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.
Lance McCullers (R) vs Oakland Athletics
Opposing Team Splits vs. Pitcher Handedness
Implied Run Total
Lance McCullers and the Astros are facing the Oakland Athletics at home tonight and McCullers is in a fantastic spot. He comes in as a massive -230 favorite and is at a little bit of a discount when compared to Sale and deGrom over on DraftKings. McCullers has been a little rocky this season, although he has pitched at least six innings in all seven starts since May 31st, and it generally comes with the walks. He has a 8.7% walk rate, and his strikeouts are at a 27.0% clip, and have been trending upwards. He has notched at least nine strikeouts in three of the last four outings and has allowed just six earned runs over that span, so he has been in really good recent form. The Athletics have been fairly hot recently, ranking in the top-10 over the past two weeks, but they should once again struggle to deal with McCullers and his elite curveball. He is generating a massive 37% WHIFF rate with his curveball. Outside of Jed Lowrie there isn't an Oakland batter with a contact rate about 80% when looking at curveballs, while only Khris Davis and Matt Olson own ISOs over .200 against it. McCullers has struck out 15 batters across his three previous matchups with the Athletics, although two of those games took place in Oakland where strikeouts tend to be suppressed, but struck out seven Oakland bats the last time these teams faced off in Houston. He is much better at home, where he owns a .92 WHIP and 2.47 ERA, and I expect him to dominate tonight.