Unlike Saturday’s slate, the Sunday 8/11 DFS pitching schedule brings good tidings for those who seeking top end pitchers. All three formats are well-stocked with options, including a sleeper or two that has a chance to deliver surprise numbers.
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deGrom has fattened the wallets of many over his last 15 starts, scoring at least 40 FanDuel points 11 times, with his 49 point effort in his previous start against the Marlins leaving him a point shy of four straight starts with at least 50 points. Obviously, starting deGrom as your SP1 will impact the coin you’ll spend on offense, but when you’re getting 11.45 K/9 with just 2.2 BB/9 while keeping the ball in the yard, you’ll spend it and do so smiling. deGrom sets the pace by hitting first pitch strikes at 66.5% and is still putting up good numbers despite not maintaining the off-the-charts pace he had in 2018.
Most pitchers will take a 4.9 WAR a this point of the season, but that — along with a RAR of 43.3 — is what deGrom carries into this contest. He’s more dominant at home in Citi Field, where deGrom has struck out 84 batters over 68 innings at home with a 3.18 ERA. He’s more unforgiving to the Nationals, holding them to an 0.75 ERA while putting together an 18:4 K/BB rate and a composite .167 allowed against them.
Justin Verlander, HOU at BAL
DK ($12,400) FD ($12,500)
Most will consider deGrom the better play, but you can’t fault anyone plugging Verlander as their SP1. JV has four straight starts of at least 58 FanDuel points and faces a Baltimore lineup bereft of quality in its lineup, a huge reason they are 24th in OPS and 25th in wRAA. He’s pushing for a second straight season of striking out at least 35% of opponents, and he’s still a legit Cy Young award candidate despite a rise in hard contact rate (40.8%) and an elevated HR/9 rate (1.68).
deGrom gets the edge because of his track record against the Nationals, but Verlander has won seven of his last eight starts and is on a four-start stretch of at least 10 strikeouts. I think you’ll get another 10-K from Verlander and another win that would give him a sixth straight win.
8/11 DFS GPP Plays
Mike Minor, TEX at MIL
DK ($9,600) FD ($9,200)
Minor hit some major turbulence in mid-July but has won his last two starts, including seven shutout innings against the Indians on Monday. One could say that Minor is having a career year, as his 31.3 RAR has already eclipsed the 29.6 RAR he recorded as a member of the Braves in 2012. He’s been inconsistent when it comes to FanDuel reduction, as his 28.95 FD points were his best output since scoring 34.55 FD against the Tigers on June 26.
The Brewers are hitting a combined .252/.312/.403 this month and are paying dearly for their all or nothing at all mindset, striking out 85 times in eight games. There is good potential for Minor to be able to exploit Milwaukee’s loss of Christian Yelich, who remains sidelined with back woes.
Lucas Giolito, CWS vs. OAK
DK ($10,600) FD ($9.800)
Giolito has at least 43 FanDuel points in three of his last four starts and has shaken off the 9 points he produced at FD against the Cubs on July 6. He’s approaching 11 strikeouts per nine innings (10.86 K/9 to date). Giolito has continued to keep opposing batters from making max impact against him (30.9% hard contact rate) and has avoided the long ball despite a 41.1% fly ball rate.
This shapes to a good matchup for Giolito, as the Athletics have seen their bats go .233/.340/.454 over the past week. Oakland’s longball or bust mentality will work agains them considering Giolito allows opposing bats to hit just .203 against him at home this season while he’s delivered 70 strikeouts over 59.1 innings. What keeps Giolito from being a cash pitcher is the uncertainty that the A’s bats get dialed in early and catch Giolito off-balance.
8/11 DFS Punt Plays
Jakob Junis, KC at DET
DK ($7,900) FD ($8,600)
Junis comes off a 37 FanDuel point outing against the Red Sox and already has starts of 37 and 34 points against the Tigers this season. There is sneaky good strikeout potential in Junis, who averages 8.46 K/9 to go along with a slightly above league average 3.12 BB/9. The Tigers’ lineup won’t be able to fully exploit Junis’ weakness (his 1.56 HR/9 rate), this despite the fact the Royals hurler sports a 42.4% hard contact rate.
There’s a chance the Tigers might get one off him, but I think Junis is capable of setting the pace early with strikeouts before getting the Detroit bats to induce ground balls as a steady clip. This is a good pairing if you’re looking to go with deGrom or Verlander in a cash league or even Giolito in a PPS format.
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.