Trust me, the 8/10 DFS pitching slate is pretty darn thin in quality. Sure, there’s a handful of familiar names, some of whom were once solid pitchers. The majority of starting arms feels more like a Saturday special from Guy’s Groovy Grab Bag, one that includes the ever-annoying TBD, otherwise known as the DFS version of Mystery Date (kids, Mystery Date was a…aw, just Google it).
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8/10 DFS Pitching Cash Game Pitchers
Charlie Morton, TB at SEA
DK ($10,700) FD ($10,100)
One of two Cash Game-worthy arms pitching today, Morton is on pace to get the A.L. Cy Young scraps that former Astros teammates Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander will leave on the floor. Morton is on pace to surpass his career-best 201 strikeouts, fanning at least six in eight of his last 10 starts. He’s been a model of consistency, especially for FanDuel users, as he’s recorded at least 30 FD points in 11 of his last 13 starts. The Mariners are almost tailor made for another evening of Morton making opposing lineups look like human air conditioners as Seattle’s offense is 26th in strikeout percentage (25.6%). Morton is difficult to homer against, having allowed just 11 over 143.1 innings of work, with much of that is due to the struggles that come from getting fly balls off of him (30.1% fly ball rate). If you’re going to spend money on an arm, then invest it in Morton.
Noah Syndergaard, NYM at WAS
DK ($10,500) FD ($10,800)
…or Syndergaard, who’s been ruthlessly efficient over his last five starts, going at least seven innings while allowing three or fewer earned runs in each. Oh yeah: he’s not given up a homer since July 6. His run is part of the reason why the Mets have won 14 of their last 15 as Syndergaard goes against a Nationals lineup he’s handled well this season, holding them to a .179 batting average and striking out 19 over 20 innings (three starts). The Nats have, however, homered three times against him, neatly explaining the 3.60 ERA. Syndergaard’s 3.44 FIP is a better indication of how effective he has been rather than his 3.96 ERA. Like Morton, Thor drops major hammer on those seeking to get solid contact off him, oppressing batters to a 28% hard contact rate while keeping fly balls at a modest 32.6% clip.
The Nats’ 95 OPS+ falls just below league average. More concerning about the Nationals’ lineup is how bereft of power they are on the road. Washington loses 60 points off its slugging percentage (.466 to .406) when away from home. Those numbers are worse when looking at their production at Citi Field, where Washington goes .227/.238/391.
8/10 DFS GPP Plays
Mike Soroka, ATL at MIA
DK ($9,100) FD ($8,100)
Miami’s bats roll over for Soroka almost as easily as my cat rolls over for treats. In 15 innings against Soroka this season, the Marlins have batted .115 with six hits and one earned run against the breakout righty. Soroka continues to be downright stingy when it comes to allowing fly balls, limiting opponents to a paltry 23.6% rate. With that kind of infrequency, it’s easy to see why Soroka has allowed just seven homers this season. He’s more miserly on the road, allowing a OBA of .197 in 12 starts outside the ATL and should be in line for another start in which his infielders stay fairly busy (54.6% ground ball rate).
Since this is a family site, I’ll just say the Marlins offense stinks. Not my first choice of description, but rules. Miami is tied for last in OPS+ (78) and have hit a composite .235/.288/.399 since the All-Star Break. In a year of graphic power displays across the league, the Marlins remain the only team in the Majors without at least 100 homers. You can’t use Marlins Park as too much of an excuse; you could put Miami’s lineup in Yankee Stadium and they’d still struggle.
Kenta Maeda, LA vs. ARI
DK ($7,000) FD ($7,700)
He’s pitching at home, which is why it can be considered safe to start Maeda, who has a 3.17 ERA and a .181 OBA at Dodger Stadium. Maeda also gets bonus points for his work against the Diamondbacks this season, holding Arizona’s bats to a .175 OBA. Home runs, which weren’t an issue in 2018, have reared their ugly head this year with Maeda allowing 1.40 HR/9. That’s due in part to a rise in his fly ball rate, which has gone to 39.1%, almost near the levels that got him in homer purgatory in 2017. Being at home should also further suppress Maeda’s 29.6 hard contact rate. Although the Diamondbacks have been solid in making contact this season, again, the pleasure of being in Dodger Stadium, where he strikes more than a batter per inning, works in Maeda’s favor.
8/10 DFS Punt Plays
Aaron Sanchez, HOU at BAL
DK ($6,900) FD ($8,200)
Who else but Sanchez to highlight the punt play? If you saw his 10-strikeout, no-walk effort in his last start with the Blue Jays, last Saturday’s six innings of no-hit ball against the Mariners as part of a combined no-no could have been seen coming (somewhat). Granted, no one expected the no-hitter, but Sanchez had been quietly regaining his control. He enters this evening’s start having gone five straight starts with two walks or fewer and with the Astros bullpen far more reliable than what he had in Toronto, Sanchez can air it out for 5-6 innings with limited damage before hitting the showers. His fastball was more pronounced in his first Houston start, making him yet another apt pupil from Astros pitching coach Brent Strom.
Brandon C. Williams has covered Fantasy Sports since 2013 when he was selected as a finalist for the FSWA Newcomer of the Year. He is an award-winning writer/editor who has been in sports media for 30 years, having worked with likes of the Houston Chronicle, Fox Sports Net, CBSSports.com, Rivals.com and RotoExperts.com. Brandon is a Fantasy Content writer for the Canadian Football League and will begin his second season as a Fantasy Football Columnist for the Associated Press.