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Verlander will face the Blue Jays in Minute Maid Park. He’s the biggest favorite on the slate and has the lowest OTT (see pitcher chart). He also has the highest strikeout rate of all the starters on the slate. The Blue Jays have the 11th highest strikeout rate against righties, but are a fairly solid offense, ranking tenth in wRC+. That being said, Verlander is in a class of his own, giving up a 0.82 WHIP and a .164 opponent batting average this season. He has double-digit DK points in every game this year and has recorded 15 quality starts in 16 attempts. In cash games, Verlander is a lock, but at high ownership, I understand a tournament fade.
Velasquez will face the Yankees in Citizens Bank Park. It’s clearly a tough matchup for Velasquez, but he’s priced down to $6,600, a $2,000 discount from his last start. Velasquez has a 28.5% strikeout rate this season and will hold the platoon advantage against the Yankees best power hitters. The Yankees also lose their DH traveling to the National League. Velasquez has two games with negative DK points, and eight games with 17+ DK points over his past ten starts. This is a tournament-only option for me, but one I’m strongly considering as an upside punt to pair with Verlander.