The First Pitch: Sunday April 2nd

Opening Day is here! Okay, well, not really. We only have three games today, opposed to 12 tomorrow, so tomorrow is the REAL Opening Day. That being said, we all want to dive into MLB DFS, so let’s kick things off with a pitching breakdown!

The First Pitch will be a regularly appearing column here on breaking down the top pitchers, the top pitchers to stack against, and the important statistics you need to know to select your pitchers on a daily basis.

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On to the pitchers!

Masahiro Tanaka– Check out Tanaka’s game log from last year, particularly strikeouts. What you see is some 7,8,9’s, but a LOT of 4’s. That inconsistency immediately catches my attention and takes me off of him in cash. But, Tanaka was dominant against left-handed bats on the road last year, allowing only a .227 wOBA. Kiermaier, Miller, Dickerson are 3 of the Rays top bats, all left-handed. If he can limit damage from Longoria and Souza and this turns out to be one of his 7,8,9 strikeout starts, that opens up the door for the high-risk/high-reward start that we look for in GPP.

Chris Archer– Archer is consistent in a way we love for cash pitchers, K’s. He consistently gets the strikeouts to give him a fantastic floor, and this matchup against the Yanks should be no different. Sanchez, Castro, and Headley have high K% numbers. Archer is pitching at home, where he had a very solid wOBA against last year. As an RHP, the bats you’d assume would hurt him would be the lefties. That wasn’t the case with Archer last year. He had reverse splits at home, with a lower wOBA allowed to left-handed batters than righties, so expect Gardner, Ellsbury, and Bird to be relatively neutralized. The real question is if you think he can get the run support to get the win. I think it’s iffy but that floor as my #2 cash SP on DK looks great, and I always love Archer as a GPP option.

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Madison Bumgarner– Bumgarner is known for his consistency. The big lefty very rarely gets blown up. Screams safety right? Maybe not. Bumgarner’s safety was limited to his home park last season. His HH% and FB% were 4% and 5% higher respectively on the road than at home. Allowing more hard hit fly balls just doesn’t sound good at all. Two of the D’Backs better hitters (Lamb and Peralta) are LH so that’ll help him out, and he should still get his k’s. But, this increase in HH% and FB% paired with him pitching in a hitter friendly park in Arizona takes him off my cash game list for Sunday.

Zack Greinke– Greinke had a rough year last year that simply wasn’t up to his usual standards. Pair that with the fact that he allowed a much higher wOBA when at home compared to away and I don’t see any reason to consider using him against a solid Giants lineup. There are simply better options taking the hill.

Jon Lester– I’m going to start the Lester discussion by pointing out that last season Lester faced the Cardinals three times, allowing 11 hits and 3 walks in 74 total plate appearances. Lester doesn’t allow a lot of hard contact on the road. His k% was solid last year as it’s been in the past. This guy is elite, you know he’ll get the k’s to get you a solid floor for your cash lineup. The Cards have a solid lineup but I think the Cubs will want to come out and send a message to their rivals early. I think Lester holds the Cards enough to set up the win. I usually don’t love road SP’s in my cash lineup but Lester was 9-3 on the road last season. Lock him in as your cash game SP.

Carlos Martinez– Martinez at home in 2016 against left-handed batters: .336 wOBA allowed; a K% of 17% (for perspective those numbers were .243 and 26% home against RHB). Rizzo, Schwarber, Zobrist, and Heyward will all bat left-handed on Sunday against Martinez. I don’t blame you if you want to go after his upside and use him in GPP, but I’m not touching this guy in cash games.

David De Vito

I joined DFSDatalytics in March 2017. I've been playing DFS for about 3 years now. Played season-long leagues for over 10 years. I use advanced statistical analysis to grind out cash games in DFS MLB, NHL, and NFL. I specialize in MLB.

ddevito has 13 posts and counting.See all posts by ddevito

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