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Pitching is the lifeblood of a DFS lineup, and an important part of keeping those tabs open deep into the night. For those new with us, the Pitching Pulse is focused on providing information on four to five pitchers that are viable in various formats. This is a premium article that will give away one free preview pitcher, while the rest will be for premium members. We take a deep dive into pitchers across all salaries, looking for exploitable matchups, game theory plays, and identify the nightly chalk. Our information comes from our optimizer, FanGraphs, and other various MLB sites listed below. Feel free to comment below, or find us on Twitter at @BrentHeiden1, @JGuilbault11, and @dfcafe. We focus on Main Slates across all content, but will feature blurbs about other slates at times, and can be reached via Twitter or comments.

Gerrit Cole, Houston Astros

Opponent

FD Salary

DK Salary

Y! Salary

Moneyline / Opp Implied Total

Game Type

Rangers

$10,000$12,100$52-237 / 3.3Cash/GPP

Gerrit Cole is an easy cash game number one tonight, and even in GPPs is a tough fade. Cole has 22 strikeouts through two starts this season, including an 11 strikeout performance against this Texas team ten days or so ago. Cole is the most expensive option, but that doesn't necessarily mean you need to fade in GPPs. You can be contrarian elsewhere, with bats, or your SP2 on two-pitcher sites. Cole is having a ton of success in Houston, which has moved Cole to using his slider and curveball a bit more. His curveball rate is up 2% from last season, and his slider is up 8%. Cole still has a quality 95 mph fastball that he is throwing 54% of the time, but that fastball wasn't his swing and miss pitch. His off-speed pitches have improved from last season, which we have already seen the positive results because of it. He is getting 34.2% of hitters to swing outside of the zone, compared to 27.9% last season. His first pitch strike rate is up and contact rate is down. Cole was deemed a fraud by the DFS world last season, and now has been electric through two starts. The Rangers lineup is dwindling down, losing Rougned Odor and Elvis Andrus to the DL. This lineup was already performing poorly, and this won't help. Cole has immense upside tonight, and a stable floor as a huge home favorite. Texas' projected lineup had a a 26.5% strikeout rate against right-handed pitchers in 2017. So far in 2018, they are striking out 22.3% of the time against righties. We can go back to the well picking on this Rangers offense.

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