Fantasy daily notes for May 22
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NOTES | PITCHERS | HITTERS
Starting pitcher rankings for May 22
GSPitcherOPPERA /
WHIP
73F. Hernandez,
RHP, Sea
@Tor2.30 /
0.95
73M. Scherzer,
RHP, Wsh
Phi1.75 /
0.92
68M. Pineda,
RHP, NYY
Tex3.31 /
1.10
67G. Cole,
RHP, Pit
NYM2.40 /
1.15
65Z. Greinke,
RHP, LAD
SD1.52 /
0.86
63C. Carrasco,
RHP, Cle
Cin4.98 /
1.29
62G. Richards,
RHP, LAA
@Bos2.29 /
1.02
61A. Wood,
LHP, Atl
Mil3.83 /
1.53
58J. Lester,
LHP, ChC
@Ari3.70 /
1.36
57C. Archer,
RHP, TB
Oak2.47 /
1.01
56M. Estrada,
RHP, Tor
Sea3.55 /
1.22
55S. Kazmir,
LHP, Oak
@TB3.08 /
1.17
55J. Samardzija,
RHP, CWS
Min4.58 /
1.36
55C. McHugh,
RHP, Hou
@Det4.09 /
1.18
54A. Simon,
RHP, Det
Hou3.04 /
1.27
54C. Lewis,
RHP, Tex
@NYY3.06 /
1.12
54A. Cashner,
RHP, SD
@LAD3.24 /
1.30
53N. Syndergaard,
RHP, NYM
@Pit3.18 /
1.24
53L. Lynn,
RHP, StL
@KC2.96 /
1.25
53U. Jimenez,
RHP, Bal
@Mia2.43 /
1.03
52R. Porcello,
RHP, Bos
LAA4.26 /
1.28
51J. Collmenter,
RHP, Ari
ChC5.36 /
1.36
51P. Hughes,
RHP, Min
@CWS4.76 /
1.29
48W. Peralta,
RHP, Mil
@Atl4.32 /
1.48
48M. Leake,
RHP, Cin
@Cle3.62 /
1.10
47C. Young,
RHP, KC
StL0.94 /
0.63
47H. Alvarez,
RHP, Mia
Bal6.23 /
1.44
45S. O'Sullivan,
RHP, Phi
@Wsh3.68 /
1.18
41R. Vogelsong,
RHP, SF
@Col5.31 /
1.49
40K. Kendrick,
RHP, Col
SF6.70 /
1.51
GS: The pitcher's projected "Game Score," from Bill James' original formula, which accounts for past history (three years' worth as well as past 21 days), opponent and ballpark. A Game Score of 50 typically is typically regarded a quality start; anything over 70 is exceptional, anything under 30 poor. An asterisk notes that the game score has been adjusted by the analyst. Opp: The pitcher's opponent for the day. ERA: Pitcher's earned run average. WHIP: Pitcher's average number of walks plus hits surrendered per inning.

Elite

Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Coors Field anymore. After enjoying the benefits of the thin mountain air, the Philadelphia Phillies are back at sea level, facing Max Scherzer and the Washington Nationals in Nationals Park. Scherzer has taken well to his return to the National League, maintaining a stellar 10.5 K/9 rate while cutting his walks to a microscopic 1.3 BB/9. He's pitched a minimum of seven frames in all but one of his eight outings, fanning double digits in three of his past four. That said, while the visitors are by far the worst team in terms of runs and home runs per game, they're the fifth-hardest team to whiff, so expecting another double-digit performance is aggressive.

Now things get interesting. The best pitcher in the game to date, Felix Hernandez, has one of the tougher matchups possible, traveling to Rogers Centre to take on the powerful Toronto Blue Jays. Although the Blue Jays' strength is largely right-handed and Hernandez does a good job keeping the ball in the yard, if you're going to spend top dollar in DFS, Scherzer is your guy. The other reason to fade Hernandez is a trio of other elite options with favorable matchups that are more cost-efficient.

Two of said options are Gerrit Cole and Michael Pineda. They sport very similar strikeout rates and and are both working at home against teams that fan at a clip above league average. Cole squares off with the New York Mets, while Pineda takes on the Texas Rangers. Pineda has the better walk rate, while Cole doesn't have to face the designated hitter and works in a venue that depresses runs while Pineda's home is basically neutral for runs. The league and park difference sway the pendulum toward Cole, but it's close.

The final hurler deserving mention among the elite is Zack Greinke. Regular readers of this space know how important strikeouts are to DFS scoring, thus may be curious why Greinke's rather pedestrian 7.4 K/9 rate is sufficient for elite status. The other integral element of DFS scoring is innings pitched, and Greinke is tied for ninth overall with an average of 6 2/3 stanzas per outing. Greinke will oppose the San Diego Padres in Dodger Stadium. Despite fortifying their attack, the Friars are toting a below-average weighted on-base average (wOBA) versus right-handers, while fanning at a pace above average.

Solid

Carlos Carrasco heads a list of solid options as he and the Cleveland Indians entertain the interstate rival Cincinnati Reds. Truth be told, if Carrasco's track record were a bit longer and there weren't already five elite options, an argument could be posed to promote him a tier. The Reds will bring a league-average attack with them into Progressive Field, while Carrasco's 10.6 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9 are both excellent.

Those that were willing to be patient with Garrett Richards in seasonal leagues are being rewarded, as the Los Angeles Angels righty is rounding into form, fanning 17 total in his past two outings. It won't be as easy this time, as Richards takes the hill in Fenway Park to face the Boston Red Sox, the third-most difficult squad for right-handers to punch out. Still, the Red Sox have scored the fewest runs, by far, of any team in May.

Oddly, Alex Wood has three games this season where he's tossed at least 5 2/3 innings with one or no strikeouts. Expect more this time out, as his foe, the Milwaukee Brewers, whiff at an elevated 25 percent rate against southpaws.

Chris Archer's impressive 10.2 K/9 will be put to the test as the Oakland Athletics and their 17 percent strikeout rate against right-handers visit Tropicana Field.

There's a plethora of other solid options with projected Game Scores of 50 and above on the docket. Each is worthy of a start in seasonal play, but with the treasure trove of viable DFS options, it's best to stick with any of the ones discussed above.

Streamers

There are only seven hurlers with a projected Game Score below 50, two of which are immediately removed from streaming considerations because they're working in Coors Field. Of the remaining five, Wily Peralta is safest, but you shouldn't expect a ton of strikeouts, given how difficult the Atlanta Braves are to fan, especially when it's a right-hander pitching.

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