Welcome everyone to Ben’s Pitching Preview! This season I will be getting back to my roots and focusing on my top SP options for each slate. After all, a SP Breakdown was my first ever regular article on this site when I started providing content many years ago.
Our Core Plays have been great to start the season, you can pick up a package here.
Let’s get into it!
Shane Bieber and Trevor Bauer
We have more than a few “ace” level pitchers on this slate, but it all starts at the top with Shane Bieber and Trevor Bauer. These are arguable two of the top three pitchers in baseball, and they come in with 41% and 36% strikeouts respectively since the start of 2020. They both have strong matchups as well, with tons of strikeouts to be had in the White Sox and Rockies lineups. I think Bauer will end up higher owned, as he is slightly less expensive on DK. Similar to yesterday, I can see trying to jam these guys in together but it becomes a tough decision due to the underpriced options in the mid-tier. I will update my decision here in Final Thoughts, but am leaning slightly towards Bieber as of right now.
Woodruff is way too cheap at $7,500 on DK tonight, in a great match-up vs the Cubbies. We attacked this Cubs lineup last night with Freddy Peralta, and Woodruff is an even better pitcher. He has three good pitches, and can rack up strikeouts in a hurry. Since the start of 2020, this Cubs lineup owns a .319 wOBA with 26% strikeouts vs right-handed pitching. We also have a 112 PA sample size vs this lineup, resulting in a .255 xwOBA and 33% strikeouts for Woodruff. This lineup has look lost to start the season, and Woodruff might be the top overall play on Tuesday night.
Castillo is another arm that seems severely underpriced. Not only is he too cheap for his pitching ability, the matchup is quality as well against the San Francisco Giants. Castillo has started 2021 slow, and it seems people are concerned about the lack of sliders he has thrown this season. I can’t be sure as to why he isn’t throwing it, but his fastball velocity ticked up in his last start, and I’m willing to bet on it being rust more than anything right now. I won’t call him the safest play given the unknowns with his pitch mix, but we also aren’t being asked to pay anything near ceiling price for him. He is still throwing his changeup, which is one of the best pitches in baseball. Over his last two seasons he has allowed a .199 wOBA with said changeup, while generating over 47% whiffs. San Francisco’s projected lineup owns a combine wOBA under .300 vs the pitch. I love the upside for his price tag tonight.
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)