Clayton Kershaw (-164): The question that everyone is asking tonight is whether or not to play Kershaw or Luis Severino. Kershaw comes with the higher price on DraftKings ($900) and a matchup with the powerful Oakland A’s lineup. He’s finally been eclipsing 100 pitches in a start, but his strikeouts continue to be non-Kershaw like at 25% over the last month. I’ve said this a few times, and it’s very likely that we have seen the days of dominant strikeout Kershaw come and go, but that doesn’t mean that he isn’t still an amazing real-life pitcher. If Severino was in better form, this would be no contest but given his recent struggles you have to pose the question. It’s tough to pay top dollar when you are unsure of the strikeouts however, which leads us to our next contestant…
Luis Severino (-270): Sevy has struggled massively recently with an ERA of 9.00 over his last four starts. Nothing looks wrong with him however to me, aside from a small drop in swings and misses. The hard contact has started to come back down, and I feel comfortable recommending him tonight against the Chicago White Sox. The White Sox are fresh off being decimated by the likes of CC Sabathia and Lance Lynn, so I’m definitely going to take my chances with Severino. He probably will be chalky, which scares me given how bad he has been as of late but I can’t pay $900 more for Kershaw in cash games. I’ll stick with Sevy in my double ups and head-to-heads while prioritizing Kershaw in GPPs.
Trevor Richards (-103): Richards was a very good pitcher in the minor leagues, and it looks like he has finally started to figure things at the major league level pitching to a 3.56 SIERA with 27% strikeouts over the last 30 days. I picked on the Cardinals with Pablo Lopez last night to success and that’s not going to stop me from using Richards tonight with even more strikeout upside. I do believe in Richards recent performance and I do believe that the Cardinals are not a good offense against right-handed pitchers making this the perfect storm despite the recent price hike.
Jhoulys Chacin (-205): Chacin is the most viable cheap option to me, which is saying something since he checks in at over $7,000 on DraftKings. I don’t see a lot of true punt options tonight, so this seems like a night where I will be trying to somewhat pay up for both of my pitchers on multi-pitching sites. Chacin is looking to follow-up teammate Chase Anderson last night, but hopefully with a much better performance against the San Diego Padres. I’ve dissected Chacin in my write-ups a few times this season citing how viable he is when he faces a right-handed heavy lineup. The Padres have a severe lack of left-handed power, and what lefties they do send to the plate are not exactly what we would call A+ hitters. Their numbers are in the basement against righties again this season, and Chacin has some added strikeout upside with his K% boosting over 24% in the split.
Top Tier: Javier Baez- El Mago is making his late case for NL MVP and he has been locked in at the plate with a 44% hard-hit rate over the last two weeks. Opposing pitcher Heath Fillmyer features an unimposing 14% strikeout rate which will play heavily into Baez’s strength. The Cubs own a solid 5.5 implied run total and Baez is my top selection from them tonight.
Mid Tier: Mike Moustakas- Moustakas and his Brewers teammates are in a very interesting spot tonight against Brett Kennedy making his MLB debut. Kennedy doesn’t look terrible given his minors numbers, but he lacks strikeout upside and is going to see an extremely powerful lineup in the Brewers. Mous mashes both righties and fastballs and is in a very high-upside spot on Wednesday night.
Low Tier: Devon Travis- Travis pops back up in the value category today against Brian Johnson after homering last night. Travis is hitting second again, which obviously boosts his value and he owns a stellar .273 ISO against southpaws this season.
Tournament Stack of the Day
Cleveland Indians- Odorizzi has been solid for the Twins this season, but he is primarily a fastball pitcher and finds himself in a very tough matchup with a contact-heavy Indians team tonight. The Indians are a much better offense overall at home, and they feature a 5.3 implied run total. Francisco Lindor, Jose Ramirez, Michael Brantley and Edwin Encarnacion stick out as my top plays and you can fill-in with guys like Yonder Alonso and Jason Kipnis.
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)