We’re back with another four game slate and this one is going to be some rough sledding. Every team is down to their third or fourth starter and it’s desperation time. Today’s slate is as much as dodging the landmines as anything else. Managers may be quick to the bullpen at this point to try and end the series for a couple days off. We’re going to sort through all eight options just like yesterday, but understand that MLB DFS: Starting Rotation 10.8 is a very tough task from many angles.
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*Note – Pitchers are listed by preference
Pros – When you’re leading off with a pitch going up against the Braves, that should tell you where we’re at for the pitching slate. The kid has electric stuff and he showed it in the playoffs already –
Sixto Sanchez, Unhittable 93mph Front Door Changeup. 😯 pic.twitter.com/DgkVKzHEh1— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) October 2, 2020
Sixto Sanchez, Unhittable 93mph Front Door Changeup. 😯 pic.twitter.com/DgkVKzHEh1
Now, the stuff hasn’t exactly translated in the exact way we would like. The K rate was just 20.9% which could potentially be chalked up to learning on the job in the majors. The swinging strike rate is awesome at 12.8% and that’s what still gives me some hope that the K rate will come up to a higher level. Much like Pablo Lopez, Sixto had some good and bad against the Braves this year. One start was great with 26 DK and featured six strikeouts. Atlanta was also 15th and 19th against the slider and change, which made up 46% of the pitches for Sanchez this year. Lastly, the 0.69 HR/9 should really help if it’s the true measure of his talent.
Cons – The Braves are a very dangerous offense and the results from the Cubs start are skewed. Sanchez was excellent through three innings and really dodged big time damage in the fourth and fifth. Atlanta did light him up in the last time for four runs over three innings. If the 58% ground ball rate and the stuff doesn’t show up, Sanchez is going to get waxed (which is a fear for every pitcher on the slate).
Pros – We’re going downhill fast with options. Javier almost has to start this one be default. Zack Greinke has some type of arm injury, and the other four main starters have been spent. That’s going to leave Javier who threw an inning of relief in Game 1 with 25 pitches. The Astros likely treat that as a side session and hope he can go five, maybe six innings if things go well. Javier had a much higher K rate than Sanchez at 25.2% across 54.1 IP. The hard hit rate was under 29% and he was nasty to RHH. Through 89 righties faced, Javier allowed a .101 average, .208 wOBA and had a 30.3% K rate.
Cons – The fly ball rate is positively terrifying at 52.2% and the HR/9 was 1.82. It’s a really poor match considering the A’s have the highest fly ball rate to righties in the league and were one of three teams that were over 40%. The ISO was 13th as a team and there is power up and down the lineup. The FIP and the xFIP was nearly a run and a half higher than his ERA on top of everything else.
Pros – I think if we’re just talking raw talent, Montas might be the best pitcher on the slate. After getting suspended for PED’s last year, he really never got this season going with a 5.60 ERA and a 1.70 HR/9. He does bring a hefty K rate to the table at 25.3% and his FIP and xFIP were both under 4.75, pointing to some poor luck. A strand rate of 68.7% didn’t do him any favors. Montas generated an 11.7% swinging strike rate, in line with 2019. You can build the case that this could be a redemption start with the Astros being righty heavy. He has three starts against them this year, totaling 15.1 IP, 7 ER, two homers and 14 K’s.
Cons – I mean, it’s tough to look past how poorly he pitched this year. Houston was the hardest offense to strikeout this season and the only team to finish under 20% for their K rate to RHP. He does face a righty heavy lineup and he had a .252 wOBA to that side but still faced a 1.19 HR/9. If he was cheaper, I could build a stronger case. The only thing potentially saving him is the Astros lineup construction, and even then it’s scary. He wouldn’t be this high if we had a normal slate. Even with the negatives, he’s interesting for MLB DFS: Starting Rotation 10.8.
Pros – The only good factor for Montgomery is the league-leading K rate for the Rays to lefty pitching. Through 44 IP, he did have a 24.4% K rate and a 12.9% swinging strike rate. The leash isn’t going to be long with the Yankees facing elimination. However, the 5.11 ERA doesn’t jive with the FIP and xFIP under 3.70 each. The hope here is some strikeouts before he gets yanked or gets buried.
Cons – Montgomery has gotten tagged by righties with a .338 wOBA and a 1.91 HR/9. Tampa was fourth in ISO, sixth in wOBA and fourth in wRC+. There’s strikeouts to be had, but this matchup is difficult and Montgomery isn’t that good.
Pros – The Rays will utilize an opener, so Yarbrough doesn’t have to face the top of the order right out of the chute. What’s interesting is the Yankees ranked 20th in OPS and wOBA, 15th in ISO and 18th in wRC+ against lefties this year. The K rate was average but we just assume they kill lefties when that wasn’t exactly the case in 2020. The career 0.99 HR/9 is awesome to take into this spot even if the 18.8% K rate isn’t. Both the fly ball and hard hit rates were under 29.5% and he was slightly better to RHH with a .299 wOBA. Being the cheapest pitcher we can use doesn’t hurt either since we’re going to want some bats.
Cons – If Yarbrough allows any runs, he lacks the K ability to make up for it so it’s likely down to just preventing runs period. He hasn’t pitched at all in the playoffs and only threw 35 pitches in his last appearance, so his stamina is a total guess. Despite some mediocre numbers over the season, New York can be lethal to lefties and it could go terribly for Yarbrough. Tampa would likely be hyper aggressive to try and not go to Game 5.
Pros – Well, there’s not a ton here. Wright has potential but he’s yet to really put it together in the bigs. There is some hope in his last three starts of the regular season. He went six innings or more in all three, didn’t allow more than three runs and had at least four strikeouts in all three. The lowest DK total was 13.5, which probably is perfectly acceptable today. He does have a fly ball rate under 33% so that helps slightly as well.
Cons – I will not be using Wright as I don’t see almost any path to success. The start prior to his three good ones came against these Marlins and he was under two DK points and he gave up five runs. I’m fully on board with Marlins hitters, as Wright walked over 14% of the batters faced and Miami was 11th in BB%. He also got cracked by lefties. They had a .393 wOBA, .288 average, 1.96 HR/9 and the FIP to that side approached 7.00.
Pros – The Dodgers do have some options here and could go with Tony Gonsolin. Both pitchers are rested and I would have Gonsolin ranked as my fourth pitcher with the platoon advantage of not being a lefty pitcher. If it is Urias, he was solid this season with a 3.27 ERA and a 3.72 FIP. The K rate was still not there at just 20.1% and the walk rate was high-is at 8.3%. The swinging strike rate was just under 12% and he only had a 0.67 HR/9.
Gonsolin has the higher K rate at 26.1% and the lower walk rate at 4%, to go along with an ERA and FIP combo under 2.35. Even the xFIP is just 3.80, not a large cause for concern. His HR/9 was 0.39 and neither side of the plate had a wOBA over .235. I honestly hope it’s Gonsolin. He might even climb as high as second or third.
Cons – Urias had an xFIP over 5.00 and the fly ball rate was well over 40% which is rough. Since he’s the most expensive pitcher, he would have to be the highest-scoring to justify the spend and I’m not sure I see that. His K rate dipped even further to righties at just 18.5%.
He has a general lack of experience with under 87 IP and maybe the moment is too big for Gonsolin. The fly ball rate approaching 42% isn’t too fun but past that, the metrics look quite strong. Gonsolin would have to be strongly considered.
Pros – I have nothing here for him in MLB DFS: Starting Rotation 10.8.
Cons – It’s the Dodgers and Paddack has averaged under five innings per start this year.
We’re going with the Fantasy Points Challenge today instead of anything to do with pitching. I’ll gladly take two of the hottest hitters on the planet and the Rays likely start Mike Brosseau against a lefty. He had 42 at-bats and racked up an 1.121 OPS, .405 ISO and a .455 wOBA. If he doesn’t start, I’d replace him with Manuel Margot.
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