Pitching Preview | Pay up for Gerrit Cole or save with Jacob DeGrom?

Pitching Preview | Pay up for Gerrit Cole or save with Jacob DeGrom?

We are back with a full slate of 14 games on Friday. We have Gerrit Cole priced all the way at the top in a favorable matchup, we have DeGrom at a discount and then we have a nice midrange option and a full-blown punt option. Let’s take a look at these different price points.

Pitchers to Use

Jacob DeGrom

Don’t let recency bias sway you off of DeGrom here. Everything about his profile still suggests he is elite. He has a SIERA of 3.54, a K rate of 29%, walk rate of 6.5% and a whip of 1.15. DeGrom is really tough to string hits together against.

The matchup is good as well. Anytime the Rockies are outside of Coors, you should have interest picking on them. Here are the Rockies stats at home and away:

  • Home: 21% K rate, .225 ISO, 100 wRC+
  • Away: 27% K rate, .163 ISO, 74 wRC+

The Rockies also have one of the lowest IRTs on the slate at 3.1 and the Mets have taken on 19 cents in their favor on the money line since it opened. Vegas is backing DeGrom here as well.

Tyler Mahle

Mahle has been absolutely dominant against righties this year. The heart of the Phillies order is right-handed, so if Mahle can navigate around Harper and Bruce, he should have a dominant outing here.

He sports a 31% K rate, 1 HR/9, 1.09 whip, 2.57 xFIP, 36% hard contact and 49% ground ball rate to righties. This is more of a tourney play as Mahle could get hit around a bit, but he has been really solid this year as evidenced by his sixth-best SIERA on the slate.

Zach Plesac

The nice thing about Plesac is he walks literally nobody. He makes the other team beat him if they are going to score on him. Plesac has held his own in two starts against the Red Sox and White Sox so far.

In the minors, he has been around mid-to-upper 20s in K rate, so I think we can expect mid-20s to be reasonable in the majors. He will get a lot of righty bats here against the Yankees, which is the side he has neutralized the best so far.

One last good sign is the Indians letting him get stretched out. He has thrown 86 and 96 pitches in his first two starts.

Homer Bailey (DK only)

I’m not sure what DK is doing here with Homer’s price. He is literally free at $4,500 (min salary for a pitcher). He has been much better against lefties this year, and that is the side of the plate he is going to see a ton of against the White Sox.

To lefties, Bailey is allowing a 4.34 xFIP, a 1.3 whip, 1.5 HR/9, 24% K rate, and 45% ground balls.

Bailey will probably give up a homer or two here, but he is free and has solid K upside against lefties due to his splitter he is throwing this year, which is generating a 43% whiff rate against lefties.

Pitchers to Pick On

Brett Anderson

Anderson has been a magician this year. His actuals are way better than his estimators. His SIERA sits at 5.57, with his xFIP at 5.24, meanwhile, his ERA is only 3.94. He is mainly a ground ball guy, but a guy who pitches to contact. We always have more interest in the Rangers against a contact pitcher. The Rangers rank 21st in ground ball rate as a team, so they make an effort to put the ball in the air.

Ivan Nova

Nova is another pitch-to-contact guy we want to take advantage of today. The Royals have a good amount of power and speed throughout their order that they can utilize when they aren’t striking out.

Nova has allowed 1.7 HR/9, a 1.64 whip, and only a 13% K rate. Teams haven’t attempted too many steals against him, but when they have, they have been successful as he has allowed five steals on six attempts. The Royals aren’t afraid to run on anyone with their speed at the bottom and top of the order.

Rick Porcello

This is a more recognizable name that many people probably won’t want to pick on with 14 games to choose from. However, Porcello hasn’t been very dominant this year. He is only striking out 19% of hitters, he has a whip of 1.4, a SIERA of 4.89, and he gets a brutal matchup with the Rays here who have a .190 ISO and 114 wRC+ against righties this year.

Matt Boyd

I am still a believer that Boyd is slightly overachieving this year due to his strength of schedule. He has only faced a couple of teams that hit lefties even remotely well, and the teams that do have knocked him around a bit. He faces the Twins, who rank sixth in ISO and second in wRC+ against left-handed pitching. If you once again want to get one of the best offenses in the majors at lower ownership than you should, load up the Twins here. Also, if the Twins can knock Boyd out of the game early here, they will have multiple at-bats against one of the worst bullpens in the league. They are also the away team, so they are guaranteed nine at-bats here.

Rookie Davis

Davis gets the daunting task of facing the Brewers in Milwaukee. At AAA this year, Davis has a 5.58 xFIP and is allowing 1.46 HR/9. On top of that, he is only striking out 16.5% of hitters. The Brewers are in an incredible spot here against Davis, and the Pirates bullpen has been pretty bad as of late as well.

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