The Sunday slate. Said it before and I will say it again, nothing is better. My favorite slate of the week. So lets jump right in!
Upper Tier Arms
Max Scherzer, Nationals at Reds ($11,000 FD, $11,600 DK): Full disclosure, after disappointing yesterday, I am going back to the well and paying up for as many bats as I can in Coors today. That means that Scherzer nor the guy I will write up next will find their way into my cash lineups. But, if I do play multiple lineups, or if you want to use them, I can see that as a great option. Quick: Who has a 3.26 ERA, a MLB-best 2.30 FIP and NL-high 102 strikeouts? This man does! What is his team’s record when he starts? Two wins and 10 losses. Huh, how does that happen? We can give thanks to a bullpen ERA that is over 11 in his starts.
Gerrit Cole, Astros at Athletics ($11,300 FD, $11,700 DK): Even though his record and ERA do not reflect it (5-5 with a 4.02 ERA), Cole is having a good year. He is one of only five pitchers with two games of at least 12 strikeouts, and he leads the AL with 112. He also has at least 10 strikeouts in six of his 12 starts and he has only walked three batters in his last five (28 1/3 innings). He gets the Athletics in Oakland, where they have considerably less pop judged by ISO than they do on the road (.172 vs .205). They also have a considerably lower ISO vs righties (.173) than they do against lefties (.231). Much like with Scherzer, I am likely going elsewhere for cash games. Coors or bust for me today.
Julio Teheran, Tigers at Braves ($8,600 FD, $8,700 DK): I won’t say I was shocked to see Lucas Giolito’s prices ($$10,600 FD, $11,100 DK) but man oh man, no discount there. I was thought it was a Giolito day when I woke up, pencil him in! But, I can’t use him at those prices, not if I want a big piece of Coors. So lets keep going down the price list to Teheran. He is widely known for having some of the most dramatic home/road splits in baseball (career WHIP at home is 1.176 and K/9 of 8.4 vs. road numbers of 1.221 and 7.2) so we get the positive split there. We also get him coming off his best stretch of the young season so far, as he had 5.35 ERA through his first seven starts. In May, he turned it around, with a 0.98 ERA and limiting opponents to a .128 batting average in five starts. Walks are sometimes an issue with Teheran, and that has recently been true, with him issuing four free passes in two of his past three outings. Luckily, the Tigers have the fourth lowest walk rate against righties at 7.5% so hopefully that issue does not come into play today. He just may be my cash game pitcher.
Sonny Gray, Nationals at Reds ($8,100 FD, $9,200 DK): If you want further saving on FD from Teheran, I will suggest Gray. I’m not touching him on DK, that price seems out of whack. Gray seems like a streaky pitcher this year, with a good stretch to begin the year when he put up at least 30 FD points in four consecutive starts between April 5th and April 23rd. He then struggled for four starts between April 28th and May 15th, where his high water mark was 27 fantasy points. His last two starts have been fantastic, with 55 points against Milwaukee on May 21st and 46 points against the Pirates on May 27th. If this pattern continues, we should see a good start out of Gray. It doesn’t hurt Gray that the Nationals strike out the eighth most against righties at a 24.3% rate and they do not have much power against them either, with an ISO of .161
Bargain Basement Arm
Ryan Yarbrough, Twins at Rays ($6,400 FD, $8,300 DK): Another FD only play for me here as that price difference is about as wide as you will ever see. Yarbrough is confirmed as the starter today for the Rays and is on a full four days of rest. In his only other start this season, he lasted 7.1 innings, giving up only four hits and two earned runs against Cleveland on May 23rd. Unfortunately for Yarbrough, he gets a completely different offense this time around as the Twins mash the ball and the Indians do not. To get as many Coors bats as I can (broken record here I know), I will have to compare my lineups with him vs. the ones with Teheran and see what they look like when deciding on my FD cash lineups.
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).