MLB Pitching Prognostication 9/08/16

Tonight’s slate is only six games and there isn’t a ton of pitching to love.  My approach to the slate will depend entirely on pricing on the site that I am playing on.  Dynamic pricing sites, such as DraftKings, have the “best” options priced too high so I will be rostering cheaper, more volatile options in GPPs and probably avoiding cash games.  On other sites, the top options are reasonably priced so I will have most of my cash game action on these sites.

Pitchers to Target

Ivan Nova- PIT vs CIN

Nova is priced too expensively on DraftKings at 9,800, but on sites where he is reasonably priced he is my favorite pitcher today.  He faces a relatively weak Reds lineup that is heavy on right-handed hitters.  Nova has a much better strikeout rate against righties than lefties, so this is the type of lineup that I like to target him against.  Factor in that the game is in Pittsburgh- a good park for pitchers- and he is my top option for any format.

Alex Cobb- TBR at NYY

Cobb made his return from Tommy John surgery in his last start and picked up seven strikeouts in five innings.  His swinging strike rate was only 7.4 percent, but hitters did chase pitches out of the zone 37 percent of the time so that is a good sign.  On sites where Cobb is priced up I want nothing to do with him, but on sites where he is cheap he is a very good option against the Yankees.  He will probably go overlooked since he has been off of everyone’s mind for a long time, so I really like him as a GPP option.

Jeff Hoffman- COL at SDP

A friend of mine who is usually wrong about pretty much everything told me last night that he loved Hoffman today.  After looking into Hoffman more, I think this is a blind squirrel finding a nut situation and he is right.  I usually love the Padres against righties who are unproven, but Hoffman is a kid with electric stuff.  His first three starts have been against very good offenses who don’t strike out a lot, so I am willing to somewhat overlook his 4 percent swinging strike rate since the Padres swing and miss frequently and he racked up strikeouts in the minors.  He also gets the massive park shift going from Coors Field, where he has made two of his first three starts, to Petco Park.  Hoffman is underpriced across the industry and, in my opinion, has the most point per dollar upside of anyone on the slate.  He will be a staple in my GPP lineups today.

A.J. Cole- WSH vs PHI

Cole has looked good so far this season, with a 22.4 percent strikeout rate and 10.7 percent swinging strike rate.  In addition, hitters are chasing pitches out of the zone over 34 percent of the time, which is an indicator that his stuff is pretty good.  The Phillies are a team that is strikeout prone, and going from Philadelphia to Washington is a negative park shift for them.  This is a very good matchup for Cole and he is significantly underpriced on FanDuel.  He is more expensive on DraftKings, but still $1,600 less than Nova so he is a top play there as well.

Pitchers to Target with Hitters

Alec Asher- PHI at WSH

The Nationals will probably be popular today, with good reason.  Asher has made seven major league starts in his career and has been very ineffective.  He is the worst pitcher on this six game slate and faces a Nats team that has some very good hitters that should be able to take advantage.  I will be very Nats heavy in my cash games.

Taijuan Walker- SEA vs TEX

The Rangers are my favorite target in GPPs.  Walker is a very talented pitcher and he is capable of having a good start at pretty much any time.  That said, he is very inconsistent and has struggled in his three starts since returning from the disabled list.  Those three starts have been against the Angels, Yankees and White Sox- three teams that are not known for their offensive prowess.  Today he faces a very left-handed heavy and dangerous Rangers lineup who is capable of putting up runs against anyone.  While the Nationals are the team most likely to have a huge offensive game, the Rangers are my favorite combination of upside and probable ownership.