Nick Delgado | @MrESPNMiami
Gerrit Cole: The only other arm challenging Verlander’s dominance this season is this guy right here. You can even make the case that Cole has been better. Cole is averaging a ridiculous 13.7 K/9 aka a 39.4% K rate this season (even more ridiculous he is rolling out a 55.6% K RATE OVER THE LAST MONTH!!) & is 12-0 in his last 18 starts! Tonight he gets a very friendly matchup at home vs. the Royals who have the lowest IRT of the night at 2.86. Due to his high price tag (FD 12.0; DK 12.2) & all the other good arms on the slate tonight, we may be able to load up on Cole if his ownership is lower than expected.
Charlie Morton: Other than Cole, here is my personal favorite play tonight. His price (FD 9.6; DK 10.6) should let us squeeze in some of the pricier bats & he gets a matchup with the Angels. While they are welcoming Trout back, they just lost Ohtani for the season. The Angels don’t strike out a ton vs. RHP (18.4%), but I still like Morton’s chances tonight to put up close to 10 strikeouts tonight. In his lone matchup with LAA this season he racked up 9.
Max Scherzer: He’s been giving up some power to lefties since returning from injury (LISO 0.314), but his K rate still remains elite 32.6%. ATL is projected to roll out 5 lefties against him tonight, but that does not worry me too much. Sure you can create a mini stack (Albies, Freeman, & whoever else) to hedge against him since he’s been giving up some power, but I think he will have his way tonight with ATL. He has started against ATL once this year & his line was the following: 6IP, 1ER, 9K’s.
Clayton Kershaw: Over the last month, he’s striking out a lot of the hitters (32.6%) he’s facing but giving up a lot of power (LISO 0.538; RISO 0.348) as well. Tonight, he matches up with the Mets who have hammered lefties their last 2 games. However, what Kershaw has working in his favor tonight is per Kevin Roth’s WeatherEdge model we are supposed to see -27.5% on HR so maybe it will help him limit the power tonight.
Luis Castillo: Tonight he is looking for continued success as he is facing off against the DBacks for the 2nd time in a week. Earlier in the week he went 7 2/3 IP, with 10 K’s & 2 ER vs. DBacks. Although he will be pitching in Arizona, I believe Castillo has a good chance for another solid outing if he continues his generating groundballs at nearly 60% rate. Vegas seems to think CIN & Castillo will be okay tonight as they have them as the favorite.