Sunday features a balanced selection of pitching options, including the 2016 debut of Brett Anderson, boosting the injury-depleted Dodgers rotation. Find out which pitchers should end up in your fantasy lineups and which ones provide the best hitting matchups in Sunday's Daily Notes.
Once known for his ceiling, Chris Sale has morphed into more of a consistent, reliable entity as opposed to someone that can toss a no-hitter with 15 whiffs in any given start. There's nothing wrong with being steady, especially in the mind of DFS cash grinders. Sale continues to rack up innings, and while he's not fanning hitters at the same elevated pace anymore, nearly a hitter striking out per inning is just fine. The Chicago White Sox haven't provided their lefty with much run support lately, but that's not as relevant in cash scoring. That said, Sale takes the hill in Marlins Park against an offense that offers some strikeout upside, so he's in play in all sorts of DFS contests.
Johnny Cueto has been cash game gold, joining Clayton Kershaw and Sale as the only three pitchers averaging over seven innings a game. The San Francisco Giants' righty will be challenged by a potent Baltimore Orioles club that hits right-handers hard but is incurring a big park hit with this interleague tilt in AT&T Park. Cueto has earned the label of being matchup proof, so he's trustworthy for cash games in DFS.
If asked to name the top-five clubs in the league in terms of weighted on-base average (wOBA) versus left-handers, it would take several guesses before landing on the San Diego Padres and their .352 mark. On the other hand, the Friars whiff at an above average 24 percent clip versus southpaws. This sets Steven Matz up for tournament action with a healthy amount of risk as the New York Mets and Padres close out a weekend set in Citi Field.
Zack Greinke's first start of the second half was against the Mets, and the Arizona Diamondbacks' righty punched out six with only one free pass in six frames, allowing three runs on five hits. This time he faces the Boston Red Sox in Fenway Park. On paper this appears to be a tough draw, as the home team checks in with the top wOBA versus righties in the league. However, the club's .276 August mark against right-handers is the second worst in the league. A lineup as talented as Boston's can break out at any time, but if you're looking for a contrarian play supported by the numbers, here it is.
One of the problems with using season wOBA numbers is the possibility that the current lineup often bears no resemblance to the unit(s) that put up the bulk of the numbers. Such is the case for the New York Yankees as they are getting a glimpse of their future after promoting top prospects Aaron Judge and Tyler Austin. Both are righty swingers which should give Jake Odorizzi the edge in the series finale in the Bronx. The Tampa Bay right-hander is better for cash games but is in play for GPPs as well, especially if the Yankees sit one of their top-of-the-order lefties.
The Kansas City Royals are fanning at a rate significantly higher than last year's special season, and over the past month, the defending World Series champs are striking out at an exaggerated 26 percent clip against left-handers. This renders Hector Santiago as one of the better under-the-radar GPP plays on the board as the Minnesota Twins entertain the Royals in the finale of a weekend set in Target Field.
We'll close out the solid section with a pair of mound foes that profile similarly as Mike Fiers leads the Houston Astros into Rogers Centre to take on Marcus Stroman and the Toronto Blue Jays. Both lineups are potent but have a lot of swing-and-miss while both hurlers aren't especially dominant but miss ample bats to be dangerous. Forced to pick, edge goes to Stroman at home, but it's essentially a coin flip.
There are 16 arms that fall in the streaming range as dictated by their projected game score in the 46-52 range. As always, we'll focus on the better options with an ESPN league ownership below 50 percent. If you want any additional analysis germane to Sunday's slate, please take advantage of the comments below or fire a tweet to @ToddZola.
Tom Koehler has pitched very well lately, tossing 27 frames over four starts, allowing a measly 12 hits and two earned runs, fanning 26 while walking only six along the way. The Miami Marlins' righty is in a great spot to keep the momentum going with the weak White Sox closing out a set in South Beach.
If Wade Miley can keep the ball in the yard, he can be effective. This will often be an issue in homer-friendly Camden Yards but with the Orioles in AT&T Park, the potential problem is lessened. Further, the Giants are near the bottom of the league in terms of home run rate with a southpaw on the bump.
Wily Peralta's return from the farm was a quality start against the Atlanta Braves, a squad that handles righties surprisingly well. Next up is the Cincinnati Reds in Miller Park. Peralta didn't exactly light it up while on the farm but the Reds are a weak club so Peralta's in play if you're looking for a last-minute win to capture your head-to-head week.
Tyler Chatwood isn't as good as his 6-0 record with a 1.30 ERA and 1.01 WHIP away from Coors might suggest, but there's no doubt he's a better pitcher on the road. The Colorado Rockies are in the City of Brotherly Love to face the Philadelphia Phillies pedestrian attack, putting Chatwood in play for a spot start.
Other than Tyrell Jenkins and Jered Weaver, who both register a projected game score in the automatic avoid range, there's something to hang your hat on for the rest of the card. As such, those two will solely encompass the avoid tier.
Things could get ugly in Progressive Field as the explosive Cleveland Indians square off with the incendiary Jered Weaver. The Tribe lead the league in runs per game since the All-Star break. It's likely Carlos Santana remains sidelined, which puts Rajai Davis at the top of the order followed by Jason Kipnis and Francisco Lindor. Mike Napoli is hitting righties as well as lefties, making a great GPP pick. The whole lineup is in play so don't sleep on Jose Ramirez, Lonnie Chisenhall or Tyler Naquin as cheaper stacking options.
The Washington Nationals have hit right-handers well all season, but even more so for the past month, which is even more impressive considering Bryce Harper has done very little in the span. Unfortunately for the Braves and Jenkins, Harper's teammates have picked him up. Daniel Murphy continues to enjoy the platoon edge by destroying righty slants while Jayson Werth, Anthony Rendon and Wilson Ramos have thrived without the advantage. If Harper remains out, Brian Goodwin is in play while Ben Revere becomes attractive if A.J. Pierzynski is behind the plate (thanks to the higher chance of a steal).
Cody Reed was recommended as a streamer with the caveat that he's a ratio risk. The Brewers' right-handed contingent is in a good spot, headed by Ryan Braun and Chris Carter, both candidates to go deep. Their support includes Hernan Perez, Jonathan Villar and rookie Orlando Arcia.
Whenever a pedestrian righty is on the hill, the Seattle Mariners' left-handed brethren are dangerous. Pick and choose from the formidable menu of Nori Aoki, Seth Smith, Robinson Cano, Kyle Seager and Adam Lind.
Lastly, the Rockies often struggle on the road with a southpaw on the hill. In fact, that's a great setup for a DFS pitcher. However, with middling Adam Morgan taking the ball for the Phillies in Citizens Bank Park, Nolan Arenado and Ryan Raburn make a nice mini-stack.
Most likely to hit a homer: As hinted above, Napoli has feasted on righties this campaign, knocking 22 of his 29 dingers against right-handers. Weaver will be his next victim.
Most likely to steal a base: It really doesn't matter which catcher makes up the Braves battery, both Pierzynski (cited above) and Anthony Recker struggle throwing out would-be base stealers, so let's give Revere the nod regardless.