These pitching articles are always my favorite to write and it really helps me to understand the slate better. It not only gives us ideas on pitchers to use, but it also helps us to weed out some of the bats. We also have two free Monkey Knife Fight plays at the end and we went 2-0 with a couple of pitching picks on Wednesday.
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7/26 MLB DFS Cash Game Pitcher of the Day
Zack Greinke, ARI at MIA
DK ($10,500) FD ($10,200)
Greinke is easily my favorite cash game play of the day, as he should cruise right through this cupcake lineup. Let’s start with the Marlins, as they currently rank bottom-three in runs scored, OBP, OPS, wOBA and xwOBA. That’s really not a big surprise when you consider the fact that Marlins Park is the worst hitting venue in the Majors, owning the worst park factor in the league. That spacious ballpark should cater to a stud like Greinke, who’s currently pitching to a 2.93 ERA and 0.95 WHIP this season.
That actually includes a dud in the opener against the Dodgers, as he’s scored at least 24 FanDuel points in 17 of his 20 starts since then. Those brilliant numbers pair beautifully with his 24 percent K rate and the projections don’t line up either. Not only does Greinke enter this game as a –175 favorite, the Marlins have an implied run total of 3.5.
7/26 MLB DFS GPP Pitchers
Michael Pineda, MIN at CWS
DK ($9,000) FD ($8,800)
Pineda has quietly had a great year for the Twins and its time that we start giving this dude the credit he deserves. What’s most impressive is his consistency, with Pineda going at least five innings in 13 straight starts while allowing three runs or fewer in all but one of those. That equates to a 3.72 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in that span while striking out a batter per inning.
That’s the guy that we’ve seen throughout his career, with Pineda generating a career 3.49 xFIP and 24 percent career K rate. Even those numbers surprised me a bit and we have to believe that consistency will continue in a matchup like this. Not only is Chicago missing Eloy Jimenez, they also currently rank 26th in K rate, 28th in runs scored, 25th in OPS and 23rd in xwOBA.
Zach Plesac, CLE at KC
DK ($7,300) FD ($7,700)
Plesac had one nightmare start where he allowed seven runs to the Orioles but he has been tremendous outside of that. In his other nine starts, Plesac is pitching to a 2.51 ERA and 0.98 WHIP. Those awesome statistics are backed up by his 1.70 ERA and 0.80 WHIP at the minors this season and he’s simply hard to fade in a great matchup like this.
The Royals currently rank 24th in runs scored, 23rd in OBP, 23rd in OPS and 25th in wOBA. That doesn’t even take into consideration that they have one of the worst K rates in the league since the All-Star break. Missing Adalberto Mondesi only hurts this team more and it’s no surprise that Plesac enters this game as a –140 favorite.
Griffin Canning, LAA vs. BAL
DK ($7,200) FD ($6,600)
Canning is in the midst of an ugly stretch but he’s simply much better than these last few starts would indicate. Facing the Astros and pitching at Texas is a good way to kill anyone’s ERA and WHIP but Canning was one of the best rookies in the AL prior to that. In fact, Canning pitched to a 3.79 ERA and 0.99 WHIP over his first 11 starts while striking out 63 batters across 61,1 innings.
The best part about this play is the matchup though, with the Orioles sitting 21st in K rate, 27th in runs scored, 27th in OBP, 26th in OPS and 29th in xwOBA. Vegas agrees with our assessment, making Canning a –245 favorite in this tasty matchup.
Joey Lucchesi, SD vs. SF
DK ($7,700) FD ($7,100)
Lucchesi did allow six runs to the Cubs in his most recent start but he was stellar prior to that. In fact, the southpaw pitched to a 3.32 ERA and 0.92 WHIP over his previous 11 starts. That pairs beautifully with a 25 percent career K rate and 3.81 career xFIP. Those are fantastic numbers and he should succeed against an offense like this.
While the Giants are hot right now, they still rank 22nd in runs scored, 26th in OBP, 28th in OPS and 27th in wOBA. That’s really scary in a huge stadium like Petco Park, as San Fran’s 3.9 implied run total is one of the lowest on this slate, with the Padres entering this matchup as a -160 favorite.
7/26 MLB DFS Punt Play Pitcher of the Day
Yusei Kikuchi, SEA vs. DET
DK ($5,900) FD ($5,600)
This is a total punt play based on pricing and matchup. Any time you see a pitcher facing the Tigers at this price, you have to at least consider him. Kikuchi has shown some signs of brilliance this season too, collecting at least 28 FanDuel points in eight starts this season. That would be monstrous production from a player in this price range and the Tigers would definitely be the sort of team he could duplicate that against.
The Motor City Kitties currently rank bottom-three in runs scored, K rate, OPS, OBP, wOBA and xwOBA. That’s simply disastrous and it’s really no surprise that Kikuchi enters this game as a –140 favorite in a pitcher’s park like Safeco Field.
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7/26 MLB DFS Monkey Knife Fight Picks of the Day
After going 2-0 on Wednesday, we’re back at it today with more MKF picks! I actually have a career-high three picks for you today. There was just something special about all of these plays and they all stood out like great picks.
Zach Plesac Over 4.5 Strikeouts
Joey Lucchesi Over 5.5 Strikeouts
Michael Pineda More Strikeouts Than Dylan Cease
The first two plays speak for themselves after my write-ups but this one looks great too. Not only does Pineda have the far superior matchup, Cease is also pitching to a 6.19 ERA and 1.50 WHIP. That’s really scary considering he has to face one of the best offenses in the Majors, who currently own the fifth-lowest K rate in the league. That’s why I could see Pineda going at least six innings and Cease not getting into the fifth, which would make this an easy cash!
If two out of three of these don’t cash, please find me on Twitter here and ridicule me!
I've been playing fantasy sports since I was 12, which means I've been playing for over half of my life. I love DFS and season-long formats and have been writing for nearly a decade. I started my writing career at RotoWire and currently write for FantasyPros, Rotoballer, Razzball and DFSR. I cover NBA, MLB and NFL and follow all major sports. I generally cover primarily DFS but I also do game previews, recaps, player write-ups, injury updates etc.