck on a bad Marlins team that should hurt his value because of the runs and RBIs. However, Bour still has that power that took him to the Home Run Derby last year. He faces Walker Buehler tonight in a home game in Miami, where he has hit all 8 of his home runs. It doesn’t get much cheaper than $6000 for a guy who hit 25 home runs in 108 games. The risk is that Buehler has been impressive so far but he is a rookie pitcher and rookie pitchers are known to make mistakes.
Honorable Mention: Jose Bautista, ATL ($6,700) VS CHC
Stack: Braves vs Cubs (RHP Tyler Chatwood)
Tyler Chatwood has a walk problem – 7.65 BB/9. Yes, that’s correct. I have no idea how he has maintained a 3.35 ERA with that kind of numbers. Lucky! Lucky! His SIERA sits at 5.64. Braves have good hitters throughout their lineup and Chatwood will be punished if he keeps allowing those walks. Freddie Freeman, Ozzie Albies, and Ronald Acuna could all be great but it will be hard to roster all 3. Here are some cheaper options along with Jose Bautista who was already mentioned above.
Ender Inciarte ($7,200)
Preston Tucker ($5,400)
Ryan Flaherty ($5,400)
Honorable Mention: Red Sox vs Athletics