RadThad takes over the reigns of the pitching coach today with DraftCheat on vacation doing his best Grizzly Man impression in rural Canada. Thad offers up his favorite arms for cash games tonight as well as some suggestions for GPPs. Let’s get it!
Gerrit Cole (HOU) – Cole sits at the top of tonight’s projections when it comes to starting pitchers and for good reason. Despite going up against a Texas Rangers club ranked 12th in WRC+ versus right-handed pitching, Cole’s 36.7 K% (16.0 SS%) gives him the most strikeout upside of any other starter on tonight’s slate. Vegas is confident in Cole’s abilities, as he’s a -194 favorite, however, he’s also the most expensive starting pitcher and it isn’t even close. With multiple excellent hitting environments out there, including a Coors Field game, rostering Cole will force you to make some tough decisions when it comes to choosing hitters for your lineup. Those tough decisions are better left for GPPs.
Caleb Smith (MIA) – Smith isn’t a huge Vegas favorite tonight against the New York Mets (-111 Vegas favorite). That may be, in part, due to the fact that the Mets are ranked 3rd in WRC+ and have a 21.2 K% against left-handed pitching. Still, Smith is pitching at home, where he’s been a lot stingier when it comes to giving up the long ball. A sexy 31.1 K% (14.4 SS%) and an even sexier salary across the industry puts him in a nice spot to be your SP1 in cash games. Smith won’t fly under anyone’s radar tonight so expect him to be very heavily owned. (That should make the aforementioned New York Mets a nice contrarian stack in GPPs.)
Mike Clevenger (CLE) – Did you know that Clevenger has a 41.7 K% (15.9 SS%)? Okay, you got me. It’s only over a span of 96 plate appearances (as compared to 463 plate appearances for Cole). He shouldn’t come anywhere close to your cash game lineup, as he’s going up against one of the most dangerous teams in the league tonight in the form of the Minnesota Twins (ranked 6th in WRC+ versus right-handed pitching). That being said, Clevenger is sure to be a low owned high risk/high reward option that could win you a GPP.
Robbie Ray (ARI) – Tonight’s starting pitching options aren’t necessarily the “cream of the crop”, but if you’re looking for a respectable SP2 to use in cash games, Ray fits the bill. Sure, he’s a +112 underdog and faces a St. Louis Cardinals team that ranks 11thin WRC + against left-handed pitching, however, he does have a 30.6 K% (13.7 SS%). If Ray can manage to navigate successfully through the likes of José Martinez and Paul Goldschmidt (each has an ISO-over .300 against left-handed pitching) he should work out just fine. I expect him to be another relatively heavily owned option tonight, so fire up the Cardinals as another nice contrarian Stack in GPPs.
Domingo German (NYY) – German is more of a site-specific play, as his salaries on Fanduel and DraftKings are like “night and day” ($8600 on Fanduel/$10,100 on DraftKings). He’s a fine cash game option on Fanduel, as Vegas has him listed as a -286 favorite (highest on the slate). I’m sure that has a lot to do with his 26.1 K% (13.9 SS%) and he gets to face an anemic Toronto Blue Jays lineup (ranked 24th in WRC+ versus right-handed pitching). The fact that he has a “murderer’s row” of hitters providing him with a lot of expected run support doesn’t hurt either. In my opinion, his DraftKings salary puts him firmly in GPP territory.
Yonny Chirinos (TB) – If you’re looking to roster another site-specific value tonight, feel free to give Chirinos a try. He’s another guy that has a “heavy-handed” salary on DraftKings ($8400), as compared to Fanduel ($6800). His strikeout rate leaves something to be desired (20.9 K%, 10.3 SS%), however, he faces a Baltimore Orioles team that ranks 25thin WRC + versus right-handed pitching. His combination of salary and matchup will allow you to roster some heavy hitters in GPPs.