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.

Jeff Samardzija (R) vs San Diego Padres

Splits (2017-2018)

wOBA Allowed




Hard% Allowed



Opposing Team Splits Vs. Pitcher Handedness







Implied Run Total


Shark has only been back for two games, and it hasn't exactly been pretty, but this appears to be a great bounceback spot for him tonight. Walks have been a little bit of an issue for him, allowing seven over his first two 8.2 innings, and he gave up six earned runs against the Nationals, but a matchup against the strikeout prone Padres is just what the doctor ordered to cure what ails Shark. Looking at a larger sample, Samardzija has been an above league-average strikeout guy, with a 23.8% strikeout rate dating back to last season, and has managed to limit his contact allowed to just 79.6%. Left-handed hitters are the ones doing the home run damage to him, if you want to call it that, as he has allowed 1.6 per nine innings to lefties, but he has managed to limit right-handed hitters to .95 home runs per nine. He does a great job of limiting hard contact to both sides of the plate, along with just a .330 wOBA allowed to lefties, making him a very interesting option in all formats tonight. There are no real discernible weaknesses with his pitch mix, mostly because he throws six different pitches (four-seam FB, two-seam FB, cutter, splitter, slider, and knuckle-curve), although his cutter and splitters are the ones that he has had the most issues with, however, he has limited the amount that he throws those pitches so they shouldn't be of concern in this spot.

Digging into the matchup for Shark, things get interesting. The Padres have been terrible against right-handed pitching this season, posting a 28.2% strikeout rate, .289 wOBA, and 85 wRC+, but they rank 11th in the majors with their 35.6% hard contact rate to the handedness. They also have the 11th highest BABIP in the majors at .299, clustered with teams like the Dodgers, Brewers, Yankees, and Cardinals, suggesting that at some point they should actually improve on offense. That may not happen tonight, however, as BABIP isn't exactly a "luck-o-meter" that just magically regresses at a predictable point. Shark will have to work around a few of the San Diego bats that excel against two-seam fastballs, the pitch that he throws about 30% of the time, like Freddy Galvis, Eric Hosmer, Manuel Margot, and Cory Spangenberg but those guys are threats for getting on base and less of a risk for power. All-in-all, I think Shark has the potential to be a solid value SP option tonight.

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