Daily Pitcher Breakdown: May 26th
The Daily Pitcher Breakdown goes in-depth to look at nearly every pitching option, with a focus on the best targets for each night. Sometimes there will be a best of the rest section featuring guys who are likely low-dollar options with some upside for those of you who prefer to load your lineup with hitting studs.
There will also be a contingent of the starters that you can ignore each day. They offer no discernible upside so they aren’t worth your time. Because it is baseball and a 162-game season, there are going to be times when guys from the ignore group go off, but we’re dealing with probabilities in the daily game so the goal is to give yourself the best odds for success, not find needle in the proverbial haystack that finally doesn’t poke you.
Surprise, I’m filling in for Sporer today!
Stats Shown in Red Are BELOW AVERAGE
Stats Shown in White are AVERAGE
Stats Shown in Green Are ABOVE AVERAGE
Stats Shown in Blue Are ELITE
Daily Pitcher Chart
Pitchers to Target Today
I’m filling in for Sporer today on the holiday. I don’t want to cramp his style, so instead I’ll offer my thoughts on some of the better pitching options for today as well as some guys you might be considering who I think would be better off fading
- Johnny Cueto vs. LAD – Cueto has been a pleasure to watch this season. If you haven’t seen him throw this year and have some free time on Memorial Day, sit back and watch him spin. He had his first disappointing start of the year last time out vs. WAS, but don’t abandon ship quite yet. Before that start, he had six consecutive starts with at least 8 innings pitched and had 8 or more strikeouts in 5 of those six starts. Even in his last start, he only allowed 6 hits and that marked the highest number of the season. Matchup-wise, the Dodgers offense is no joke but Cueto is still the pitcher with the highest upside going today.
- Michael Wacha vs. NYY – Wacha is sitting at an early -170 favorite in a game with a 7 over/under, meaning he should instantly jump off the page as a strong play for tonight’s contest. Adding in his 26.4% K-rate this season and you have a pitcher with tremendous upside. The Yankees offense is reeling a bit of late, boasting a mere .264 wOBA over the past 7 days and a 20.1% K-rate.
- Ervin Santana vs. BOS – Well the Red Sox losing streak hit 10 games on Sunday and were stymied in Tampa Bay by the likes of two right-handers in Jake Odorizzi and Chris Archer. They were able to tag the lefty David Price for 5 early runs before dropping that game late, but the focus is their offense against RHPs. Archer went 6 innings and struck out a jaw-dropping 11 hitters while holding Boston to just 4 hits. Odorizzi went 6 innings with just 1 earned run allowed and 5 strikeouts of his own. As a team, Boston is hitting for just a .257 wOBA with a 22.1% K-rate over the last seven days. The point of this story? Ervin Santana is a tremendous pick today who might come with a low percentage owned.
- Jeff Samardzija vs. SFG – The frustrating season of the Shark has been well documented, as his epicly bad luck has been well documented this season. He leads all of baseball with a 1.46 ERA and yet through 10 starts he has 0 wins to show for it. While some (not named AlSmizzle) will argue that he’s due for a W, it’s tough to pay $8K for a guy who can’t seem to get a win. Certain sites don’t reward wins as lucratively as FanDuel, but if the win is significant on your site of choice I would lean towards finding a different option, especially with Jeff sitting as a road underdog in San Francisco.
- Yordano Ventura vs. HOU – The biggest red flag on Ventura has to be his innings pitched right now. He hasn’t topped 6 ⅓ IP in any of his last 5 starts. Further, he’s thrown at least 92 pitches in each of those starts. Basically he just hasn’t been very efficient with his pitching and the means to justify his 24.9% K-rate on the season have been sacrificing going deep into the game. With all of that said, he still has good upside and is a heavy favorite today against the Astros, so I would feel comfortable paying an above-average price to get him on my rosters.
- Nick Tepesch vs. MIN – Tepesch has been really impressive since moving into the rotation this season, striking out 12 batters over 11 ⅔ IP in that time. He won’t go deep into the game but given the matchup with the Twins today, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him go 5-6 solid innings once again with at least 4-5 K’s. A big positive here is that the Twins are striking out at a 21.3% clip over the last 7 days which ranks in the bottom quarter of baseball. His price varies wildly across the DFS sites today so consider him a site specific option. On FanDuel, he’s only $4500 while he sits at over $9K on DraftKings.
- Kyle Lohse vs. BAL – Coming off a start where he went 8 innings with 8 Ks and just 1 ER allowed, Lohse is an intriguing option against the Orioles. With Baltimore likely missing their stud left-handed 1st basemen Chris Davis, their offense is far less intimidating for a prospective opponent starter. On Sunday, they were slowed in the early going by Trevor Bauer before getting to him in the 5th inning. As far as Lohse goes, he is likely better off as a GPP option since his K numbers are so high-variance. Over his last 5 starts, Lohse has 3 starts with only 2 strikeouts and 17 combined K’s in the other two. If the K-happy Lohse shows up, he could be a GPP goldmine on Monday.
- Brandon McCarthy vs. SDP – The Padres have been a tremendous team to target this season, and McCarthy knows first hand just how bad their offense can be. 4 starts back, McCarthy went 7 shutout innings with 6 Ks while picking up the W. Since then, San Diego has returned guys like Chase Headley and Carlos Quentin to the lineup, but that doesn’t make them any sort of juggernaut. They are still dead last in all of baseball with a mere .277 wOBA against right handed pitching and a 22.1% K-rate. McCarthy is also a healthy -135 favorite in the latest game on today’s schedule.
- Drew Hutchison vs. TBR – After back-to-back double digit fantasy point performances, it’s safe to say that Hutchison has figured it out a bit. The real gem was his 9 inning, 0 ER performance against Texas two starts back which was accompanied by 6 strikeouts. He has impressive stuff and will take on a scrappy Rays offense that lacks a ton of talent. He’s a bit of a boom or bust play, but he definitely makes for an intriguing choice in the large field tournaments on Memorial Day.
The Hard Pass
Below are some bigger name guys who might seem appealing but I’ll be fading today.
- Clay Buchholz – As a BoSox fan, the writing has been on the wall for Buchholz since he came off the disabled list towards the end of last season. He really hasn’t been the same pitcher who once went through the first two months of 2013 without a single loss. The 1.85 WHIP and 1.39 HR/9 figures tell the story on just how bad he’s been in that same time during 2014, and manager John Farrell has been critical of his mechanics in the early going. There’s not much to like here, so avoid him today and moving forward until he shows any signs of promise.
- Chris Tillman – Tillman is another guy who you should be avoiding today because his strikeout numbers are just not there right now. Looking back over his past 4 starts, he’s only made 9 total hitters swing and miss. Even in his 16 fantasy point effort on FanDuel two starts back, he still only managed 3 strikeouts. That’s not very Tillman-esque and as long as his K-numbers are this low I’ll be avoiding him in any matchup, let alone one with a power-happy Brew Crew offense.
Stack Em Up
Below are pitchers I’ll be stacking against today:
- Kevin Correia vs. TEX
- Jose Quintana vs. CLE
- Kyle Kendrick vs. COL
- Drew Smyly vs. OAK
- Chris Young vs. LAA
Pitcher Advanced Stats and Stats Against
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Starting Pitcher Salaries
Click the image below to view pitcher salaries by each daily fantasy site along with their percent of top statistics.
- Percent of Top (Top) – Player salary divided by the most expensive pitcher each day. So if Felix Hernandez is $9,000 on FanDuel and Justin Verlander is $4,500, Verlanders Top stat would be 50.
NOTE: Button for pitcher salary chart above opens in popup window