For as many nights in a row as I care to remember I have failed to pick up good points from a starting pitcher in daily fantasy baseball. It is almost to the point where I want to simply select a high priced name at FanDuel like Cole Hamels and his $8900 salary and look for value at for position players. Almost.
Tonight I will press my luck once again, this time with P Ross Detwiler ($6500) of the Nats facing the Astros. The ‘Stros strike out with a K rate of 21.9%, tied for second highest in all MLB. The game is in Houston, but Detwiler gets balls in play mostly on the ground, at a rate of 52%. And the Nats may plug in newly acquired SS Cesar Izturis behind him to scoop up those ground balls. I like Detwiler’s chances tonight.
Two pitchers that I do not like tonight are Barry Zito facing a once again dangerous Cardinals lineup, and lefty reliever Corey Kluber against a Twins team that rocked Zach McAllister last night (yes, the same Zach McAllister I had in my daily fantasy lineup – pitcher woes, indeed).
Let’s look at Kluber first. It is a very small sample rate, but left handed hitting is crushing his offerings, with a slash line of .481/.548/.677 in 31 plate appearances. When guys do get on, they steal bases. He’s faced 22 batters this year, and allowed 4 stolen bases, with none caught.
So lefty OF Denard Span looks good at $3800. He should be on base, and he steals even when he might get caught.
Other Twins that should have a decent night include switch-hitting C Ryan Doumit ($3400), who is better from the left handed side of the plate (.308 v .250 batting average) and lefty 1B Justin Morneau ($3500) hitting .317 against righties and 11 for his last 20 at bats.
Turning to Zito, should 2B Skip Schumaker get the start tonight he may be worth $3000 in salary. He is 7 for 12 against Zito. The Cards seem to be alternating him with Rafael Furcal, who got the start last night. But pay attention to lineups as they are announced today. Another bargain Cardinal is ($3200) who is 1 for 2 with a walk previously against Zito, and went 4 for 4 last night.