I always look forward to writing these pitching articles and we have yet another fascinating slate here. While a lot of these pitchers are guys I haven’t used much this season, there are still some great options out there. With that in mind, let’s get into our 8/16 DFS Pitching Picks.
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8/16 DFS Pitching Cash Game Plays
Luis Castillo, CIN vs. STL
DK ($10,800) FD ($11,100)
I really haven’t written up Castillo a whole lot this season and that’s probably a mistake on my part. We’re talking about a complete breakout, with the Reds righty pitching to a 2.69 ERA and 1.11 WHIP this season while striking out 172 batters. That equates to an incredible 29.5 percent K rate, which is no surprise when you look at his 3.57 career xFIP.
That’s why his price has risen so much and it’s amazing just how consistent he’s been. Castillo has at least 30 FD points in 20 of his 24 starts this season. The icing on the cake is this matchup though, with the Cardinals establishing themselves as one of the worst offenses in the league. In fact, St. Louis sits 25th in runs scored, 24th in OPS, 22nd in OBP and 25th in wOBA. That’s why Castillo and the Reds enter this matchup as a –160 favorite.
Charlie Morton, TB vs. DET
DK ($11,600) FD ($11,300)
Morton is easily my favorite play on the board. This dude has been downright special the last two seasons and it’s a wonder why more people aren’t taking notice. Dating back to last season, Morton is providing a 3.02 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 30 percent K rate. That’s backed up by a 3.33 xFIP and it’s amazing just how much this guy has improved.
Much like Castillo, Morton is extremely reliable too. In 25 starts this season, the Tampa Bay righty has reached at least 33 FanDuel points in 21 of those fixtures. That appears to be the floor in a matchup like this, with the Motor City Kitties ranked bottom-three in runs scored, OBP, OPS, xwOBA and K rate. That’s truly frightening in a pitcher’s park like Tropicana Field and it’s main reason why Morton and the Rays enter this matchup as a –320 favorite.
Noah Syndergaard, NYM at KC
DK ($10,100) FD ($9,800)
Syndergaard has been slightly disappointing for season-long fantasy owners but his recent form shows just how much talent this dude possesses. Over his last six starts, Syndergaard is pitching to a 1.91 ERA and 1.04 WHIP while striking out 44 batters across 42.1 innings of action. He also went at least seven innings in all six of those starts, which is unheard of in today’s MLB. That’s the guy that we’ve been expecting, as his 2.85 FIP and 26.3 percent career K rate for show the sort of potential he has. All of that pairs beautifully with this matchup, with the Royals ranked 26th in runs scored, 25th in OBP, 26th in OPS, 23rd in wOBA and 22nd in xwOBA. All of these factors have him entering this matchup as a –190 favorite.
8/16 DFS Pitching GPP Plays
Vince Velasquez, PHI vs. SD
DK ($7,200) FD ($7,200)
Velasquez has been stellar the last month or so and it’s not indicative in his price. Over his last 49 innings pitched, Velasquez is generating a 4.04 ERA, 3.50 xFIP, 1.12 WHIP and 9.7 K/9 rate. That’s the stud we’ve been waiting for and it’s really encouraging to see him pitching so well. This guy has always shown that sort of capability, with Velasquez posting a 4.19 xFIP. 4.04 SIERA and 25.4 percent K rate for his career.
What makes him an enticing option here is this matchup, with the Padres ranked 23rd in runs scored, 23rd in OBP, 22nd in OPS, 27th in K rate and 28th in xwOBA. What makes that even scarier is the fact that they’re missing Fernando Tatis Jr and are throwing out a bunch of righties against Velasquez. For his career, VV has a .320 wOBA and 27 percent K rate against right-handed batters.
Kyle Hendricks, CHC at PIT
DK ($8,200) FD ($7,800)
Hendricks is coming off one of his worst starts of the year but that has lowered his price enough to entice me. We’re still talking about a guy with a 3.48 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 114:27 K:BB rate facing one of the worst offenses in the league. Prior to that ugly start against a scorching-hot Reds offense, Hendricks pitched to a 2.35 ERA and 0.97 WHIP over his previous seven appearances. All of that makes him tough to fade against a Pirates offense that ranks 20th in runs scored, 20th in wOBA and 19th in xwOBA.
Jake Odorizzi, MIN at TEX
DK ($9,200) FD ($8,800)
This is very risky when you look at Texas’ team total but there’s a lot to like here about Odorizzi. Let’s start with the Twins pitcher, as he’s in the midst of a breakout year. A 3.44 ERA and 1.22 WHIP speaks for itself but his 25.3 percent K rate is also the best mark of his career. That impressive strikeout stuff becomes very attractive against an offense like this, with the Rangers owning the worst K rate in the Majors. In addition, the Rangers also rank 19th in OBP and they simply haven’t been the same offense since Joey Gallo went down.
Monkey Knife Fight Pick of the Day
Kyle Hendricks Over 4.5 Strikeouts
We had an ugly 0-2 outing in our last article, so its time to rebound with this pick. This happens to be pitching and I’m actually hitting over 70 percent with these strikeout props. While Pittsburgh is pretty good in terms of strikeouts, their weak offense should allow Hendricks to pitch into the sixth inning. As long as he does that, he will likley reach five Ks with his 21 percent K rate and good peripherals.
MKF Record 26-18
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.