Over Under 2/2 – Tampa Bay Rays/Toronto Blue Jays
Charlie Morton’s prop is entirely too low, as he enters this game with an 11.8 K/9. He also owns a 10.5 K/9 over the last three seasons, which is when he joined the Houston Astros, who tend to get the most out of their pitchers. Morton has failed to throw deep into games this season, but he has hit the over in two of his three starts, failing to do so with six strikeouts against the Colorado Rockies. He gets an elite matchup against the Toronto Blue Jays today, and they rank fourth on the slate in strikeouts per at-bat. They don’t have an offense that Morton will struggle with, and this over is as close to a lock as we will get. Marcus Stroman isn’t known as a strikeout pitcher, but his K/9 has increased from 7.3 in his career to 8.7 this season. His swinging strike percentage has also increased from 9.3% to 11.2% this season, suggesting he could continue to find strikeouts. The Tampa Bay Rays rank in the top-10 of the slate in strikeouts per at-bat, and Stroman’s total is set relatively low. He’s a pitcher that tends to go deep into games, and if that’s the case, he could certainly find five strikeouts.
Play $50 on Charlie Morton OVER 6.5 strikeouts and Marcus Stroman OVER 4.5 strikeouts to win $129.50 (2.59x)
Over Under 2/2 – Houston Astros/Seattle Mariners
Gerrit Cole has been an elite strikeout pitcher since joining the Houston Astros, posting a 12.4 K/9. His strikeout rate is down a bit this season, but he owns a 15.1% swinging strike rate, which is up from his 14.1% rate last season. This suggests that Cole has been a bit unlucky, and could be in line for more strikeouts as the season progresses. He has posted 9+ strikeouts in two of his last three games, although I’m a bit worried about the matchup against the Seattle Mariners today. Seattle has been an elite offense early this season, and they don’t strikeout at a high rate. I’m simply taking a shot on Cole’s positive regression and strikeout potential over the Mariners high-end offense. Marco Gonzales is in a similar situation, but he isn’t an elite strikeout pitcher. He owns a career 7.5 K/9, while recording five or fewer strikeouts in each of his four starts, including hitting the under in three of those games. The Houston Astros feature an elite offense against left-handed pitching, and they rank fourth last on the slate in strikeouts per at-bat. Gonzales could struggle to pitch deep into this game because of the contact of Houston’s offense, and he’ll fail to find the over if he doesn’t see big innings.
Play $50 on Gerrit Cole OVER 8.5 strikeouts and Marco Gonzales UNDER 4.5 strikeouts to win $122 (2.44x)
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