Fantasy daily notes for May 27
< MAY 26 | MAY 27 | MAY 28 >
NOTES | PITCHERS | HITTERS
Starting pitcher rankings for May 27
GSPitcherOPPERA /
WHIP
74M. Scherzer,
RHP, Wsh
@ChC1.67 /
0.88
72F. Hernandez,
RHP, Sea
@TB2.19 /
0.94
66C. Carrasco,
RHP, Cle
Tex4.74 /
1.26
65G. Richards,
RHP, LAA
SD2.98 /
1.13
62G. Cole,
RHP, Pit
Mia2.05 /
1.11
62Z. Greinke,
RHP, LAD
Atl1.48 /
0.87
60A. Wood,
LHP, Atl
@LAD3.83 /
1.53
60C. Archer,
RHP, TB
Sea2.40 /
1.08
59M. Pineda,
RHP, NYY
KC3.59 /
1.14
58N. Syndergaard,
RHP, NYM
Phi3.63 /
1.21
58J. Lester,
LHP, ChC
Wsh3.56 /
1.31
57M. Fiers,
RHP, Mil
SF4.63 /
1.54
56S. Kazmir,
LHP, Oak
Det3.09 /
1.25
54C. McHugh,
RHP, Hou
@Bal4.06 /
1.21
54U. Jimenez,
RHP, Bal
Hou2.82 /
1.12
54L. Lynn,
RHP, StL
Ari3.46 /
1.32
54J. Samardzija,
RHP, CWS
@Tor4.28 /
1.25
54A. Cashner,
RHP, SD
@LAA2.89 /
1.27
53R. Porcello,
RHP, Bos
@Min5.07 /
1.36
51M. Estrada,
RHP, Tor
CWS3.90 /
1.24
50J. Collmenter,
RHP, Ari
@StL5.19 /
1.37
48P. Hughes,
RHP, Min
Bos4.50 /
1.29
47C. Young,
RHP, KC
@NYY0.78 /
0.75
47S. O'Sullivan,
RHP, Phi
@NYM3.54 /
1.14
46C. Lewis,
RHP, Tex
@Cle3.49 /
1.13
46M. Leake,
RHP, Cin
Col4.14 /
1.23
42K. Ryan,
LHP, Det
@Oak-- /
--
42B. Hand,
LHP, Mia
@Pit5.48 /
1.35
42K. Kendrick,
RHP, Col
@Cin6.58 /
1.48
41R. Vogelsong,
RHP, SF
@Mil4.60 /
1.40
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

If you don't play DFS, you may wonder what's the big deal between ranking Max Scherzer and Felix Hernandez: They're both outstanding pitchers, just take one and move on. While there is more truth to that sentiment than hard-core DFS players may want to admit, there are tangible reasons to delineate this pair of aces. In a cash game, especially if you don't play volume and just enter your single best lineup, you want the safer option, whereas if you like to pay up for a stud in GPP play, the higher-upside arm is preferred. Heads up, Mad Max has an ever-so-slight edge over King Felix. Scherzer's strikeout rate is a little better and he plays for a better team, though to this point Hernandez has two more wins than Scherzer. Safeco Field is a better pitchers' venue than Nationals Park, but Scherzer doesn't have to face the designated hitter. The park comparison helps put their seasonal numbers in context since what matters in DFS is that day's matchup. When it's this close, said matchup is the difference. Both are on the road, but the edge goes to Hernandez since he's visiting Tropicana Field, a pitcher-friendly venue, while Scherzer travels to Wrigley Field, which is much more hitting benevolent. This gives the cash-game edge to Hernandez. However, Scherzer's opponent, the Chicago Cubs, has the worst team strikeout percentage against right-handers. On the other hand, Hernandez's foes, the Tampa Bay Rays, whiff just a touch more than average facing righties. The strikeout upside tips the pendulum to Scherzer if you pay for an ace in GPP tournaments.

Right below Scherzer and Hernandez are no less than four additional elite options, all enjoying home-field advantage in pitchers' parks. Further, they're all facing middle-of-the-road offenses. The safest of the bunch is Zack Greinke as he takes on the Atlanta Braves, so let's give him top cash-game honors after Hernandez. Carlos Carrasco and his 10.6 K/9 has the best chance at a double-digit strikeout effort so he gets the nod as the best tournament starter of the quartet. That leaves Gerrit Cole and Garrett Richards. On another slate, Cole could be the best cash play with Richards the guy for tournaments, but on this loaded slate someone has to be snubbed.

Solid

Michael Pineda's last couple of outings are a great reminder of how recency bias can cloud our analysis. Coming off his outstanding, 16-strikeout effort against the Baltimore Orioles on May 10, many, including yours truly, raised Pineda's season-long expectation level, perhaps too aggressively. He's still an outstanding hurler -- best evidenced by a microscopic BB/9 of 0.62 -- but lost in his 9.2 K/9 is he has just two games with more than seven punchouts. In contrast, Scherzer has nine, Hernandez has five, Salazar has five and Cole has four. With strikeouts so integral to DFS scoring, Pineda is best considered solid with elite upside based on opponent. The Kansas City Royals will be his opponent this time and they tote the lowest whiff rate versus right-handers.

Despite being matched up against Scherzer and Hernandez, both Jon Lester and Chris Archer are obvious starts in seasonal leagues where the primary focus is on run and hit prevention and less on securing the elusive victory. This same philosophy prevails in DFS with respect to cash games with the caveat being there are better choices than Lester and Archer. In tournaments, however, you want the pitcher win. Thus, on paper, Lester and Archer aren't attractive GPP options, but tournaments aren't taken down on paper. Sometimes you need to go the contrarian route, and with so many excellent options on this ledger, Lester and Archer will be largely ignored. Usually fantasy baseball is about managing probabilities, and using Lester or Archer is counter to that process. But context is everything, and in the context of doing well in a tournament setting, Lester or Archer could set you apart from the park. Of the two, Lester is more intriguing since the bats supporting him are more explosive, particularly at home.

Streamers

Presently, there are only eight streaming candidates who fit our loose eligibility of having a game score less than 50. Of these, only Alfredo Simon and Phil Hughes are recommended for seasonal play with neither being a DFS option. Simon continues to outpitch his peripherals, as evidenced by sporting a 2.67 ERA as compared to a 3.61 FIP and 4.23 xFIP, but he's protected via working on the road in pitcher-friendly O.co. Hughes is at home, facing a Boston Red Sox squad that is the league's weakest for the month of May.

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