Friday, June 22, 2018

Today’s slate does not feature any of the biggest names in pitching, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a lot of value to be gained from pitchers in today’s slate. Patrick Corbin and Sean Newcombe are the two highest salaried players, and both are likely to provide good value. Mid-range options include Alex Wood, Andrew Heaney, Shane Bieber, Dallas Keuchel, and Jon Gray. Among the value plays, Luis Castillo stands out to me.

High Salary Plays 

Patrick Corbin, ARI (6-3, 3.48 ERA) @ PIT – $11,600

Corbin has an incredible K:BB ratio this year and has consistently pitched deep into games, making him a very safe play despite having the highest DK salary on the day. Today in Pittsburgh, he will be aided by a strong wind blowing in from center field, which has increased his projection by almost a full point. My projection for him is 19.4 points, a value of 1.67 points per $1000.

Sean Newcombe, ATL (8-2, 2.70 ERA) vs BAL – $10,500

Newcombe has been a solid performer this year, and is expected to perform well today. His best trait has been consistently low runs allowed totals, and he averages about one strikeout per inning for almost exactly six innings per start.  He will be hurt by a strong wind blowing out in addition to the hot weather, which has reduced my projection for him by a point. The umpire assignment is relatively neutral and has not affected my projection. I am projecting him at 18.8 points, for a value of 1.79 points per $1000.

Mid-Range Plays 

Alex Wood, LAD (2-5, 4.22 ERA) @ NYM – $9100

Wood is a somewhat risky play at his salary, but as a pitcher who often pitches to contact, the strong wind blowing in will help him immensely. The umpire on this game usually sees an above-average number of runs, which has slightly decreased Wood's projection. I am projecting him at 17.2 points tonight, 1.89 points/$1000. 

Andrew Heaney, LAA (3-5, 3.64 ERA) vs TOR – 8800

Heaney has been very inconsistent over his past four starts, and is a hard pitcher to project for tonight. His worst starts have been due to home runs, which makes me slightly concerned by the wind blowing towards the outfield tonight. However, he has generally been able to avoid trouble and pitch deep into games. I have adjusted his projection based on the wind to 16.5 points, 1.88 points/$1000.

Shane Bieber, CLE (1-0, 4.15 ERA) vs DET – $8700

Shane Bieber has seen great success through his first two starts of the year, with a great K:BB ratio and consistent innings outputs. He will be hurt by a strong wind blowing out, which has lowered his projection by almost a point. That being said, the humidity will slightly offset the wind. The umpire calls more strikes than most, so this will aid Bieber and his strong strikeout rate. I have him projected at 17.7 points, 2.03 points/$1000. 

Dallas Keuchel, HOU (4-8, 4.15 ERA) vs KC – $8400

Keuchel has not been at his best this year, but has been pitching deep into ballgames. He is pitching at home tonight, and the stadium will be enclosed, which means that weather should have little effect on his performance. He is projected at 18.2 points, 2.17 points/$1000. 

Jon Gray, COL (6-7, 5.89 ERA) vs MIA – $7700 

Gray will be pitching in the not-so-friendly confines of Coors Field tonight, where his performances have varied greatly. The wind will be working to keep the ball in the ballpark tonight, which he has been very successful at this year. The hot weather will help the ball carry a little bit. Ultimately, I see the ballpark factors causing about a quarter of a point boost in his projection, putting him at 16.5 points for tonight, 2.14 points/$1000.

Zack Wheeler, NYM (2-5, 4.82 ERA) vs LAD – $6900

Wheeler is going to be pitching tonight on a very hot day in New York, which means the ball will certainly be carrying. While Wheeler is being viewed as a great value for tonight, proceed with caution as the hot weather has caused me to drop his value for tonight. The umpire on this game has a higher strikeout rate than most, which has aided Wheeler's projection by about a quarter of a point. I am projecting him at 15.4 points, or 2.23 points/$1000.

Value Plays

Luis Castillo, CIN (4-8, 5.77 ERA) vs CHC – $5800

Castillo is by far the best play tonight amongst pitchers with sub-$6000 salaries. Despite the high ERA, Castillo has been striking out about one batter per inning and has been getting deep into games. The wind blowing out will take away some of his value, but the humidity in Cincinnati will offset some of the wind’s effect. In a small sample size, the umpire has been very favorable for pitchers, which has caused me to hesitantly increase Castillo's projection. Ultimately, I have him scoring 14.7 points, 2.53 points/$1000.