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8/21 DFS Pitching Picks

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Hump Day offers a smattering of daytime baseball but the best cash plays for our 8/21 DFS Pitching Picks come out at night. With the usual 15-game slate, expect solid choices for all formats.

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8/21 DFS Pitching Cash Game Pitchers 

Justin Verlander, HOU vs. DET

DK ($12,400)   FD ($12,500) 

It begins and ends with Verlander for the 8/21 DFS Pitching Picks when it comes to best cash game options. Yes, it’s going to cost you, but Verlander has put up at least 30 FanDuel points in all but two starts dating back to April 8. He’s been freaking Lights Out over his last six starts, recording at least 10 Ks in each, putting within the outer edge of his first 300-K season. Barring the unforeseen, Verlander will push the streak to seven at the expense of a Tigers team that is third only to the Mariners and Rangers in batter’s strikeouts (1,219). You don’t need a lot of fancy next gen numbers with this pick: Ante up and watch the K’s come.

Charlie Morton, TB vs. SEA

DK ($11,100)   FD ($11,600) 

Easily the best play among the daytime starters, Morton has helped deliver the long green in his past three starts, having produced FanDuel totals of 46, 42 and 55 points. He’s pitching at home in the Trop, where opponents have managed a .197 batting average and where Morton has a K:BB rate of 105:16 over 75.2 innings at home. Expensive? Yes, but if you’re playing an afternoon slate, there’s no other pitcher that comes close to giving you what Morton can provide.

This should be a dual act of Morton either fanning batters at will (remember, the Mariners lead the majors with 1,237 Ks from their hitters) or watching his 48.7% ground ball rate improve a tick or two. Seattle’s lineup doesn’t look like the Triple-A offense the Tigers will have in Houston tonight, but it’s one that is essentially playing for their fans at 10:10am.

Walker Buehler, LAD vs. TOR

DK ($11,400)   FD ($11,000) 

Like Verlander, Buehler finds himself in an ideal scenario: at home against a free-swinging team that’s allergic to walks. Slightly less expensive than V-Squared, Buehler also has lacked Verlander’s consistency, having pitched a combined 10 innings in his last two starts, but I love the FanDuel projection (41.70 points) for him tonight. Buehler has a sick, sick, sick K:BB rate of 10.57:1.66. That number is more perverse when looking at his K:BB rate when pitching at Dodger Stadium, as Buehler sports a 94:7 rate in 73.1 innings tossed at home. To paraphrase a line of the song “Walking in LA” by the 1980s new wave group Missing Persons, nobody walks in LA, especially when Buehler is on the mound.

Toronto is 23rd in batter’s strikeouts, but for all the future talent brimming in their lineup, the Blue Jays are 28th in the majors with a .304 OBP. Do not count on that number improving after Wednesday night. In short, Buehler is money well spent for the 8/21 DFS Pitching Picks.

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8/21 DFS Pitching GPP Picks 

Mike Minor, TEX vs. LAA

DK ($10,400)   FD ($9,300) 

He’s matched up well against the Angels, having gone 3-0 with a 2.08 ERA in five starts against them. Minor put up 58 FanDuel points against them on April 16 and followed that with a solid 34 FDP in a May 25 start before a 16 FDP clunker versus Team Trout on July 2. His ability to reduce his fly ball rate (40%) is a key element behind his underrated performance this season and is also a welcomed fact considering how the ball can fly in Arlington on a hot August night.

Minor also brings a 12:7% HR:BB rate to the party and does come into this start with a lot of DFS momentum, recording 52 and 67 FanDuel points in his last two starts. The Angels managed just 13 hits in a double-header split on Tuesday, and I don’t suspect their bats will come alive against Minor.

Mike Fiers, OAK vs. NYY

DK ($9,600)   FD ($7,700) 

This sets to be a trap game for those who like to stack Yankees batters. Fiers is Cy Young-caliber at Oakland Coliseum, where he has a 7-2 record with a 2.89 ERA while allowing hitters to get him at a .215 clip. He’s a bit pricey at DraftKings and does come off his worst DFS scoring performance since May 1, managing just 18 FanDuel points against the Tigers (!!!). However, he has delivered at least 30 FanDuel points in three of his last four starts at home. If there is any concern regarding Fiers, it’s the 5.99 K/9 rate he brings to the table.

That’s a tad unnerving, especially considering the level of lumber the Yanks will have in the lineup, but since Fiers is at home, you have to give him the edge and simply trust he can keep his infielders busy while hoping his 39.5% fly ball rate doesn’t take a sharp turn.

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8/21 DFS Pitching Punt Pick 

Joe Musgrove, PIT vs. WAS

DK ($5,900)   FD ($7,200) 

Musgrove is a roller coaster, but what fun he can be when he’s on. He comes off a solid outing against the Cubs that resulted in 47 FanDuel points, continuing a season-long trend that has seen him either blow up DFS lineups or become an unsung hero to those crazy enough to run with him. Musgrove has allowed three or fewer earned runs in three of his last four starts and is also on a 10-start stretch that has seen him walk two or fewer batters eight times.

The Nats’ offensive onslaught was slowed on Tuesday night, and if you’re a believer that it’s a sign of regression from Washington, boy, do I have a sleeper play for you.

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.

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