MLB Top Pitchers: May 19th

It’s nearly a full slate tonight with 14-games set to take place. We have some interesting options at the pitcher position, and below I’ll break down my top five. Let’s get right to it.

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1. Chris Sale – BOS @ OAK – $13,000

Sale is working himself into the conversation with Kershaw for the title of best pitcher in baseball. Sale is currently leading the majors in wins above replacement, FIP and strikeouts. Most importantly, he is averaging the most DKFP per game of any player. He is averaging 32.88 DKFP per game and has gone over 25 DKFP in each of his eight starts. Sale only needs 26 DKFP to pay off his salary, which has basically been his floor this season. He also gets a big park upgrade moving from the hitter-friendly Fenway Park to the Oakland Coliseum, which is one of the spacier parks in the league. Oakland has also struggled to his left-handed pitching in 2017. Against lefties, they are striking out at the sixth highest rate, while also being ranked 23rd in wOBA.


2. Jacob deGrom – NYM vs LAA – $11,100

If you want to pivot off of Sale, deGrom is another pitcher who possesses huge strikeout upside. He is first in the National League with a mark of 13.04 Ks per nine innings. This has allowed deGrom to have two games this season of over 33 DKFP. DeGrom has a 4.07 ERA, but it is a bit misleading since he has a much lower 3.39 FIP. He has a .345 BABIP, which should settle at his career average of .296. He will also be pitching at home where he has been stronger this season, owning a 3.06 ERA at Citi Field vs a 4.65 ERA on the road. The Angels offense gets a downgrade since they won’t be playing with a DH and they are already a poor hitting offense; they are ranked 24th in .wOBA against righties.


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3. Luis Severino – NYY @ TB – $8,800

Severino has been the definition of variance this season. He has been either above 28 DKFP or below 12 DKFP in each of his starts this season. This makes him an excellent GPP play, but too risky to use for cash games. He has been burned by the long ball this season with a 21.9% HR/FB rate. Since he has just a 28.6% hard contact rate, he should see the number of homers he is giving up plummet. Severino’s best start of the season came against the Rays. He had 11 strikeouts in seven innings, which was good for 34.15 DKFP. The Rays strike out at the highest rate in baseball, which adds to Severino’s upside.


4. Alex Wood – LAD vs MIA – $9,400

Wood was a former top prospect and had a great start to his career. Without warning, his performance took a nosedive, which lead to him being traded to Los Angeles. Wood now appears to be rediscovering the form that had scouts raving about him when he first came to The Big Show. Wood has been on fire lately with an average of 34.68 DKFP in his last two starts. He has done this despite being on a limited pitch count and being limited to just 11 innings in those games. He should be stretched and be able to work deeper into games going forward. He also has a plus matchup against the reeling Marlins, who have lost 12 of their last 14 games.


5. Aaron Sanchez – TOR @ BAL – $7,600

Sanchez is my under-the-radar play of the night. He has struggled to stay healthy and has made just four starts this year. However, he has had some success with a 2.95 ERA. Last year, he was one of the better young pitchers in baseball and finished the season with a 3.05 ERA. He looked good in his last start pitching five shutout innings against a tough Mariners’ offense. It was his first game back from injury, so he figures to throw more innings tonight. Last season he averaged approximately 6 1/3 innings per start. Sanchez spent a portion of last season priced over $10,000, which is indicative of the pitcher he is when healthy.

 


I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is gehrenberg) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on.  Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.