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Bobby’s MLB Starting Pitching Breakdown (5/14/19)

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Mets vs. Nationals: Noah Syndergaard

Thor is projected to be a top three pitcher on this slate in terms of ownership.  The Nationals are currently sitting with an implied run total under 4 runs which makes sense given their 24th ranking wOBA this season against RHP, which sits at .294.  Don’t let a high early season ERA scare you off Thor, his xFIP is a 3.41 with his FIP a 3.56.  He’s been unlucky and a 26.2% K rate is something difficult to pass on.


Phillies vs. Brewers: Brandon Woodruff

At first I figured this would be a tough guy to right about as at, first glance I was not too interested in either pitcher’s from this game.  However, after digging into it, Woodruff has actually been a fantastic real-life pitcher this season to the tune of a 2.85 FIP, continuing his 2018 success.  He’s been on fire this year and given his 29.7% K rate so far this season, the upside is more than there.  Philly is pretty average against RHP with a 22.9% K rate and a 101 wRC+ so far in 2019.


Rays vs. Marlins:  Caleb Smith

Smith is another guy who is going to be very chalky tonight, currently projected as the 2nd highest owned pitcher on the slate. Smith has been incredible so far in 2019 with a 2.85 FIP, incredible (though unsustainable) 34.8% K rate, while limiting hitters to just 32.3% hard contact.  Given they are playing in an extreme pitchers park, with the roof close, and the Rays have just one guy in the platoon against him, it’ll be hard not to get a ton of Caleb Smith exposure tonight.


Rockies vs. Red Sox: Chris Sale

The chalkiest pitcher on the slate is in line for a big game against the Rockies who have near a 3 implied run total.  Although he may be declining, I’m willing to continue to bet on Sale to rebound after a rough start.  His K% is still over 30% this season and although he’s projected for near 40%, it is more than worth it on this slate where he is far and away the highest projected scoring pitcher on the slate.


Astros vs. Tigers: Wade Miley

The Tigers are an extremely weak team to begin with and they aren’t much better against lefties. Their K% ranks 6th in the league at 28.2% and while Miley a great pitcher at this point in his career I prefer him against Ryan Carpenter facing the Astros.


Cardinals vs. Braves: Jack Flaherty

Flaherty has not been fantastic this season but he does provide a good amount of strikeout upside with a 26.4% rate this season coming off a 29.6% in 2018.  In addition, Flaherty keeps his BB% down under league average at just 7.3%.  The Braves are no easy matchup but he is the starting pitcher you’d want in this game.


Angels vs Twins: Kyle Gibson

A 4.06 FIP is something that we’re not used to from the Kyle Gibson of the past where in 2017 I felt like I was constantly targeting him.  However, Gibson has drastically improved and his K% is now up over 24% while his BB% is the lowest of his career at 6.8%.  The only problem is that the Angels rank dead last in the MLB in K% against RHP at 15.7%.  I am not even considering Felix Pena at 7.5k when Gibson is available at 8.3k in this game.


Ranges vs Royals: Danny Duffy

A pitcher with a 20.6% career K percentage and a 8.7% is not going to pop off the charts but the Rangers rank top three in the MLB this season in K% to LHP at 28.4%.  Although the Royals may be the weaker team in terms ISO, this isn’t the best hitting ballpark and the Rangers provide much more upside as a team to target from an opposing pitcher’s perspective compared to the Royals with just a 22.7% K rate to opposing RHP.


Pirates vs Diamondbacks: Joe Musgrove

In terms of PT/$ here, Musgrove is the better option and someone you can consider in GPPs as a SP2 on Draftkings tonight.  People are still non-believers of the humidior effect but it seriously impacted Chase Field’s run production in 2018 where I believe* they ranked 17th.  Musgrove has actually been very good this season while getting unlucky as his FIP is under 3.00.  While Musgrove has not been the greatest strikeout pitcher (hovers around 20%), his swinging strike rate is over 11% and Arizona is below league average in terms of wOBA at .319.


Blue Jays vs. Giants: Trent Thorton

This is one of the greatest value plays on the slate for an SP2 and I’m surprised he’s only projected for 9.5% ownership tonight on Draftkings.  Thorton struggles with his control leading to some bad periphrial’s but for just 7.3k tonight on Draftkings and a terribly weak opponent in the Giants, in an extreme pitcher’s park, a 24.7% K rate is something we really love to see when digging for value + upside.  The Giants rank in the top third of the league in striking out against RHP while their wRC+ is 23rd in the league.


Padres vs Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw

While some people are going to be playing Paddack because of the latest fan-boy craze in DFS, Kershaw is still one of the best pitcher’s in baseball and is projecting 4th on this slate in terms of raw fantasy points.  Kershaw’s walks have been on point with his career averages under 5% and his strikeout rate just slightly lower at 24.6% compared to his 27.5% average.  I do prefer paying up Sale/Smith/Thor on this slate, Kershaw is going to be a pretty great play at 12% ownership.  The Padres rank 12th in the league for K% against LHP at 25.6%.


Athletics vs. Mariners: Brett Anderson

At <10% ownership, Anderson may be a SP2 you consider today against the Seattle Mariners.  Their are some drawbacks to his game given his catcher is terrible at framing and he is paired with a hitter’s umpire.  However, the ballpark should help a bit and 26.2% K rate against LHP from this Mariners is also a good boost for Anderson as a solid value play.

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