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 (R) vs Oakland Athletics
Opposing Team Splits Vs. Pitcher Handedness
Implied Run Total
Cole has been a revelation this season, striking out a massive 37.8% of batters faced, and has been just another member of the impressive Astros pitching staff. He owns a massive 14% swinging strike rate, a 68.9% contact rate, and a 65.2% first pitch strike rate. He has at least eight strikeouts in 10 of his 13 starts this season, and has allowed two or fewer runs in nine of those 13 outings. He has been virtually unhittable by left-handed hitters this season, with a 43.4% strikeout rate and .244 wOBA allowed, but right-handed hitters haven't fared much better as they own a .226 wOBA and 32.1% strikeout rate against him. Cole is relying on his 96 MPH four-seam fastball about 46% of the time this season, and generating 29% a 29% WHIFF rate with it, while mixing in his slider that he is generating a 39.42% WHIFF rate with. As for the matchup, the Athletics aren't as strikeout happy as they were to start the season, as their projected lineup owns just a 21.6% strikeout rate this season, but they struggle against both high-velocity four-seam fastballs and sliders. Against Cole's fastball, only Matt Olson owns an ISO over .200 against the pitch, although he only owns a 60.27% contact rate against the pitch. Khris Davis and Stephen Piscotty both own wOBAs over .300 against Cole's fastball but both have contact rates that are absolutely abysmal. They don't fare much better against sliders, with only Khris Davis and Mark Canha owning ISOs over .200 against the pitch, while Davis owns a 57.8% contact rate against the pitch and Canha owns a 74% contact rate against it. Overall, this is a great spot for Cole and he is one of the top options on the board.