Starting Nine 8/1/17
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.
Jimmy Nelson – There is no secret how good Jimmy Nelson has been this season. Today he’ll face the righty-heavy Cardinals who shouldn’t have an answer for Nelson. He showcases a .306 wOBA against right-handed hitters while allowing virtually no power with a .106 ISO. On the season, Nelson has a swinging-strike rate over 10% against both sides of the plate while striking out righties at a 23% clip. He still gets the pitcher in this lineup and he’s at home where he’s been dominant throughout his career. On DraftKings he’s priced at $7,800 which is just too cheap for a pitcher with his upside.
Ricky Nolasco – Boston and Cleveland derailed what seemed to be a nice stretch of starts for Nolasco. This time he’ll be back at home which is considered one of the best pitcher’s parks in the league, and facing one of the league’s worst offense. The numbers at home are significantly better for Nolasco, and predictably so. The Phillies are coming into this game with a total under four! I don’t think Nolasco is this good, but I do think the Phillies are that bad. They’re still 6th in the league in strikeout rate vs. right-handed pitching and that should help Nolasco. With all the top-tier bats on the slate, having cheap pitching with upside for 15-20 is essential tonight and Nolasco gives you that.
Jon Lester – Lester will be my tournament guy of the night. I just mentioned how good of a spot some of the top-tier bats are in, and paying all the way up for guys like Sale and Scherzer seems a bit too much. Lester sitting at $9,500 looks like a fine play. He’s been much better as of late, striking out 20 hitters in his last three starts while going seven innings or more in each of them. Now he faces a Diamondbacks team that is league-worst in wRC+ vs. lefties. They also strikeout about 26% against lefties which is 4th worst in the league. We’ve also mentioned numerous times the home/road splits for this Diamondbacks team which is just woeful on the road. Lester is getting a prime matchup in Wrigley where weather shouldn’t be a factor, he has a great strikeout matchup, and should have run support considering Corbin is opposite of him. I think pivoting down to Lester is a smart move in tournaments where he shouldn’t have ownership.
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!