Daily Pitcher Breakdown: September 25th
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.
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
Here is a look at the day’s slate of arms and how they might stack in their given matchups.
If a guy isn’t listed, he’s just kind of a neutral option – I’m not using him, but I’m not stacking against him, either.
These are aces who don’t really need much explanation at all. They’re expensive, but awesome. If an ace-level arm is struggling a bit or has a tough matchup, he might fall into the gold or silver tiers, but otherwise you’re going to find the Kershaws, Hernandez, and Sales of the world in here.
Max Scherzer DET (v. MIN)
James Shields KC (at CWS)
Andrew Cashner SD (at SF)
These aren’t just low-cost guys with good matchups and/or venues, but you will also find expensive studs in here with great matchups.
Zack Wheeler NYM (at WAS) – He’s been great in the second half this year with a 2.88 ERA, 75 Ks, and 2.5 K:BB ratio in 72 IP. Those numbers could’ve been even more impressive had he not faltered in a couple of September starts, including one against these Nats, and yet I have no problem sticking by him despite Washington having some success against him.
Yusmeiro Petit SF (v. SD) – Petit has surprisingly been a huge strikeout force for the Giants this year. He’s been in the rotation since late-August with 38 Ks in 31.3 IP during his five starts. In fact, he has 11 starts throughout the year and he’s maintained a 9.5 K/9 in those 62.7 IP. He has a 5.03 ERA as a starter, too, but a lot of that is built on two shellackings, including one in Coors where no one would’ve even considered using him. He’s been incredible at home, counting both his starting and relief work, with a 2.54 ERA in 63.7 IP with a 0.90 WHIP, 9.9 K/9, and 8.8 K:BB ratio.
Edinson Volquez PIT (at ATL) – This renaissance has been incredible. I never would’ve expected him to be quite this good. Since the Reds blasted him for 8 ER in just 2.3 IP, he has posted a 1.98 ERA in 16 starts. His 1.24 WHIP is a touch high and his 6.5 K/9 isn’t great, but he’s inducing plenty of weak contact with a 52% groundball rate during this run. His curveball has been a big weapon, holding batters to a .200/.261/.271 line during the 16 starts. Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage has earned my trust with his reclamation projects as he continues to up the difficulty going from A.J. Burnett to Francisco Liriano to Volquez.
Jose Quintana CWS (v. KC) – Quintana was a staple in the recommendation tiers, vacillating between Gold and Silver, and though his mid-August rough patch might’ve stung us (particularly when he posted a -2 at DraftKings against a Cleveland team that does not hit lefties), he’s been back on track over his last four. In fact, we’ve seen some of his best work of the season in that span as he’s delivered a 1.65 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 29 Ks, and 7.3 K:BB ratio in 27.3 IP. The coup de grace was a 7 IP/1 ER/13 K effort against Minnesota on September 13th. Meanwhile this slappy KC offense hasn’t really scared me at all this year. They’ve had some hot streaks, but for the most part, they’ve been a below average offense.
On some days the slate is so full that there are just tons of worthy options. When that happens, they can’t all be Best Buys, so I’ll split them into Gold and Silver buys. The Silver buys will carry a touch more risk than the Gold ones either because their price isn’t necessarily a value or they have a worthy, but not overwhelming matchup. They aren’t the prime values, but they are useful fallbacks if your budget forces you in a direction you hadn’t originally intended to follow.
Jason Hammel OAK (at TEX) – Hammel has only had one hiccup since the start of August after a horrendous July with his new ballclub (9.53 ERA in 17 IP). In his last eight appearances (seven starts), he has a 2.62 ERA and 1.03 WHIP in 44.7 IP with 37 Ks and a 3.4 K:BB ratio. He isn’t quite replicating his Cubs work during this stretch, but he looks a lot more like that guy lately than he did when first arriving in Oakland. The Rangers have played better than expected in September (11-1 in their last 12), but they aren’t exactly tearing the cover off of the ball with a bottom 10 OPS against righties (they’re killing lefties, though).
Hiroki Kuroda NYY (v. BAL) – Kuroda has put up another strong season, this time at age-39. He got off to a really slow start with a 5.28 ERA in April, but he has been the Kuroda we know and love ever since with a 3.50 ERA in 162 IP since May 1st. He isn’t a huge strikeout guy, but he can drop six or seven every once in a while (6+ in nine of his 31 starts) and he’s done his best work against the Orioles this year with a 2.39 ERA against them in four starts. He also has a 0.84 WHIP, 6.2 K/9, and 18 K:BB ratio in his 26.3 IP against the division winning Orioles.
Doug Fister WAS (v. NYM) – Fister has fanned more than three just once in his last eight (five against PIT), but he’s still put up a 2.68 ERA in those 50.3 IP. This puts the onus on him to go at least six and hold opponents to two or fewer runs (or three if he goes 7-8 inn.) and while he has done that in 16 of his 24 starts (and 15 of those were two or fewer ER), the eight were he failed were essentially useless because he didn’t miss many bats. I love Fister in season-long roto, but the severe drop in strikeout rate for the second straight season (7.6 to 6.9 to 5.2) minimizes his daily gaming upside. He did set his season high of seven strikeouts against these Mets on August 6th.
These are guys aren’t inherently good buys, but they have a nice matchup and they’re likely to be very cheap so you can save with them and take the gamble that they come through with a strong effort.
Kevin Gausman BAL (at NYY) – His streak of three straight games with 7+ IP and 7 Ks ended his last time out (5 IP/2 ER/3 Ks), but I’m getting back on the train. One of those starts came against these Yankees and with their playoff hopes dashed, I’m not sure how much fight they have left in them. Meanwhile, the Os are still going all out as they hope to catch LAA for the top seed. Gausman’s price has pretty much lingering in the value area all season which keeps him intriguing even though there is real risk with his performance.
David Hale ATL (v. PIT) – The Braves just churn ‘em out, don’t they? Hale isn’t an elite arm, but he’s been sharp in his MLB work, particularly when starting. While it is just seven starts over the last two seasons, he’s posted a 1.83 ERA in 39.3 IP with a 7.3 K/9 and 2.5 K:BB ratio. His 3.81 ERA in 54.3 relief IP isn’t too bad, but it comes with just a 3.6 K/9 and 0.96 K:BB ratio so perhaps he’s just more comfortable with the process of starting. The Pirates are no cakewalk, particularly for righties, but I’d still consider Hale at a rock-bottom price.
These guys should just be avoided either because of their matchup, talent-level, or both. These guys are often the ones you’ll want to stack against if you use that method.
- Trevor May MIN (at DET)
- Allen Webster BOS (v. TB)
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