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Pitchers who see the most leverage: Nick Pivetta, Johnny Cueto
Nick Pivette is shaping up to be our top leveraged pitcher on tonight’s roster, ahead of his game against the Kansas City Royals. Pivetta had a July to forget, culminating in a 9.38 ERA over five starts. Simply put, he’s been abysmal lately, but there was a period from May to June where he had a sub-2.25 ERA on a high number of starts each month, showing us that he can throw at an elite level. His batting production has dropped this season, but he makes up for that by giving us longevity as long as he doesn’t get bombarded, which has happened far too often lately.
The Royals aren’t a great side with a mediocre attack that have been in the bottom ten in wOBA, wRC+ and ISO for the past two weeks. They also hit at the fifth-highest clip in baseball over the past two weeks, which could be a much-needed boost for Pivetta’s upside. He’s the type of opponent Pivetta wanted to break through his slump, and he certainly has the tools to exploit an unproductive attack. At a desirable salary with single-digit common ownership, trying to convince Pivetta to figure it out is a low-risk, high-reward game.
Johnny Cueto sits just behind Pivetta on our leverage board as he takes on the Texas Rangers tonight. Cueto himself had a very strong July which he should look to continue in August, where he had a 2.12 ERA in five starts. He offers us longevity as he has pitched a minimum of six innings in his last six starts, but his strikeout production has fallen off a cliff as he has only recorded 15 strikeouts in 34 innings of work. in July.
The Rangers epitomize what it’s like to be an average league offense, but they certainly have a few pieces in their roster capable of producing a high-level outing. They have the fifth-most strikeouts in baseball since July 1, which could be a well-deserved favor for Cueto given his recent struggles to find opponents. Cueto is priced reasonably at $8,700 on DraftKings, and given the low ownership projection, it’s a game that definitely has an edge. Still, since we can’t be confident in Cueto’s ability to rack up strikeouts, we need to get him to throw a seven-inning gem to be safe. It’s going to have to come down to your level of confidence in the Rangers offense which has been everywhere this year.