In the early game discussion, I scared people off Justin Masterson because of his performance so far this season.
But he ranks third among pitchers today.
This might be a good time to review what I use to rank pitchers:
- Win probability — as determined by Las Vegas moneylines
- wOBA matchups — Season, recent and opponent weighted on-base averages are part of the formula I calculate myself.
- Strikeout probability — A pitcher’s K/9 divided by nine then multiplied by expected innings pitched.
- Projected nnings pitched
- Opponents strikeout ranking — Season strikeout total for the opposing team
- Park factor
Each pitcher is ranked 1-30 (or however many pitchers there are on the slate) in each category. The players with the best rankings across the board rise to the top while the others fall.
Today’s slate is interesting because there’s only one pitcher above $8,800 — Jake Arrieta at $9,500.
As is usually the case, he is among the top options today. But beware Arrieta and Pittsburgh’s A.J. Burnett, another top option, today. There’s a more than 50% chance of rain at PNC. You can’t take a goose egg from your pitcher because of a rainout, so check the weather before lineups lock at 7 p.m.
Hisashi Iwakuma has low numbers across the board except for the middle-of-the-road park factor. But it’s in his home park, Safeco, so I’m not as concerned. Iwakuma, at home early in the season has been a money play.
I’m a little concerned about starting Alfredo Simon, but that matchup against the Yankees and high win probability makes me think he’ll be in at least one lineup, especially at that price.
Matt Shoemaker and Edinson Volquez are the other players I’m considering. I’m leaning more toward Shoemaker. I guess it comes down to whether his strikeouts and innings pitched potential are worth the $1,500 bump over Volquez. They are in my book. Also, Volquez is one of the pitchers most likely to give up a home run tonight, according to RotoGrinders.
One last player to talk about is Jorge De La Rosa. I can’t ever fully recommend a pitcher at Coors, but the Padres provide a pretty great matchup and De La Rosa isn’t likely to be owned by many people today. It’s risky, sure, but if he meets the strikeout potential and the Padres live up to the wOBA matchup, De La Rosa wins a tournament for someone tonight. That’s enough for me to start him in a .25-cent lineup.
Pitcher rankings for Monday, April 20
|7||Jorge De La Rosa||COL||SDP||6800||5||1||7||9||7||30||9.83|
Hitters to target for Monday, April 20
Yesterday’s research worked out really well for me. I hope you had a big day as well. I cashed in two MLB GPPs, the one $1 50/50 I entered — maybe I’ll get into a few more of them in the future — and even cashed in an NBA GPP.
I’m going to follow the same route I took to pick hitters again today. Let’s see if we can win a tournament tonight instead of just cashing.
Top hitter stacks
Today’s top stack is the Colorado vs. San Diego game. The Rockies are the top choice here, but I wouldn’t mock you for making a Padres stack. They’ve got some great hitters.
I’d also consider a stack of Indians against John Danks, the Royals against Kyle Gibson and the Angels against Kendall Graveman. The Mariners against Asher Wojciechowski is another option but I like that one a little less.
Here are some other hitting option to consider:
On a hot streak:
OF Nelson Cruz, SS Stephen Drew, 1B Joey Votto, C Miguel Montero, OF Starling Marte, OF Andrew McCutchen, OF Charlie Blackmon, OF Rajai Davis, OF J.D. Martinez, OF Carlos Gomez, OF Brandon Moss, C Kurt Suzuki, OF Dexter Fowler
Value plays with good wOBA matchups:
C Derek Norris, C Montero, 1B Justin Morneau, 1B Adam LaRoche, 2B/3B Yangervis Solarte, 2B/3B Luis Valbuena, 3B/OF Nick Castellanos, 3B Conor Gillaspie, 3B Lonnie Chisenhall, SS/OF Danny Santana (needs to break out of his slump eventually), SS Starlin Castro, SS Christian Colon, SS Jose Ramirez, SS Alexei Ramirez, OF Chris Coghlan
Anthony Desclafini is the pitcher most likely to give up a home run today, according to RotoGrinders. They think Adam Lind and Scooter Gennett are most likely to benefit. Volquez is pretty high up on the list. Minnesota’s Santana, Joe Mauer, Kennys Vargas and Eduardo Escobar are expected to benefit.
Good luck today and every day.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: EP has been playing fantasy sports since 1996. He is among the top third of overall players at RotoGrinders.com. He won two NBA GPPs this season, his first dedicating significant time to NBA lineups, and is among the top 32% of hockey players. He’ll use the same methods in an attempt to crack an MLB tournament in 2015.