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.

Max Scherzer (R) vs Tampa Bay Rays

Splits (2017-2018)

wOBA Allowed




Hard% Allowed



Vs. RHB.19143.5%5.3%41.5%28.9%.095
Opposing Team Splits Vs. Pitcher Handedness






Implied Run Total


Max Scherzer headlines the aces tonight, and comes in as the highest priced option as well. His priced dipped a little on DraftKings, but that $13,300 price tag is still rather high. Can we make it work tonight? You betcha. This is an interesting slate because we also have Corey Kluber and James Paxton starting, who have been elite arms this season. Kluber struggled a bit last time, while Paxton will face the Astros again, who have started to make it tough on opposing aces recently. I don't mind getting some exposure to either in tournaments, but for the price difference, I will take Scherzer in a home matchup against the Rays. You also have Carlos Martinez and Madison Bumgarner coming off the DL, in favorable spots against weaker opponents. While I don't mind in GPPs, I am going to take a wait and see approach in cash games. There is enough pitching to avoid guys coming off the DL with arm or hand injuries. Looking at this Rays projected lineup, they have a 23% strikeout rate against right-handed pitching this season, and face Scherzer who has a 38.7% strikeout rate this season. He has upped his strikeouts to left-handed hitters, sitting at a 34.3% rate. While Scherzer has had some HR issues to lefties over the last few seasons, the projected lefties have a .128 ISO combined on the year. The Rays will lose their DH heading into Washington, giving Scherzer the pitcher spot to mow down a few times. Scherzer continues to boast whiff rates over 30% on four of his five pitches. This is a team that struggles with off-speed stuff, so Scherzer will have tremendous strikeout odds tonight. In fact, he leads the slate with a 9.8 strikeout projection. Kluber comes in second with 9.3, while there is a drop off after with Bumgarner at 7.4. Scherzer is top dog tonight, and by a decent margin for me.

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