If the 8/27 DFS Pitching Picks was Popeye’s Chicken Sandwich, then the 8/28 DFS Pitching Picks feels like the last overpriced microwave “chicken sandwich” at the local gas station.
Outside of another gem of a pitching matchup in Houston and Thor wielding his mighty hammer at Citi Field, the rest of the day’s slate is, well, bad.
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8/28 DFS Pitching Picks Cash Game Pitchers
Gerrit Cole, HOU vs. TB
DK ($12,000), FD ($12,200)
Cole will draw a high percentage of users, especially in FanDuel where he’s recorded at least 40 FD points in nine straight starts dating to June 30. He’s coming off his third start of at least 60 FD points in this run, a 67-pointer against the Tigers last Thursday. Cole currently leads the Majors in ERA+ with 163, due in part to his ability to humiliate hitters at offensive-friendly Minute Maid Park (.178 OBA). Since the All-Star Break, Cole has been downright frightening, running a 6-0 mark with 68 strikeouts over 47 innings, raising his strikeout rate to 37.3%. Ranked sixth in FIP at 2.98, Cole gets to a face a Rays team that was hitting just .202/.233/.323 before Tuesday’s beatdown where they managed just one run on seven hits. Play. Him.
Noah Syndergaard, NYM vs. CHC
DK ($10,300), FD ($10,000)
Friendly piece of advice: leave Cubs hitters alone if you’re banking on homers from your DFS lineup. Syndergaard has allowed just one homer in his last 54.1 innings, which explains the 28.7% hard contact rate he’s allowed. His fastball has expanded its bite, kicking up to 97.7 mph, as Syndergaard has increased his usage of premium gas to 58.6% of the time. Not quite in a run like Cole’s, Syndergaard has still produced a run of eight straight starts of at least 30 points at FanDuel that includes four starts of at least 46 FP. If you’re looking to save money but want an elite arm for cash game purposes, Syndergaard’s the play. Opponents are batting just .207 against him since the ASB while also allowing three or fewer runs in seven of his last eight outings.
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8/28 DFS Pitching Picks GPP Pitchers
Ryan Yarborough, TB at HOU
DK ($9,300), FD ($9,000)
Man, it’s tough to suggest Yarborough after watching the Astros wear out Charlie Morton and the Rays bullpen for 15 runs on 18 hits Tuesday night. However, Yarborough is going to make more than one DFS’er think twice about a potential Astros stack. You’d think Yarborough’s home/road splits would tilt strongly toward dominance at the Trop, but you’d be wrong. Outside of Tampa Bay, he sports a 2.21 ERA and .174 OBA with just four homers allowed. Yarborough has elevated his strikeout rate to 22% and a K-BB% of 19%. Another reason to be hesitant on Astros bats tonight: Yarborough’s 29.4% hard contact rate allowed. Oh, here’s one more: an overall HR/FB% of just 8.8%. Forget Tuesday night and take your chances that Yarborough will meet a far better fate than Morton.
Max Scherzer, WAS vs. BAL
DK ($11,400), FD ($12,000)
Oh, the risk tolerance here. Scherzer himself said he’s not “out of the woods,” and it showed in the four innings and 71 pitches he tossed against the Pirates in his first start back from the DL. Name value and opponent are the only reasons why he’s suggested here, and while Scherzer’s proclaiming he’s not all the way back, there’s still the prospect of him delivering 35-40 points without getting to the seventh inning considering the Orioles are 20th in batter’s strikeouts and 26th in lBA (.252). B-More is also 22nd in adjusted batters runs (-65.3), making them a potentially nice blend of lousy that goes well with a hurler that has struck out 34.8% of the batters he’s faced. Overlooked in the midst of Scherzer’s clashes with injuries is a sharp reduction in fly balls, as it has gone from from seven straight seasons of at least 41.6% to 37.8%.
I strongly suggest NOT going with Scherzer in cash games. The risk far outweighs the rewards. While hesitant to add him here, facing the Orioles at home makes him more a GPP option.
8/28 DFS Pitching Punt Pick
Kenta Madea, LA at SD
DK ($8,000), FD ($8,700)
Maeda has 49 and 43 FD point outing in two of his last three starts, with a 32 FD pointer sandwiched in between. His K game has shown up in his past two starts, having struck out 18 batters despite pitching a combined 10 innings. Don’t expect him to eclipse more than 85-90 pitches, but expect the whiffs to keep coming as Maeda continues to use his change up as an excellent third complement to his heater and slider. Madea has gone from using his changeup 15.2% of the time in 2018 to 24.2% this year at the expense of reducing the frequency of his fastball (44.4% in 2018, 37.7% this season).
He gets something of a dream matchup in the Padres, who have gone .182/.254/.278 with 2.1 runs per game over the past week. San Diego batters are whiffing nearly nine times per game in that span, making Maeda a sneaky good punt play for the 8/28 DFS Pitching Picks.
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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.