MLB DFS: Sandy Alcantara, Yu Darvish Top Leverage Pitchers for Friday

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September 2

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PITCHER SEEING THE MOST LEVERAGE: SANDY ALCANTARA

Sandy Alcantara finds himself near the top of the optimal board for tonight’s slate while seeing favorable leverage as he prepares to face off against the Atlanta Braves. Alcantara has had a remarkable year for Miami and has positioned himself to take the NL Cy Young Award. Although we cannot necessarily rely on a high strikeout rate with Alcantara, he offers incredible longevity as no pitcher has thrown more innings than him. In addition, he has the best ERA in the NL and one of the best xERAs. Alcantara limits power exceptionally well, which we’ll rely on as he faces a great offense. He is coming off an incredible complete game against another great offense in the Los Angeles Dodgers which should give him confidence heading into tonight. As if he needs some.

Atlanta features one of baseball’s best lineups, but they have not necessarily been swinging a hot bat over the past week. During that span, they are only about league average in ISO, wOBA, and wRC+ while having a strikeout rate north of 26%. Atlanta still has incredible potential on any night, but it is worth noting that they aren’t looking too great heading into a matchup against one of baseball’s premier arms. Tonight will be Atlanta’s third time facing Alcantara, and he was spectacular as he threw 17 innings over two starts while only allowing a single run with a combined 21 strikeouts. This feels to be an opportunity where fading the Braves makes sense given their slow week at the plate and Alcantara’s recent success and successful performances against Atlanta already this year since we expect Alcantara to see ownership in the 5%-10% range, which makes it worth taking a shot on the eventual Cy Young.

DARVISH IS LOOKING TO SLOW DOWN A POWERFUL OFFENSE

Yu Darvish also looks to be creeping near the top of the leverage board as he will take the mound against the Los Angeles Dodgers tonight. Darvish has had a good season for San Diego thus far, but he has been most relied on for his consistency. He has thrown a minimum of six innings in only two of his 24 starts this season while keeping it together for the most part. He offers a substantial strikeout upside slightly higher than his roughly 25% seasonal K% lets on. Tonight will be his fourth time facing the Dodgers, and he has had a not-so-great start, a decent start, and an exceptionally start under his belt, so it is difficult to pinpoint what we can hope for from him tonight. 

The Dodgers feature one of baseball’s best offenses, and it is difficult to ever back any pitcher facing them with confidence. They have consistently been near the league’s top in most offensive categories throughout the season, so we should not expect anything less. Darvish is expected to see minimal ownership at a nearly $10,000 price tag on DraftKings, so we would need a stellar performance from him. Luckily, he has already shown us he can pump out a gem against this offense, so taking a shot on him isn’t the worst idea. However, doing that with any level of confidence is undoubtedly difficult, especially at that price. 

Thumbnail photo via Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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