Fantasy daily notes for May 28
Chris Sale's 76 Game Score is the high mark of the day. The Baltimore Orioles have struggled against left-handed pitching this season (.302 wOBA), but they also rarely strike out versus lefties (16.7 percent) and Camden Yards favors hitters, which makes this matchup a bit of a mixed bag. Plus, the game (the first of a doubleheader against the Orioles) is a 1:05 p.m. ET start, meaning it won't be included in most evening DFS slates.
Thus, with the light Thursday slate, Corey Kluber is really the day's only elite option for DFS purposes. The Cleveland Indians right-hander struggled earlier this season, but over his past three starts he's allowed just two runs in 25 innings while whiffing 37 and walking only one. In other words, he's the most dominant pitcher in baseball right now. Add in the pitcher-friendly Safeco Field and a Seattle Mariners team that sports a bottom-10 wOBA (.300) against right-handed pitching and a bottom-eight strikeout rate versus righties (21.5 percent), and there's no reason to think Kluber's dominant run will end on Thursday. Expect him to be widely owned in cash games.
While A.J. Burnett doesn't qualify for the elite tier, it's hard to find a starting pitcher who brings the safety and stability that the Pirates right-hander has delivered this season. Burnett has made nine starts this year, and he's yet to allow more than two runs in any of them. He also whiffed a season-high 10 batters his last time out. The San Diego Padres, meanwhile, don't pose much of a threat. They are striking out 21.7 percent of the time versus right-handers (25th in MLB) and sport a .296 wOBA against righties (24th). Burnett may not have Kluber's strikeout upside, but he offers more bang for the buck on most DFS sites.
Shelby Miller comes away with a higher Game Score than Burnett, but his matchup isn't quite as kind, as the San Francisco Giants rank sixth in baseball with a .324 wOBA versus right-handed pitchers and strike out just 17.3 percent of the time (fourth best in baseball). That said, Miller owns an 0.87 ERA over five May starts, including a 1.36 road ERA this season, so this is still a matchup he should be able to handle. There's just not a ton of upside here given Miller's 7.2 K/9 rate and the Giants' ability to make contact.
James Paxton rounds out the middle tier. The lack of strikeout potential makes him a less-than-ideal GPP option (he owns a 6.9 K/9 rate, and the Indians whiff just 16.1 percent of the time against southpaws), but he's allowed two or fewer runs in five straight starts and the Indians have been middle-of-the-road against left-handed pitching this season (.321 wOBA). While you can't count on a win here against Kluber, Paxton should deliver solid results at a cap-friendly price.
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