Happy Memorial Day Weekend! I hope everyone has a safe weekend with lots of relaxation and fun with friends and family. We have so decisions to make on Friday’s slate. Go expensive at pitching and not play players from Coors, or load up on Coors and find cheaper options at pitching. After reading today’s write-up, you should be able to determine which way I’ll be going. Let’s get to the plays.
Pitchers to Target
Max Scherzer – It all starts with Scherzer on this slate for me. He gets one of the best matchups out there in the San Diego Padres. The Padres strike out the second most in the league to right-handed pitching and have the fourth worst wOBA at just 0.296. Scherzer is expensive and deservedly so – we know what we’re getting with him here and that’s upside of 10+ strikeouts. Scherzer has been outstanding against right-handed batters with an astonishing 42.6% strikeout percentage, allowing only a 0.213 wOBA.
The Padres lineup is littered with right-handed batters, and what few lefties they do have to throw at him aren’t scary at all. It wouldn’t be too surprising to see Scherzer throw a complete game here and possibly even a no-hitter.
Mike Clevinger – Clevinger might fly under the radar on this slate, but I think that’s a mistake. His advanced stats are great over his last two starts. He’s in the top four on the slate in batted ball distance, exit velocity, and hard hit percentage. The fact that he gets to face the Kansas City Royals only makes this more enticing.
The Royals have been a pitchers best friend this season, and they’re even worse than the Padres with a 0.291 wOBA to righties – second worst in the league. He just faced the Royals earlier this month and went 5.2 innings with five strikeouts and only one hit allowed. Had he not walked four batters, the start would have been even better.
Walks have been an issue for Clevinger early, but he seemed to have things under control in his last start, against the Houston Astros. He pitched seven innings of two-hit ball with eight strikeouts and only two walks in that game. The Royals only walk 6.7% of the time, which is third worst in the league. If he can keep the walks down here, look out! After all, he’s pitched 18 innings this season and has only allowed six hits.
Stacks to Target
Philadelphia Phillies – This stack helps you fit in Scherzer. The Phillies are dirt cheap (the most expensive hitter is $4,100 on DraftKings), they have a five run team total, they’re playing at home in a hitters park, and they get to face Tim Adleman who has only lasted a total of 5.2 innings over his last two starts, giving up 10 hits and nine earned runs. Adleman has been equally as bad against righties and lefties, but lefties have seemed to hit home runs more often off of him. All of the Phillies bats are in play here.
Houston Astros – Gas can Kevin Gausman? Many people had high hopes for Gausman, but he has struggled to start the 2017 season. In 10 starts Gausman has given up five or more earned runs four different times. Three of those four came on the road, where he has pitched 19 innings and given up 20 earned runs.
The Astros have a 5.1 team total in this one, and they have batters who can crush right-handed pitching. Gausman has allowed a 0.439 wOBA to righties this season, so guys like Altuve, Correa, and Springer all immediately jump out at me. Throw Reddick in there too and you’ve got a solid stack.
Batters to Target
Mark Canha – If I’m going to be playing Scherzer that means finding some savings elsewhere. Canha fits that bill if he ends up in the lineup. Masahiro Tanaka has allowed seven home runs in his last two games and he has struggled mightily against right-handed batters, allowing a 0.440 wOBA.
Canha, on the other hand, hits right-handed pitching hard and could most definitely go yard here. Just make sure he makes the lineup before playing him, but I have a feeling he’ll be in there. (For all of the same reasons mentioned above, Khris Davis is also a great play)
Justin Ruggiano – I’m going to stay on theme with cheap options. Ruggiano is very cheap on DraftKings and should be in the lineup versus the left handed pitcher. Ruggiano has shown a lot of power in the past against left handed pitching, so this is nothing other than a one off who we hope can knock one over the fence at a very cheap price. He’ll be facing off against Jaime Garcia, who has been susceptible to giving up home runs to power righties.
Any more questions? Hit me up on Twitter @mrclutchdfs
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