DFS MLB Pitching Coach: August 5
Howard Bender crunches the numbers and studies the match-ups for Friday's MLB slate to bring you his favorite DFS starting pitcher plays for the night.
Welcome back, New York! Glad to have you as part of the fun again as there is nothing like a full-slate of games from which to choose on a Friday night. There a quite a number of interesting options to look at, but be wary of some of the match-ups for some of the marquee guys and be careful of some of the easy pitfalls many tend to get caught in when they don’t study the numbers and just play the names. For example, while it may be obvious to some, many will still use Noah Syndergaard regardless of the match-up and I just don’t love him facing the Tigers, who are absolutely raking right now. Yes, there are some players who transcend the numbers, but given the immense power the Tigers have shown as of late, that Thor has just two quality starts in his last four outings and the heavy price tag he carries, I’m going to avoid him. Cheaper options are available and the bats you’ll be able to add to your lineups should make things more worthwhile in the long run. So with that being said, let’s just get to the data and the recommendations.
|vs L||vs R|
|Jorge De La Rosa||COL||L||H||MIA||85.0||7.31||4.02||1.27||.287||11.8%||5.51||4.67||1.60||50.4%||29.8%||1.69||0.360||0.361||$6300||$4200||$5850|
|Joel De La Cruz||ATL||R||A||STL||23.2||4.56||1.90||1.52||.266||8.0%||3.80||4.98||1.27||42.9%||34.5%||1.24||0.368||0.337||$4200||$4000||$5900|
Jon Lester, CHC – While a recent 12-run explosion over the last two games has the A’s’ recent batting numbers looking good, let’s not forget that this is still a team that has lost five of its last six games and is averaging fewer than four runs per game in that span in spite of the recent offensive outburst. They’re also a team that has a 22nd-ranked .313 wOBA against southpaws this season and have posted just a .294 wOBA at home all year.
Justin Verlander, DET – With four-straight quality starts, a 1.50 ERA and a 35:7 K:BB over his last 30 innings, Verlander looks like a rock-solid option against the Mets who have just a .306 wOBA with a 22.3-percent strikeout rate against right-handed pitching this year. The Mets numbers on the road look similar and their totals over the last seven days point towards mediocrity as well. The price, especially on Draft Kings, makes him difficult to use but with so many bats from which to choose, you should be able to find enough bargains.
Josh Tomlin, CLE – I always hate picking against my Yankees even though I know they’ve given up on the year, but sometimes a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do. Tomlin’s wOBA splits versus righties doesn’t look too tasty, but considering the Bombers’ .285 wOBA with a .108 ISO over the past week as well as their 26th-ranked .302 wOBA against righties, Tomlin could play nicely in both cash games and GPP.
Anthony DeSclafani, CIN – One little hiccup against the Giants last week shouldn’t scare you off a bit as DeSclafani has been killing it most days, as evidenced by his 2.93 ERA and 6-0 record. The Pirates have reverted back to their pre-All Star break struggles and have now posted a .234 wOBA with a .097 ISO and 22.1-percent strikeout rate over the past week.
Jaime Garcia, STL – When he’s healthy, he’s been money in the bank for the most part. Now Garcia gets to take on the Braves who rank dead-last with a .287 wOBA against southpaws and have a 20.1-percent strikeout rate and meager .106 ISO this year. The Braves recent numbers look strong after beating up the Pirates and the Phillies on a big homestand, but now they head back out onto the road where they are posting just a .289 wOBA and have a 47.1-percent ground ball rate. That plays right into Garcia’s plans.
Ervin Santana, MIN – So now we’re moving into a little bit more of a dart-throwing area here. Santana has taken some beatings this year, but he’s also somehow shined in the right match-up. The Rays have woken up lately and they’ve beaten up the Royals and the Yankees, but they’ve posted a 26-percent strikeout rate over the past week, have a .306 wOBA against right-handed pitching and just a .301 wOBA at home. All the while, their strikeout rate remains no better than 24-percent.
Jeremy Hellickson, PHI – No, people, I will never stop picking against the Padres. OK, so they were able to manhandle the Brewers staff. Big deal. For the price I see here on Fan Duel, I’ll put my money on Hellickson who has six quality starts in his last eight outings and has averaged six innings per start in that span. The strikeout rate isn’t very appealing but perhaps the Padres’ 25.6-percent strikeout rate over the last week and 24.7-percent rate against righties this season can help him out.
Martin Perez, TEX – Damn. You know Bender’s throwing darts when he tosses the name Martin Perez into the mix and refers to himself in the third person. I hate the guy and fear the right-handed bats given that .354 wOBA they’re posting against him, but if there were ever a time to take a leap, it’s now. The Astros have a 23rd-ranked .311 wOBA with a 23.6-percent strikeout rate and 46.2-percent groundball rate against lefties this season and over the past week, they’re even colder. How cold? How about a .212 wOBA, a 27.1-percent strikeout rate and a .082 ISO? Icicles, baby. Icicles.
Christian Friedrich, SD – OK, one last dart should you not buy into my Hellickson dominating the Padres call from above. The Phillies have a .288 wOBA with a 22.9-percent strikeout rate and a .109 ISO against lefties this season and their 48.3-percent ground ball rate against the southpaws tilts the advantage towards Friedrich’s 47.4-percent groundball rate this season. In a low-cost GPP, you can probably get some real nice Coors exposure using him.