It's aces galore on Tuesday's slate, and picking your favorites could be tough tonight. And while implied totals remain somewhat muted as usual, we do see a couple of spots that pop for stacks.
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Let's check out the top options on today's main slate.
Lucas Giolito ($10,300): Between Kyle Wright, Justin Verlander, Giolito, Joe Ryan, and Jesus Luzardo, we have a slew of high-upside arms at $10,000 and above, and any of them could emerge with the slate's high score.
For pure upside, though, it's hard to ignore Giolito's head-turning 40.5% strikeout rate and 16.7% swinging-strike rate over his first four starts. A 10.1% walk rate has held him back -- he's reached a full six innings just once -- but after pitch counts of 99 and 101 in his last two, the workload for a ceiling game is there if he can be a bit more efficient.
His main hurdle is a matchup against a Guardians team that's hitting well and has an active roster that's only striking out 18.8% of the time in 2022. Still, Giolito's got the firepower to overcome that, and as noted in past helpers, Cleveland was more of an average offense last season. A 3.50 implied total only furthers the notion that Giolito could pitch a gem tonight.
Kyle Wright ($10,900): Entering the season, no one would've expected Wright to be the highest-salaried pitcher on a May slate littered with aces, but his numbers speak for themselves.
He's done a pretty good ace impression himself over five starts, posting a 2.48 SIERA, 30.6% strikeout rate, 5.8% walk rate, and 53.4% ground-ball rate. He's logged a quality start in four of the five, and his pitch count hasn't been an issue, topping out at 97 in two straight.
But what allows him to stand out amongst his brethren tonight is a matchup against a floundering Red Sox team. Boston's active roster has produced the third-worst wRC+ this season (83) and sits dead last in the AL East behind even Baltimore. While this lineup is more talented than they've shown, even if we expand out to last year, they own a league-average wRC+ against right-handed pitching.
Even on a loaded slate, there's a case for Wright being at or near the top of your list.
Aaron Nola ($9,700): Normally, I try to list more of a value play here. Alex Wood has a promising matchup at home against the Rockies, or you can maybe hope for the 2021 version of Robbie Ray to show up.
But with so many talented arms taking the mound tonight, it may be ideal to find the salary cap space to pay up at pitcher.
Nola is right below the $10,000 hurlers in salary, and while his spot versus Seattle isn't perfect, either, you can actually make the case for putting him in your top three.
The right-hander boasts a 2.36 SIERA, 31.1% strikeout rate, 4.5% walk rate, and 51.9% ground-ball rate, and following a slow start to the season, he's rattled off three straight quality starts. The workload has also steadily gone up, and he recorded a season-high 101 pitchers in his last outing.
The Mariners' active roster has a 20.9% strikeout rate this year, which could put a dent in Nola's punchouts tonight, but he also gets a park factor boost in one of the league's best venues for pitching.
Chicago White Sox
The Chicago White Sox have been a disappointment on offense, but perhaps last night's performance is the beginning of a turnaround.
Despite getting positive results this year, Cal Quantrill's underlying metrics are poor across the board, including a 5.43 SIERA, 14.8% strikeout rate, and 13.0% walk rate. Although he's done a fairly good job of limiting home runs over his career, his ground-ball rate is down to 36.3%, suggesting that more dingers could be in his future.
Quantrill had unusual splits last season, as the right-hander was actually worse in same-sided matchups, showing a 4.68 xFIP and 15.2% strikeout rate. While it's difficult to predict whether that will remain the case in 2022, it does give us more confidence in rostering Tim Anderson ($3,600), Jose Abreu ($3,400), and Luis Robert ($3,600) in the top half of the order.
A.J. Pollock ($2,600) finally cashed in on his first home run of the season on Monday, and a 14.0% barrel rate suggests there's more of that to come.
Quantrill isn't showing anything promising versus lefties thus far this year, though, so Yoan Moncada ($2,800), Yasmani Grandal ($2,400), and Gavin Sheets ($2,200) should all be in the mix if you need some value.
New York Mets
In a bit of a surprise, we saw Patrick Corbin escape Coors Field mostly unscathed in his last start, and his SIERA is down to a respectable 4.20 after six starts. However, a 19.3% strikeout rate and 9.6% walk rate closely mirror what he did last year, and we know how that turned out. The New York Mets have a slate-best 4.80 implied total.
The left-hander had a 4.66 xFIP and 17.2% strikeout rate against righty sticks in 2021, so that's a big fat checkmark forPete Alonso ($3,800), and we can tether him toFrancisco Lindor ($3,500), Starling Marte ($3,500), and Eduardo Escobar ($2,800) for a conventional middle-of-the-order stack.
Mark Canha ($2,600) isn't hitting for a lick of power this year but remains viable if he's batting second again.
San Francisco Giants
The Miami Marlins, St. Louis Cardinals, and Tampa Bay Rays all have solid implied totals above four runs, and they're firmly in play for stacking. Miami gets a declining Madison Bumgarner, the Cardinals face a young Kyle Bradish making just his third MLB start, and the Rays should take care of business against a struggling Reid Detmers.
But let's not forget about the San Francisco Giants, too; they're facing a pitcher with a 6.4% strikeout rate.
That's right, Antonio Senzatela has put up a baffling 6.4% strikeout rate over five starts now, and his swinging-strike rate is just 6.2%. Even by his low career standards, these are abysmal marks, and on top of that, his typically strong ground-ball rate has plummeted to 38.7%,
The Colorado righty has a career 4.87 xFIP versus left-handed batters, and we could potentially see lefties occupy four of the first five slots in the order between Mike Yastrzemski ($2,800), Brandon Belt ($3,500), Joc Pederson ($3,200), and Brandon Crawford ($2,900). Pederson hasn't let the 2022 ball slow him down, putting up a 20.0% barrel rate and .290 ISO over 75 plate appearances.
Righty Wilmer Flores ($3,300) is batting in the heart of the order, as well, and he's showing strong plate skills with a 13.2% strikeout rate and 9.6% walk rate.
Additionally, the rest of the lineup has bats at $3,000 and below if you need more savings for tonight's top pitchers.