Pitching Preview | 5/10

Pitching Preview | 5/10

Pitchers to Use

Luis Castillo

This might sound crazy, but I prefer Castillo over Verlander if paying all the way up. Castillo has a similar set of peripherals to Verlander, but he has a massive edge on swings and misses. Castillo sports a 38% whiff rate while Verlander is surprisingly a whopping 10% less than Castillo at 28%.

Castillo also gets a much better park and overall matchup pitching in San Francisco, while Verlander has to deal with a pesky Rangers team. It might be tough to fit Castillo up top unless you can find a cheap stack, but he is who I would pay up for.

Pablo Lopez

If you take away Lopez’s name, and just look at his stats, you would agree that he should be priced higher than some of the guys that are priced above him. Lopez is having a very good start to the year, and it isn’t a fluke.

His xBA is .214 and his xwOBA is .274. His zone contact rate sits at 81% and his whiff rate is 27% (almost the same as Verlander). He also sports the seventh lowest SIERA on the slate at 3.63 and he has been very good at limiting hard contact to both sides of the plate. Lopez will be locked in as one of my two SPs on DK and offers incredible salary relief to fit bats on FD.

Frankie Montas

If you want to come down from Castillo and use two mid-range pitchers, Montas is your guy. He has the seventh lowest SIERA on the slate and gets a decent matchup at home against the Indians. The majority of the Indians bats should be left-handed, where Montas has struck out 23% compared to 19% of righties. This is due to his splitter he is throwing to lefties 24% of the time, which generates a whiff rate of 46%. I know I will likely get questions about Montas or ERod since they are priced similarly. ERod against the Mariners in Boston just terrifies me, and I prefer Montas for a few hundred less.

Homer Bailey

This is a DK only play if you need a super cheap SP2 to fit in bats. I doubt I end up going here, but I want to give you all the option if needed. He has the 12th lowest SIERA on the slate and has the lowest price of all pitchers. So just by that, we can take advantage of Bailey actually pitching better than his price for this slate. He also has been generating more whiffs this year as he sits at 25%, while he was only at 19% last year.

The Phillies lineup is a tough one to navigate through and if Bailey was priced in the 7k range, I would have zero interest. However, at 5800, you have to at least consider him if you need a punt SP2.

Pitchers to Pick On

Erik Swanson

Swanson has been bad to start the year. The scary part for this matchup is he has been way worse against righties than lefties, and almost all of the Red Sox most dangerous bats are right handed. His numbers against righties are as follows: .392 wOBA, 13% K rate, 3.72 HR/9, 5.67 xFIP, 38% hard contact and 51% fly balls. So to summarize, he isn’t going to strike any of the righties out, and they are going to make a lot of hard contact in the air in a park with an extremely short porch in left field. The Red Sox should be your priority tomorrow. It may be tough to fit them with Castillo though.

Clay Buchholz

Let’s stick with the Sox theme here. The White Sox should absolutely demolish Buchholz here. He is allowing 14% barrels, an xBA of .314, an xSLG of .551 and only a 16% whiff rate.

He also sports the fourth-worst SIERA on the slate at 5.44 and that number is second worst if you remove Covey and Anderson, who have only made one start each. The White Sox usually go overlooked, especially on big slates, but don’t let that happen.

Lance Lynn

Lynn has been a reverse splits pitcher to start the year and will face a righty-heavy Astros team that has been swinging the bat well. To righties, he has allowed a .372 wOBA, 5.27 xFIP, only 16% K rate, 41% hard contact and only 41% ground balls. The Astros should hit a couple of homers here, but they will be expensive and popular.

Tyson Ross

I have written up Ross almost every time he’s pitched as a guy we want bats against. That doesn’t change here against the Twins one of the best teams in the league against right-handed pitching. It’s also worth noting that Ross has had reverse splits this year and has been worse against righties. The Twins have some right-handed power bats we can attack with. Don’t sleep on the lefties either though as the Tigers pen is bad too.

Eric Lauer

I hate writing up picking on pitchers in Coors because it is the obvious play and is always the most popular play. However, I definitely want to mention the fact that attacking Lauer in Coors, especially with the lefty mashers, that the Rockies should be your cash game approach as Lauer has been much worse against righties. Just keep an eye on ownership.

Dan Straily

Straily has been one of the worst pitchers in the league and is arguably the worst on this slate. The Angels get a great park boost playing in Baltimore here, so this is a spot we should have massive interest. Straily ranks in the bottom 4% of the league in xBA, xSLG and xwOBA. His SIERA is the second highest on the slate but is the highest for anyone who has started more than one game. Fire up the Angels.