The following Spotlight Pitchers were selected by Awesemo.com writer Jake Hari. For more analysis on the slate, check out the MLB Strategy Video and Night Shift Podcast.
Chris Sale ($11,100 DK/$11,500 FD)
Sale gets a spectacular strikeout matchup at home against the White Sox, who lead the MLB in K% over the last month against southpaws. This is a get-right spot after a couple so-so outings for the Red Sox fireballer, and you get a nice discount on DraftKings at $11,100. The righty-heavy White Sox projected lineup shouldn’t scare you, as Sale is striking out almost 34% of righties with a 0.96 WHIP and only 26.3% hard-contact on the year. With a handful of viable value stacks on the slate, Sale will be a popular option in GPPs, but his ceiling is as high as any pitcher tonight.
Justin Verlander ($12,400 DK/$11,600 FD)
With an abundance of arms priced in double-digits tonight, the highest-priced of the bunch may go underowned tonight in GPPs. It’s understandable to drop down to a deGrom, Sale, Bauer, or Strasburg, but Verlander has truly been one of the best, if not the single best, pitcher in the MLB over the last year, and he arguably has the best matchup of any of the pitchers mentioned. Against RHP this season, Rangers have the league’s 2nd-highest K% and rank in the bottom-6 in both wRC+ and OBP. With a bunch of free-swinging lefties like Choo, Mazara, Gallo, and Guzman in the lineup, the matchup for Verlander and his 37% K-rate against LHH will play to his strengths. Ownership on these aces matters a ton tonight, and if Verlander is starting to slip through the cracks, he becomes all the better of a play.
Caleb Smith ($9,100 DK/$8,000 FD)
Pitching is stacked up top, but Smith is one of the best options in the tier above the Sale’s, Verlander’s, deGroms, etc. We’re almost midway through the season and Smith still ranks inside the top-30 in Whiffs/Swing% and has posted an impressive 11.8% Swinging-Strike rate. The matchup against the Padres is a juicy one for his strikeout upside, as he’s K-ing over 28% of righties and should get 7-8 of them tonight against a team that is striking out over 25% of the time against lefties this season. Smith’s awkward pricing on DK will likely keep the masses off of him, but he’s a nice SP2 if you’re going with one of the lower-priced studs.
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