Joey Ricotta \ Aug 19th, 2019
To give you more time to do your research and fully prepare for the slate ahead, I wanted to get this article out earlier than normal. As of now, the pitchers to use for cash games seems pretty cut and dry. The only question is, can you afford them with the main hitters you want to use? What are some good pivots to use? And what are some good teams to stack up in tournaments? We’ll discuss it all below.
Cash Game Pitchers
Trevor Bauer ($11,700 on DK and $10,200 on FD)
The San Diego Padres are always potentially dangerous, but they are also very strikeout prone (26.2% vs RHPs). Hands down, Bauer has the highest ceiling of any pitcher on the slate. Whether or not he’ll reach that ceiling is an entirely different story. I believe he has the best chance with his 27.6% strikeout rate. If we’re going off of narrative, almost every other outing from Bauer lately has been brilliant. The last one was a dud, but in the game against the Chicago Cubs he went seven strong, allowed only one run on three hits, and struck out eleven. I think it’s time for his next masterpiece.
Brendan McKay ($7,500 on DK and FD)
Seattle ranks second-highest in soft contact rate against left-handers in all of baseball (21.3%). Translation – They don’t hit the ball very hard against left-handed pitchers. Lately, guys like Kyle Seager and Austin Nola have picked up the pace, but that doesn’t overly frighten me. They also have the fourth-highest strikeout rate against southpaws (25.5%). McKay has some nasty stuff and that gives us a solid floor to work with as McKay has a 27.4% strikeout rate this season. His overall numbers and 5.08 ERA in seven starts, don’t speak to his talent.
Kyle Gibson ($10,100 on DK and $7,400 on FD)
Gibson has his outings where he looks dominant. The Chicago White Sox are a perfect candidate to pinpoint another good Kyle Gibson start, he’s carved them up nicely both times he’s faced them this season. For the two starts, Gibson has a line of 13 IP 2 ER 2 BB 18 Ks. On May 25th versus the Sox, Gibson went seven innings while allowing only one run and striking out nine. He also induced the most swinging strikes out of any game he’s pitched this season with 20. The White Sox strikeout a ton versus right-handed pitchers (26.4%), which is the second-highest rate in baseball. They also have the third-lowest wOBA (.293) and wRC+ (81).
Zac Gallen ($9,300 on DK and $8,000 on FD)
Gallen, unarguably, had his worst outing of the year his last time out against the Rockies. He only gave up two earned runs, but he also lasted only four innings. He’ll be going up against the Rockies again, only this time, it won’t be in Colorado at Coors Field. The high altitude in Colorado doesn’t only affect the games played there. The Rockies are notorious for struggling in their first game on the road after a series in Colorado. Everything is different and it is an obvious adjustment. Other than his last outing, in the difficult Colorado conditions, Gallen has had a remarkable rookie year. He’s posted a 2.58 ERA and 10.32 strikeout per nine rate. I don’t mind using Gallen here, especially in tournaments to save some money for hitters.
1B/3B Cheslor Cuthbert ($3,500 on DK and $2,500 on FD)
Cuthbert is zero for his last 26 at-bats. So, that means he’s due right? Yes, I’m probably off my rocker, but Cuthbert’s platoon splits are extreme. .He hits lefties .339 compared to .237 against righties. John Means is a left-handed pitcher that started the season off really well but has since tailed off, while also dealing with some injuries. In his last three starts, he has failed to complete four innings in each of them. He’s given up a homer in six straight contests and I wouldn’t be surprised to see that streak continue to seven.
OF Trent Grisham ($3,500 on DK and $3,200 on FD)
Milwaukee’s 2015 first-round draft selection, Trent Grisham, debuted August 1, 2019. He’s dealt with some injuries in the past. Coming into the season, Grisham never hit more than eight home runs in a single-season at the Minor League level. Between Double-A and Triple-A this year, Grisham hit 26 bombs, with 13 at each stop. In 14 games with the big league club, Grisham has hit three homers and has found himself hitting atop the Brewers’ lineup.
Batter versus pitcher stats aren’t the be-all and end-all, but they are something to consider. Here are the top BvP match-ups that stick out like a sore thumb. Some of these can be considered in cash games because of their price, but they are all tournament worthy.
1B Jose Abreu vs Kyle Gibson ($4,300 on DK and $4,000 on FD)
Abreu’s numbers versus Gibson aren’t enough to warrant a start from me in my cash game lineup. This is purely a tournament or GPP play for me. Abreu is 9-for-35 (.257) with three home runs lifetime against Gibson. The average isn’t outrageously good, but the power numbers are intriguing.
Carpenter isn’t terribly priced across the industry. If you want to use him in cash games, he is definitely an option. If you can afford someone who has been more consistent this year, I would do so. But if you can’t, Carpenter is fine. In 24 at-bats versus Davies, Carpenter is 11-for-24 with three homers, seven extra-base hits, and a 1.536 OPS.
3B/SS Manny Machado vs Trevor Bauer ($3,800 on DK and FD)
Obviously, a contrarian play because of how much we like Bauer tonight. In their limited head-to-head battles, Machado has owned Bauer. He’s a smoking 9-for-14 lifetime, with four homers, six extra-base hits, and four walks. That’s a ridiculous .643 average and 2.365 OPS. Given his price, I am very tempted to use him in cash games as a one-off. It doesn’t matter if I have Bauer in the lineup, he’s a cheap filler that provides a higher floor from a points standpoint.
Houston Astros vs Edwin Jackson
Jackson has been somewhat serviceable since joining the Detroit Tigers, but he isn’t too far removed from the pitcher he was earlier in the season with the Toronto Blue Jays. He has an 8.62 ERA for the season. That pitcher is still there, somewhere, and it’s only a matter of time before he makes his return. The Astros are just the offense to expose an overachieving hurler. Jackson has a .396 batting average allowed to right-handed hitters. Michael Brantley and Yordan Alvarez are great options from the left-side too, but at least one righty like Alex Bregman will be a must.
Arizona Diamondbacks vs Chi Chi Gonzalez?
Speaking of average pitchers, Chi Chi Gonzalez fits that description. Actually, he’s probably closer to below average, but I’m feeling nice today. His 6.57 ERA and 6.91 FIP pretty much says it all. Stack and attack Gonzalez tonight.
Milwaukee Brewers vs Dakota Hudson
Dakota Hudson is good at holding opponents in check and inducing a lot of groundballs (57.2%). But Hudson struggles more against left-handed hitters (.387 wOBA). He’s also given up more homers to lefties in fewer innings pitched. This Brewers lineup is littered with good ones, making them an under the radar stack. Use the ones mentioned earlier and any other lefties in the lineup are fine as well. Never forget about Christian Yelich and Yasmani Grandal.
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