Written by: Coleman Bahr – Staff Writing Intern (@ColemanBahr)
We have a full slate of baseball today, and I love this slate from a tournament perspective. In this article, I am going to preview the top cash pitchers, the top tournament pitchers, and a few pitchers I will be targeting hitters against. With that being said, let’s get to it!
| Pitchers to Target in Cash Games
Stephen Strasburg – DraftKings: $11,900, FanDuel: $11,600 – Washington Nationals
I certainly am not in love with Stephen Strasburg’s matchup tonight, but he is always a safe play as he has a strikeout rate above 30%, and he sports a 2.63 earned average. He faces off against the San Francisco Giants tonight, who certainly know how to limit a pitchers upside with the second lowest strikeout rate, and the third highest walk rate. Despite that fact, Strasburg is an elite talent, and elite players rise to the occasion, which is exactly what I expect from Strasburg tonight. While I am not projecting a crazy strikeout performance from him, he is cash game viable as he should be pay off his price on both sites tonight, and he is a heavy favorite against Matt Cain.
Chris Tillman – DraftKings: $9,300, FanDuel: $8,300 – Baltimore Orioles
Chris Tillman was the pinnacle of consistency in the month of July, only allowing more than two runs once out of his six July appearances. He is looking continue that same trend in to August, and it all starts tonight against the Chicago White Sox. The White Sox definitely have some potent power bats, however they all reign from the right side of the plate, and Tillman has only surrendered a .328 slugging percentage to righties on the road, along with a meager two home runs in 131 plate appearances. Tillman has excelled on the road this season, sporting a 3.13 ERA, a .207 BAA, and he is in another great spot for a stellar start today. While I do not think Tillman has tournament upside, he is certainly a cash game play as I expect at least a quality start from him today.
| Pitchers to Target in Tournaments
Chris Archer – DraftKings: $10,100, FanDuel: $9,200 – Tampa Bay Rays
Chris Archer is at home is an entirely different pitcher compared to Chris Archer on the road, and today he is at home, so I am going to have all the Archer I can possibly get. At home this season Archer has an ERA of 3.03, supported by a strikeout rate of 28.8%, and a batting average against (BAA) of .212, and I love his matchup against the Minnesota Twins. The Twins have the third highest strikeout rate on the road at 24.2%, and they also have the tenth highest strikeout rate against righties at 21.6%. The Twins have had some strange offensive outbursts lately, but if Archer can get ahold of the red hot Max Kepler, and the other potent Twins sluggers he should have a fine outing today. Archer always has the best strikeout potential every time he takes the hill, and today is no different.
Tyler Skaggs – DraftKings: $10,400, FanDuel: $6,500 – Los Angeles Angels
Please, please, please do NOT play Tyler Skaggs on DraftKings for $10,400, he is absolutely a FanDuel only play with his price being significantly lower at $6,500. Skaggs has only registered two starts this season, but he has balled out in both of them against tough opponents, the Kansas City Royals, and most recently the Boston Red Sox. Skaggs faces off against a lefty-dominant Seattle Mariners squad, and that plays right into his strengths as he has dominated lefties in a limited sample size with one hit in 11 plate appearances, and it was merely a single. He has been almost equally as dominant against righties too, with a .188 BAA in 35 plate appearances, and no extra base hits. Skaggs is still a big question mark with his small sample size, but you have to respect his 45 point upside on FanDuel, and that is more than enough to pay off his $6,500 price tag.
| Pitcher to Target Hitters Against
Matt Cain – San Francisco Giants
The Washington Nationals cannot wait for today’s juicy matchup against Matt Cain who not only has been terrible on the road, but he is also terrible against left-handed bats, and the Nationals lineup is loaded with them. Cain’s road ERA currently sits at 7.48, and on the road against lefties he has surrendered a .472 weighted on base average (wOBA), and a .317 isolated power (ISO). The top plays for the Nats are Daniel Murphy (.438 wOBA), and Bryce Harper (.362 wOBA, .212 ISO), but I am also looking at Wilson Ramos who has been swinging a hot bat lately, and has crushed righties this season (.390 wOBA). The Nationals have a high run total for a reason, and they should make for a chalky, but effective stack for today.
Roberto Hernandez – Atlanta Braves
Roberto Hernandez has fluctuated in between the majors and minor leagues since making his major league debut back in 2006, but he was never able to really find success in the big leagues. Hernandez only has one season in the majors where he posted an ERA below 3.50, and that was back in 2007. His most recent major league stint was with the Astros last season, where he accumulated 84.2 innings pitched, along with a 4.36 ERA. This season he has spent all of his time in AAA, and he has a 4.60 ERA in 16 outings between two different teams. If Hernandez is struggling against AAA competition, the St. Louis Cardinals should have an absolute feast today against the righty. The Cardinals are one of the top squads against right-handed pitching this year with the second highest weighted runs created plus (wRC+), the third highest wOBA, and the highest ISO. The bats I am looking to is nothing peculiar, Matt Carpenter (1.032 OPS vs RHP), Brandon Moss (.401 ISO vs RHP), Matt Adams (.222 ISO vs RHP), and Matt Holliday (.199 ISO vs RHP). A nice combo of the Matt’s is the key to success in this Cardinals stack, and they should be able to knock around Hernandez today.
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!