We’ve got a 9-game slate tonight with a chance to kick off the weekend with some MLB profit. Below are the guys that I (Tommienation1) am considering for GPPs tonight right now. If changes during the day or if I add anyone to my list of pitchers, I’ll try to update as soon as possible, or you can hit me up on Twitter (@jakehari) if you have any questions. We’ll have Awesemo weigh in first, then I’ll provide additional analysis afterward.
Robbie Ray ($8,700 DK/$9,500 FD)
“Ray had the highest K rate of any pitcher on the slate in 2017, posting a K/9 near 11.5 against righties last year. With great strikeout numbers and facing a team with a 4.1 implied total, Ray makes for one of the better values on the slate tonight.”
You don’t usually think of $8,700 pitchers as values on DraftKings, but Ray (“A” value in Awesemo’s DK rankings) is well underpriced tonight, and I’m sure his ownership will reflect that. He showed he is an elite strikeout pitcher last year, striking out over 30% of righties and near 40% of righties. Like Tanaka, when he has his best stuff, he’s nearly unhittable, as he lead the MLB in whiff/swing last year at 34.76%. This Rockies team has a couple scary right-handed bats that could take Ray deep (Arenado, Story), but the price is simply too good on DraftKings to intentionally fade or stack against, so I’ll be looking to get Robbie Ray in my lineup tonight and differentiating my GPP lineup elsewhere.
Jhoulys Chacin ($6,600 DK/$6,400 FD)
“Chacin may not be the most exciting pitcher on this slate, but he struck out righties at a near 24% rate, is in a good pitcher’s park, and the Padres have a team total of only 4.2 tonight.”
Chacin was exceptional against right-handed batters last season, posting a 23.9% K-rate, 53% ground ball %, .266 wOBA, and a higher soft contact rate (25.4%) than hard-contact rate (23.9%). The lineup he faces is not all that daunting even with the addition of Eric Hosmer, who showed some power last year. He should face at least three players who struck out over 25% against righties last year in Pirela, Myers, and Hedges. The strikeout upside isn’t huge, but as a -125 favorite at only $6,600 on DraftKings, Chacin comes in a “B” DK value.
Masahiro Tanaka ($9,400 DK/$8,700 FD)
“Tanaka trailed only Robbie Ray (for pitchers on this slate) in K% last year at almost 26%. He posted a K/9 over 10 against lefties last year, and the Blue Jays should have a balanced, strikeout heavy lineup, which could mean Tanaka could rack up a lot of Ks tonight.”
In the 2017 season, Tanaka posted the 7th-highest whiff/swing rate in the MLB at 31.4%. To give some context to that number, Chris Sale posted the 6th-highest whiff/swing rate, Max Scherzer was 5th, and Corey Kluber was 3rd. When he’s on, he can can cruise through almost any lineup, and this Blue Jays projected starting-9 has five players that struck out 21.9% or more against righties last year. Some of the Blue Jays have decent average exit velocities against Tanaka which is a bit concerning, but at this price, you can afford a couple earned runs and not have it hurt you in tournaments. The strikeout upside is there for Tanaka, and you get an opening weekend discount on both sites.
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