Top Tier: Freddy Peralta (-148) and Sean Newcomb (-142)– After back-to-back absolutely loaded pitching slates, Wednesday leaves a little bit to be desired especially in the upper pricing tier. We have two options that stick out to me in Freddy Peralta and Sean Newcomb, with both providing the same amount of risk/reward in all formats.
Peralta, like Newcomb, has a control issue that brings down his overall ability. On the season, Peralta sports a 4.04 SIERA and 30.4% strikeout rate which is the highest on the slate by far, but it comes with a 13.4% walk rate. Even with him having the most strikeout ability on this slate, the walks and being the highest priced pitcher on DraftKings are enough to push him into tournament-only range for me barring we see an ugly Reds lineup.
Newcomb falls into the same category as Peralta with an 11.3% walk rate, but it comes with just 22.2% strikeouts compared to the 30.4% Peralta provides. The Rays projected starting lineup strikes out over 24.0% of the time against southpaws, which is a strong matchup but I’m not sure if Newcomb has the ability to generate enough strikeouts to smash his price when you factor in the walks. There will certainly be guys on at least one inning given his control, and then you are in the boat of a solo shot turns into a two/three run homer and we don’t have enough strikeout ability to make up for the runs allowed. I think that Newcomb is a bit safer in terms of run prevention, but Peralta trumps him mightily in upside and he is the clear play in this tier to me.
I know Godley has been underwhelming to say the least in his past two starts against the Padres and Mariners, but that doesn’t tell the full story and he has pitched extremely well as of late. Over the last 30 days, Godley boasts a 3.09 SIERA, 28.7% strikeout rate and 12.3% swinging-strike rate. He has allowed 42.7% hard-hits over that span, but has also been victimized by a .333 BABIP. His BABIP is over .400 in his last two starts, but the thing that is most encouraging is that through that all the strikeouts have been there. It’s still very hot around most of the country and with tons of positive hitting weather I don’t want to understate how much of a boost it is for Godley to be pitching in AT&T Park tonight. The matchup against the Giants is a good one as well as they come in top-ten in strikeout rate against RHP and just lost Buster Posey for the remainder of the season. As of now, Godley is my SP1 on this slate when factoring in price.
It deserves a chuckle that I wrote up Felix Hernandez last night and now am writing up CC Sabathia…it’s 2018 but that’s the beauty of MLB DFS. You probably would think it’s some kind of a sick joke that CC owns a 3.74 SIERA with 32.6% strikeouts over his last four games, but it’s not. Sure that number comes with over 13.0% walks, but his 12.6% swinging-strikes support the K numbers. He now gets the same positive matchup that Masahiro Tanaka and Lance Lynn have had against the lowly Chicago White Sox. The good ole White Sox come in striking out the most in the MLB against left-handed pitching this season (26.5%) and they are missing one of their best hitters against lefties in Jose Abreu. They also rank 22nd overall in walks in the split, so the control issues that Sabathia has been experiencing might not be as much of an issue tonight. Salary isn’t much of an issue today, as you can tell, so I will most likely be locking in Godley/Sabathia in cash games unless something changes over the next 6 hours.
Low Tier: Alex Cobb (-113)– What an absolute pile of slop I’ve written up today, but don’t look now, Alex Cobb could be turning the corner! He doesn’t possess much strikeout ability, but over the last month Cobb has cut down his SIERA, xFIP, wOBA allowed and hard-hits allowed by a pretty solid amount. He’s at 49.0% ground balls over that span as well which makes it a lot harder for him to get blown up outside of getting BABIP’d. He does have a tough matchup against the Blue Jays who rank 6th in wRC+ over the last 14 days, but they did get shut down by David Hess on Monday and Cobb gets a pitcher-friendly umpire behind the dish. As I said above, I don’t think you will need to go this low tonight salary wise, but in tournaments you can definitely use Cobb to jam in all the high-priced bats.
NOTE: Jalen Beeks will pitch the majority of the innings for the Rays tonight and is firmly in play alongside Cobb in this tier. I’ll dissect more on the live show, while he has a tougher matchup with the Braves there is value added into his low ownership.
Top Tier: Manny Machado- Once again the Dodgers are going to be the focal point of the slate in a prime matchup with Mike Minor. Minor gives up above average hard-hits and fly-balls to right-handed batters and I just don’t see how he can survive this Dodgers lineup in the Texas heat. Machado owns a 143 wRC+ and a .224 ISO against southpaws and is one of the premier plays on tonight’s main slate.
Mid Tier: Rhys Hoskins- Hoskins is a bit higher-priced than my typical mid-tier options, but I really like him in this spot against Gio Gonzalez. Gonzalez is what he is at this point, an average pitcher with little to no strikeout ability and an improved Phillies lineup that contains Wilson Ramos and Asdrubal Cabrera. The one thing Gio can do is still generate ground balls, but Hoskins and his 49.3% fly-ball rate to lefties this season can surely offset that. His numbers aren’t good against LHP this season, but the fly balls are there and with Gonzalez’s limited strikeout ability balls will be in play tonight.
Low Tier: Craig Gentry- I feel really dirty writing this after I played Gentry in cash games last night and got a career performance out of him, but hey let’s ride the wave. He’s back in the #2 spot tonight in the Orioles order against an underwhelming Ryan Borucki. Borucki has literally no strikeout ability, and while I’m definitely not expecting what he did last night again he is virtually the same price and in an even better matchup. He doesn’t have a huge ceiling, but he is fine in cash games if you need the savings.
Stack of the Day
Philadelphia Phillies- As I mentioned with Hoskins above, I don’t think the numbers have fully caught up to the additions of Wilson Ramos and Asdrubal Cabrera into this lineup. The Phillies are going to back six-seven righties into the lineup tonight and with no swing-and-miss ability I think it could end poorly for Gio. I do want to focus on the righties at the top of the lineup here with Rhys Hoskins, Cesar Hernandez, Carlos Santana, Wilson Ramos and Asdrubal Cabrera sticking out. Without knowing the lineup yet, feel free to also include Maikel Franco on this list should he be in the heart of the order.
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)