Written by: Coleman Bahr – Staff Writing Intern (@ColemanBahr)
We have a full slate of baseball tonight, and there are tons of pitchers I can get behind. In this article, I am going to preview the top cash pitchers, the top tournament pitchers, one pitcher I am looking to target hitters against, and a new section where I will write up one pitcher I am fading tonight. With that being said, let’s get to it!
| Pitchers to Target in Cash Games
Madison Bumgarner – DraftKings: $13,000, FanDuel: $11,800 – San Francisco Giants
This would have been the absolute perfect matchup if this game was in San Francisco, but Bumgarner should still put up another astonishing performance tonight against the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies are the absolute worst team in the league against lefties (yes, worse than the Braves) with the lowest weighted runs created plus (wRC+), and weighted on base average (wOBA), along with the ninth highest strikeout rate (22.9%). As for Bumgarner, he has absolutely dominated his competition this year with a 2.09 earned run average, 28.4% strikeout rate, and a 6.00% walk rate. I expect nothing less than dominance from Bumgarner tonight, which is why he is my top pitching option for tonight.
Jacob deGrom – DraftKings: $11,500, FanDuel: $10,100 – New York Mets
Jacob deGrom has been very consistent lately, allowing more than three runs just once in his last nine starts, including three shutout performances. His matchup tonight is nothing to be scared of against the New York Yankees, who just dealt Carlos Beltran to the Texas Rangers, and he was their best hitter against right-handed pitching. He also has a great chance to pick up a few more strikeouts than usual as one of his best strikeout pitches is his slider which the Yankees have not been able to hit very well all season. The Yankees lost some firepower when Beltran left for the Texas Rangers, and it makes deGrom a very attractive cash game option for tonight’s slate.
Consider Tanner Roark for salary relief.
| Pitchers to Target in Tournaments
Matt Shoemaker – DraftKings: $8,500, FanDuel: $8,500 – Los Angeles Angels
Matt Shoemaker is coming off of back-to- back road starts where he received a loss in both appearances, while only striking out five in 12+ innings. Thankfully, he is back at home where he has been nothing short of spectacular. His last home start resulted in a complete game shutout, and 13 strikeouts against the Chicago White Sox on July 16th. Tonight offers a fairly soft matchup against the Oakland Athletics, however they do not strikeout much against righties with the third lowest strikeout rate out of any team against right-handed pitching this season. However, I do not think it will cut into his strikeout upside that heavily as Shoemaker has been simply incredible at home, posting a 29.6% strikeout rate, and a 3.9% walk rate this season. The A’s do not have much upside against righties with most of their top hitters having mediocre numbers against righties, but elite numbers against southpaws. Shoemaker has seen his price dip yet again due to his struggles on the road, but he should be back to business at home tonight.
Lance McCullers – DraftKings: $10,300, FanDuel: $9,400 – Houston Astros
Lance McCullers has been one of the best pitchers in the bigs recently with back-to- back double digit strikeout performances. Tonight offers one of his toughest tasks yet against the Toronto Blue Jays, but I think he is up for it. He has many things working in his favor, and the first is his home ERA, which sits at 2.28. The second thing is, he has been crazy unlucky with a batting average on balls in play of (BABIP) of .378 this season, including .452 to lefties, so that has to regress soon as a BABIP that high is just unsustainable. Lastly, his main strikeout pitch, the knuckle curve has provided problems for hitters all season with a strikeout rate of 45.7%, and the only Blue Jay hitter with success against that pitch is Josh Donaldson. McCullers has seen an increase in price, but he has been worth it, and he is in another great spot to do some serious damage in the strikeout department tonight.
| Pitcher to Target Hitters Against
Sean Manaea – Oakland Athletics
Sean Manaea has certainly settled into his own at home, but on the road it is a different story. Away from Oakland this season he has a 6.99 ERA, and a batting average against of .328. His main issue has been his hard contact rate, which is at 40.4% on the road, and he has a tough matchup tonight against the red hot Los Angeles Angels. The top of the lineup should provide the most value with a stack of Yunel Escobar, Mike Trout, and Albert Pujols, but don’t sleep on Jett Bandy who has a .463 wOBA, and a .308 isolated power (ISO) against southpaws this season. Manaea shouldn’t last too long in this one, and the A’s may be making a call to the bullpen early.
| Pitcher to Fade
Jose Fernandez – Miami Marlins
Jose Fernandez is usually an auto-play because of his absurd strikeout rate, but tonight is an exception. He has an extremely tough matchup against the Chicago Cubs, and it is at Wrigley Field. Fernandez has not been the same pitcher on the road, with an ERA of 3.86, a BAA of .228, and a slugging percentage of .380. While those are not eye popping numbers by any means, they are a reason for concern for the second most expensive pitcher on tonight’s slate. On a points per dollar basis, many other pitchers can provide better value as Fernandez could find himself in many tough situations tonight against a loaded Cubs squad. Also, the Marlins are looking to restrict Fernandez’s pitch count as the season comes to a close, and he already has struggles with pitch count so he may not make it out of the sixth inning tonight. On a slate jam packed with pitching, there is simply better options to spend your money on than Jose Fernandez, who is on the road in a tough matchup.
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!