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If you’re playing the early slate, I don’t see how you avoid Verlander for cash games. He’s priced at $12,800, but is the biggest favorite on the slate, has an OTT of just 2.5 (see pitcher chart), and has the highest strikeout rate on the slate. I’m not sure it will continue throughout the year, but the Giants are striking out at the fifth highest rate this season at 24.7%. There may be merit to fading Verlander in tournaments, but I’m going to have a hard time creating a lineup without him on the five game early slate.
On the main slate, deGrom is the top option. He put to rest any injury concerns last start as he went seven innings with 13 strikeouts. DeGrom will face the Marlins in Citi Field. The Marlins strike out 23.9% of the time against righties, 11th highest rate in the league. They also rank 29th in wRC+. DeGrom has an OTT of three, lowest on the main slate. I expect deGrom to be highly owned in both cash games and tournaments.
Maeda will face the Rockies in Dodger Stadium. The Rockies take a huge park hit, and have the worst wRC+ in the league. They strike out 24.1% of the time, and Maeda has one of the highest strikeout rates on the slate at 28.6%. Maeda has been inconsistent as a fantasy player this season, but has flashed some upside. I will consider him in cash games depending on the Rockies lineup, but I will definitely have some shares of Maeda in tournaments.