MLB Preview and DFS Picks
Major League Baseball starts early on Wednesday and Monkey Knife Fight has contests running throughout the day, offering loads of opportunities to play and win!
Generally, there are quality pitchers taking the mound Wednesday but there are still some vulnerable pitchers, too. Colorado’s Kyle Freeland (9.00 ERA in four starts), Texas’ Jordan Lyles (5.37 ERA), the Angels’ Griffin Canning (5.22 ERA), and Kansas City’s Brady Singer (4.85 ERA) have had their struggles this season.
Pittsburgh’s Chase De Jong, Baltimore’s Keegan Akin, and Minnesota’s Bailey Ober don’t have a lot of starting experience and the Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals are going with relievers to open their games.
There are, however, quality pitchers on the mound, too. The Mets’ Jacob deGrom (0.56 ERA), Milwaukee’s Freddy Peralta (2.25 ERA), Philadelphia’s Zack Wheeler (2.29 ERA), the Yankees’ Gerrit Cole (2.31 ERA), and San Francisco’s Anthony DeSclafani (3.09 ERA) are the Wednesday starters that have had relative success in 2021.
The best pitching matchup of the day looks like a late game, with the Philadelphia Phillies sending Zack Wheeler to the mound against the Los Angeles Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw.
Here are some MKF Picks to keep in mind when playing Wednesday’s Fantasy Baseball schedule on Monkey Knife Fight.
Lucas Giolito MORE THAN 8.5 STRIKEOUTS
Although the White Sox ace has recorded nine or more strikeouts in five of his 13 starts this season, he has hit that threshold in four of his past five starts and goes against a Tampa Bay Rays lineup that has a higher-than-average road strikeout rate (25.8%).
Freddy Peralta LESS THAN 7.5 STRIKEOUTS
Peralta has been outstanding for the Brewers this season but this is a big number to cover. He has at least eight strikeouts in six of his 13 starts this season but just one in the past four games and he faces a Cincinnati Reds lineup that has the lowest road strikeout rate (21.3%) in the National League.
Tarik Skubal LESS THAN 6.5 STRIKEOUTS
After a tough start to the season, Skubal has rounded into form and is missing bats. In his past five starts, he has recorded at least seven strikeouts four times and the one time that he didn’t, he had six. However, Skubal is also set to take on a Kansas City Royals lineup that has the second-lowest home strikeout rate (20.4%) in MLB.
Tyler Mahle MORE THAN 6.5 STRIKEOUTS
Mahle has been mostly effective for the Reds this season and has at least seven strikeouts in six of his 13 starts. Working in his favor is that he faces a Milwaukee Brewers lineup that has the third-highest road strikeout rate (27.2%) in MLB.
Gerrit Cole LESS THAN 7.5 STRIKEOUTS
The Yankees ace has put up at least eight strikeouts in eight of his 13 starts this season but just once in his past five starts. He struck out eight in both of his starts against the Toronto Blue Jays – one at Yankee Stadium and one in Dunedin – early in the season, but the Blue Jays have a lower-than-average strikeout rate so maybe the recent dip in Cole’s K rate will continue.
Ian Anderson LESS THAN 6.5 STRIKEOUTS
This is an unusually high number for the Braves rookie, who has gone for seven or more strikeouts three times in a dozen starts. The Boston Red Sox do have a higher-than-average road strikeout rate (25.4%) but that might not be enough to count on seven strikeouts from Mr. Anderson.
Aaron Civale MORE THAN 5.5 STRIKEOUTS
While Civale is not a huge strikeout pitcher, he did have a career-high 11 strikeouts in his last start and has put up at least six strikeouts in seven of 13 starts this season. Facing a Baltimore Orioles lineup that has a higher-than-average road strikeout rate (26.4%) plays in Civale’s favor, too.
Zack Greinke MORE THAN 4.5 STRIKEOUTS
Now 37, Greinke is a crafty veteran pitcher who does not overpower hitters. That’s really never been his thing, even at his peak, but it’s definitely not the case now and he has less than five strikeouts in eight of 14 starts. He had five strikeouts in a home win against Texas a little over a month ago and the Rangers do have a higher-than-average road strikeout rate (25.4%).
⚾ STAR SHOOTOUT – NIGHT GAMES
Zack Wheeler MORE THAN 7.5 STRIKEOUTS
Wheeler has been outstanding for the Phillies this season and has registered at least eight strikeouts in eight of his 13 starts, including each of the past five. Going against a Los Angeles Dodgers lineup that has an average home strikeout rate (23.8%) should give Wheeler an opportunity to keep that streak going.
Clayton Kershaw LESS THAN 7.5 STRIKEOUTS
The Dodgers’ veteran lefty has gone for at least eight strikeouts in seven of his 14 starts and faces a Philadelphia Phillies lineup that has a higher-than-average road strikeout rate (25.9%). Strangely enough, an absence from the Phillies lineup could hurt Kershaw’s strikeout numbers. Philadelphia right fielder Bryce Harper suffered a back injury Tuesday and Harper has whiffed 16 times in 34 career plate appearances against Kershaw.
Anthony DeSclafani MORE THAN 17.5 PITCHING OUTS
Enjoying a solid bounce-back campaign, the Giants starter has pitched at least six innings (18 outs) in seven of his 13 starts. He’s at home against an inept Arizona Diamondbacks lineup, so it’s reasonable to think that DeSclafani can get through six.
*The contests listed in this article are subject to change leading up to the opening pitch of each respective game*
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