Written by: Coleman Bahr – Staff Writer (@ColemanBahr)
We have a short, nine game slate, but it is jam packed with pitchers that I can get behind. In this article I am going to preview the top three cash, and the top three tournament pitchers, along with a few pitchers I will be targeting hitters against. With that being said, let’s get to it!
| Pitchers to Target in Cash Games
Jose Fernandez – DraftKings: $11,900, FanDuel: $11,000 – Miami Marlins
Jose Fernandez has not looked as dominant lately, but can you blame him? In his last three starts, he has played the St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs, and the San Francisco Giants, all of which are elite offensive teams who limit strikeouts. Tonight he finally gets a favorable matchup against the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds have been inconsistent all season long, and they have struggled to get to right-handed pitching with a .308 weighted on base average (wOBA). Fernandez may have struggled lately, but his 35.7% strikeout rate speaks for itself, so he is a cash game lock for me.
Madison Bumgarner – DraftKings: $13,600, FanDuel: $11,300 – San Francisco Giants
Madison Bumgarner is a king’s ransom on both sites. However, he has enough factors working in his favor to make him a viable play. His matchup is ideal against the New York Mets who throw out a significant amount of lefties on the average night, and Bumgarner has held lefties to just one extra base hit in 61 plate appearances at home. Bumgarner has also been an elite pitcher at home. In 13 home starts Bumgarner holds a 1.74 earned run average, a strikeout rate of 29.5%, and only five home runs allowed. Even though Bumgarner is a pricey option, it will pay off, and he is a great play in all formats.
| Pitchers to Target in Tournaments
Archie Bradley – DraftKings: $6,500, FanDuel: $6,300 – Arizona Diamondbacks
Archie Bradley is a great money saving option taking on the lowly San Diego Padres in San Diego. The Padres have been the worst offensive team over the past 14 days, sporting a weighted runs created plus (wRC+) of 65, and a league high strikeout rate of 24.9%. As for Bradley, he has been much better on the road than at home with an ERA of 3.73, compared to a home ERA of 6.25. He also gets a huge positive park shift at Petco Park, one of the best pitchers parks in the big leagues. Bradley is not the flashiest pitcher with a strikeout rate of 21.6%, but at a bargain price tag I will take around five strikeouts from him tonight. Bradley is a fantastic money saving option, and he should not be overlooked against the miserable San Diego Padres
Joe Musgrove – DraftKings: $7,000, FanDuel: $6,500 – Houston Astros
These past few weeks, I have been holding off on Joe Musgrove, just waiting for him to fall back to earth, but he seems to be the real deal. He has struck out at least six batters in all three of his appearances, while holding a 1.47 ERA. While you may think he may not have been challenged, the opposite is actually the case. He has been drilled with tough matchups, facing the Toronto Blue Jays twice, and the Texas Rangers, both of which have star-studded lineups. Tonight he has another tough matchup against the Baltimore Orioles, and I think that he could find success in this game tonight. His big strikeout pitch is his curveball, and the Orioles only have three players with a pitch value above 1.0 against that pitch. But out of those three players who can hit a curveball well, only one out of those three players have had success against Musgrove’s most used pitch, his fastball. Musgrove is another solid money saving option, and he has a great chance to rack up some strikeouts tonight.
| Pitchers to Target Hitters Against
Dillon Gee – Kansas City Royals
Dillon Gee has arguably been of the worst pitchers this season as a starter. As a starter his ERA is 6.35, while allowing a wOBA of .410, and a batting average of .339. He has a matchup against the Minnesota Twins this season, and they have just been crushing the ball in August. In the month of August the Twins lead the league in wRC+, and slugging percentage, and they rank second (behind the Rockies) in wOBA. However, the most convincing thing for a Minnesota stack is this: in Gee’s last start he played the Twins, allowing five runs, and three home runs in just five and a third innings. No signs point to Gee improving, so a Minnesota stack is absolutely in play for me tonight.
Rob Whalen – Atlanta Braves
Rob Whalen is fresh off of a beat down from Washington Nationals, and sadly for him he has another beat down from the Nationals coming tonight. Whalen has started three games this season, and has allowed at least three runs, and a home run in every start. His issue is not with walks, but he is just simply getting smashed. He is only allowing a batting average of .238, but he is surrendering a staggering slugging percentage of .548. He has allowed 15 hits in 70 plate appearances, which is actually pretty good, but out of those 15 hits, eight have been for extra bases, and four for home runs. The Nationals are looking to crush Whalen yet again today, and a heart of the order stack should rake in today’s 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!