Last night we had plenty of great pitching options to chose from. There were great high and mid-tier priced starting pitchers who were in great matchups and ended up producing.
Tonight, there are a lot more landmines to navigate through. DraftKings did not take long to increase Madison Bumgarner’s price back up over $11,000. Meanwhile, there are a few other pitchers who will be on a pitch count along with starters who are having a dreadful 2018 campaign.
On the hitting side, Boston is the only team with an implied run total over five. The studs are priced extremely high, making them nearly impossible to fit in with a pitcher we can feel confident about.
Let’s break down this interesting 11 game slate for DraftKings GPP lineup advice.
Madison Bumgarner (BOS): $11,200 vs. COL
The Giants ace is coming off a vintage pitching performance (albeit against the Marlins) where he struck out eight hitters through eight innings of work while allowing just three hits. What is most encouraging is the fact the Giants are comfortable allowing Mad Bum to throw a lot of pitches and go deep into games. He has thrown over 100 pitches in each of his last two games. The Giants will host division rival, Colorado Rockies. On the road, the Rockies are a much different team and are far less intimidating. They will travel away from Coors Field, the best hitting environment, to AT&T, one of the best pitching environments. With his strikeout upside, Bumgarner should be able to dominate this Rockies team. He is tough to pay up for, especially with the expensive Red Sox bats, but he grades out as the highest raw points pitcher. In cash games, I think he needs to be locked in. In GPP’s there is a reason to fade and pivot to less expensive starters with similar fantasy production upside.
Shane Bieber (CLE): $8,400 @ STL
The price is a little high for this matchup, but the Indians young prospect has incredible talent and major strikeout upside. This will be his fourth appearance in 2018 after facing the Twins twice and the Tigers. Bieber owns a 29% strikeout rate, with a 2.78 SIERA. He is not a flamethrower, by any means, but does induce a lot of swings and misses with his four-pitch arsenal. St. Louis is certainly not an easy matchup with a great mix of veteran and young professional hitters. That being said, they have the sixth highest strikeout percentage over the last seven days. Depending on how many other sites are touting this kid, will determine the ownership.
Wade LeBlanc (SEA): $7,800 @ BAL
Although he allowed six runs on 11 hits in his last outing at Fenway, LeBlanc has had a very good year. Rounding out a very impressive 2018 rotation for the Mariners, the veteran has shown mediocre strikeout upside while limiting the hard contact rate. Like James Paxton, Wade LeBlanc has reverse splits to hitters. Lefties hit him harder with a .326 wOBA, while righties hit just .293. While the power numbers are not as drastic, the strikeout rate is six points higher against righties. Baltimore will throw out a lot of right-handed hitters once again, making this a better matchup than what appears. The ceiling for LeBlanc is not all that high, but he should be capable to score over 20 DraftKings points.
Zack Wheeler (NYM): $6,300 vs. PIT
This is not a very confident recommendation, but I do fully believe Wheeler can get the better of the struggling Pirates. In the month of June, Pittsburgh is hitting just .216 AVG, with a 25.5% K rate. Wheeler has put together a few solid performances this season and he should continue to do well against this team. At a low cost, Wheeler can let us afford to pay up for some great hitters in fantastic spots.
Boston Red Sox
At a 5.08 implied run total, the Sox are projected to score the most runs on the evening. Andrew Heaney hasn’t been a pitcher to look at for stacking against, however, Boston has been so good at home this season. Not only do they lead the league in batting average, ISO, and OPS, but they also lead the league in BB rate. They continuously have runners on base with dangerous hitters driving them in each game. Like last night, Boston will be the chalk, so be aware of ownership and get contrarian somewhere else.
Although Alex Cobb is coming off a solid outing in Atlanta, he is still one of the worst starting pitchers in the majors and Seattle will score runs. Cobb is getting blasted by lefties this season and still struggles to limit the damage from power hitting righties. Kyle Seager is one of the top hitting options at third base tonight while Nelson Cruz and Mitch Haniger are also very much worth looking at. The Baltimore Orioles bullpen has not been all that great this season either and should struggle against one of the better teams in the American League.
Oakland A’s / Detroit Tigers
I feel like this series has gone completely overlooked the last two days. Combined, the two teams have scored 25 runs. Today, two more awful pitchers will take the mound in Detroit. Mike Fiers has given up 16 home runs this season, while Chris Bassitt is 0-3 with a 40% hard contact rate. A lot of the hitters are priced fairly high and do not have the same cache as hitters on better teams. I can only assume this game will go underowned and overlooked, once again, making it a very sneaky game stack.