Baseball has been here for a few weeks, but we are just now getting into the heart of the season with massive slates multiple times a week. Today we have a huge 13-game slate with really interesting options all over the board. Pitching is king in MLB DFS, so that will be the main focus here.
Tyler Glasnow is a really interesting option at the top of the DraftKings slate and near the top on every other site out there. Glasnow has some of the best stuff in baseball, and it really shows when looking at his performance this season so far. The biggest thing to note is the walk rate so far. Glasnow has been nasty for years, but he has never been close to this good. Glasnow has a career BB/9 of 4.75, which is absolutely horrible. This season, it is 1.59 through 3 starts. Now the question is how do we know this will continue? We really don’t, but I will say that he really never even had 3 game stretches like this in previous years. I think Glasnow is a good option if low-owned, but I wouldn’t be shocked if the walks became a problem again at some point.
I think the chalky top-priced option will be Stephen Strasburg, and I think that is right. Strasburg has elite talent and is facing one of the worst lineups in baseball. I don’t mind any amount of Strasburg that you find in your lineups.
Colin McHugh will be a fantasy community darling moving forward as he just projects as a guy that can get a ton of swings and misses. The Athletics do have some pop in their lineup, but I think McHugh should be able to repeat his last performance vs. the A’s.
The entire bottom tier of pitching is pretty rough, so I am going to try and highlight a few guys that have different paths to success.
The hope for 6 innings of 2-run ball and move forward guys:
Marco Estrada: Estrada is not good, and he is facing one of the best lineups in baseball. That being said, he is in a great park for his flyball skillset, and there is a clear path for Estrada to be good enough at his dirt cheap price.
Jorge Lopez: His game logs are basically exactly what you should expect out of him moving forward. Maybe the White Sox have an off night, and they can give extra K’s to any pitcher in baseball. Not a rousing endorsement, but a viable punt in a lineup or 2.
Aaron Sanchez: I have always been a fan of the young Blue Jays pitchers, and I think that Sanchez has the ability to make that jump. Sanchez limits hard contact with heavy use of a sinker and has drastically increased his curveball usage in his first 3 starts. I think Sanchez is my favorite option of anyone in his range.
The “stuff” guys:
Brandon Woodruff has really good stuff but has not been able to harness it on a consistent basis. He is another guy that has a really accurate game log through his first three games. He will allow hits and runs, but he will also get enough K’s to get you a decent score.
Reynaldo Lopez: Lopez is a really talented pitcher that misses his spot a lot. Lopez does have elite upside games where he can go 7 scoreless with 7K’s. The Royals offense is scrappy, but its not good.
Kyle Gibson: Gibson has one of the best sliders in baseball and has legit 10K upside every single game even though we rarely see it. Why don’t we see it? He only throws his only above-average pitch 24% of the time. I would not be surprised if an analytics driven front office comes knocking on the door for Gibson sometime soon, but until then we just have to hope he figures it out on his own.
Nick Pivetta: Pivetta has gotten killed in his first three starts, but his BABIP is .447 and his xFIP is under 4. This give me a lot of hope for Pivetta moving forward. Pivetta was priced as an elite pitcher at points of last year, so I think this is a good play on long-term talent and betting on regression. I will have a lot of Pivetta and Sanchez tonight.