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Pitching and Monkey Knife Fight Picks for 5/12 – God Of Thunder and DFS

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Sunday Funday! A huge slate awaits us today. Potential weather issues are limited to Baltimore and even there, it does not look like a cancelled game.

Top Tier Arms

Noah Syndergaard, Marlins at Mets ($10,600 FD, $10,400 DK): This pick seems safe for cash. Going through my pitching checklist: pitching in a park that favors pitching: yes (in 2018 Citi Field was the 22nd easiest park to hit home runs in). Going against a team that lacks any kind of consistent, offensive threat: yes (the Marlins are dead last in ISO with a pathetic .088 ISO vs. righties so far this season). Great talent on the mound: yes. Though his last start on the road in San Diego wasn’t exactly what DFS’ers were hoping for, we can go back to his last appearance at home and envision what could be today: a complete game shutout with 10 strikeouts. He walloped a home run to provide all the offense in a 1-0 victory over the Reds his last time out.

Blake Snell, Yankees at Rays ($10,300 FD, $ 10,700 DK): Originally scheduled to pitch yesterday, he was pushed back to gain another day of rest. A GPP only pick here, Snell is coming off a simply phenomenal start at home vs. the Diamondbacks: six innings of one-hit ball with no walks and nine strikeouts. It should be noted that this was the Diamondbacks first game after a weekend series in Coors. There is a philosophy out there that it takes a team at least a game or two to adjust after leaving Coors and their bats often look longingly to the next time to return to Coors. If we look at Arizona in those first two games in Tampa, they struggled to the tune of nine hits in 63 ABs, only two doubles, no home runs, 21 strikeouts and only four runs scored. So is Snell back to his Cy Young days of 2018? Or was it a case of Arizona not being able to hit even if a Little Leaguer was throwing? I think it is somewhat a combination of both. The Yankees struggles against lefties (22nd ranked ISO of .136 and 20th ranked wOBA of .302) should not hurt Snell’s chances of pitching a good game in this spot.

Middle Tier Options

Martin Perez, Tigers at Twins ($9,100 FD, $8,500 DK): Another pitcher who was pushed back a day, this veteran lefty is averaging nearly 95 mph on his four-seam fastball. Perez is one of several veteran pitchers than are enjoying 2019 so far (Mike Minor is another name that comes to mind). The Tigers are not a good baseball team and their bats lack pop and they strike out a lot against lefties: a .159 ISO and sixth highest K rate of 27.6% back that up. A cool day with temperatures in the 50s means the ball will not carry well, further helping Perez’s chances of throwing a good game. On the road, the Tigers have both the 23rd ranked .139 ISO and wOBA at .291. We are getting to the point where Perez is a cash option.

Griffin Canning, Angels at Orioles ($7,300 FD, $8,300 DK): Canning has been solid in his first two career starts: a combined 9.2 innings pitched, eight hits allowed, five earned runs and a 13:2 K to BB ratio. In his last start in Detroit, his fantastic slider was on display. He has thrown that pitch 35.7% of the time so far and it has a dramatic tailing action to it that makes righties swing and miss. I like Canning to continue to get the bugs out at the Major League level against an Orioles team that struggles against righties (a 22nd ranked ISO of .159 and a 23rd ranked wOBA of .296 should not scare anyone). Some rain is expected here and a strong hitter’s park are two factors that probably limit this pick to GPP only.

Bargain Basement Picks

Tyler Mahle, Reds at Giants ($7,800 FD, $7,800 DK): Mahle has been quietly very good his last two stats: a combined 11 innings pitched with only seven hits allowed, two earned runs against (one each game) and a K/BB ratio of 15:1 against the Mets and Athletics, both on the road. Wait a minute you might say here, both the Athletics and Mets home parks are great for pitchers, could that have played a role in his pair of good starts? Certainly. Luckily, he is pitching today in the absolute best pitching park in all of baseball! And, of course, it does not hurt that the Giants are just not a good offensive team, their ranks against righties are 25th in wOBA at .291 and 21st in ISO at .161. They also strike out a rather high 23.7% of the time against righties. That could help Mahle keep the sparkling K:BB ratio up. I would not be opposed as him as your cash pitcher to be able to afford some great bats.

Monkey Knife Fight Pick: Noah Syndergaard Over 6.5 Strikeouts: I explained above why I like Thor in this spot. Asking seven strikeouts out of him does not seem like too much.

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).

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