Jacob deGrom- deGrom is the clear class of this slate, and is pretty much a lock for me in cash games on all sites. deGrom is coming off a season in which he generated 15.0% swinging strikes, struck out over 30.0% of the batters he faced, and elevated himself into the top two or three pitchers in the entire MLB…maybe the best overall. Gerrit Cole is the only guy on this slate that can rival deGrom’s K ability, but in a much more intimidating matchup with the Yankees, I will be eating the salary and starting my teams with deGrom.
Marco Gonzales- I like Marco Gonzales, and I think he is a really solid real-life pitcher. I don’t typically run to play him DFS however, unless he is mega cheap, but given how DraftKings has been pricing things this season he is actually my top SP2 candidate right now at $7,600. Gonzales posted a solid 3.81 SIERA, with just over 21.0% strikeouts and under 5.0% walks in 2018. He has pretty elite control, and while he doesn’t have massive K upside, the Royals don’t matchup that well with his pitch mix either. I don’t think he’s a must play given his price, but if I can afford him I feel much safer about him than I do anyone else below him, especially for cash games.
Derek Holland- If I’m not quite able to get to Gonzales as my SP2, Holland will likely take that title over the likes of Kyle Gibson. Holland made some changes in 2018, dropping his FIP from over 6.00 to 3.5, raising his strikeouts from just over 16.0% to over 21.0%. and seeing a big bump in swinging strikes to over 10.0%. The strikeouts should be legit backed up by the swing and misses, and given the changes he made I have to believe that they were mostly legitimate. He struck out nearly 25.0% of the righties he faced, and he should see a right-handed heavy Padres lineup tonight. The Padres pop does concern me in this matchup, but I would much rather pick on them with a guy that can get K’s than someone like Gibson against an underrated Mets offense.
Tournament Pitcher Pool: Gerrit Cole, German Marquez, Jonathan Loaisiga (punt)
Note: On Coors Field slates, I try to keep those players out of this and the stacks section. It’s obvious we want to target them!
Justin Bour- Bour finally homered last night, and now gets a matchup with Freddy Peralta who surrendered 46.0% hard hits and 47.7% fly balls to left-handed batters in 2018. Bour owns a .470 xwOBA against Peralta’s main pitch types (fast ball LOL) and is a fantastic building block at FanDuel at an extremely cheap price tag.
Yonathan Daza / Kole Calhoun (DraftKings)- With the way DK has priced things this season, we desperately need savings and tonight that comes with our boys Daza and Calhoun. Now, nobody in the world knows who Yonathan Daza is, except maybe his parents, but he;s $2,900 leading off for the Rockies in Coors Field…check. Calhoun on the other hand is $3,400 and gets the same positive matchup as Bour I highlighted above. These two will absolutely be in my cash game lineup, and allow you to comfortably fit in deGrom.
1. Brewers- I do expect the Brewers to garner some ownership tonight, which says how much I like them given that they are still number one in this section. Matt Harvey was somehow highly owned as a pitcher in his last start, and that went how you’d expect it to with him giving up 8 earned runs. Tonight he draws a lefty-heavy Brewers team, and this is a guy that gave up over 40.0% fly balls and hard hits to lefties a season ago. I don’t see how he will be able to survive this deep of a lineup, and I would start with Christian Yelich, Mike Moustakas, Travis Shaw and Eric Thames (if starting).
2. Mariners- As most of our subscribers know, I’ve been on the Mariners a ton already this season and I’m going right back to the well tonight against Jake Junis. The Mariners have a really solid lineup, and things have been clicking for them everywhere on offense to begin the season. Junis is a guy that gives up a lot of hard contact and homeruns, and that could be a disaster against some of the power in this lineup. Pretty much the whole lineup excels against the type of pitches Junis throws (fast ball/slider) and I would start with Vogelbach, Domingo, Bruce, Haniger and mix in Edwin, Smith in GPPs as well.
3. Angels (leverage)- Freddy Peralta is coming off a monster 8 IP, 11 K performance, and could see some ownership in GPPs. I’m not a huge Peralta fan, he threw 75.0% fast balls in 2018, and has followed that up with over 80.0% fast balls in 2019. Regardless of how good your fast ball is, I don’t see how you can continue to survive multiple times through an order with one pitch especially when you have control issues. I’m looking at Trout, Calhoun, Bour and Andrelton Simmons in tourneys.
Chalk Stacks: Rockies, A’s
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)