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Scherzer will face the Reds in Nationals Park. It’s not a perfect matchup for Scherzer, but I’ll have a hard time fading him in cash games. He’s the biggest favorite on the slate and has an OTT (see pitcher chart) of 2.5, lowest on the slate. He has a 34.4% strikeout rate this season, highest on the slate. Even at $13,000 with other aces on the slate, Scherzer is a near lock.
Kershaw will face the Brewers in Dodger Stadium. I realize it’s Kershaw and anything can happen, but the Brewers lineup is now one of the toughest in the league. The Brewers will routinely leave one of Mike Moustakas, Johnathan Schoop, or Travis Shaw on the bench due to their depth. Their lineup is deep enough where Moustakas is hitting sixth against lefties. If you look at season stats, the Brewers have the fifth highest strikeout rate at 24.1%. If you look at the current projected lineup against lefties, the Brewers have just one batter who strikes out at 23% or higher (Jesus Aguilar). Even at a discount from Scherzer, I’m not paying $11,600 for Kershaw in cash games or tournaments against this Brewers lineup.
Trevor Richards (Pablo Lopez will start in place of Richards. I like Lopez for cash and GPP as well, especially at a $1,000 discount from Richards)
Richards will face the Phillies in Citizens Bank Park. He’s an underdog and has an OTT of 4.5, but I’m more optimistic he can prevent runs. The Phillies have the third highest strikeout rate in the league at 25.1%. Richards costs $6,700, making him a perfect SP2 to pair with Scherzer. He’s recorded three straight outings of at least 21 DK points. I’m comfortable with Richards in cash games, but if you don’t like the risk of a 4.5 OTT, you could certainly leave him for tournaments.
Jason Vargas is only $4,100. He’s priced as a terrible pitcher, but is much closer to league average. He’s worth a look in cash games and tournaments.
If you fade Scherzer in tournaments (or due to weather), Nick Pivetta becomes a solid SP2. At $8,500, I don’t feel comfortable pairing him with Scherzer because I won’t have enough salary for bats. If you don’t play Scherzer, he’s a great play. He’ll face the Marlins in a strikeout park and will have the platoon against most of the lineup. He’s also a big favorite with an OTT of 3.5.