There is a full slate of games this evening, with all 30 MLB teams in action. With so many options to select for starting pitchers, there is no one clear path to winning a GPP. Let’s dive into this slate and take a look at some of the best GPP winning builds.
Chris Sale (BOS): $13,100 @ TB
One of the most talented pitchers in baseball will take the mound against the Tampa Bay Rays this evening. There is no right answer between Sale and Cole, to be honest. They both have an incredible ceiling and floor when it comes to fantasy production. Chris Sale is the most expensive pitcher on the board, which may lower ownership slightly, and is always worth a look. Although Tampa Bay has been scoring runs lately, there is no reason to believe they can sustain their success with this lineup. As a team, they are much worse against left-handed pitching and struggled to hit Sale earlier on in the year.
Gerrit Cole (HOU): $12,900 vs. SF
The Astros starter has simply been the best pitcher in the AL. We have discussed the changes he’s made to increase his K% which has fooled hitters all season. Tonight, San Francisco will travel to Houston to try and solve Cole. They are among the MLB leaders in strikeout rate at 24.7% and 25.1% vs. right-handed pitchers. The Astros should provide plenty of runs in this one for the win, giving Cole the extra fantasy points. Paying up for either Cole or Sale will be popular, but both pitchers have 40+ DraftKings point upside. It is tough to make up the difference with hitters, but are fadeable in large field GPP’s.
Garrett Richards (LAA): $7,800 @ TOR
LA will travel north to Toronto to face a disappointing Blue Jays team. Although they started the season on fire, the Jays have fallen back down to reality and are the weak offensive team we expected. In the last seven days, Toronto owns a 22.5% K rate, while generating a 74 wRC+ and .104 ISO. Meanwhile, Richards is having a solid start to the season with just a 3.47 ERA and 1.22 WHIP. He has a 10.22 K/9 ratio and is one of the more dominant arms when he has his command. It seems almost every game, he loses his stuff for an inning and gets hit hard. I think this is the perfect matchup for the hurler to have a solid outing.
Kevin Gausman (BAL): $7,600 @ CWS
The Baltimore starter is set to take on one of the worst teams in baseball tonight. Gausman is a hard starter to trust, but outside of two poor performances, he has had a great season. As long as he keeps throwing his cutter, Gausman will continue to get outs. This is a great matchup for Gausman to have a ceiling game and induce a lot of strikeouts.
Caleb Smith (MIA): $6,400 @ NYM
It is hard to recommend a Marlins pitcher, but Caleb Smith has been really good in 2018. He has an elite K rate at 31.5%, while also owning just a 3.73 SIERA and 3.74 xFIP. The Mets suck against left-handed pitching. They have the lowest wOBA and ISO in 2018 along with the third highest K%. Temper expectations with the ceiling of Smith, he does not go deep into games and does have command issues. However, at a massive discount, the strikeouts should be there and he has shown 30+ fantasy point upside.
New York Yankees
As if the Yankees need a better hitting environment. Traveling into Texas, the weather is supposed to be 83 degrees and sunny. The wind is blowing in from right-center which actually swirls around in the park and then creates a jet stream blowing straight out. The Yankees have hit 20 homeruns against lefties this season and own a .353 wOBA.
St. Louis Cardinals
The Cards have the third highest implied run total as they take on Kansas City and Jason Hammel. It is supposed to be warm in St. Louis this evening, so the ball should be flying. Hammel owns a 1.19 HR/9 rate and St. Louis has some power throughout the lineup. The top half of the order is in play this evening against a bad starting pitcher and even worse bullpen.
Although Eric Lauer is tough on lefties, you can’t leave Bryce Harper and Juan Soto off this stack. Once the right-handed hitters get to Lauer early, the bullpen will come in relief and get hit by the two power lefties. Meanwhile, Lauer owns a .472 wOBA against right-handed hitters and should struggle in this one. The weather is a bit of a concern, so be careful on a PPD. Washington is notorious for canceling games very easily and do not like to play even with the slightest weather concern.
Matt Carpenter – (Six hits in his last two games. Finally heating up and far too cheap in a great matchup).