Wednesday’s main slate features 11 games and locks at 7:05 p.m. ET. One game has rain in the forecast, and that’s Orioles-Yankees. The chance for rain is 35 percent as of Wednesday morning.
Four pitchers top FanDuel’s pricing, including the debut of a new Dodger:
- Shohei Ohtani (R) $10,700, LAA @ TEX
- Max Scherzer (R) $10,500, LAD vs HOU
- Kevin Gausman (R) $10,000, SF @ ARI
- Lucas Giolito (R) $9,200, CHW vs KC
Shohei Ohtani was supposed to pitch Thursday after dealing with a sore thumb, but the American League MVP frontrunner is set to pitch for the first time since July 26. Ohtani rates lower in the Bales Model on FanDuel than DraftKings in large part because of pricing. He is the fifth-priced pitcher on DraftKings, which fits better with his fifth-best projection at the position. As always, Ohtani will only accumulate pitching statistics when he takes the mound.
Max Scherzer will make his Dodgers debut at Chavez Ravine against the Astros. He has the top leverage score among the elite-priced pitchers and sits atop the Bales Model’s projections. The Astros are the best road team against right-handed pitching according to wRC+, have the lowest strikeout rate and did enough to top the Dodgers on Tuesday evening. If Walker Buehler can strike out five Astros in six innings, Scherzer can too.
The big concern with Scherzer is the home run ball; he has the highest home runs per nine innings of his career and Houston is top 10 in home run-to-fly ball ratio on the road. I am OK fading Scherzer.
Kevin Gausman has slipped some since the All-Star break but still possesses a 1.55 road ERA. He gets the Diamondbacks in Arizona, where their offense has been better than on the road. Arizona’s .316 BABIP is due in part to the cavernous outfield and the second-best hard-hit percentage against righties at home. Gausman is 2-0 against Arizona in 2021 and has averaged 47 FanDuel points in those outings.
The Kansas City Royals have the fourth-worst wRC+ in road games against righties and get to face Lucas Giolito, whose home ERA is 1.13 runs better than his road mark. He has allowed 12 home runs in 66 innings when pitching on the south side of the Windy City, though. Giolito is 1-1 in three starts against the Royals with the loss coming at home. Overall, current Royals hitters are slashing .200/.253/.392 in 180 at-bats against Giolito. He leads the position with eight Pro Trends on FanDuel and is tied with Scherzer with eight on DraftKings.
Zach Thompson is not as cheap as I like in a value pitcher, but the bottom rung of pitchers on the main slate are bad with a capital B. Thompson had arguably his worst outing last time out against the Yankees (four walks in five-plus innings) and still collected 33.7 FanDuel points. The Mets are in Miami and can hit the ball hard, but they also have one of the highest ground ball-to-fly ball ratios on the road.
Carlos Carrasco is the top-rated pitcher on both platforms. He is coming off his first outing of 2021 and logged four strikeouts in four innings against Cincinnati.
Jameson Taillon has topped 30 FanDuel Points in five of his last seven starts. He is the second-most expensive pitcher on DraftKings against the Orioles.
Jon Gray is projected to have less than 10% ownership on both sites. He gets the Cubs in Denver, where he has a 3.14 ERA this season.
Gray is projected to get some help by the Rockies offense:
- Ryan McMahon (L)
- Trevor Story (R)
- Charlie Blackmon (L)
- Raimel Tapia (L)
Total Salary: $14,700
Tapia is a top-two-rated player on both platforms. The Rockies are projected to score 6.2 runs and Cubs-Rockies has a game total of 11.
Michael Brantley has 15 hits (10 XBH) and has a 1.004 OPS against Max Scherzer. He has also struck out once in 44 at-bats.
D.J. LeMahieu is a top-two-rated hitter but has not hit a home run since June 26. He has been collecting hits but few for extra bases. LeMahieu has also lost the majority of his RBI production with the additions of Joey Gallo and Anthony Rizzo.
Juan Soto hit eight home runs in two weeks after flashing in the Home Run Derby. He has no long balls or RBIs over the past week, though.
Kole Calhoun is slugging .619 (21 at-bats) against Kevin Gausman.
Pictured above: Max Scherzer
Credit: Norm Hall/Getty Images