Everything we do on tonight’s nine-game slate is going to be shaped by the weather in the northeast. That is a situation we need to monitor leading up to lineup lock with Kansas City at Baltimore potentially being in doubt. Based on his price and a 6.94 ERA over 35 innings in the second half of the season, the omission of Yu Darvish below is intentional, but it is pitching slate lacking in star power.
Nathan Eovaldi (BOS) – I think everyone would sign up for a repeat of the last time Eovaldi faced Tampa Bay as he put up 35.4 DK points a few starts ago with seven innings of one run ball while striking out 10. That started a streak of five starts in which he has averaged 23.4 DK points which he looks to continue against the Rays tonight. Eovaldi is striking out over a batter an inning while keeping both the walks (1.61 per nine innings) and home runs (0.80 per nine innings) down to minimize the potential damage.
Frankie Montas (OAK) – After consecutive starts in which Montas threw seven shutout innings, he allowed three runs over 6.2 innings in his last outing for his second straight victory. Six innings seems to be a reasonable expectation for the right-hander these days as we don’t have to worry about any type of restrictions or innings limits and that isn’t a small feat this time of year. With 10 strikeouts per nine innings, we have nice source of points there and few pitchers are more locked in than Montas and his 2.38 ERA (2.60 FIP) in the second half of the season. We should note that the right-hander did allow three runs over five innings against the White Sox a few starts ago but he did strike out six and it’s not a particularly strong slate of options tonight.
Freddy Peralta (MIL) – Things haven’t been good for Peralta in last two outings allowing seven earned runs in four innings of work. Peralta exited the first start of that stretch early with shoulder soreness and then struggled in his first start back in action. Prior to that, the right-hander was pitching at an elite level with a 2.70 ERA and 0.97 WHIP with 168 strikeouts and there’s no reason why he can’t back to that starting with tonight’s start against the Phillies.
Vladimir Gutierrez (CIN) – Anytime we can target the Cubs to close out the season, I am going to be intrigued. Gutierrez has a lot of buzz from being a profitable waiver wire addition but he has struggled in his last starts in what also appeared to be favorable matchups against Miami and Detroit. A repeat of the right-hander’s last start against the Cubs a few weeks ago in which he allowed two runs in 6.1 innings while striking out seven batters (18 DK points) works perfectly here as Gutierrez looks to get back on track.
Touki Toussaint (ATL) – Considering Toussaint’s last start came in Coors Field; I feel comfortable moving past the four earned runs he allowed in three innings of work which led to a negative DK night. Prior to that he was finding his groove allowing no more than two earned runs in four straight starts (seven runs in total over 22 innings). It shouldn’t be a surprise that we have to worry about the long ball here but it’s a favorable match-up against Washington and the fact that Toussaint strikes out about a batter an inning helps to provide a solid scoring base. The price also gives you flexibility with the rest of your lineup. From a weather perspective, things should clear up here prior to game time and we also have to like Toussaint being a huge favorite tonight.
Luis Gil (NYY) – The next earned run Gil allows will be the first in his major league career as he is slated to be re-called to make his fourth career start tonight against Toronto. Facing the Blue Jays tough lineup likely won’t come without issues but the rookie previously navigated against Boston in last start with the Yankees. In 15.2 innings, Gil has 18 strikeouts while allowing just over a baserunner per inning but we do have to keep an eye on the walks as that has been issue throughout the year for him regardless of the level. With that being said, Gil’s price does take that and the small sample size of his success into account but the strikeouts do give us a nice floor. We do have to watch the weather here, but initially it looks like Gil will at least make it through five or six innings before any issues and they might be able to play through the rain.
Mike Minor (KC) – In case you couldn’t tell, we are in the Value Tier. The best thing we can say about Minor is that takes the ball every fifth day and seems to be a lock to go five or six innings each time out. But then you see his 5.25 ERA and we are reminded exactly what Minor is. On occasion, Minor will break the 20 DK point mark but for the most part he doesn’t stray too far from his 13.8-point average. Based on his dependability, if you want to call it that, Minor is often involved in the decision (8-12 on the season) so that helps from a scoring perspective. We get just about a strikeout an inning and with a 4.55 xERA, maybe things aren’t as bad as they might appear as evidenced by his 4.27 ERA in the second half of the season and facing Baltimore tonight doesn’t hurt. Playing through the rain might be tough here so keep an eye on the weather conditions.