There are eight games scheduled tonight on DraftKings main slate. Although only 16 teams are in play, this is setting up for a great GPP evening. There are high-priced starters to consider, brutal pitchers to stack against, and of course, Coors Field. Salary will be an issue tonight with the lack of middle-tier pitching options. Everyone will need to either pay up for two starters or pay down for cheap, risky options. Let’s take a look at some GPP players and stacks to consider.
Gerrit Cole (HOU): $12,600 vs. LAA
The Astros starter has arguably been the best starting pitcher of 2018. Since coming to Houston, Gerrit Cole has relied far less on his fastball and is utilizing his breaking ball pitches much more. The change has resulted in a higher swing and miss rate which has translated into a 39.8% K rate. I fully expect Carlos Carrasco to be the highest owned pitcher tonight. He is a much better cash game selection with the salary savings and fantastic match-up. Cole is in tough tonight. He will stare down the LA Angels who have the second lowest strikeout percentage and fourth best batting average. However, in the last seven days, the Angels are batting a .161 AVG (last in the MLB) with a 52 wRC+ (also last). With the high price tag, other viable pivots, and high-priced hitters, I think we could see Cole come much lower owned than he should. With an incredibly safe floor and the highest ceiling, lock in Gerrit Cole as the top GPP pitching option.
Masahiro Tanaka (NYY): $8,800 vs. MIN
The Yankees starter is capable of putting together incredible games and should not be overlooked at this price. Coming off a couple of poor performances, Tanaka is an ultimate GPP starting pitcher. He can give you 30+ DraftKings points, or as we have seen, 2.7 against one of the worst teams in the MLB.
The Good: In his 22 innings pitched, Tanaka is still above the 20% threshold in K% at 24.5%. His SIERA is 3.31, his xFIP is 3.47, and he owns a .313 BABIP. Meanwhile, he has a 6.45 ERA. This suggests that a lot of the earned runs have been unlucky and linked to the sub-par defense the rest of his team has provided. Tanaka has also only allowed four BB in 2018, which ranks him 13th in the MLB at BB/9 (among starting pitchers with a qualified innings pitched minimum).
The Bad: The home runs allowed have been an issue. Currently owning a 2.01 HR/9, Tanaka is also struggling with right-handed hitters. Owning a .413 wOBA to righties. Secondly, the ballpark. Yankee Stadium is a short porch, especially in right-field, which will help teams with less power. Like the Minnesota Twins.
Ultimately, the choice is yours. There are reasons to play and to fade Tanaka tonight. At this price, I would certainly recommend taking a shot and see which hitters you can fit in with the savings.
Chris Stratton (SF): $6,800 vs. WAS
Now that DraftKings has jacked his price up $2,000, we should see Stratton even less owned than before? I have played him in his last two starts and it has worked out quite well. Now with more of a leash, Stratton pitched seven innings in each of his last two starts. He has yet to allow a home run and continues to show command with Base on Balls. There are dangerous hitters in the Nationals lineup, but the ballpark should limit any potential longball. With so many great hitting options to pay up for tonight, paying down for serviceable pitchers might be the better way to go.
Chalk – High owned stacks
1.) Colorado Rockies
The majority of the ownership tonight will be carried on the shoulders of the Colorado Rockies. With a 6.23 implied run total, the Rockies are a heavy favorite, at home, against a terrible starting pitcher. Bryan Mitchell will take the mound for the Padres who has struggled with both left and right-handed hitters. He has struggled to strike anyone out and should not last long in this game. Colorado should breakout in a big way tonight. To get off the chalk, look to roster players further down in the lineup where you can still get exposure, but at lower ownership and price.
2.) New York Yankees
Coming off a great series against Toronto, the Yankees seem to be clicking throughout their lineup. They will carry ownership all season long and will always have multiple homerun hitting upside. They have the second highest implied run total this evening and will face Twins starter, Jake Odorizzi. In Puerto Rico, Odorizzi surrendered three home runs, almost in a row which ended his night after pitching four impressive innings. There is always an argument to be made to pay up for the Yankee bats. There are still better options tonight though.
3.) Oakland A’s
This might be a bit of a trap. Oakland is traveling into Arlington to take on the Texas Rangers tonight. The heavy hitting team will square off against the fly-ball pitcher, Matt Moore. It does not matter which team plays against Moore, they will always carry ownership. He has historically been awful for giving up home runs. Now, he is pitching in one of the better hitter ballparks in the MLB. However, Moore has only given up one homer this season which came in the first game of his season. In his last start at Tampa Bay, the Ranger starter struck out six, giving up just one earned run through seven innings of work.
In my opinion, the best stack this evening is the Seattle Mariners. I do not know what the ownership percentage is going to come in as, but the entire lineup is in play tonight against Miguel Gonzalez. The White Sox starter is averaging -4.8 DraftKings points in 2018 and has been hit hard. He cannot seem to get his command under control and has allowed eight hits in all three starts this year. There are tough left-handed hitters in this lineup for Gonzalez to try and navigate through. The bullpen hasn’t been much better for the Sox either which makes the Mariners even more intriguing.
Charlie Blackmon $5,700 vs. SD
Aaron Judge $5,400 vs. MIN
Khris Davis $4,600 @ TEX
Nelson Cruz $4,300 @ CWS
Ian Desmond $4,000 vs. SD
Franchy Cordero $3,900 @ COL
Mitch Haniger $3,700 @ CWS
Matt Joyce $3,600 @ TEX
Aaron Hicks $3,500 vs. MIN
Mark Canha $3,100 @ TEX
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