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.
J.A. Happ (L) vs Baltimore Orioles
Opposing Team Splits Vs. Pitcher Handedness
Implied Run Total
Happ had some struggles against the Tigers, allowing four earned runs in five innings, but has been Mr. Reliable for the Blue Jays this season. Happ has racked up at least eight strikeouts in eight of his 12 outings this season and owns a 4.08 ERA and 1.13 WHIP this season. The ERA is a little bit concerning, a sign that he rarely makes it through his outings cleanly, but he does own a 3.36 xFIP which suggests that he is just a little bit unlucky at times. Happ owns a massive 30% strikeout rate this season, a career-high for him, with a solid 47% ground ball rate and 74% contact rate. Happ has increased his four-seam fastball usage by almost 10% this season, lowered his two-seam usage by eight percent, and has raised his slider and curveball usage about two percent each this season. The decreased usage in his two-seam usage could definitely explain the increased strikeouts and his 11.2% swinging strike rate supports the increased strikeouts, as well. He has some good batted ball numbers, although his average exit velocity is up over last year, but his average batted ball distance of 166 feet is outstanding. Happ has been a little bit worse at home this season, where he is allowing a 4.91 ERA, but he still owns a .306 wOBA and 30.8% HCR allowed in the Rogers Centre. Happ gets a pretty good matchup tonight, facing off against one of the worst offenses in baseball, as the Orioles are posting a putrid 87 wRC+ and massive 35.7% strikeout rate against left-handed pitching this season. Manny Machado and Danny Valencia are the only two bats in this lineup with contact rates over 85% against Happ's four-seam fastball, while the entire team struggles against sliders and curveballs, making this a spot where I feel comfortable targetting Happ tonight.