Pitching Options – 8/18

Thank the Lord for last night. After a couple slates of losing a good chunk of money, our team put up 254.6 points on the main slate thanks to a couple of multi-homer games from Yasmany Tomas and none other than the former Brewer Rickie Weeks. Hopefully last night snaps us out of our minor funk and we can get back on track tonight.

Everyone know that the key building block for your roster is your starting pitcher, and usually there is a pitcher that can claim the title of the chalk play any given night, but tonight is different. In my opinion, all three of the top options are completely viable in cash games, and I also think there is a dark-horse pitcher that could take people by surprise.

Jose Fernandez will likely be the chalk tonight (use the term chalk loosely, as all of the top 3 are chalky). He is currently the largest favorite on the main slate, has a dazzling strikeout rate, and keeps the ball in the yard. His 0.65 HR/9 rate and 30.1 FB% are two key stats going into a game at Great American Ballpark (one of the most hitter friendly parks in the league). Current Reds players are batting .260 against Fernandez in 50 at-bats, which is a little less than desirable, but their 15 strikeouts in those 50 ABs (30%) solidifies Fernandez as the top option in my eyes.

While I am recommending Fernandez tonight, I will not argue anyone for rostering Madison Bumgarner. He gets the advantage of pitching at home tonight and has recently bounced back from a couple of lackluster outings. He’s allowing a juicy .201 batting average to opponents, but his fly-ball rate of 41% is the highest of this group. The current Mets have posted a .247 batting average in 85 at-bats against Bumgarner with 17 strikeouts, which could ideally be higher, but Bum should have no problem containing this offense tonight as the -154 favorite.

On the other side of this matchup is Jacob deGrom. This is one of the big reason why I will not be targeting a pitcher in this game. The W is going to be hard to come by. Both offenses are below average (especially the Giants since the All-Star Break), and it’s rather uncertain who will come out with the win, even though Bumgarner is rather heavily favored. deGrom also comes into this game in great form of late, has he’s only allowed 2 earned runs and struck out 26 batters in his last four games. The Giants’ offense is struggling immensely since the all-star break and I expect that to continue tonight against deGrom.

While those three pitchers are obvious cash choices, if you truly want to take a risk, consider Joe Musgrove. While he only has 3 starts under his belt, Musgrove holds a 1.47 ERA with a 31.3% K rate. These games were also against Toronto, Texas, and Toronto again. Those are not walks in the park. Tonight, he gets yet another tough opponent in the Baltimore Orioles, but if Musgrove can manage to perform close to what he has so far and get some run support, he could be the key in taking a large tournament down tonight.


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