MLB DFS: Aaron Nola, Nathan Eovaldi Top Optimal Pitchers for Wednesday

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Pitchers with the highest optimal probabilities: Aaron Nola, Nathan Eovaldi

As the top optimal pitcher on the board, Aaron Nola comes in tonight against a slumping Milwaukee Brewers. We are well aware of the high strikeout upside with Nola, which is even higher tonight as the Brewers have been striking out at the fourth-highest rate in baseball over the past two weeks. However, Nola struggles to recover when one thing goes badly for him. Once it begins to spiral, his outing becomes toast. This year, Nola tossed an absolute gem in his first start against the Brewers, only allowing one hit over seven innings with nine strikeouts. Getting that type of performance again from Nola is a big ask, but Milwaukee’s offense has been fluctuating lately, ranking in the bottom eight in wOBA and wRC+ over the past two weeks. Pairing that lack of offensive production with high strikeout numbers should have Nola licking his chops, so dishing out the salary for Nola appears to be a favorable play. 

Nathan Eovaldi gets the ball tonight, looking to extend the Angels’ losing streak to 14 games. Having bottom three positions in ISO, wOBA, wRC+, and K% in baseball over the past two weeks had a ton to do with Joe Maddon’s firing, but will it light a fire in the Angels clubhouse? It worked for the Phillies this past weekend, and in last night’s game, the Angels did show some signs of life in an eventual losing effort. Plus, the streak has to end eventually, right? Eovaldi is no pushover as he is seeing the second-highest strikeout percentage and second-lowest BB% of his career. Although, his allowed HR/9, HardHit%, and Barrel% are at the highest points. While it is undoubtedly difficult to find a silver lining in the current Angels’ mess, if there were a pitcher they could capitalize on to break the slump, it would be Eovaldi, given the Angels’ abundance of sluggers. Still, it’s challenging to fade Eovaldi given his success this season, but if you think that the Angels’ luck is due to turn, this is a prime opportunity to fade Eovaldi. The 30% expected ownership attached to Eovaldi also adds to the concern.