Starting Nine 8/21/17

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.

Tyler Skaggs – I’m a sucker for strikeouts and that’s Tyler Skaggs’ middle name. I do admit that he is a boom-or-bust pitcher due to his control issues. If he was any higher in price I don’t think I would have interest because he rarely goes deep into games, but he’s cheap enough where I can look past that. He’s at home in one of the best pitcher’s parks in the league and faces a team full of free-swingers. Right-handed hitters have got to him this season, but he still strikes them out at about 23%. Most of the projected lineup for the Rangers has close to a 30% strikeout-rate against lefties so the upside is there for Skaggs. He will be popular but he’s the correct play in my opinion.

Gerrit Cole – I’m a Cole believer. I do think he’s a better real life pitcher than he is a fantasy performer, but I still like his arsenal and would love to have him on my team. Tonight, he’ll face a ton of power lefties against the Dodgers, but he’ll be at home which favors pitching greatly, and strikes out lefties at about 22%. He is susceptible to power so even though I do Cole today as a fantasy pitcher, I will have Dodgers in the lineups I don’t use him. He’s expected to face four lefties in the lineup, two of which have K-rates closer to 30% against right-handed pitching. Cole will also face a pitcher which I love and helps him in case he gets into trouble. This slate is full of iffy pitchers that we don’t roster often, so we’ll be forced into making some tough decisions and Cole seems like a guy that will make the cut for me.

Alex Wood – It would be foolish to recommend three guys on this slate without mentioning Alex Wood. He’s the most talented pitcher going tonight but everyone knows it and he’s priced accordingly. Wood returns to his $12k price tag on DraftKings, making him a really tough decision. Because of his price tag, I have Wood as more of a cash game play and a strong case for a tournament fade. He’s extremely expensive, on the road, against a team that doesn’t strikeout often. Outside of Freese and Rodriguez, he won’t have any easy outs in this lineup. I’m not even buying into Marte’s struggles as we know from previous years he rarely strikes out as well. If Wood is popular tonight, I will make a concerted effort to be lower than the field in order for me to play around with my bats a little more and be a little more different. I think he’s a fine play today and I will have exposure, I just think there is a path to some trouble here.

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!

Starting Nine 8-21-17