Starting Nine 5/31/17
The data displayed will be from the start of this 2017 season. I like displaying this information on one page so I can see which pitchers have the most strikeout opportunities on a given night. We know strikeouts are huge in MLB DFS and looking at this information as lineups come out help me pinpoint which pitchers have the best matchups. With this info in front of us, here are the pitchers I think are in the best spots tonight.
Jacob deGrom – Good matchup, bad matchup, it doesn’t matter with Jacob deGrom. He’s been phenomenal this season and tonight faces a struggling Brewers team. The Brewers were dominated by Gsellman and Pill on back-to-back nights. deGrom has struck out right-handed hitters at about 33% this season which is insane. This Brewers team will showcase a ton of right-handers and a pitcher in the lineup which will setup well for deGrom. Thames, Shaw, and Villar aren’t hitting well at all, so the lefty power isn’t much to fear. I have deGrom as the clear number one, over Scherzer and he’s suitable for all game types.
James Paxton – The strikeout machine is back! James Paxton is making his return after a lengthy DL stint due to a Grade 1 forearm strain. There will be some sort of pitch limit but I’m still willing to take a chance. He can get enough production in five to six innings due to his strikeout stuff and could maybe backdoor a win here. I’ve targeted the Rockies outside of Coors field for a few years now and today will be no different. They showcase a ton of righties and Paxton has been dominant against right-handed hitters this year. He’s striking them out at about 30% this season which will give him the upper hand tonight. Guys like Reynolds, Desmond, Story, and Gonzalez are all at a disadvantage tonight. If the field is going to be cautious on Paxton, I’ll gladly take the other side and roster one of the better strikeout pitchers this season.
Ian Kennedy – This is a price play but one that makes a ton of sense. Despite his poor outings lately, Kennedy has been able to limit damage. Surprisingly, his wOBA numbers against both sides of the plate are above-average. Kennedy has held righties to a .288 wOBA while striking them out at about 22%. The problem this year has been his control issues and the number of walks per start. With Will Little calling balls and strikes, that number should improve a bit as Little favors pitchers heavily. If he’s locating his fastball, Kennedy could be in for a nice night against a team that has struggled against righties this year. He can still turn back the clock and strikeout a batter per inning, especially in this matchup. I like Kennedy as a cheap tournament option.
Feel free to message me on Twitter (@MLora) with any questions regarding todays slate. I will confirm these plays and more on the Deeper Dive later today. I’ll also be in the premium slack chat answering questions leading up to lock. Till next time, party animals!