MLB FanDuel: Daily Pitching Focus August 2

MIAMI, FL - JULY 10: Dallas Keuchel
MIAMI, FL - JULY 10: Dallas Keuchel /
MLB FanDuel
CHICAGO, IL – JULY 26: Jake Arrieta, a top pitching option for tonight’s MLB FanDuel Main slate. /

Welcome back to the MLB FanDuel Daily Pitching Focus column.  We’re a daily fantasy baseball column arming you with the best MLB FanDuel lineups, using pitching as a focus.

We’re focusing this article on the ‘Main’ MLB FanDuel slate for Wednesday, August 2nd.  With 15 games on the MLB schedule today, but three games starting in the early and mid-afternoon, the Main slate narrows down to 12 games, or 24 pitchers starting on the bump tonight.

Looking at the metrics for the Main slate today, we have a different picture from last night.  On Tuesday night, we had a long list of great pitchers to choose from, with limited options to stack against.  Tonight, we have a short list of top pitching, and a long list of stacking options.

We’re going to narrow our search down to six games, providing a top pitcher pick, top-pitcher fade option, value play, and three stacking targets for your offensive lineups.

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Here is the list of games we’re focused on tonight:

CIN Robert Stephenson at PIT Trevor Williams (7:05pm EDT)

CLE Trevor Bauer at BOS Rick Porcello (7:08pm EDT)

LAD Brock Stewart at ATL Julio Teheran (7:35pm EDT)

ARZ Zack Godley at CHC Jake Arrieta (8:05pm EDT)

TB Austin Pruitt at HOU Dallas Keuchel (8:10pm EDT)

NYM Chris Flexen at COL Tyler Chatwood (8:40pm EDT)

We’ll start with the top pitching play for tonight…

MLB FanDuel
NEW YORK, NY – MAY 11: Dallas Keuchel, the top MLB FanDuel pick of the night. /

Top MLB FanDuel Pitching Play

With only four pitchers below a 4.00 SIERA, and only three pitchers with a 23%+ strikeout rate, it wasn’t very hard to narrow down our top options tonight.  And fortunately, they’re affordable.

Dallas Keuchel ($9,600) continues his bounce-back campaign in the 2017 season tonight against the Tampa Bay Rays in Houston.  Keuchel returned from a long disabled list visit on July 28th and had a very rough start, giving up six hits, three walks, and three earned runs to the Tigers in Detroit, with only three strikeouts and nine points.  But the Tigers are the best team in baseball against left-handed pitchers at home.

I’m assuming the Tigers game was a minor set-back, and I’m more focused on Dallas’ strong season, now 9-0 with a 1.94 ERA, 2.98 xFIP, and the lowest SIERA, 3.25, on the board tonight. Keuchel also has a 23.9% strikeout rate, averaging around seven or eight a game.  And with a 40.9 MLB FanDuel points-per-game, his $9.6K salary seems reasonable.

While the Tigers bomb adds risk to this play, we have to consider the opponent.  Against left-handed pitchers away from home, the Rays have a very low 79 wRC+, so their run production in this scenario is the ninth lowest in baseball.  Also, the Rays have a horrendous 28.8% strikeout rate against lefties away from Tropicana Field.

With so many bad pitching options on the mound tonight, we’ll likely see high ownership from Keuchel, but he’s a must play in almost every format.

MLB FanDuel
LOS ANGELES, CA – JULY 05: Zack Godley, our  MLB FanDuel top pitcher fade of the night. /

MLB FanDuel Top Pitcher Fades

If you’re unconvinced with Dallas from his last start and recent injury, or you’re looking for a slight GPP advantage, your next best option is Zack Godley ($8,800).

Zack is only giving up 0.61 home runs per nine innings, so we can be less concerned that he’s facing a tough Cubs lineup in Chicago.  When away from home, Godley has an incredible 2.98 xFIP, and a total 3.52 SIERA combined, second best only to Keuchel.  Since mid-June, Godley is averaging eight strikeouts per start, and his lowest K result was six in Los Angeles against a hot July Dodgers team.

Against right-handed pitchers in Wrigley Field, the Cubs are 19th in wRC+ with a 99, indicating they have mediocre run production in this scenario.  They also have a strikeout rate above 21%, and against a better right-handed pitcher than most, like Godley, they’re more likely to produce fewer runs and strike out more often.  So this match up lines up well with Zack’s awesome pitching metrics.

With a quality start and win, Zack has a very good shot at over 50 MLB FanDuel points tonight. Godley is a great Keuchel-fade option tonight.

MLB FanDuel
CLEVELAND, OH – JULY 21: Starting pitcher Trevor Bauer /

MLB FanDuel: Top Value Play

Trevor Bauer ($7,800) has been hard to read this year, but has really worked out at times.  Against the Angels and Blue jays, his last two starts, Trevor fanned six batters, got one quality start against the Angels, and a win in each game, averaging almost 40 MLB FanDuel points per game.

But prior to that run, Bauer struggled in a start against the A’s in Oakland.  In the start, Bauer only lasted 0.2 innings, let six hitters on base, and gave up four very quick runs, totaling negative four points.  Bauer had a few other single digit games this year as well, so there’s risk with this play, and hence the lower $7.8K salary.

That being said, Trevor has a 4.00 SIERA, the fifth best of all starts throughout the day.  With a K-rate of 25.3%, Bauer has the second highest strikeout rate on the mound today, only behind Godley.  While Trevor has a high 1.46 WHIP, it’s mostly due to his 9.1% walk rate.  Bauer isn’t giving up many home runs, now 1.18, so that risk is minimal tonight.

If you’re worried about the Red Sox bats in Boston, keep in mind they have an 84 wRC+, fourth worst in baseball against right-handed pitchers.  The Red Sox are only fanning around 19% of the time in this scenario, but their run production has been horrendous and they’re facing one of the better strike-out pitchers in the league.  Bauer is a great sneaky value option tonight.

MLB FanDuel
OAKLAND, CA – JULY 02: Manager Brian Snitker /

Pitching Targets / MLB FanDuel Offensive Stacks

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Julio Teheran

While the Dodgers are a top set of bats like the Yankees, Astros, or Nats, they’ve been hot lately and their wRC+ is seventh in baseball, a 97 result so far, against RHP’s away from home.  Tonight, the Dodgers are in hitter-friendly SunTrust field on a hot night.

Expect the ball to fly far and often, especially with Teheran’s 1.94 home runs per nine innings and 1.41 WHIP.  They’ll be expensive and popular, but you have to try to stack the Dodgers tonight, the best tack option on the board.

Colorado Rockies vs. Chris Flexen 

While the Rockies haven’t been outstanding against RHP’s in Coors Field this season, they’re facing Flexen, who somehow let the Padres on base nine times in three innings, giving up three runs and only striking out two batters.  The Rockies are always popular in Coors Field, but should be a cheaper option tonight, although may gain popularity with Flexen starting for the Mets.

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Robert Stephenson 

I’ve been high on the Pirates often lately, as they continue to have productive bats since the All-Star Break.  I was going to give them a night off from my lineup, until I took a look at Stephenson’s metrics.

Robert is giving up almost three home runs per nine innings, has a horrendous 14.8% walk rate, a 2.04 WHIP (should be illegal), and 5.24 SIERA.  If it wasn’t for his 20% strikeout rate, his SIERA would be much lower and he is potentially the worst pitcher on the mound tonight.  The Pirates stay hot!

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Good luck with your MLB FanDuel plays today, and stay tuned to Fantasy CPR on Twitter for all the late breaking lineup news and roster updates!