Max Scherzer, Nationals at Padres ($11,700 FD, $12,000 DK): Scherzer comes into this matchup smoking hot, striking out 15 in eight innings of one-run ball in his last start against the Reds, although he needed 120 pitches to do so. So the Nationals gave their ace an extra day’s rest. The Padres come into this matchup striking out the most often of any MLB team against righties, at 26.8%. Though you will struggle to get the bats you want in your lineup, he has to be given cash consideration.
Lucas Giolito, White Sox at Royals ($11,400 FD, $11,200 DK): There is no doubt in my mind that Giolito can be considered an ace. On FD, he has scored at least 55 fantasy points in three consecutive starts. And taking a rain-shortened start against the Blue Jays on May 18th, he has recorded at least 52 in his last five. Coming off this amazing roll, he was named AL Pitcher of the Month for May and Player of the Week last week. Giolito has given up just five runs in 43.2 innings over his past six starts. The Royals are not the paper-cut-you-to-death team of years past that simply didn’t strike out. They are 19th in the league with their 22.4% strikeout rate against righties. Much like Mad Max above, he is worth of cash consideration though roster construction will be challenging.
Jack Flaherty, Cardinals at Cubs ($8,100 FD, $9,000 DK): You get a cash game pitcher on FD with that price! Flaherty was cruising in his last start, at home against this same Cubs team, striking out eight batters while giving up four hits and two runs, until the rain came and limited his start to five innings. Speaking of the rain and other aspects of the weather, a crucial component of any game at Wrigley is the weather and today we get a wind blowing in from right at 10-20 mph with no chance of any rain. The Cubs strike out the 15th most frequently vs. righties at 23.1% and over the last seven days, they are whiffing 26.6% of the time, which is the sixth most frequent in MLB.
Jon Lester, Cardinals at Cubs ($7,700 FD, $7,400 DK): Cash worthy on both sites because of his floor, Lester is sure happy to be pitching in Wrigley. His eyes must light up when he sees he is pitching at home this season, because his splits are dramatic. In 30.2 innings at Wrigley he has only given up two home runs and has a 1.76 ERA. On the road, he has surrendered five big flies in only 29 innings pitched with a 4.97 ERA. Maybe his strikeout to walk ratio is most telling: 32 to 4 at home, 24 to 10 away.
Bargain Basement Arm
Nick Pivetta, Reds at Phillies ($7,300 FD, $8,800 DK): Well, maybe bargain basement only applies to FD in this case, but making my prelim lineups on that site, Pivetta is who I am going with. He is coming off one of the best starts of his career Sunday against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, allowing three hits and striking out nine in six scoreless innings. The Reds strike out the eighth most frequently at 24.6% against righties and the 10th in the last seven days, at 24.3%. Pivetta seemed to have found himself at the Triple A level and has carried that back to the Majors.
I just wrote about Pivetta above, so let’s double down on him! Seriously though, in his two starts since his recall from AAA, he has struck out 15 batters in only 11 innings. If he can last six innings, he should have no problem reaching seven strikeouts.
DFS meteorologist concentrating on MLB and the NFL, I graduated from UMass-Lowell with a degree in meteorology in 1996. I worked at AccuWeather as a meteorologist for almost a decade. I combined my two loves, weather and sports, and like to think I help 1000s of DFS'ers out each day. Huge Boston sports fan, lover of nature and animals and a proud father of 4 boys (2 biological).