This is looking like an entertaining 12-game slate, featuring top-notch pitching at multiple salary tiers and plenty of spots we'll want to stack.
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Let's check out the top options on today's main slate.
In terms of upside, it doesn't get much better than Kevin Gausman ($11,100) against the Twins on Friday night.
As his high salary would suggest, Gausman has been fantastic in the majority of his starts, and he comes in with a 2.84 SIERA, 31.9% strikeout rate, and 4.3% walk rate. He's logged quality starts in 8 of 10 appearances, and he's racked up double-digit strikeouts four times, giving him about as much as we could ask for in both floor and ceiling.
Minnesota is by no means a cakewalk, as their active roster owns a frightening .198 ISO against right-handed pitching, but they also bring a league-worst 27.8% strikeout rate in the split, giving Gausman a clear path to a ceiling game. If you can make the salary work, he's the first guy to lock into lineups.
Mitch Keller ($11,400) is in a similar boat against the whiff-happy Mariners, but at a slightly higher salary, he could ultimately end up with a low roster percentage.
Keller's been a beast this year with a 3.08 SIERA, 30.7% strikeout rate, and 5.6% walk rate, putting him in the same neighborhood as Gausman, and Seattle has an upside-boosting 24.9% strikeout rate versus right-handers. The possibility of Keller being a contrarian play makes him particularly intriguing for tournaments.
If you need someone with a less restrictive cap hit, Hunter Brown ($10,300) could be the answer against Oakland. Brown's underlying metrics can't quite match Gausman's, but he comes equipped with a 26.8% strikeout rate and 53.0% ground-ball rate, a combination that should give the A's fits.
It's no secret that the Athletics are one of the league's worst offenses against righties, with an active roster limping its way to an 86 wRC+ and 25.4% strikeout rate in the split. Oakland's 3.32 implied team total is the night's second-lowest mark, making Brown easy to get behind as another top option.
Chris Sale ($10,100) is another consideration in this $10,000 range. Following a rocky beginning to the season, Sale is looking more and more like an ace again, recording 10, 9, and 8 strikeouts (33.8% rate) across his three May starts, and his 2.57 ERA over that span is backed by a 3.17 xFIP. Although home runs have remained an issue for him, we can live with the occasional solo shot if he's piling up the Ks like this. Sale's workload is also on the upswing, as he's logged 110 and 111 pitches over his last two outings.
The Diamondbacks don't make for a particularly inviting matchup, but that might not matter if this latest version of Sale holds up. Similar to Keller, it's likely that we can get Sale at a low roster percentage, too.
Scrolling further down the list, Reid Detmers ($8,300) is a standout value play despite his less-than-stellar results. Underneath his 4.87 ERA lies a 3.68 SIERA and 29.8% strikeout rate, and he's coming off a season-high 12 punchouts against Minnesota. The Marlins have a predominantly right-handed lineup that has performed well versus lefties, but the positive for Detmers is that they also have a league-worst 5.5% walk rate when facing southpaws, which should help offset Detmers' poor 9.6% walk rate.
This is a rather deep pitching slate withFreddy Peralta ($10,000) andJesus Luzardo ($9,600) being two other guys with notable strikeout upside, and George Kirby ($10,600) has a plus matchup against a Pirates team showing a slate-low 3.19 implied team total. Grayson Rodriguez ($7,900) could have some appeal as a value play, though he's yet to go a full six innings in any of his nine starts.
TheNew York Mets will be the latest team to get the Coors Field bump, and they have an enormous 6.64 implied team total against right-hander Connor Seabold.
Seabold has a 5.29 xFIP and 16.8% strikeout rate across 31 2/3 innings between the bullpen and rotation this year, and if we narrow the sample down to just his four starts, he's been even worse with a 5.67 xFIP and 14.3% strikeout rate. All five home runs he's allowed have come since joining the rotation, and given that he doesn't get a ton of strikeouts or grounders against either side of the plate, we should keep seeing balls land in the outfield seats.
Pete Alonso ($4,300) is quite clearly the top option, leading the league with 19 home runs and ranking second in ISO (.319) behind only Aaron Judge. Beyond Alonso, there aren't really any other standouts on the Mets when it comes to power, but we probably don't need to be super picky when the matchup is this good. Brett Baty ($3,100) is a solid value out of the five-hole, as he's flashed some promising Statcast data this season.
Elsewhere, theHouston Astros will be the latest team to get the Oakland A's pitching staff boost. Right-hander James Kaprielian has atrocious numbers across the board and probably wouldn't be starting for just about any other team. He's put together a 5.23 SIERA, 22.1% strikeout rate, and 14.0% walk rate while giving up 1.93 home runs per 9 innings off a 47.6% fly-ball rate. The Athletics' bullpen -- the other part of this equation -- is up to a 5.32 xFIP, which remains the worst mark among active rosters.
As per usual, Yordan Alvarez ($4,500) and Kyle Tucker ($3,300) are the top Houston power bats, and then the rest of the lineup comes in at mid-to-low salaries. Jose Altuve ($3,200) and Alex Bregman ($3,000) are logical inclusions as the table-setters ahead of Alvarez and Tucker.
TheAtlanta Braves have the best non-Coors implied team total (5.41) in their clash with Taijuan Walker. Walker's ERA estimators suggest that he's been a tad unlucky, but a 4.66 SIERA still isn't anything special. Against right-handed batters, he's produced just an 18.1% strikeout rate, and while he's been a bit tougher on lefties (24.2% strikeout rate; 58.6% ground-ball rate), he's walking them at a 14.7% clip.
Ronald Acuna ($4,700) has been an absolute monster in fantasy this season, pairing 11 dingers with a whopping 22 stolen bases. Matt Olson ($4,100), Sean Murphy ($3,800), and Marcell Ozuna ($3,100) have been the team's other top power hitters, with all three slugging above a .265 ISO. Austin Riley ($3,000) is finally heating up at the plate, and he's a no-brainer value at his salary.
The Kansas City Royals, San Diego Padres, Boston Red Sox, andPhiladelphia Phillies are four more offenses in plus matchups.
The Royals have actually been decent when facing left-handers, so they're in play versus stacking mainstay Patrick Corbin. Against right-handed batters, Corbin has a 12.9% strikeout rate while coughing up 1.50 home runs per 9 innings.
San Diego is getting right-hander Randy Vasquez in his MLB debut. While that leaves a lot of unknowns to this spot, Vasquez wasn't exactly dominating Triple-A competition with a 4.64 xFIP and 11.7% walk rate.
Brandon Pfaadt hasn't looked ready for primetime, recording a 5.70 SIERA, 15.9% strikeout rate, and 9.1% walk rate over four outings. He's already allowed seven home runs in just 20 innings. The Red Sox could have a field day at the plate.
Left-hander Jared Shuster has endured a similar experience in his first four MLB starts, getting knocked around for a 5.86 SIERA with lackluster marks in strikeout rate (17.6%) and walk rate (14.1%). While Shuster hasn't struggled with the long ball, a 49.1% fly-ball rate suggests that more dingers will be in his future. The Phillies will be more than happy to help with that.