MLB Sim Sports Picks for 7/8/20 on FanDuel
This is one of those slates where the stars just align.
Not only do we have a healthy helping of high-strikeout hurlers on the bump, but a good number of them are in plus matchups to boot. Meanwhile, most of the pitchers we'd want to stack against are facing teams that can do some damage with their sticks.
You won't have trouble finding quality plays here. But which ones stand out most?
Here's a rundown of the starters on the slate sorted by their FanDuel salaries. The individual numbers are from starts they made in 2019, and the opposing numbers are based on current active rosters against that pitcher's handedness last year.
|Pitcher||Salary||Opponent||SIERA||Strikeout %||Walk %||Opp. K %||Opp. wRC+|
As you can see, there's no one definitive route for playing things at pitcher. But Luis Castillo ($8,000) checks a lot of boxes at a reduced salary, so we can put him atop our list.
Castillo's facing Cleveland, which is daunting, but their current active roster had just a 96 wRC+ against righties last year. Thanks to a couple of higher-strikeout additions, their strikeout rate is up from perception, too, at 22.1%. There's risk in Castillo, but we need to finish in the top 500 spots to get a ticket in this contest, so we can focus just on the ceiling. Castillo has that.
If you don't want to stomach the matchup, then your best option is likely climbing all the way up to Justin Verlander ($11,800) or Lance Lynn ($10,500). Both are facing teams with strikeout rates around 24.5%, can get strikeouts themselves, and are willing to pitch deep into games. Verlander's the preferred route with the salary gap between the two being minimal, but Lynn can work if you can't quite afford Verlander.
The big upside of Castillo is that he allows you to stack the Los Angeles Angels, which you probably can't do if you're using Verlander or Lynn. The Angels are facing Jordan Zimmermann, whose 16.3% strikeout rate is lowest on the slate. Even if you use Castillo, you'll still have to pair the Angels with another value stack, but it's worth it if it gets you access to Mike Trout ($4,500), Anthony Rendon ($3,900), and Shohei Ohtani ($3,800).
When looking for that value, the Toronto Blue Jays seem to be able to lend a hand. They're facing Martin Perez, who had both rough results (a 4.99 ERA) and peripherals (5.01 SIERA) as a starter last year. Perez is a lefty, giving the platoon advantage to sluggers like Randal Grichuk ($2,800) and Teoscar Hernandez ($2,500). Even the studs are pretty cheap here with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Lourdes Gurriel at $3,200 and $3,100, respectively, so this is a team to check out when you need salary flexibility.
For the Verlander and Lynn lineups, you'll need a second value stack, which is where the Chicago Cubs come into play. You wouldn't think of them as a value option, but outside of Anthony Rizzo ($3,900) and Kris Bryant ($3,700), nobody has a salary above $3,200, and Kyle Schwarber ($2,700) and Willson Contreras ($2,900) check in as legitimate salary-savers. They get Reynaldo Lopez, who has had spurts of excitement but has stack-worthy numbers on the whole.
Between the Cubs and Blue Jays, you should have enough value here to spend up for either an elite arm or the Angels' offense, making this a slate we can salivate over.
The author of this article has no involvement with the MLB Sim Sports simulations powered by numberFire and has no knowledge of the results of tonight’s contest.