Lance McCullers (HOU)
McCullers has always been a great pitcher at home and this year is no different. He’s surrendered a .249 wOBA, has a 9 K/9, 25.6 percent K rate and a 53 percent ground-ball rate. In his last three starts overall, McCullers has gone seven innings in two of those (19 innings in total) with 25 strikeouts and just six walks and five earned runs. The matchup for McCullers is a favorable one as the White Sox as a team has struck out 24 percent of their at-bats and walked just 5.1 percent of their plate appearances over the last two weeks. Furthermore, some of the White Sox regulars have astronomical strikeout totals against righties on the season, including Yoan Moncada (35 percent), Tim Anderson (26 percent), Matt Davidson (37 percent), and Daniel Palka (32 percent). Lance is the arm that I’m leaning towards in a very crowded top tier.
Chris Sale (BOS)
There’s not much to say here about Sale that you don’t know already, so I’ll focus on the Royals’ struggles against left-handed pitching. As a team, K.C. has a .293 wOBA, .131 ISO, and 83 wRC+ against southpaws, all of which rank among the five worst in baseball. The Royals have lost six games in a row and have scored just 14 runs over that span. It goes without saying that you’ll have to pay up for Sale as he’s 14K on DK and 12.5K on FD; both of which are the highest of all pitchers. He has the highest floor of all arms on the hill tonight.
Jacob deGrom (NYM)
deGrom has been the one bright spot for a putrid Mets team this season. He’s been masterful with an 11.24 K/9, 31.5 percent K rate and just a 6.6 percent walk rate. deGrom’s hard-contact rate against is just 29 percent which is well below league average. The Rays had been very pesky, especially early in the month of June but over the last two weeks, they’ve come back down to earth. Over that span, they have the third-highest strikeout percentage (24.6 percent), a .305 wOBA, and just a .110 ISO. deGrom has gone at least six innings and struck out six batters while allowing three or fewer earned runs in each of his last nine starts. At home he’s a worthwhile pivot off of Sale, however, there is always the risk that the Mets won’t provide him with run support and/or the bullpen will blow the win for him.
Mike Foltynewicz (ATL) – Folty is more of a FanDuel play for me against a strikeout-prone Brewers team where he’s just 8.8K. Folty has had issues with walks as he’s in the top ten in walks per start which is a big reason as to why I prefer him on FD seeing as how you don’t lose points for walks. The other reason is simply the price; on DK Folty is 10.5K and I don’t see a need to pay for him at that price.
Mid-Tier, Value, and SP2 Options
Zack Godley (ARI)
The Padres scored some runs last night but outside of Wil Myers, who rakes in Arizona, no one really hit the ball well. They benefit from scoring three ones in one inning which was aided by a Nick Ahmed error. Long story short, the Padres are nothing that should scare you off of Godley who has shut them down in each of his last two home starts against them. He’s 8.2K on FD where I prefer using him as I simply don’t like paying up for him on DK to pair him up with a top-tier arm. He’ll get his ground balls, get some strikeouts, and should come away with a win provided that the DBacks bats wake up after a poor showing last night.
Sonny Gray (NYY)
Sonny is back pitching in Toronto, a stadium in which he’s always had success. Over seven starts in Toronto including 43 innings, Sonny has a 1.88 era and 47 strikeouts. In two games (12 innings) in Toronto this season, Sonny has 16 strikeouts and one earned run allowed. On the road this season, Sonny has been a different pitcher with a 9.26 K/9, 24.7 percent K rate, and just a 6.6 percent walk rate along with a 52 percent ground ball rate. He’s my preferred SP2 play on DK tonight at 6.8K as he should get some run support and walk away with a win.
Trevor Williams (PIT)
Williams will benefit from pitching at home where he’s coming off of two good starts against the Brewers and Diamondbacks. Over those two outings, T-Will has gone 13 innings with 13 strikeouts with just two walks and three earned runs allowed. The Phillies offense is dangerous, but they are much better at home. PNC Park is a positive park shift for Williams who is another SP2 option on DK.
Jordan Zimmermann (DET)
Zimmermann has often been a guy to pick on in DFS and is still known to have a blow-up game from time to time. He, like many other pitchers, for example, C.C. Sabathia, Felix Hernandez, and others has had to re-create himself a bit as he no longer throws in the upper 90’s as he did when he was a prized arm for the Nationals years ago. It’s taken him some time, but if his recent production is any indication, Zimmermann has refined his game. Over his last five starts, spanning over 29 innings, Zimmermann has allowed just five earned runs while walking five and allowing 17 hits. He’s racked up 23 strikeouts over that span which is about the norm for him as he’s never been a high volume strikeout arm. Facing the Rangers at home, though, should aide his strikeout upside as Texas has struck out 25.2 percent of the time against righties, the fourth-highest mark in baseball this season. Limiting the home-run ball is key against the Rangers and Zimmermann has done that over his last five starts with no home runs allowed. As an SP2 option at home, Zimmermann is worth a look at 6.7K.
Other SP2 Option’s to Consider
Dereck Rodriguez (SF), German Marquez (COL)
Pitcher to Fade
Carlos Carrasco (CLE)
Carrasco is coming off of the DL to make a home start against the Athletics and Carrasco at home is never a play that I would endorse, especially against a homer-happy team like the A’s. The numbers at home are alarming and the sample size is huge. Over 482 innings pitched at Progressive Field, Carrasco has a 4.54 era with 505 hits allowed and 66 home runs surrendered. At a 10.8K salary on DK and 10.5K price tag on FD, he’s not worth touching.