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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 (R) vs Tampa Bay Rays

Splits (2017-2018)

wOBA Allowed

K%

BB%

GB%

Hard% Allowed

ISO

Vs. LHB

.30928.6%6.7%41.7%36%.185
Vs. RHB.28525.2%6.6%47%27.6%.152
Opposing Team Splits Vs. Pitcher Handedness

wOBA

ISO

wRC+

K%

BB%

Hard%

Implied Run Total

.312.1309922.2%8.1%34.3%2.8

Gerrit Cole has comeback down to life, but his price hasn't. He still provides a safe floor in this spot, and I do believe he can have a significant amount of upside in GPPs still. Cole has a 36.7% strikeout rate this season, and has tamed lefties this year which got to him in prior seasons. This Rays projected lineup has a 23.1% strikeout rate against right-handers this season. The power isn't really there either with a .124 ISO. Cole is throwing that off-speed stuff a good amount, as the slider and curve usage sits around 40%. Both have whiff rates over 35%, and even his fastball and sinker generate a decent amount of swing and misses. There are a lot of whiff rates over 29% in this Rays lineup against that slider, and while there are a little better against curveballs, not by much. Cole should have a strong start here, but Bauer being a little cheaper is where people might go.

Trevor Bauer (R) vs Chicago White Sox

Splits (2017-2018)

wOBA Allowed

K%

BB%

GB%

Hard% Allowed

ISO

Vs. LHB

.32425.9%8.6%45%33.4%.175
Vs. RHB.29529.8%7.5%48.1%36.7%.137
Opposing Team Splits Vs. Pitcher Handedness

wOBA

ISO

wRC+

K%

BB%

Hard%

Implied Run Total

.307

.1599524.9%6.8%31.1%3.2

Trevor Bauer continues to dominate, and just did in this matchup. The double-digit strikeout starts should continue here. He has a 31% strikeout rate, and has four pitches with over a 30% whiff rate. He relies on that curveball 32% of the time, which hitters have a 68% groundball rate and 36% whiff rate off of. The White Sox have four bats with under a 60% groundball rate, and seven bats under 70%. Bauer has held lefties to a .263 wOBA, .106 ISO, and 31.3% strikeout rate this season. So the fact there is likely going to be 4-5 lefties in this lineup, I am not concerned one bit. Bauer is a huge favorite at home, but as we saw last time out, Dylan Covey held his own. Bauer is my top arm on the slate in this spot, his production continues to be consistent, and that was not always the case in the past.

Jacob deGrom (R) Vs. Colorado Rockies

Splits (2017-2018)

wOBA Allowed

K%

BB%

GB%

Hard% Allowed

ISO

Vs. LHB

.29226.6%7.8%44.4%28.9%.127
Vs. RHB.26332.9%6.2%47.3%31.8%.126
Opposing Team Splits Vs. Pitcher Handedness

wOBA

ISO

wRC+

K%

BB%

Hard%

Implied Run Total

.306

.1597623.7%8.4%31.5%4.6

We don't target pitchers in Coors often, but I do not hate the idea of playing Jacob deGrom in a GPP lineup or two. He has been phenomenal this season, but because he plays for the Mets he doesn't have much to show for it. He has a 32.2% strikeout rate, and hitters have under a .100 ISO against him. He is inducing a 26.7% soft-contact rate, and a lot of it is coming from the left side. With his numbers against both sides of the palte being so solid, I don't worry as much about the big lefty bats. Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story have a lot of power, but a .207 wOBA and .032 ISO allowed is just not something to target for deGrom. He has four pitches that have over a 30% whiff rate, and is throwing his fastball and slider over 90mph which is okay in Coors. Outside of his fastball, each pitch has over a 50% groundball rate. People will fade deGrom tonight, and we can get some low ownership on him. There is still some risk given Coors can play tricks on pitches, and allow some cheap home runs at times.

Jaime Barria (R) vs Arizona Diamondbacks

Splits (2017-2018)

wOBA Allowed

K%

BB%

GB%

Hard% Allowed

ISO

Vs. LHB

.26722.2%4.9%40.9%31.1%.104
Vs. RHB.32415.9%5.7%34.8%34.8%.200
Opposing Team Splits Vs. Pitcher Handedness

wOBA

ISO

wRC+

K%

BB%

Hard%

Implied Run Total

.291

.1558025%9%37.2%3.7

Jaime Barria is an interesting option tonight mainly because of his slider usage. He throws it 35% of the time, and hitters have a 35% whiff rate. His changeup has a 32% whiff rate, and he throws it 20% of the time. This Arizona team struggles against sliders, and the only two bats above a 70% contact rate are Ketel Marte and Jarrod Dyson. Dyson has a .173 wOBA and .101 ISO. Ketel Marte has a .262 wOBA and .173 ISO. Neither are concerning, unless you are worried about Marte staying hot. There are a lot of strikeouts in this lineup, and with the lefties in this lineup, Barria has a 22% strikeout rate against them, which bodes well. His price rose for a few starts, but is back down to a level where I would rather take a shot on him. Unfortunately a win is not a given with Zack Greinke on the hill, and the Angels offense a bit banged up. Barria should be overlooked on this slate, but has some upside.

Miles Mikolas (R) vs Philadelphia Phillies

Splits (2017-2018)

wOBA Allowed

K%

BB%

GB%

Hard% Allowed

ISO

Vs LHB

.30515.8%1.7%47.1%35.8%.153
Vs. RHB.19821.9%3.8%60.8%26.8%.066
Opposing Team Splits Vs. Pitcher Handedness

wOBA

ISO

wRC+

K%

BB%

Hard%

Implied Run Total

.311

.1679421.7%10.1%29.6%4.3

Miles Mikolas scuffled a bit on his last start, but is a cheap SP2 option to pair with one of the more expensive pitching options if needed. Mikolas main note is his control. He has just a 2.7% walk rate. This does lead to contact, but it is a lot of weak contact. He is not allowing a lot of power either, as lefties have a .153 ISO, and right-handers have a .066 ISO. The strikeouts are not a huge part of Mikolas game, but there are a lot of free swinging bats in Philly. This lineup has a 72% contact rate and 25.4% strikeout rate on the year against right-handed pitching. This is a team that struggles with curveballs, as Carlos Santana is the only one with over a 70% contact rate. Sliders are just as much trouble. Santana and Cesar Hernandez are the only two have over 70% contact rates. This Phillies lineup is better at home, and do have some power bats, but they are struggling more often than not.



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