With the split set of games going today, I am just focusing on the evening main-slate. Unlike last night, there are some very good pitching options. With just five games on the main-slate, getting contrarian can be difficult. For me, the two pitchers are clear-cut. Which means they will come in extremely highly owned. I will take my chances on the pitching ownership and try to get weird with the hitters.
Max Scherzer (WAS): $12,500 vs. NYY
The Nationals ace will take the mound tonight when they host the Yankees. Mad Max is off to an incredible start in 2018. There shouldn’t need to be much convincing for how great Scherzer is. The only concern is the matchup, which hopefully will scare people off. There are two other viable options and Chris Sale will steal some attention coming off a 15 strikeout performance. However, my gut tells me to roll with Max. He is a fierce competitor who lives for big moments and this will be his biggest test of 2018. When he has full command, he is unhittable. I think he will have his stuff moving in this one. There are plenty of strikeouts in the Yankees lineup, even though they have shown great discipline at the plate. Switching to the NL, the Yankees will lose their DH which only waters down this potent offense. Max Scherzer is matchup proof and while Chris Sale is in the better situation on paper, I am in the Mad Max corner.
Garrett Richards (LAA): $5,800 vs. HOU
Another criminally priced pitcher on DraftKings. The pricing on Garrett Richards is far too cheap. Sure he has had some tough outings, but we have also witnessed 30 point performances. The Astros are a good team. But they are cold and striking out at an alarming rate. They made Andrew Heaney look like Nolan Ryan two nights ago, while rookie Jaime Barria cruised through the lineup allowing just four hits, one earned run and seven K’s through seven innings pitched. Garrett Richards is much more talented than either of these pitchers and as long as he has his command, he should mow down the Astros as well. The matchup is intimidating, but the price is far too low for a guy who can easily have another 30 point outing. His ownership will be crazy high, but there isn’t a pivot with similar upside, at this price.
Boston Red Sox
The Sox are a pretty clear favorite in this one as a -264 favorite with a 5.07 implied run total. Although they are expensive to roster, the value on Richards will allow a nice Boston Stack along with a top-tier pitcher. This will be the chalk build this evening in cash and GPP for roster construction. It will be hard to completely fade the Red Sox, so getting exposure to the bottom half of the lineup might be a great way to differentiate from the rest of the field.
The Cubs have the second highest implied run total and should fall into the second highest stack – however, significantly lower owned than Boston. Brandon McCarthy owns a .365 wOBA to lefties and a .414 to righties. In a smaller ballpark, the Cubs should be able to get to the Braves starter quick.