Written by: Coleman Bahr – Staff Writing Intern (@ColemanBahr)
We have a short, eleven game slate today, but we still have plenty of pitching options to work with, along with some solid stacking options. In this article, I’m going to preview the top cash, and tournament pitchers, along with a few pitchers I’m going to be targeting hitters against. With that being said, let’s get to it!
| Pitchers to Target in Cash Games
Kenta Maeda – DraftKings: $9,500, FanDuel: $9,500 – Los Angeles Dodgers
I love what Kenta Maeda has shown me so far in 2016, and he is a lock in all of my DraftKings cash games in the early slate. This season he has a 6-5 record to go along with a 2.91 earned run average, and a 23.9% strikeout rate. Maeda probably has the best matchup tonight against the Milwaukee Brewers who strikeout a league high 26.1% of the time against righties. I love Maeda’s price on DraftKings at $9,500, and on FanDuel he comes in at a nice price of $9,500 also. However, it may be tough to scrap out a win in today’s contest as he squares off against Zach Davies who has pitched really well lately with a 1.64 earned run average in June. Maeda is a top option on DraftKings, but over on FanDuel you may want to look at someone who has a better chance at a win.
Wei-Yin Chen – DraftKings: $6,900, FanDuel: $8,400 – Atlanta Braves
How about that DraftKings price? Chen may be the chalk of the night on DraftKings against the Atlanta Braves who are arguably the worst team in the league against lefties. They rank in the bottom two in basically every offensive category, including an insanely low .085 isolated power (ISO). On the other side of this matchup we have Chen, who has just been all over the place this season. He just pitched a gem last time out against the Chicago Cubs, pitching seven innings, striking out seven, and only allowing two runs. However, the start before that he imploded against the Colorado Rockies, allowing six runs over only two and a third innings. Chen doesn’t necessarily need to throw a gem tonight because he’s so cheap, if he can just give me six innings, six strikeouts, and only allow a few runs I’ll be satisfied. Chen has decent upside in this matchup, and he frees up tons of space to fit in the top hitters on the slate.
| Pitchers to Target in Tournaments
John Lackey – DraftKings: $10,600, FanDuel: $9,500 – Chicago Cubs
Lackey is on pace to have the best season of his career with a career best strikeout rate, and batting average allowed. While he did get rocked last time out, I don’t see that being the case for today against the New York Mets who have scored the second least amount of runs in the league in the past 14 days. Over that time span they have one of the worst weighted on base averages (wOBA) in the league at .299. They certainly don’t get a park boost back in Citi Field, and Lackey should enjoy pitching against a depleted Mets lineup. If the Mets throw out anything like they did last night, Lackey shouldn’t have a problem breezing through the lineup. I’m looking for Lackey to get back on track tonight, and he has shown us his ability to reach the type of upside to take down a tournament.
Zach Davies – DraftKings: $8,000, FanDuel: $8,100 – Milwaukee Brewers
Davies has had a fantastic month of June, and he’s looking to cap off the month with another strong outing against the Los Angeles Dodgers. On June 17 th, Davies shut down the Dodgers to the tune of one run over seven innings, and seven strikeouts. He has been rolling through the competition in June, ranking in the top 10 in earned run average, strikeout rate, and batting average allowed among qualified pitchers. While Miller Park is hitter friendly, Davies has actually preferred pitching at home this season with a 3.11 earned run average at home opposed to 5.49 on the road. Despite being one of the best pitchers in June, Davies comes at a bit of a discount compared to his recent price tag, and I see him coming at a low ownership as many people will look to Kenta Maeda in this game.
| Pitchers to Target Hitters Against
Chris Young – Kansas City Royals
Let’s get right to it, Chris Young is not a good pitcher. Young is allowing a .529 wOBA to lefties, and on the road against lefties he’s surrendering a .612 wOBA on top of a 1.100 slugging percentage. One of the crazier stats you’ll see is Young’s home run per nine innings ratio (HR/9). On the road he allows 5.48 HR/9, and against lefties on the road he allows 8.71 HR/9 (yes, really). I’m playing every lefty the Cardinals put in the lineup tonight, and I’m going with Brandon Moss and Matt Carpenter to lead the charge for the Cards tonight. However, if Chris Young gets yanked early the Cardinals will face one of the best bullpens in the league which raises some concern, but I’m not too worried. Even with a strong Royals bullpen, I’m going with St Louis as my top stack of the night as they should have no problem crushing the ball tonight against one of the worst pitchers in the league.
Jake Odorizzi – Tampa Bay Rays
I expect this stack to fly under the radar as not many people look to the Tigers when they face righties, and they are on the road in pitcher friendly Tropicana Field. However, Odorizzi has shown reverse splits over the course of his career, and this season he has allowed a .346 wOBA to righties, opposed to a .268 wOBA to lefties. I’m expecting the Tigers to throw out about seven righties, and the bats of Ian Kinsler, Miguel Cabrera, and Cameron Maybin will be in most of my Tigers stacks tonight. Also, I love Steven Moya tonight, and even though he’s a lefty against Odorizzi, he has crushed righties this season with a .286 ISO, .388 wOBA, and a hard contact rate of 46.2%. This stack does come at a risk because of the park, but it’s a great way to differentiate yourself from the Cardinals, and the other chalk stacks of the day.
That’s all I have for today, thanks for reading! If you have any questions feel free to reach out to me on Twitter @ColemanBahr, good luck today!