No Doubt

Player Team Opp. 1 Opp. 2
Lucas Giolito CHW @KC @TB
Luis Castillo CIN @CHC STL
Walker Buehler LAD @PHI MIA
Clayton Kershaw LAD @PHI MIA

Donkey Teeth and I have profiled everyone in this grouping, except Kershaw, at some point or another on the podcast. If you want some detailed profiles, go check out those various episodes. Outside of the first week of the season, this is the toughest week to figure out the 2 start pitchers. There’s a lot of educated guessing in here, and hopefully, it helps your preparation. The table at the bottom may end up being more helpful once more starters are announced Monday and Tuesday. Nothing more here, start these guys.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Learn more about our 2019 Fantasy Baseball Subscriptions!

The best daily/weekly Player projections (hitters, starters, and relievers) for each of the next 7-10 days + next calendar week starting Friday. Kick-ass DFS lineup optimizer and projections for DraftKings, FanDuel, and Yahoo!.

I don’t have enough spam, give me the Razzball email newsletter!

Weekly Razzball news delivered straight to your inbox.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

No Doubt

Player Team Opp. 1 Opp. 2
Charlie Morton TB BAL NYY
Patrick Corbin WSH MIA KC

There was a 3 start stretch where people we panicking over Patrick Corbin, but after consecutive starts of 7 IP and 1 ER, owners can again breathe a sigh of relief. The average velocity on the four seamer in those 2 starts is back over 93 mph and the command has improved, which allows him to throw the slider we all know and love.

The whiff rate on the slider in the last two outings were both over 32% along with the sinker over 70% GB rate and sub .130 batting average against. Small sample size, sure, but if you own Corbin, you know it feels a lot more secure starting him now.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

No Doubt

Player Team Opp1 Opp2
Max Scherzer WSH @MIA @DET
Gerrit Cole HOU PIT SEA

Gerrit Cole’s season has been a bit of a roller coaster, but the numbers have come around as the pro-gression (positive regression) has kicked in after a tough May. Despite the bad surface numbers in May, he had a 41.2% K rate, only a 2.6% BB rate, and the .362 BABIP screamed buy low.

Cole has bounced back in June despite the underlying numbers being worse than May, but has helped your fantasy team to the tune of a 2.16 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP in his 4 starts. Cole is a bona fide ace and there is no reason to sit him down this week.

Max Scherzer looked like somebody broke his nose or something before his last start and still managed 7 innings with no earned runs and 10 strikeouts. While you may be terrified of at Miami and at Detroit, I think you should maybe…probably….definitely start him.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

No Doubt

Team Player Opponent 1 Opponent 2
BOS Chris Sale TEX @BAL
LAD Hyun-Jin Ryu @LAA CHC
TB Charlie Morton OAK LAA
NYY James Paxton NYM @CWS

If you ask Trevor Bauer, it’s no coincidence that Charlie Morton took a big jump forward upon arriving in Houston in 2017. Then again, maybe Trevor Bauer should ask for a trade to the Astros to get himself right, but I digress.

Charlie Morton is throwing his curve more than ever before (36%) and it’s yielding phenomenal results. On the surface, he has career best ERA, WHIP, and K rate (30.4%). The curve is getting a 20% whiff rate (best of his career), 55.74% GB rate, .110 batting average against, and a .153 slugging against. Keep throwing those Uncle Charlies up there, Charlie.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Masahiro Tanaka’s first 11 starts have been about as good as you could’ve hoped when you drafted him around the 30th-40th SP off the board. It felt like he was being ignored in some leagues and came at quite the value. He’s a no doubt starter this week with the way he’s been performing, but it may be a good opportunity to sell high on the veteran pitcher.

Most of the numbers are in line with his career (GB rate, LD rate, K rate, BB rate, 1st strike rate). However, there are a few indicators that he’s been a little lucky and his stuff may not be quite what it has been in previous seasons, specifically his moneymaker, the splitter.

His swinging strike rate is down to 11.1% from 14.1% in 2017 and 15.1% in 2016. His 77% contact rate is the 2nd worst of his career along with career worsts in hard hit rate, launch angle, and average exit velocity allowed. 80.6% left on base rate isn’t completely unsustainable, but it would be the highest of his career.

It’s my belief, and the numbers back me up, that the splitter is not the pitch we’ve seen in previous seasons (below), which is leading to less swing and miss, and harder contact. The vertical movement on the pitch is the worst we’ve ever seen from Tanaka. His swinging strike and K rates are down, and of his 3 primary pitches (FB, Slider, Splitter), the splitter is the only one that has a worse whiff rate at 11.69 down from 22.99 the previous season and easily the worst of his career. The batting average against the split finger is .333 this season compared to .220 and .191 in the previous 2 seasons. Similarly, the slugging percentage is up to .560 this season vs .344 in 2017.

I don’t believe that Tanaka is just going to fall apart and if you need a steady arm to balance your roster, I think he’s fine, but with his current numbers I believe you may be able to sell him high compared to what he provides the rest of the season.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Sophomore slump is typically something that I disregard as an easy narrative for people to use in order to explain a player’s struggle, and Luke Weaver is no exception. Sure, his second season in the league was rough, but it wasn’t because the league got a book on him or whatever reasons people give for a 2nd year struggle. Weaver had a disappointing 2018 because the curve and change up both flattened out and hitters teed off on what had been Weaver’s strongest 2 offerings. The curve in 2018 gave up a .329 avg. against and a  .589 slugging percentage. Generally speaking, a velocity bump is a positive development, but the small velocity gains from Weaver seemed to mess with those 2 pitches. The curve flattened out and the change up gained spin (wrong direction for a change), which have both corrected themselves this year.  The K rate is back to 26.1% from 19.9% last season, the walk rate is down to 5.7%, and the results are promising. He is giving up a bit more hard contact than we’d like to see, but the swinging strike rate is up 1.4% to 11.1% with the contact rates inside and outside the zone both improving along with the first strike percentage. The numbers point toward more of a high 3s or low 4s ERA from Weaver the rest of the season, but he has 2 pitchers parks against bottom half of the league offenses this week, so, ride the wave.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

No Doubt

Name Team Start 1 Start 2
Jose Berrios MIN LAA @SEA
Shane Bieber CLE @CHW BAL
Aaron Nola PHI MIL COL
Chris Paddack SD @LAD PIT

Chris Paddack has been a complete monster to start the season, rewarding his owners with a 1.55 ERA, 0.69 ERA, and 46 Ks in only 40.2 IP that comes out to a 30.7% K rate. While the BABIP may be a bit fluky at .176, the batted ball profile vs his arsenal has been impressive. He has only given up 4 barreled balls in 93 batted ball events to go along with the 5th lowest line drive rate allowed. At the Dodgers isn’t ideal, but there’s no way you could sit him down in a 2 start week the way he has performed. Plus, that change up is NASTY!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

No Doubt

Name Team Opponent 1 Opponent 2
Trevor Bauer CLE @MIA SEA
Blake Snell TB @KC @BAL
Justin Verlander HOU @MIN @LAA
Luis Castillo CIN @NYM SF
German Marquez COL @MIL ARZ
Patrick Corbin WSH STL @PHI

Rich Hill getting injured; Khris Davis hitting .247; topping my 3 wood after waiting for a long time on a par 5 approach shot; these guys on the list in your starting lineup. Well Alex, what are things that you have no doubt about? Wager: Suck It Trebek!

Not to be confused with Luis Mendoza (the speedster duck), you can bet that nobody that owns Castillo will be yelling for him to stop any time soon. I don’t expect it to happen this week with a visit to the Mets and home for what is more a gentle Giant(s) lineup than a Thanos, world killer Giant(s) lineup. No, there’s not a spoiler there. I haven’t seen it yet anyway.

If you’re curious about how good Luis Castillo has been, he’s only given up 2 barrels on the season (2nd best among pitchers, min. 50 batted ball events), 31% hard hit rate is 13th best, 85.1 mph avg. exit velocity is 15th best, and the best swinging strike rate of his career so far on this young season at 14% along with his lowest contact percentage allowed as well.

Please, blog, may I have some more?