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HIGHEST OPTIMAL PROBABILITY PITCHER: ROBBIE RAY
Robbie Ray sits atop the optimal board as he takes the mound to face the Washington Nationals tonight. Ray has put together a strong season for the Mariners as his expected ERA and FIP sit around 3.50, and he has posted strong strikeout numbers as his K% is 28.5%.
Over his past three starts in August, he has posted double-digit strikeouts twice, which brings us a higher upside in that category especially given his matchup tonight. He doesn’t do the best job limiting power, as his allowed HR/9 is the fifth worst in baseball among all qualified pitchers.
Safe to say, the Nationals have been dreadful all year as they sit in the gutters of the MLB standings. Offensively, they actually haven’t been too bad as of late, where we see them in the 17th-21st range in ISO, wOBA, and wRC+ over the past two weeks. They also have had the ninth highest K% over the past two weeks, which improves Ray’s already high K-upside. While that is nothing to write home about, it is not like their last place standing reflects into their offensive performance to the point where we would expect it to. However, Ray is no pushover and shouldn’t have too much trouble taking care of a team in a downward spiral.
Ray has a desirable price line at $9900 while his ownership is expected to be high at roughly 40%, but we’re looking at that strikeout upside to give us some real upside for this play. If you are comfortable with the ownership, this play certainly holds value.
RODON LOOKING TO CAPITALIZE ON STRUGGLING TIGERS
Carlos Rodon joins Ray near the top of the optimal board for tonight’s slate ahead of his matchup against another baseball club in a downward spiral in the Detroit Tigers. Rodon has had a strong season for himself where his ERA and FIP sit in the mid-2.00 range while his expected ERA and FIP only rise to about 3.00. He has produced high strikeout production all year as his strikeout rate approaches 32%, while we have seen him reach double-digit strikeouts in three of his last five starts. We’ve also seen Rodon excel in limiting power, as his allowed HR/9 is at the sixth-best mark in baseball this season among qualified pitchers.
It’s only fitting that the Tigers join the Nationals as the two opposing teams for our top optimal pitchers for tonight’s slate as the two worst clubs in baseball. Detroit has been a train wreck offensively all season and equally so lately, given their bottom five positions in wOBA and wRC+ and last place ISO position over the past two weeks. They have also struck out at the second highest clip over the past two weeks, which offers an even higher upside for Rodon in that department.
Rodon is going to the most expensive arm on the slate, priced at $11000, but we do not anticipate him being too grossly owned compared to his optimal probability. In comparing both optimal pitchers, Rodon is expected to be owned in about half of the percentage of Ray. Given that both pitchers have ideal matchups, the strikeout upside on Rodon, in particular, might be worth the extra $1100 he’ll cost you.