MLB DFS Pitching Preview – Early and Main Slates

MLB DFS Pitching Preview – Early and Main Slates

I am traveling home from being out of town for July 4th today, so this article isn’t as in depth as it normally is. However, I still wanted to give you guys some pitching options to consider on both slates. So instead of writing up both pitchers to use and pick on, I have highlighted just the pitchers to use for both slates due to my tight time constraints. Let’s get to it.

Early Slate

Caleb Smith

This is a tournament only option because the Braves absolutely mash left handed pitching. Atlanta is also a good hitters park. However, Caleb Smith has elite K upside in any matchup and at his current price, he can afford to give up a run or two and not kill you as long as he strikes out enough hitters.

Before getting hurt, Smith had a 3.62 SIERA and a whip of only 1.02, both pretty elite numbers. He also has a 32% K rate on the year and he struck out 19 hitters in only 9 innings in his rehab starts. Again, this is a risky spot, but there is upside here for tournaments at a mid range price.

Max Scherzer

This is the obvious play on the slate, but he is priced at a premium. Luckily, the SP2s that are in consideration aren’t priced that high and you can afford to fit Max in and still have decent bats.

Max is on another level right now too as he has 9+ Ks in seven of his last eight games. It doesn’t take much analysis for me to convince you to play Max on a slate with limited pitching options.

Rick Porcello

Porcello hasn’t been great this year, but his numbers again right handed bats have been decent enough for us to trust him against a weak righty heavy team in the Tigers.

Porcello has a 4.55 xFIP, 21% K rate, 1.3 whip, 45% ground ball rate and 25% soft contact rate. Again, these numbers aren’t elite, but they’re good enough to rely on him against the lowly Tigers who have six hitters with a K rate of 23% or higher against right handed pitching.

Main Slate

Noah Syndergaard

I refuse to pay for Syndergaard when he is priced up with the aces. He just hasn’t been good enough to warrant paying a premium. The matchup isn’t great here, but the nice thing is he is priced down in the midrange on this slate.

He only has a 23% K rate this year, but he isn’t really allowing homers (1 HR/9), gets a lot of ground balls (47%), and has good peripherals (4.15 xFIP).

Robbie Ray

If you are looking for upside, Ray is your guy. He may walk a good amount (11%), but he strikes out a ton of guys too (30.5%).

Pitching in Arizona has been a big advantage this year because the humidor has negated the juiced balls.

Ray has also been pitching well over recent weeks as he has 9+ Ks in five of his last eight starts.

Ray isn’t really priced up, and anytime you can pay midrange for a guy with over 30% K ability, you just have to take a shot on him.

Kenta Maeda

Maeda and Ray is my ideal pairing on this main slate. Maeda has absolutely dominated right handed hitters and he gets a ton of them facing San Diego tonight.

He has a 30% K rate, a 5% walk rate, 0.68 whip, 3.77 xFIP, 32% soft contact and 25% hard contact. Those numbers are really really good.

He is priced down in the midrange where we can still load up on bats. Again, I love the Maeda and Ray pairing tonight.

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