After getting so many options on Tuesday, it’s not a huge shock that Wednesday doesn’t offer the same style of choices. Now, that doesn’t mean we don’t have options as two big-name aces are on the mound tonight and we’ll see a super exciting prospect debut. Let’s get to work and find out exactly who we need to be looking at in the Starting Rotation 5.26 to find the green screens again!
I’m more than willing to throw out the last start for Glasnow since it came against the Blue Jays. The ERA has crept up a bit but it had nowhere else to go but up, and now it matches the 2.87 xFIP and 3.24 FIP at 2.90. The big righty still sports a 36% K rate, 16.2% swinging-strike rate, and a 33.3% CSW. All three of those metrics are in the top six in the majors, so we need to remember that before we look at the last game and balk at him. Both secondary pitches still have a whiff rate over 40% and the four-seam has 37 of 87 strikeouts. His curve continues to dominate with a .093 wOBA and a 54.8% whiff rate.
Tyler Glasnow, 98mph Fastball, 87mph Slider and 84mph Curveball, 3 Pitch K Overlay. pic.twitter.com/frVXTkWWek— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 14, 2021
Tyler Glasnow, 98mph Fastball, 87mph Slider and 84mph Curveball, 3 Pitch K Overlay. pic.twitter.com/frVXTkWWek
KC isn’t the best spot overall for strikeouts normally with a 23.1% rate against righties this year, but Glasnow is not the normal righty pitcher. It is interesting to note that Glasnow is slightly worse pitching to righties and KC has plenty of them in their normal lineup. The funny part is past Whit Merrifield, three RHH have K rates over 26% on the season. Glasnow is still sporting a 34.1% K rate and a .297 wOBA against that side of the plate along with a 28.9% hard-hit rate. Even with some small nitpicks, Glasnow is still in the softer matchup tonight between the two aces.
This is very similar to the spot Kershaw had last night in the fact it’s not the greatest matchup for Bauer, but great pitching can overtake a very good offense. Kershaw reminded us of that last night. Make no mistake, Bauer is one of the top 10 (at worst) pitchers in the league and even though I’m no a fan of him, this is the type of matchup he’s going to want to do very well in. Bauer is still sitting at a 36.2% K rate, a .077 WHIP, and a 3.12 xFIP. Some pitchers can survive and thrive with a fly-ball rate over 48% and Bauer checks that box as well. Even though the Astros rank well against the fastball, Bauer’s rates as the best in baseball on the FanGraphs scale. It’s been the best pitch in the arsenal with a .107 average, .184 wOBA, and 45 strikeouts.
Trevor Bauer, 82mph Slider (home plate view). Luck into a HR. pic.twitter.com/11UaKXq5dB— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 22, 2021
Trevor Bauer, 82mph Slider (home plate view). Luck into a HR. pic.twitter.com/11UaKXq5dB
The Astros can attack from both sides so it’s good to see that Bauer does not show any serious splits, with both sides being under a .250 wOBA. Righties have the harder time against him and Houston typically has six in their everyday lineup, another boost for Bauer. His K rate jumps up to 39%, the hard-hit rate is down to 23.8%, and the xFIP is under 2.75 as well. While I do still side with Glasnow, I don’t think the gap is enormous by any stretch.
I hope you enjoyed the relative safety that Bauer and Glasnow bring to the slate because that’s about where it stops. In fairness, Stroman typically has a safe-ish floor but his price remains high for my liking. Why is he in Rotation then? The majority of the slate after him is not very exciting as far as plays go. We can at least take comfort in the 20.3% K rate Stroman has. along with a 53.6% ground ball rate, the fourth-highest in the majors. When Colorado is on the road against a righty pitcher, they have the ninth-highest K rate in baseball along with the seventh-highest ground ball rate.
Marcus Stroman, Sick 84mph Split Change. 🤒Bend the Knee.And 🔥 K strut. [Ninja K strut rating: 9.6] pic.twitter.com/YMLnRBabQS— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 22, 2021
Marcus Stroman, Sick 84mph Split Change. 🤒Bend the Knee.And 🔥 K strut. [Ninja K strut rating: 9.6] pic.twitter.com/YMLnRBabQS
Colorado is also 29th in hard-hit rate and then dead last in OPS, wOBA, wRC+, and ISO. That all works heavily in Stroman’s favor and even if he doesn’t have the same style of upside we typically want from $9,200, he is about the last pitcher we can feel some comfort level with. It also helps that the swinging-strike rate of 11.8% has never been higher for Stroman and hitters are swinging at 52.1% of his pitchers, also easily a career-best. A heavy strikeout team like the Rockies can extract some upside from him tonight.
We’ve been hammering the Mets lineup with pitchers lately and they haven’t given us a ton of reason to stop doing so. It’s not their fault with the lineup they’re being forced to play but that doesn’t matter to us. Marquez is not exactly trustworthy but the price can’t be touched for the potential upside here. Marquez has a 4.82 ERA but also has a .336 BABIP and a 53.1% strand rate, which are both very unlucky. The 3.97 FIP and 3.89 xFIP are more indicative of how he’s pitched so far this season. The walks aren’t helping either at a 12.8% rate, but the 23.9% K rate balances that out a bit.
The slider/curveball combo has accounted for 49 of 56 strikeouts and both possess a 45% whiff rate or higher, along with a wOBA under .265 each. He’s in some pretty elite company with those pitches –
Swinging strikes with sliders and curves, 2021 (before today):Shane Bieber –> 136Clayton Kershaw –> 128Tyler Glasnow –> 91Germán Márquez –> 89Joe Musgrove –> 85 https://t.co/okLLiCfHrw— Codify (@CodifyBaseball) May 22, 2021
Swinging strikes with sliders and curves, 2021 (before today):Shane Bieber –> 136Clayton Kershaw –> 128Tyler Glasnow –> 91Germán Márquez –> 89Joe Musgrove –> 85 https://t.co/okLLiCfHrw
The xFIP on the road is 4.46 and with the Mets lineup still in tatters, it’s fairly easy to see upside at this price tag. Marquez should get four righties and the pitcher spot and is striking out that side of the plate 29% of the time.
The track record of debuts so far this year has not been great. Logan Gilbert, Daniel Lynch, and others haven’t done much at the major league level. This is strictly GPP and we tend to think that Yankee Stadium is a tough debut spot. There’s truth to that, but we’ve highlighted on multiple slates that the Yanks bats just aren’t that good against righty pitching this year. They are 11th in K rate at 25% and rank no higher than 13th in wRC+, wOBA, ISO, OPS, and average. They have shown they can struggle. Manoah can also do this –
Alek Manoah, Filthy Breaking Balls. 😷 pic.twitter.com/JUlgExAc4c— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 20, 2021
Alek Manoah, Filthy Breaking Balls. 😷 pic.twitter.com/JUlgExAc4c
Through three minor league starts, Manoah has displayed a 40.9% K rate, 0.56 WHIP, and a 3.08 xFIP. He’s a big 6-foot-6 righty and he’s pitched six innings in each of the three starts on the farm. The fastball is 93-96 and the slider has generated nine strikeouts in AAA with only four hits against it, courtesy of MLB.com. He’s talented and has added to the arsenal this year with the help of our buddy the Pitching Ninja –
You’re the man Rob! https://t.co/jSwfCNIMG7— MANOAH (@Alek_Manoah6) May 25, 2021
You’re the man Rob! https://t.co/jSwfCNIMG7
As always, you have to be cautious with debuts and we’ve seen how bad it can go. Manoah has legitimate stuff and is worth a gamble under $5,000.
Honorable Mention – Mike Minor with the Rays struggling against lefties with a huge strikeout rate, Chris Paddack
Starting Rotation 5.26 Stacking Options
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