MLB FanDuel: Daily Pitching Focus August 4

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 30: Pitcher Madison Bumgarner #40 of the San Francisco Giants throws during the first inning against Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium Stadium July 30, 2017, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 30: Pitcher Madison Bumgarner #40 of the San Francisco Giants throws during the first inning against Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium Stadium July 30, 2017, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /
MLB FanDuel
ATLANTA, GA – AUGUST 02: Yu Darvish, one of the top MLB FanDuel picks tonight. /

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.

With the Nationals visiting the Cubs in Wrigley Field at 2pm today, and the Cardinals and Reds squaring off early, at 6:40pm, there are only 13 games for tonight’s MLB FanDuel Main slate.  That starts us off with 26 pitching options to pick through.

With only 13 games on the MLB schedule today, and three games played during the early/afternoon hours, we’re down to only ten games for tonight’s MLB FanDuel Main slate, limiting our pitching options to 20.

Last night, if you didn’t have our top pick, Corey Kluber, you were missing on a chance to grab 67 MLB FanDuel points and still afford plenty of value on offense.  But Alex Wood wasn’t a great fade option, getting only two strike outs and letting nine batters onto the base-path, although limiting the runs to one, and getting the win.  Collin McHugh did pan out as a value pick, only letting seven people on base and yielding just one run in a quality start along with six strikeouts.

So who will we focus on tonight?  We’ve narrowed our search down to only five 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:

DET Justin Verlander at BAL Kevin Gausman (7:05pm EDT)

CHW Carlos Rodón at BOS Eduardo Rodríguez (7:10pm EDT)

TEX Martin Pérez at MIN Bartolo Colón (8:10pm EDT)

SEA James Paxton at KC Jason Hammel (8:15pm EDT)

OAK Jharel Cotton at LAA Troy Scribner (10:07pm EDT)

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

MLB FanDuel
SEATTLE, WA – APRIL 15: Starter James Paxton /

Top MLB FanDuel Pitching Play

With deGrom ($10,500), Bumgarner, ($10,300), James Paxton ($10,100), and Darvish ($9,300) all on the slate tonight, there’s plenty of top pitching talent.  But, with deGrom facing Darvish in New York, I’m not sure what to make of that match up.  deGrom will likely lose the 12 points for the win, and Darvish is a question mark, his first start on his new team.

I’ve wanted to play Bumgarner all season, but he’s been disappointing this year and is on a failing Giants team.  Madison also had some injury issues this season.  I’m intrigued by the 46 MLB FanDuel point result in his last outing against a good Dodgers team, but with Paxton still on the board, I’m fading Bum as well.

That leaves us with James, one of my favorite pitchers all season.  Paxton now has a 3.43 SIERA, the best of all starting pitchers on the mound tonight.  Aside from Peacock’s ridiculously low 0.24 home runs per nine innings, Paxton has the second best rate at 0.42.  James has a 28.7% K rate, compared to his 7.1% walk rate.  Along with a 1.10 WHIP and 52+ MLB FanDuel point-per-game average over the last five games, we know we’re getting top pitching talent for a decent price.

The Royals have played better since the All-Star break, but they’re miserable against left-handed pitchers in Kansas City.  The Royals have a low 18.3% strikeout rate in this scenario, but their Hard % is below 30%, and they have a 74 wRC+, third worst in baseball.  So this match up is ideal, and Paxton should have 60+ MLB FanDuel points tonight, with plenty of salary left for good offensive stacks.

MLB FanDuel
BALTIMORE, MD – JUNE 06: Starting pitcher Kevin Gausman, a top Paxton fade option for tonight’s MLB FanDuel Main slate. /

MLB FanDuel Top Pitcher Fades

While I like Peacock ($8,400), he’s giving up too many walks and has looked off on the mound lately, so Brad is a hard fade.  Nova ($8,200) and Faria ($8,100) have both been disappointing and have low K-upside.  And we’re certainly not picking a struggling Verlander ($9,100) against a hot Orioles lineup.

So if you’re fading Paxton or need better value out of your pitcher pick, the best option is Kevin Gausman ($8,800).  Earlier in the season I was targeting Gausman for most of my offensive stacks, as he struggled like most of the O’s rotation.  But after the All-Star break and rumors of Kevin taking the plunge to the minors, Gausman has really found his rhythm on the bump.

After finally jumping onto the Gausman DFS train, we wrote about him against the Rangers in Texas, targeting Kevin as a top value pick.  For a sub-$8K salary, he gave us 60 MLB FanDuel points in return.  While Gausman is no longer cheap, he’s finally more appropriately priced.

The Tigers have the fourth worst wRC+, 81, against right-handed pitchers away from Detriot. With a high 24% strikeout rate in this scenario, matched to Kevin’s climbing K-rate, now 20.4%, we know there’s a big strikeout number coming out of Gausman tonight.  So for those of you fading Paxton, Gasuman is your guy.

MLB FanDuel
CHICAGO, IL – JULY 30: Carlos Rodon, a top value pick for tonight’s MLB FanDuel Main slate. /

MLB FanDuel: Top Value Play

It took me a while to finally start writing about Carlos Rodón ($7,600) as a top value pick tonight. We rarely target White Sox pitching for MLB FanDuel this year, and Rodon hasn’t been that great this season.  But there appears to have been a turning point lately.

Since the start of July, Carlos has two MLB FanDuel results above 40 points, including a 53 point result against the A’s in Oakland.  After struggling against the Rockies in Colorado and the Dodgers in Chicago, I was expecting Rodon to continue to struggling against the Cubs and Indians, both great lineups.  But over the last two games, Carlos is averaging ten strikeouts a game, got one quality start, and is averaging around 40 MLB FanDuel points-per-game.

Like all value picks, there’s risk here.  Rodon is giving up over two home runs per nine innings and is walking batters at a 14.2% rate.  But, it’s hard to ignore the tremendous strikeout potential, with a 28.4% rate.  So regardless of the match up, we have a solid shot at ten strikeouts from Rodon again tonight.

MLB FanDuel
LOS ANGELES, CA – JULY 24: Bartolo Colon, a top MLB FanDuel offensive stacking target. /

Pitching Targets / MLB FanDuel Offensive Stacks

Texas Rangers vs. Bartolo Colón

The best way to summarize this match up, is but saying Bartolo Colon is still pitching, and it’s against the Rangers, so stack the Rangers.  If you need more facts, Colon has a 5.10 SIERA, second worst among all pitchers tonight, a very high 1.75 WHIP, low 13% walk rate, and high 1.61 home runs per nine innings.  The Rangers have a long list of great bats and are in a hitter-friendly, this year, park in Minnesota.  So, stack ’em.

Oakland A’s vs. Troy Scribner and Los Angeles Angels vs. Jharel Cotton

Neither pitcher in the A’s versus Angels square off is having a great season.  Cotton has the better SIERA, 4.94, but a high 1.47 WHIP due to a 10.5% walk rate and 1.68 home runs per nine innings. The Angels are cheap and this is a great time to own them while in Los Angeles.

The A’s have some cheap, but valuable bats as well, and are facing an unproven Scribner, who has a terrible 5.91 SIERA, the worst on the mound tonight.  Even though Troy has a low 1.00 WHIP, due to a low walk rate, he’s getting 2.25 home runs smacked over the wall every nine innings.  So if you need some value, stack the A’s and Halos.

Next: DraftKings MLB Picks

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!