MLB DEEP DIVE – 9/14/17
Brad Peacock is expensive in a tough matchup against the Angels tonight, but pitching is thin on this slate and he deserves consideration. Peacock has thrown more first pitch strikes in recent starts, which is important since a high percentage of his pitches are out of the strike zone. The Angels are a tough matchup because they usually do not chase pitches out of the zone and they do not swing and miss much, but Peacock’s chances of success improve if he is ahead in the count. He recorded an impressive 15.6 percent swinging strike percentage in his last start against the Angels. Peacock’s ceiling is limited in terms of points per dollar because he tends to go deep in counts and does not have the longest leash but, on this slate, there is merit to rostering anyone who is likely to score 20-25 raw points and that is the case for Peacock.
Masahiro Tanaka faces a dangerous Orioles offense but he has immense upside. He was hit hard in his last start, but that was against the Rangers in Texas. He returns home now to face a right-handed heavy Orioles lineup that has been struggling. Tanaka has a 24.2 percent strikeout percentage against righties this season. His 37.9 percent o-swing percentage and 14.5 percent swinging strike percentage rank toward the top of starting pitcher leaderboards for the season. The Orioles have the highest o-swing percentage and third highest swinging strike percentage in baseball over the last 30 days. There is risk for Tanaka, as he is home run prone and the Orioles have plenty of power, but he easily has the upside to be the highest scoring pitcher on the slate.
Mike Foltynewicz has been all over the place this season. Whenever we think that he has figured something out, he proceeds to be terrible for his next couple of starts. He faces a tough Washington lineup tonight but, without Bryce Harper available, it is not quite as formidable as usual. The projected lineup has just two lefties in Daniel Murphy and Matt Wieters. If the actual lineup is heavy on right-handers, Foltynewicz becomes an interesting GPP option. He has struck out 22.3 percent of right-handed hitters this season with a 46.5 percent groundball percentage while inducing 21.0 percent soft contact and allowing just 23.1 percent hard contact this season. There is virtually nothing in the way of pitching value on this slate so Foltynewicz deserves consideration against the Nationals.
Marcell Ozuna always comes at lower ownership than Giancarlo Stanton and is available for a much cheaper price across the industry. He has a .238 ISO against right-handed pitching since the start of last season and Thompson has allowed 2.11 home runs per nine innings to righties in his brief major league career. Factor in the ballpark boost for Ozuna and it is an even better spot.
Byron Buxton is down to just $4,100 on DraftKings in a matchup against Brett Anderson. Anderson is good at inducing groundballs when he is pitching well, but he is not a strikeout pitcher. Buxton’s biggest issue is that he strikes out often. Anderson negates that weakness. Anderson has allowed 1.30 home runs per nine innings to righties this season and Buxton’s speed increases his likelihood of getting hits if Anderson does force him to hit the ball on the ground. He is a very strong play at his new price point.
Nick Williams remains criminally underpriced as he sits at just $3,100 on DraftKings. Jose Urena has made improvements lately but is still weaker against lefties than righties. For the season, Urena has struck out just 11.6 percent of lefties while allowing 1.30 home runs per nine innings. Williams is a very talented young hitter who has shown he is ready to hit major league pitching. He is a strong play in any format at his cheap price point.
Joey Gallo strikes out a lot but he is way too cheap in a matchup against Felix Hernandez in Texas. Hernandez has struggled on the road throughout his career and pitching in Arlington is difficult for anyone. On top of that, Hernandez is expected to be limited to about 50 pitches in his first start back from the disabled list. Andrew Albers is expected to be the long man for the Mariners but Gallo has shown plenty of power against lefties this season as well.
Philadelphia Phillies- There is virtually no cheap pitching to feel good about on this slate so it makes a lot of sense to target cheap hitting in high upside spots instead. That is the case for the Phillies who face Jose Urena in Philadelphia. Urena has been pitching well of late, but the Phillies’ prices allow you to roster two high upside pitchers along with a Phillies stack. This team has power and speed throughout their lineup now that they are healthy, which gives them a high ceiling even though they are inconsistent.
Texas Rangers- The Rangers have been disappointing for the last couple of days but any time you can roster a reasonably priced team that may go overlooked in a game in Texas it makes sense in tournaments. Felix Hernandez has not pitched in over five weeks so there is a good chance that he struggles early. Long reliever Andrew Albers is a decent lefty but he is not good enough that we should shy away from Texas stacks.