Written by: Coleman Bahr – Staff Writing Intern (@ColemanBahr)
Today we have 14 games with six afternoon games, and eight games in the main slate, and I think this is a great slate from a cash game perspective as I expect the chalk to perform really well. 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
Johnny Cueto – DraftKings: $11,800, FanDuel: $10,800 – San Francisco Giants
Cueto is the highest priced pitcher of the day, and he’s deserved it with a 12-1 record to go along with a 2.58 earned run average. Tonight he faces off against the Colorado Rockies at AT&T Park, and while the Rockies are a force to be reckoned with at home, on the road they have been quite the opposite. Away from Coors the Rockies have the fourth lowest weighted runs created plus (wRC+), and the sixth lowest weighted on base average (wOBA) along with the fifth highest strikeout rate. The Rockies get a huge negative park boost at AT&T Park, and the marine layer will make it even tougher for hitters. Cueto only has a 22.1% strikeout rate which isn’t great for an ace, but he did strike out nine his last time out, and he should be able to put himself in favorable situations against this Rockies lineup that has some strikeout tendencies.
Jacob deGrom – DraftKings: $10,000, FanDuel: $10,300 – New York Mets
DeGrom is way too cheap on DraftKings, and on FanDuel I’m content with his price, but I’d rather just pay $500 more for Cueto over there. Nonetheless, deGrom is a legit ace with some stellar strikeout stuff, evident by his 24.3% strikeout rate. I can live with his high hard contact rate (Hard %) because his fastball tops out at 97 miles per hour, and it’s easier to hit a ball hard if it’s coming in hard. DeGrom has only allowed more than three runs once this season, and he shouldn’t have too many problems rolling through the Marlins who are mediocre at best against righties.
| Pitchers to Target in Tournaments
Sonny Gray – DraftKings: $5,900, FanDuel: $8,000 – Oakland Athletics
Gray is a DraftKings only play for me today due to his price, and he is the guy I’m looking to for salary relief over there. There’s not too many pitchers I like for my tournaments, but Gray has a great price considering his matchup against the Minnesota Twins. The Twins haven’t been anything spectacular against righties this season with a .304 wOBA (7 th lowest), 86 wRC+ (6 th lowest), and a 22.2% strikeout rate (11th highest). While Gray has struggled more with righties than lefties this season, the Twins have no one with a wRC+ over 120 with at least 25 plate appearances against righties. The only person I fear in this lineup is Miguel Sano who has a ton of pop versus both lefties, and righties, but he also strikes out a ton with 65 strikeouts in 189 plate appearances this season. If Gray can get through Sano, he shouldn’t have too many problems with the rest of the lineup and he can provide some great value at just $5900.
Jeremy Hellickson – DraftKings: $9,200, FanDuel: $7,100 – Philadelphia Phillies
While Gray is a DraftKings only play, Hellickson is my FanDuel only play at just $7,100 against the lowly Atlanta Braves. Hellickson has been able to shut down righties to a .233 batting average, and a .298 wOBA, but he’s had some problems against lefties with a .374 wOBA, and a .234 isolated power (ISO). Luckily, the Braves only real threat from the left side of the plate is Freddie Freeman. Besides that, the Braves don’t prevent much of a threat, and they even let Zach Eflin throw a gem against them last night. Usually Phillies pitchers struggle to pick up the win, but the Phillies offense has been firing on all cylinders lately, and I like Hellickson to grab the win tonight.
| Pitchers to Target Hitters Against
Justin Nicolino – Miami Marlins
Justin Nicolino is the worst pitcher on this slate, he just can’t strike batters out, and he lets up an absurd amount of hard contact when you consider his contact percentage. While there is nothing wrong with pitching to contact, there is a problem when almost 40% of that contact is hard contact, and that’s exactly what Nicolino has done with a 89.4% contact rate, and a 36.5% hard contact percentage. Nicolino faces off against the New York Mets today, and Yoenis Cespedes is an elite play. Cespedes has crushed lefties to a .491 wOBA to go along with a .300 ISO, and his batting average on balls in play (BABIP) of .441. Nicolino has been terrible this year, and I expect him to get smashed again tonight.
Tyrell Jenkins – Atlanta Braves
While you may think I’m crazy for suggesting a Phillies stack, it may not look as crazy as it seems. The Phillies have the highest wRC+, and wOBA in the league these past two weeks, and they are facing off against Tyrell Jenkins who is making his first career big league start today. Jenkins has worked 9.1 innings out of the bullpen this year, and he has walked as many batters as he struck out while allowing a batting average of .308. While Jenkins’ minor league stats suggests he isn’t as terrible as his limited major league sample size implies, he has never been a big strikeout guy, and he has some control problems. I expect Jenkins to come out a bit rattled in this one as it is his first major league start, and the Phillies have a great chance to continue their hot streak tonight. For a stack, I like Odubel Herrera, Peter Bourjous, Maikel Franco, and Cody Asche as they all have been swinging a hot bat in the past two weeks. This stack should be rather affordable due to the fact that the Phillies are always pretty cheap on a nightly basis around the industry.
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 tonight!