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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

.31029.0%7.3%41.3%35.5%.188
Vs. RHB
.28225.3%%41.8%38.3%.217
Opposing Team Splits Vs. Pitcher Handedness

wOBA

ISO

wRC+

K%

BB%

Hard%

Implied Run Total

.308.1329724.0%8.4%33.6%3.0

Gerrit Cole surprisingly comes in as the third-highest priced pitcher on DraftKings and FanDuel tonight, behind deGrom and Bauer, and is arguably the top pitcher on the slate as Houston faces off against the Tampa Bay Rays. Tampa has the lowers projected total on the slate at three runs and is the second-highest favorite on the slate (behind Marco Gonzales?) at a massive -177 favorite. He ran his pitch count up last time out against the Royals, tossing 104 pitches in just five innings, but he has been one of the best pitchers in the Majors all season long and his 146 strikeouts leads the Astros this season. He has posted an insane 36.3% strikeout rate overall this season and has held opponents to a fantastic 69.7% contact rate, so essentially hitters are barely making contact and they are striking out against him a ton. The Rays aren't striking out as much as they were at the start of the season but their projected lineup is striking out 24% of the time against right-handed pitching this season. Cole is holding opponents on both sides of the plate to a sub-.255 wOBA overall this season, and a sub-.150 ISO, making him a fairly safe option here. Of course, the Rays did get to him the last time they faced off with four earned runs but he managed to strike out eight batters in that outing with seven innings pitched. He has struck out eight batters in three of his last four games, which is great for his floor and upside and he gets a big park upgrade pitching in Tampa tonight. His offspeed pitches are generating some insane WHIFF rates, with his cutter and curve balls posting WHIFF rates over 48%, and he is throwing his curve ball nearly 30% of the time this season. If he relies on his offspeed stuff tonight, he should be in line for a big outing here.

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