Written by: Coleman Bahr – Staff Writer (@ColemanBahr)
Tonight we have a short, nine game slate on our hands, and the pitching options are scarce. In this article I am going to preview the top three pitchers on this tiny slate, along with a few pitchers I will be targeting hitters against. With that being said, let’s get to it!
| Pitchers To Target
Robbie Ray – DraftKings: $10,400, FanDuel: $8,800 – Arizona Diamondbacks
Robbie Ray has rolled through the competition lately, and it seems as if almost nothing can stop him. In his most recent start, he pitched seven strong innings against the San Diego Padres, striking out 13 while only allowing one run off of a solo shot. If you look at his matchup for today, it does not seem to get much easier against the Atlanta Braves, but it actually carries a decent amount of risk. Ray’s home splits have not been kind to him as he has a 5.13 earned run average, and a batting average against of .297. But, he seems to be figuring things out in the second half of this season, and he could easily post another stellar performance tonight. While the Braves have shown signs of life at the plate lately, they still rank last in weighted runs created plus, and weighted on base average against southpaws, so they certainly are nothing to fear. I feel comfortable using Ray in any forma as the pitching options are not plentiful tonight.
Max Scherzer – DraftKings: $11,600, FanDuel: $10,900 – Washington Nationals
Max Scherzer is coming off of back-to-back subpar performances, which is strange for an ace like him. While the start in Coors was almost expected as Coors is Coors, but his most recent start against the Atlanta Braves was hard to watch. In that start, he labored through six and a third inning, while striking out six, but he allowed four runs (all earned), and walked three. Every pitcher has an off start every now and then, and that is all I am taking it as. I expect him to be back in business tonight, despite a tough matchup against the Baltimore Orioles. While the Orioles can mash a baseball like no other team has this season, Scherzer actually has a few things working in his favor. First of all, the Orioles lineup is filled with right-handed hitters, and Scherzer has obliterated righties at home, sporting a .139 BAA, and a strikeout rate of 41.3%. Scherzer also has pitched significantly better at home with 2.60 ERA, opposed to a 3.35 road ERA. The strikeout upside is too much to ignore in this one, and I will be using Scherzer in most of my tournament lineups tonight. However, I will only be using him in tournaments as the Orioles lead the league in isolated power against righties at .202, and rank second in wRC+.
Adam Wainwright – DraftKings: $6,900, FanDuel: $8,400 – St. Louis Cardinals
Adam Wainwright is my top points per dollar play on DraftKings at just $6,900, and he still makes for a great play on FanDuel too. If you look at his recent game logs, you may be unimpressed as he has posted just one quality start since July 27th, but he is a much better pitcher at home, and four of his five starts since July 27th have been on the road. He finally gets a home start tonight, and he faces a New York Mets squad who has struggled to hit right-handed pitching, ranking 22nd in wRC+, 26th in wOBA, and they also hold the seventh highest strikeout rate. Wainwright enjoys some home cooking, and he is poised for a strong start tonight. He is usable in all formats on both sites tonight, but on FanDuel I will probably use Robbie Ray for just $400 more.
| Pitchers to Target Hitters Against
Matt Wisler – Atlanta Braves
Matt Wisler had a strong start to his 2016 campaign, but he fell off hard in the month of July before being demoted. In five July starts, he was smashed on his way to an 8.89 ERA, a .330 BAA, and a hard contact rate of 42.6%. The Braves obviously have brought him back up, but it looks to be in terms of desperation, and not Wisler’s readiness to compete at the major league level once again. His matchup is not too tough against the Arizona Diamondbacks, but the park factor in this one is too much to ignore,. Chase Field is one of the best parks for hitters in the league, and the Diamondbacks have had their fair share of offensive explosions at Chase this season. As for a stack, I am certainly looking to Paul Goldschmidt, and Jake Lamb, but Jean Segura has absolutely crushed the ball lately, and you can also talk me into Michael Bourn who has the platoon advantage, and he should be hitting in the two hole.
Jered Weaver- Los Angeles Angels
Jered Weaver has been a target for my stacks all season long, so it should be no surprise to see him in here once again today. He has failed to be efficient all season long, with a strikeout rate that just cracks 10%. HIs matchup is also no stranger to many of my stacks this season as the Toronto Blue Jays have as much upside as any other team out there. Weaver has been crushed against righties on the road this season, allowing a batting average of .356, and a slugging percentage of .612. The Blue Jays certainly do not lack right-handed power, and a middle of the order stack of Josh Donaldson, Edwin Encarnacion, Russell Martin, and Troy Tulowitzki will pay dividends on tonight’s slate.
That’s all I have for today, thanks for reading! If you have any questions or comments feel free to reach out to me on Twitter @ColemanBahr. Good luck tonight!