Written by: Coleman Bahr – Staff Writing Intern (@ColemanBahr)
We have a 14 game slate ahead of us, and there are seven pitchers with a strikeout rate above 24% taking the hill, so this slate will be a fun one! 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
Max Scherzer – DraftKings: $12,900, FanDuel: $11,800 – Washington Nationals
Max Scherzer is the top option on the board again yet again tonight, surprising right? Scherzer has a stunning 32.5% strikeout rate this season, including a 38.5% strikeout rate to right handed bats. While his matchup against the Cleveland Indians is certainly no pushover, they are much less of a threat on the road with a .304 weighted on base average (wOBA), and a weighted runs created plus (wRC+) of 88. Scherzer is an easy cash game lock tonight, and it is still pretty difficult for me to fade him in tournaments with his strikeout upside.
Marco Estrada – DraftKings: $11,500, FanDuel: $8,700 – Toronto Blue Jays
This a pretty cash game play for me based off of this stat alone: Marco Estrada has not allowed more than three earned runs in a home start this season. Also, Estrada’s shortest home start was five innings, and that has only occurred once in nine home starts. Tonight presents a fairly soft matchup against the Tampa Bay Rays who have the fourth highest strikeout rate against righties, and the third highest strikeout rate in the past two weeks. I would be shocked to see Estrada put up anything besides a quality start, and at least six strikeouts tonight, so he is a great cash game play, especially on FanDuel for just $8,700.
| Pitchers to Target in Tournaments
Chris Sale – DraftKings: $12,200, FanDuel: $10,600 – Chicago White Sox
Chris Sale is coming off a complete game, 10 strikeout performance against the red hot Detroit Tigers, so he is certainly capable of repeating that success against the ice cold Kansas City Royals. Over the past 14 days, the Royals rank 29th in wRC+ at 57, and wOBA at .260, along with the third lowest walk to strikeout ratio. The Royals are truly struggling in all aspects from an offensive perspective, and a matchup against Chris Sale certainly will not help. Sale is also significantly better away from home with a 2.16 earned run average, and a .201 batting average against (BAA). Sale is priced right between Stephen Strasburg, and Marco Estrada, so he could see slightly depressed ownership percentages as people will flock to those two pitchers in better matchups.
Zach Greinke – DraftKings: $11,100, FanDuel: $10,200 – Arizona Diamondbacks
This pick certainly comes with a bit of risk as Zach Greinke is making his first appearances since heading to the disabled list on June 28th , but he has many things working in his favor. First of all, he is on the road in pitcher friendly Citi Field, and he has a 1.85 ERA, and a 25.3% strikeout rate in seven away starts this season. The New York Mets also have been an underwhelming squad against right handed pitching with a .306 wOBA, and a 22.4% strikeout rate. Greinke does carry some risk as he has had trouble coming off the DL previously, but I cannot deny the upside that Greinke has, therefore I am giving him a go in tournaments tonight.
| Pitchers to Target Hitters Against
Wily Peralta – Milwaukee Brewers
Remember this guy from earlier in the season when you stacked against him literally every time he took the mound? Well good news, he is back! Wily Peralta was so bad earlier in the season that he was sent down to AAA to sort things out, however AAA was not kind to him either as he built up a 6.31 ERA in 10 starts. Yes, I am well aware of his matchup against the Atlanta Braves, but the Braves should have no problem getting to him tonight as Peralta has surrendered a wOBA of over .400, and slugging percentage over .500 to both sides of the plate. It is certainly difficult to stack a lackluster team like the Braves, but I am looking to the heart of the order for most of the value tonight.
Wade LeBlanc – Seattle Mariners
I love to use the Detroit Tigers against southpaws, and they face a pretty mediocre one tonight in Wade LeBlanc. I expect a full lineup of righties from the Tigers tonight, and LeBlanc has really struggled with right-handed bats with a .333 wOBA, .511 slugging percentage, and a contact rate of 85.8%. The Tigers have slightly bolstered their lineup with the return of J.D Martinez, and for a stack I will be using him along with the other elite bats in Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, and Ian Kinsler. This stack will be one of the more expensive options of the night as the Tigers have been crushing the ball lately, but they should be able to carry that momentum into tonight against LeBlanc.
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!