- Daily DFS – Chen, Niese
- GB / FB Splits
- Tomorrow’s Targets – Gibson, Nicolino, Brown, Odubel
- Factor Grid
1. Daily DFS – Chen, Niese
There are only seven games tonight, but they offer a degree of flexibility with regard to pitching picks. At the top end reside Chris Sale and Johnny Cueto. Sale is against the Angels and Cueto is opposed by the Tigers. While neither opponent is a cinch, both aces are close to matchup proof.
Below the expensive tier is a handful of useful pitchers. Wei-Yin Chen has modest platoon splits, but he’ll be on the strong side against most of Seattle’s best hitters. Despite a lefty-leaning lineup, the Mariners are still middle of the pack against southpaw pitching. Left-handed hitters have a .285 wOBA against Chen this season. FanGraphs new daily projections estimate just 10 FanDuel points for Chen, but I’d take the over.
The same is true of Jon Niese against the Rockies. He’s estimated to post 11 FanDuel points. However, the Rockies have taken over as the worst team against left-handed pitching with a 61 wRC+. Niese isn’t usually a guy to use, but he’s liable to toss seven or eight innings tonight. I expect 12 to 16 points.
2. GB / FB Splits
The following hitters are recommended based on the works of Shane Tourtellotte and Dan Fansworth. They show ground ball hitters perform better against fly ball pitchers and vice versa. Using three-year values for hitter OPS and pitcher GB%, here are today’s top recommendations. Use this link for Jeff’s full list.
Behold. We have just 18 names today, but there are a few good stacks.
3. Tomorrow’s Targets – Gibson, Nicolino, Brown, Odubel
Pitchers to Start: There are a couple precocious prospects on the hill tomorrow, but let’s talk about Kyle Gibson instead. The Twins hurler has improved his slider this season. The pitch really rounds out his repertoire. With a grounder-heavy fastball and solid change, he’s now capable of posting above average strikeout rates. So far, we’ve only seen flashes. Gibson has been pummeled in three of his last four outings, but I’m not overly concerned. I’m happy to use him at home against the Rangers.
Pitchers to Exploit: You might recognize Justin Nicolino’s name from the massive trade that shipped Jose Reyes and friends north of the border. He’s a command and control prospect in an era of power pitching. He’s described as possessing a Mark Buehrle-like profile. When he’s on, he’ll succeed with low pitch counts and weak contact. I expect him to require time to adjust to the majors. As for his short term prognosis, a high contact rate could lead to problems. At the very least, he’ll be BABIP dependent.
Hitters (power): Weeks ago, I was calling for Domonic Brown’s head. More specifically, I was saying it was time to try Aaron Altherr. Brown has flashed just enough to hang onto his job. Over his last 10 games, he’s popped four home runs. Brown once hit 27 bombs back in 2013, and he’s still just 27 years old. His walk and strikeout rates are solid. If he could just post a league average BABIP with a .200 ISO, he’d be a league average hitter.
Hitters (speed): Another Phillie, Odubel Herrera, is swinging a hotter stick. Over his current 12 game hitting streak, he’s slashing .377/.411/.566 with a .450 BABIP. Clearly, regression is in order. As an aggressive hitter with decent pop, speed, and a history of high BABIPs, he’s a solid pick against a slumping Hellickson.
4. The Factor Grid
The table below indicates which stadiums have the best conditions for hitters today. The color coding is a classic stoplight where green equals go for hitters. The weather conditions are from SI Weather’s home run app. A 10/10 means great atmospheric conditions for home runs. A 1/10 means lousy atmospheric conditions.
The seven games should be dry.
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