Welcome into the Sunday edition of the FanDuel baseball column. We have a sizable 10 game slate on tap so let’s dig right in.
Today should be a very fun slate. The main 10 game slate doesn’t have the Rockies-Braves game so Coors can’t mess with our heads. I don’t believe there’s going to be a super chalk pitcher today. There’s a lot of solid options, but not one that’s head and shoulders above the rest, in my opinion.
Yesterday was a tad uneven. The early slate should have easily cashed any 50/50 with a score of 114.2. I’ll take that any time when the starting pitcher only nets 20 points as Jose Berrios faltered at home. The evening slate was a little more frustrating with a score of 125.8 which was right on the edge of 50/50s. Of all things that could have happened yesterday, the Rockies only scoring three runs was pretty low on my list.
Higher End Spend: Charlie Morton ($9,100) — .194(7 for 36), 30.0 strikeout rate
Full disclosure, I’m a lifelong Pirates fan. Paying up for Charlie Morton on a 10 game slate when he’s the most expensive feels gross after years of watching him be just a guy. The bottom line is he’s just in too good of a spot to ignore today. The Padres were dreadful against righties last year and even though it appears they are showing improvement this year — they rank 12 in MLB in wOBA — it’s a false positive so far. Last year they struck out about 25 percent of the time and had a .299 wOBA. This year so far, they possess a 23.3 strikeout percentage and a .319 wOBA. That’s not exactly improvement. Morton has raised his K/9 since he’s been in Houston and he keeps the ball out of the air. I’m likely pinching my nose and hitting Submit with Morton today.
In Consideration: Jose Quintana, $8,500
Mid-Range: Mike Clevinger ($8,200) — .150(7 for 30), 32.0 strikeout rate
Players should understand they are probably signing up for a roller coaster ride if they side with Clevinger. He has a career 4.55 BB/9 rate and that is sky high. He can be his own worst enemy when he’s not on his game. When he is ready to roll, his stuff is near untouchable. Another red flag is the Royals are striking out against righties under 13 per cent of the time in 2018. That’s not surprising as they were under 20 percent in 2017. His potential is still sky high as the Royals have an OPS under .600 and a wOBA under .250 against right handed pitching so far this year. That’s backed up by the fact Kansas City are in the bottom five in runs per game. You just have to hope Clevinger brings the good stuff.
In Consideration: Eduardo Rodriguez, $7,000
The Rays are so bad against lefties but it is Rodriguez’s first start of the season so caution would be wise.
Value: Reynaldo Lopez ($6,500) — .294(5 for 17), 0 strikeout rate
The young flame thrower was impressive in his first start of the season in Toronto. He averaged over 97 MPH on his four seam fastball and the Tigers were 22nd in 2017 against said pitch and are just slightly better so far in 2018. They don’t strike out at a super high rate but it’s right around league average. His ball park finished right in the middle of the pack in 2017. If you believe in the talent that Lopez carries, he could be worth a look today.