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Tonight is chalk full of SP options and today is total crap. The slates are split nicely today across the industry so you should have no problem finding the one that best suites you. On DraftKings today, myself, I will be playing the all-day slate and night slate the heaviest, with minor action sprinkled in for good measure on the early slate. On FanDuel, as usual I will be playing the early and main slates only completely avoiding the all-day with the option of swapping out rested players unavailable after 1 p.m.

FanDuel is where I would concentrate my action for cash games if you insist on playing the early only slate. Simple reason, I believe it will be much easier to nail one SP than two on the early slate with the selection being ugly and containing subpar pitchers in horrible matchups.

So with temps getting near 90 today down south and heat humidity being a common theme except for the West Coast I bring you today’s Pitching Coach Article.

Top Cash Game Plays

The early slate only has one clear cash game choice while two are available, and the night slate is full of options. As always these plays are the ones to be used on a one-pitcher site and you should have at least one of these players in your lineup on a two-pitcher site in cash games using two if possible.

Day Slate

John Lackey, Chicago Cubs

So the Cubs look like they should win the World Series at this point. You see any weakness in their armor? Even if a link in the chain implodes they have a whole warehouse full of chains to plug in. The depth of this organization is incredible and as a Dodger fan I will say if my team does not win than go Cubbies!

John Lackey today is taking on the Miami Marlins in Marlins Park which is 25th in runs scored in MLB and he is a -176 favorite pitching in the game with the lowest expected run total (8.0) on the early slate. The Miami Marlins are striking out 18.6 percent of the time with a .319 wOBA versus RHP. At home their wOBA drops to .305 and they have a wRC+ of 88. Over the last seven days even though Marcell Ozuna and Giancarlo Stanton have looked incredible the Marlins as a team are striking out 22.7 percent of the time and batting .253. Lackey has looked a little off lately allowing five earned runs over his last 12 innings versus the Cardinals at home and Nationals on the road striking out 13 batters with a 3.75 ERA. Lackey does have a 3.63 road ERA compared to his 2.01 home ERA which is concerning, but also has the second highest swinging strike rate on the slate (13.3 percent) and a 9.29 K/9. Both of these factors spell upside facing a Marlins team that struggles at times to get it going versus RHP.

Danger Zone

The current Marlins roster is batting .283 (45-for-159) with two HR (Justin Bour and Ichiro), eight RBI, and 27 strikeouts off of big John. The most notable danger besides Ozuna and Stanton is Ichiro who is batting .303 over a large sample size. None of this scares me off of Lackey on the day slate with little to choose from.

Carlos Carrasco, Cleveland Indians

With little in the way of viable pitching options today on the early slate I see little choice outside of Lackey in cash games other than Carlos Carrasco. Although most people think that Comerica Park is a pitcher’s park, this season it is 10th in runs scored in MLB so clearly the shift is not favorable. Carrasco is however a -138 favorite and this game has the same expected run total of 9.0 that all the games have on the early slate outside of the Cubs-Marlins game. The Detroit Tigers are striking out 21.4 percent of the time with a .333 wOBA versus RHP on the season. At home it gets worse where Detroit has a .346 wOBA and wRC+ of 115. The bats are also active hitting .264 over the last seven. So with all this ugliness why use Carrasco? The first thing that swayed me was the fact Vegas has him a favorite facing the Tigers. Clearly they see something I do not and they have a team of people doing this and I am but one guy. Second, upside. He is pitching today in a big park and keeps the ball on the ground 53.7 percent of the time. He also has one of the higher swinging strike rates on the slate at 12.7 percent and a decent K/9 of 8.05. Over his last two starts versus the Royals on the road and White Sox at home he has a 2.70 ERA with 14 strikeouts over 13 1/3 innings. Although Lackey is the clear number one choice he is the clear number two to me.

Danger Zone

The current Tigers roster is batting .287 (41-for-143) with five HR (J.D. Martinez (2), Miguel Cabrera, Justin Upton, and Mike Aviles), 16 RBI, and 32 strikeouts. The other concerning thing is both RHB and LHB both have wOBA’s over .325 versus Carrasco. With J.D. Martinez out (even though Steven Moya can be dangerous) I find this offense a tiny bit less scary and still feel he could be the surprise start of the day.

Night Slate

Jake deGrom, New York Mets

So here we are. It seems the Braves as of late are proving to the DFS world they perhaps are not the team to pick on this season. Or, maybe the weather is getting hot and balls are flying? Even for the good pitchers.

The one thing I hate about taking Jacob deGrom is my mind always wants to type his name “DeGrom” and not “deGrom”. Ask my editor? I do this.  Today deGrom is pitching at Turner Field which used to be a pitcher’s park but now is 7th in runs scored in MLB. He is a -132 favorite in a game with an expected run total of 7.0 facing a Braves team for his second straight start. The Braves are striking out 19.1 percent of the time with a low .289 wOBA and wRC+ of 79. At home they do not hit much better where they have a .283 wOBA (29th in MLB) and wRC+ of 75 (also 29th in MLB). They have however showed some life as of late batting .264 over the last seven days. deGrom over his last two starts has a 3.75 ERA with an elevated strikeout rate setting down 15 batters over his last 12 innings versus the Braves and Pirates at home. He keeps the ball on the ground, has a decent 8.75 K/9, and gets my call as the top cash game play (and chalkiest) of the night, or is does he?

Danger Zone

The current Braves are batting .243 (18-for-74) with two HR (Freddie Freeman and Nick Markakis), six RBI, and 18 strikeouts. Outside of the warm humid weather not much scares me here today.

Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants

Certainly Madison Bumgarner facing the Phillies at home is a great play. But an expensive one. Tonight Madison gets a great park shift pitching in AT&T Park which is 30th in HR allowed. He also is the largest favorite on the slate at -290 and this game has the lowest expected run total at 6.5. It also is going to be a nice cool night (around 60 degrees) in San Francisco. The biggest advantage besides all of this is he is facing the Phillies. The Philadelphia Phillies are striking out 23 percent of the time with a .267 wOBA (last in MLB) and wRC+ of 61 (also last in MLB) versus LHP on the season. On the road they hit a little better with a .313 wOBA but I highly doubt this plays out in AT&T Park. Madison as usual has been lights out. Over his last two starts versus the Brewers at home and Pirates on the road he has a 1.69 ERA with 16 strikeouts over 16 innings. At home he has a 1.79 ERA and 10.14 K/9 on the season. Everything says Madison Bumgarner is going to dominate and is the only player on the board who I believe will put up more fantasy points tonight than Jacob deGrom.

Danger Zone

The current Phillies roster is batting .211 (15-for-71) with two HR (Andres Blanco and Carlos Ruiz), four RBI, and 24 strikeouts. Which I find a thing of beauty.

Julio Teheran, Atlanta Braves

With Julio Teheran fetching a price on DraftKings of $12,600 as opposed to the more than fair $8,800 on FanDuel we are once again left with the decision to Teheran? Or, not Teheran? I say yes to him on both sites. In his last start he faced the same Mets team going nine innings with seven strikeouts allowing one hit and no earned runs. Not bad eh? Also he has a 1.78 ERA over his last eleven starts with 75 strikeouts over 75 2/3 innings. The Mets are striking out 22.4 percent of the time with a .307 wOBA versus RHP and are batting a pathetic .198 over the last seven days. He is a +132 underdog and benefits from the same low expected run total that deGrom does today at 7.0. Although I prefer Bumgarner and deGrom today over Teheran he is still a more than viable option tonight in cash games and GPPs.

Danger Zone

As I mentioned he dominates the Mets. The current Mets roster is batting .188 with five HR off of Teheran with most of the power numbers coming from David Wright and Lucas Duda (three HR between the two) who do not matter in this contest.

Steven Wright, Boston Red Sox

This here is my favorite sneaky cash game play of the night. But before I get into why, let’s talk about the Texas Rangers and this game in general. Tonight Wright is pitching at Globe Life Park in Arlington which is third in runs scored in MLB so the park shift is horrible. It is also going to be a hot and muggy night which means the ball will carry. The Texas Rangers are striking out a low 18.5 percent of the time with a .315 wOBA versus RHP on the season. At home danger is the word where their wOBA climbs to .344 with a wRC+ of 104. They also are swinging a decent bat as of late batting .276 over the last seven days. So at this point you must be asking yourself why on earth I would tell anyone to play Steven Wright tonight in this situation? Ready, set, go…

Steven Wright has been getting progressively better as the season has gone on. He went from having a 2.00 ERA in his last 12 games down to 1.41 over his last six and further plummeting to 1.14 over his last three starts. In this span he has faced some horribly tough opponents like the Orioles and Blue Jays and completely shut them down while going more than seven innings in most starts. On the road, and at home. Here is what sold me on Wright in this bad matchup on paper, the Texas Rangers cannot hit a knuckleball this season. R.A. Dickery has a 0.63 ERA over two starts this year versus them spanning 14 1/3 innings. This includes Dickey shutting them down for eight innings in Arlington. If this holds true tonight versus a much better pitcher in Steven Wright, you are looking at a super low owned cash game play. I know you think this should be a GPP but I am going on record to say Steven Wright is cash game viable today against the odds. 

Danger Zone

The BVP is little with no players in the current lineup posting any favorable numbers.

GPP plays that will make or break your wallet.

The GPPs are ugly today, carry a ton of blow up risk, and of course anytime you take players in this section you are doing so at your own peril. That is why they are here and are not for the faint at heart

Day Slate

Matt Garza, Milwaukee Brewers

Ok, on the day slate I do not see much. This is the main reason I am avoiding the early only slate on DraftKings. But, I am going to throw in one early only lineup in the $3 Moonshot using Garza with John Lackey and sink or swim. Matt Garza has had the ability for a long time in a GPP to be a good play at home. He is one of those pitchers who somehow manages to get it done in a bad park. Today he is facing the Washington Nationals at home in Miller Park which is 12th in runs scored in MLB. He is a +145 underdog and this game has an expected run total of 9.0. The Nationals are striking out 20.7 percent of the time with a .312 wOBA and wRC+ of 92 versus RHP. On the road the splits stay around the same with a .314 wOBA and the Nats are red hot batting .297 over the last seven days. Garza in his two starts since returning has a 0.90 ERA versus the Dodgers and Giants on the road with seven strikeouts over 10 innings. He is cheap and is my favorite GPP play on the early slate even though there is just a likely change he implodes. For a few dollars, I am all in.

Danger Zone

Where do I start? LHB and RHB have wOBA’s over .310 with RHB hitting over .370. His ERA may be 0.90 but his xFIP is 4.19 which always spells possible disaster. He is in a bad park facing a team that is batting .317 (32-for-101) with three HR (Jason Werth, Wilson Ramos, and Clint Robinson), 18 RBI, and a beautiful 26 strikeouts (cha-ching!) off of him lifetime. Not to mention he looks like the Count from Sesame Street. One-Two-Three strikeouts, ha-ha-ha.

Night Slate

Jeff Locke, Pittsburgh Pirates

There has been a “Locke-ness” monster sighting in Pittsburgh tonight and the Dodgers should be running scared. Yes, even though I am a die-hard Dodgers fan I am finding them more and more lately almost as viable to attack as the Padres and Braves. I know this seems farfetched but as a guy who has Dodgers riddled throughout all of his seasonal teams I can tell you the numbers this season are terrible. Our shortstop has more HR than our first baseman. This should not happen.

The Dodgers are striking out 20.5 percent of the time with a.293 wOBA and wRC+ of 83 versus LHP. On the road the wOBA elevates slightly to .317 but I doubt this plays into effect in the pitcher friendly PNC Park that 29th in HR allowed in MLB this season. The truth is, unless Trayce Thompson, Kike Hernandez, or Justin Turner really lay into one this game could be a huge shut down for them.

Locke at home has a 3.26 ERA versus his 7.36 road ERA. Although he is terrible on the road and it shows in his last two starts at home facing the Giants and Angels who both hit LHP better than the Dodgers he has only allowed three earned runs over his last 13 2/3 innings. The problem is only five strikeouts. This means if he does not go deep enough he will not give you the K upside to boost your fantasy points. But still, for the near minimum on FanDuel and absurd $4,000 on DraftKings how do you now take a shot here.

Brandon Finnegan is also mildly intriguing along with Drew Pomeranz, of the two if forced I would choose Finnegan with the low price.

Madison BumgarnerSFLPHI10210.142.470.79.20312.9%1.853.311.02.26241.8%36.7%1.140.2020.276$12000$14000$7400
Jacob deGromNYMRATL738.762.220.74.24112.8%2.963.411.14.28949.5%27.3%1.810.2820.290$10400$11400$7100
John LackeyCHIRMIA949.$9900$11000$6600
Drew PomeranzSDLCIN8110.6740.89.19512.1%33.481.17.25048.0%34.5%1.390.2580.273$9700$9400$6500
Steven WrightBOSRTEX98.17.333.290.37.20111.6%$9500$10600$6600
Carlos CarrascoCLERDET478.$9400$10000$6500
Gio GonzalezWSHLMIL82.29.042.830.87.26010.5%4.253.711.33.31151.2%27.7%1.850.2480.324$9300$8400$6700
Chris TillmanBALRTB89.28.633.111.2.22211.3%3.113.741.15.26247.0%33.9%1.390.3180.287$8900$10800$6350
Julio TeheranATLRNYM988.452.111.19.18411.3%2.663.640.91.20643.8%38.8%1.130.2950.215$8800$12600$6700
Kenta MaedaLARPIT81.28.72.420.66.22112.3%2.653.641.1.28045.3%31.6%1.430.2800.257$8600$10800$6600
Jake OdorizziTBRBAL84.18.752.671.28.23110.7%3.633.861.19.27140.7%37.3%1.090.2480.344$8300$7700$6250
Michael PinedaNYYRMIN77.$7900$8100$6300
Mike FiersHOURKC79.16.241.591.47.2789.8%4.424.281.27.30044.7%28.1%1.590.3240.357$7800$6600$5950
A.J. GriffinTEXRBOS33.27.493.740.53.1958.8%2.944.521.13.23737.9%42.1%0.900.3040.233$7800$6100$5600
Nate KarnsSEARSTL769.594.260.83.25711.3%4.384.141.46.32740.6%34.8%1.170.2780.377$7700$7100$6000
Shelby MillerARIRCOL52.16.024.641.72.2998.4%6.365.381.74.30744.9%29.3%1.530.4080.345$7200$4000$5700
Mike LeakeSTLRSEA87.25.961.441.44.2616.0%441.16.26552.3%27.4%1.910.3140.310$7000$7800$5950
R.A. DickeyTORRCWS90.15.883.291.3.2539.8%4.094.671.33.26847.9%31.6%1.520.3580.313$6900$6000$5750
Jeremy HellicksonPHIRSF87.28.322.361.64.25912.6%4.413.781.24.29045.4%29.1%1.560.4130.302$6800$5700$5850
Brandon FinneganCINLSD87.$6600$6500$6250
Jeff LockePITLLA82.24.682.831.31.2829.4%5.444.851.43.28850.4%29.7%1.70.3240.371$6600$4000$5850
Miguel GonzalezCWSRTOR50.17.513.580.89.27110.6%4.294.421.45.30948.7%31.6%1.540.3300.324$6500$0$5750
Matt GarzaMILRWSH106.30.900.00.3257.6%0.904.191.4.38247.1%26.5%1.780.3180.376$6000$4700$5800
Ervin SantanaMINRNYY72.26.562.481.36.29210.3%4.834.251.43.31446.7%32.6%1.430.3150.364$6000$5800$5550
Jhoulys ChacinLAAROAK26.$5600$4000$5800
Paul ClemensMIARCHI53.$5500$4000$5500
Anibal SanchezDETRCLE66.17.334.071.9.2919.7%5.974.771.6.31144.4%37.6%1.180.3600.395$5400$4300$6100
Jorge De La RosaCOLLARI42.$5300$5300$5650
Chris YoungKCRHOU51.19.293.333.33.26712.4%5.614.331.42.26129.3%48.0%0.610.5310.267$0$0$5500

Good luck today and keep an eye on your players. The weekend is here and players do get rested. And make sure to keep an eye on the weather.

Go Dodgers! (Except for my Jeff Locke GPP lineup)

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