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.
Shohei Ohtani (R) vs Kansas City Royals
Opposing Team Splits Vs. Pitcher Handedness
Implied Run Total
It is a little crazy to think that Ohtani is making just his ninth start this season, yet, here we are. He is coming off a one run, five strikeout performance against the Tigers, throwing just 83 pitches in five innings. There's a chance he could've thrown another inning or two to get closer to the 100 pitch mark, however, there were several weather issues plus is was his first time on the mound in 10 days. Ohtani has filthy strikeout numbers, owning a 31.3% strikeout rate overall, although he is still struggling a bit with walks, as he has issued two free passes in four of his nine outings this season. Ohtani is throwing his 97 MPH four-seam fastball about 46% of the time while mixing in his split-finger fastball about 24% of the time, a curveball about 10% of the time, and a slider about 30% of the time. He is generating over 25% swinging strikes on his splitter and double-digit swinging strikes on all his other pitches, as well. While the Royals are a team that doesn't strike out often, just 17.7% of the time against right-handed pitching, this is still a decent spot to target Ohtani tonight. He gets a good park boost pitching in Anaheim, the Royals own just a .304 team wOBA against right-handed pitching, and they lack any real power against the handedness. Against four-seam fastballs over 96 MPH, there are only about three hitters with contact rates above 80% and multiple hitters WHIFF rates over 20%, which bodes well for him. The entire lineup struggles against split-finger fastballs, with contact rates below 80% and WHIFF rates above 30%, and they also struggle against curveballs. With a start out of the way since his blister issues, I expect the Angels to let the leash loosen a bit, making Ohtani someone that I feel much more comfortable with tonight.