Mike Trout of the MLB Los Angeles Angels

MLB Deep Dive 9/19/16 by DraftCheat

In the MLB Deep Dive, Peter Christensen (aka DraftCheat) brings you the most hard hitting, in-depth, MLB DFS analysis available in the industry today! Be sure to check out his thoughts on the days slate before you set your lineups and remember… it’s “Analysis so good… it feels like cheating!”

Pitching

Clayton Kershaw vs. Madison Bumgarner:

We get a marquee pitching matchup in Los Angeles as the Giants and Dodgers’ left-handed aces Clayton Kershaw and Madison Bumgarner go head to head. This will be Kershaw’s thirs start since returning from a back injury that cost him a couple of months off his season, and he’s looked very sharp since returning. He’ll reportedly throw between 90-100 pitches tonight and I do prefer him over Bumgarner if that proves to be true. Kershaw has completely decimated the Giants current roster, holding them to an amazing .185 wOBA with 118 strikeouts and just 14 walks over 392 plate appearances. And this Giants team has been ice cold for weeks now. On the other side of the ball, quite a few of the Dodgers have found success against Madison Bumgarner, and where they have a similar price point I have Kershaw comfortably ahead of Bumgarner as the top raw points scorer at the starting pitcher position, though paying top dollar for a pitcher on even a slight pitch count is some cause for concern in terms of optimal lineup composition.

Taijuan Walker vs. Blue Jays:

The talented young Mariners’ RHP reportedly “fixed” his mechanics a couple of starts ago on suggestion of his pitching coach and has had some pretty amazing results since, including a complete game shutout of the Mariners on the road where he struck out 11 without issuing a walk. It’s difficult to say if the changes will stick and Taijuan will all of a sudden be transformed into a much more effective pitcher. But at home in a great pitching environment against a cold Blue Jays squad and at a moderate price point, I’m willing to take a shot on Walker, especially in GPPs. As we saw from his dominant last start, the upside is clearly there, and the Blue Jays profile similarly to the Angels with a lot of right-handed power. It’s a risk I’m willing to take tonight with very few palatable pitching options.

Jharel Cotton vs. Astros:

The A’s rookie right-hander has made two starts at the MLB level and performed fairly well, throwing over 100 pitches in both outings in fairly tough spots while doing a good job throwing strikes and generating an above average number of whiffs. The strikeout haven’t been there yet, but Cotton struck out over 10 batters per 9 innings at triple-A ball this year and they should be coming, especially against an Astros team that can be very strikeout prone depending on which lineup they roll out. Cotton is very cheap across the industry and is by far my favorite bottom-barrel option if you are looking to save at pitcher today (which I think is a very viable strategy with question marks for the expensive pitchers.).

That’s it for the pitchers I’m considering using tonight, and I’ll update this article if I change my Nmind, but for now it’s between these four.

Hitting

Coors Field

Let’s start out in Colorado where we have a game in Coors Field that features the highest total of the day but also two solid pitchers in the Cardinals’ Carlos Martinez and Rockies’ Tyler Anderson. While I certainly have no interest in either pitcher, whether or not to load up on bats from this game is an interesting question. Anderson has navigated pitching in Coors Field very well, and this Cardinals lineup is not particularly imposing. Still, the Cardinals bats are at reasonable price tags around the industry and need to be considered, I’ll rank them in order of my interest: Piscotty, Diaz, Carpentery, Gyorko, Molina. In tournaments, I do think fading the Cardinals is a solid strategy as Anderson has survived the vast majority of his Coors Field starts without giving up a tournament winning performance to the opposing offense.

I do really like the Rockies’ lefties in this matchup, as Martinez still really struggles with left-handed batters and Charlie Blackmon and Carlos Gonzalez thrive at home against right-handed pitchers. Expect Martinez to get hit hard here, and I have much more interest in the Rockies hitters in this matchup though I’m not sure everyone will see it that way.

Mets vs. Aaron Blair:

Braves’ RHP Aaron Blair returns to the rotation tonight after missing some time and it’s a fantastic spot for the Mets’ lefthanded bats against Blair who has been absolutely terrible against lefties during his time at the MLB level. Blair has walked more left-handed hitters than he’s struck out while giving up nearly 2HR/9 and a 6.59 ERA to left-handed hitters. That’s exactly the kind of pitcher you want to target and I’ll be doing just that with bats like Jose Reyes, Asdrubal Cabrera (my personal favorite here), and Jay Bruce.

Rangers vs. Jhoulys Chacin:

It’s a bit difficult to predict how to target against Jhoulys Chacin, who’s effectiveness depends strongly on his velocity when he’s pitching, and that’s difficult to predict with him. In his last start, he managed to maintain the velocity on his pitches that he typically has only when he’s in the bullpen, and if he’s able to do that once again he may survive a tough matchup in Arlington vs. the Rangers. But if not, he’ll get hit very hard and I’ll be taking a hard looking at lefties Carlos Beltran and Rougned Odor in this matchup.

Angels vs. Martin Perez

This is a fantastic spot for the right-handed heavy Angels team as they get a huge park upgrade moving from LA to hitter-friendly Arlington, and get to take on Martin Perez who has always struggled against right-handed hitters. It’s the usual suspects to target in this one – Mike Trout and Albert Pujols, and Pujols in particular has smashed Perez in the past and should be in for a big game at a moderate ownership percentage.

Padres vs. Braden Shipley

Diamondbacks RHP Braden Shipley has not been able to put it together at the big league level despite being a fairly highly touted prospect. He’s performed poorly against hitters from both sides of the plate, but has been hit especially hard by left-handed bats, serving up a whopping 2.43 HR/9 to left-handers on the season. Luckily for the Padres and fortunately for our DFS lineups, the Padres have a number of hitters to take advantage of this matchup including Travis Jankowski, Alex Dickerson, and Ryan Schimpf (my personal favorite here).