MLB DFS Pitching Preview – Mike Clevinger’s return – The Quant Edge

MLB DFS Pitching Preview – Mike Clevinger’s return – The Quant Edge

We are back with another full MLB DFS pitching slate to go through on a Friday, including Mike Clevinger returning from the IL. I am locked in on a couple arms that I feel good about. Let’s get to it.

Pitchers to Use

Mike Clevinger

Clevinger came back from the 60 day IL and threw 91 pitches in his first start. In that start, he rolled his ankle and needed to go back on the 10 day IL. I don’t think a rolled ankle is going to limit his pitch count in any way here. He should be locked and loaded for a 100 pitch outing against the Orioles.

Clevinger was extremely dominant in his first two starts of the year and then showed some rust when coming back, however, his K upside was still evident. He has the best SIERA on the slate at 2.60 and sports an insane K rate of 47% through three starts this year. Baltimore will strike out as they have four hitters with a K rate over 27%. This is absolutely a spot we can play Clevinger.

Sonny Gray

Gray has been pretty good this year, and the MLB DFS sites continue to give him no respect pricing him below 8K. He sports a 4.03 SIERA and a 27% K rate. Perhaps the best part about using him, especially when pitching in Cinci is his near 55% ground ball rate.

He has also fared much better against lefties this year, striking them out more and giving up less production overall. He should be able to neutralize the top of the Cubs order for that reason.

This isn’t the greatest matchup for Sonny, but I am still a believer in him being a talented arm who can strike guys out and induce a good amount of ground balls. He is priced cheap enough that we can take a shot on him here.

Anibal Sanchez

This is my top midrange arm due to splits and matchup. Sanchez absolutely dominates right-handed bats, and he is going to face a ton of bad ones for the Tigers. He is striking out 21%, allowing only a 1.13 whip, and only 30% hard contact.

Every projected Tigers starter strikes out over 20% against right-handed pitching and only two of them have an ISO over .200. The matchup doesn’t get much better unless you face the lowly Marlins.

Eric Lauer (DK only)

If you want a pure punt SP2, Lauer is who I would take a shot on. I would try to avoid playing him if you can, but I wanted to give you guys a full punt option if you needed it.

The reason I don’t like using Lauer is because of his lack of strikeout ability. He only has 63 Ks in 81 innings. His pitch count is also not very desirable, finishing most games between 80-90 pitches. However, his price is so cheap and the Cards bats have been so ice cold we have to consider him.

The Cardinals will load up righties here. Lauer has allowed 20% K rate, 4.51 xFIP, 37% fly balls, and a 1.27 whip. His game is all about run prevention and if he only allows a couple runs here, he should approach double-digit DK points.

Pitchers to Pick On

Antonio Senzatela

Senzatela is facing the Dodgers in Coors. What could possibly go wrong? This is the obvious stack spot today and after the Dodgers scored 12 runs in Coors last night, I expect them to be extremely popular here.

Senzatela does have the worst SIERA on the slate at 5.51 and he doesn’t strike anyone out (only 13%). The Dodgers will put the ball in play a good amount in Coors.

Jhoulys Chacin

This Brewers/Pirates game is my personal favorite to load up on today. Chacin has been horrible this year to both sides of the plate and the Pirates are white-hot right now as well. Chacin has the second worst SIERA on the slate at 5.41 and the Pirates should be much lower owned than the Dodgers. He is also allowing 1.9 HR/9 and only striking out 18.5% of hitters. Another good spot for a team to put the ball in play a bunch.

Chris Archer

I mentioned wanting to game stack this game and Archer is a big reason for that. Maybe the Brewers will go overlooked here on a massive slate. They just called Hiura back up and he should add a boost to the lineup.

Archer has a SIERA of 4.81 and is allowing 2.33 HR/9. He also has a control issue, which leads to him walking a ton of hitters (12%). The Brewers should be able to fill up the bases and then unload some homers here against Archer. Behind Archer, the Pirates pen has been terrible too.

Daniel Norris

Here we are again. Every five days we get to pick on Daniel Norris. This time we get to do it with the lefty-mashing Nats. The Nats also get the luxury of adding a DH here, which makes them in consideration for top stack of the day. The Nats have six hitters with over a .230 ISO against left-handed pitching. Behind Norris, the Tigers pen is the worst in the league.

Norris himself has a 4.5 SIERA, only striking out 19% and is giving up 1.6 HR/9. Should be a fun Nats stack here.

Michael Wacha

Wacha has been bad and the Padres have been hot. That is a pretty good combo for wanting to use bats. Wacha should face a ton of righties with power where he has allowed 2.8 HR/9, 4.89 xFIP, only striking out 19%, and 42% hard contact.