Pitching Thoughts 7/21

There are plenty of Aces going tonight.  I don’t think you can go wrong at the top, so finding a second pitcher will be the challenge.  As always, ratings out of 100 based on price and potential output.

Chris Sale @ LAA: (100) Sale has reached Kershaw territory.  He’s consistently posting huge numbers.  A price this high might limit you to barely 2x value, but when it’s almost guaranteed you have to consider it.  The Angels don’t strikeout very much, but that doesn’t matter when you have the stuff Sale does.  I think this the chalk of the chalk, so I’d favor him in cash games over GPPs.

Max Scherzer @ ARI: (100) Scherzer has been just as dominant as Sale, but the game being at Chase Field probably accounts for the slight discount.  The DBacks are a good offense at home, but do strikeout 22%.  The other top options may be enough to chase people away, so Mad Max has a slight edge for GPPs but he’s also a safe cash play.

Alex Wood v ATL: (100) Being priced so close to Scherzer and Sale might make Wood a forgotten man tonight.  That’s a mistake.  Wood has been equally devastating to righties and lefties (.209/.215 R/L wOBA) this year.  He got roughed up at Turner Field the only time he’s faced his former team, but that was last year.  It should be different this time around in Dodger Stadium.

Yu Darvish @ TB: (95) Darvish has given owner headaches all year, but he’s always a threat to throw a gem.  The Rays are an all or nothing offense.  His price is more stomachable than the top aces, but with more risk.  There’s plenty of swing and miss with the Rays as all of their starters have a SwStr% above 10%.

Zack Godley v WAS (90): The Cutter wasn’t working for Godley his last time out, resulting in the ground balls he was getting turning into gopher balls.  I’m willing to give him some leash, even coming into a game with the Nats.  Despite the hitters park, Godley has also been excellent at home as well.  Add in his low price and he’s my favorite second pitcher.

Jeff Samardzija v SD: (90) Stop me if I’ve written this before. Samardjiza disappoints in spots you expect him to shine.  Nevertheless, he’s a tournament consideration.  Especially against the Padres, though they hung 7 runs on him a week ago.

Aaron Nola v MIL: (85) Nola just faced the Brewers and had a solid line in Miller Park.  Citizens Bank Park is no friend to pitchers, though, and it is hot and humid in Philly.  With other quality options I might stay away from Nola here, despite his recent success.

Trevor Cahill @ SF: (85) The journeyman was really hitting his stride prior to a DL stint.  He seems to have picked up where he left off posting a 27 (DK) against these same Giants.  The 8 Ks are the impressive part there against a lineup who doesn’t strikeout.  I wouldn’t expect that many points tonight, but at a lower price Cahill is a good second pitcher.

Mike Fiers @ BAL: (85) The Phoenix continues to rise.  I wish this start weren’t against a surging O’s team in the east coast heat wave.  Vegas agrees, giving this game an 11 O/U.  Even with all that, I feel like I owe it to him to roster him in at least on GPP.  There’s enough K potential here for it to be a sneaky play.

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