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.
Shohei Ohtani ($11,100 DK/$8,600 FD)
Ohtani’s strikeout matchup against the Royals is the only thing negative I can really say about him, as he’s not even the highest-priced pitcher on the slate. He may not have double-digit strikeout upside here against Kansas City, but his 15.5% Swinging-Strike rate and 35.5% Whiffs/Swing rate gives us reason to believe he can get a strikeout per inning tonight. With all the top-priced options in tough matchups, I’ll take the discount on Ohtani as a -224 favorite in GPPs, who, according to our ownership projections, won’t even be a top-3 owned pitcher in tournaments.
Jon Gray ($7,500 DK/$7,300 FD)
Anytime we can get Gray outside of Coors in a good matchup, it’s hard not to take a look at him. On the season against right-handed pitching, the Reds have posted an 89 wRC+, .129 ISO, and just a .694 OPS. Gray is actually striking out more lefties than righties on the year while posting a 2.95 xFIP against LHH, which is much improved compared to his numbers last year. The Reds aren’t a great strikeout matchup, but as noted above, they lack power and have many below average hitters near the bottom of their lineup. At a mid-tier price tag, Gray is one of my favorite tournament plays on the night.
Jake Odorizzi ($7,300 DK/$7,000 FD)
Odorizzi has burned us many times before, but I’m giving him another chance here at home against the White Sox, who currently have a run total under 4 and are no strangers to striking out in bunches. Over the last month, the White Sox own a 24.2% K-rate, .306 OBP, and a 7% walk rate over the last month against righties. Even while making a handful of mistakes in his last start, Odorizzi was still able to get a fair amount of Swinging-Strikes. The White Sox certainly have some power, but their impatience should play right into Odorizzi’s hands and allow him to have a solid start at low ownership and a good price on DK.
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