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DFS Pitching and Monkey Knife Fight Picks for 5/31



Picking the right pitchers on this slate is going to be extremely critical because you’re going to need to match them with the right Rockies. Colorado is currently projected for more than seven runs against Edwin Jackson and that happens to be the highest projected total of the season. It actually doubles many of the other team totals on this slate and that will make them one of the chalkiest teams all season long. 

Cash-Game Pitcher of the Day 

Patrick Corbin, WSH at CIN 

DK ($11,200)   FD ($11,400)  

Corbin is the highest-priced pitcher on the slate and it’s easy to understand why. Not only is he easily the most reliable pitcher on this board, he probably has one of the best matchups, too.  Dating back to last season, Corbin is posting a 3.07 ERA and 1,05 WHIP while providing a 30 percent K rate. That’s obviously some of the best numbers in the league and he should have no problem cruising through this lineup. So far this season, the Reds rank 21st in runs scored, 24th in OPS and 26th in xwOBA. It’s hard to argue with Corbin’s recent form too, posting a 1.55 ERA and 0.90 WHIP over his last four starts while striking out 31 batters across 29 innings. 

Top-Tier Pitchers 

Trevor Bauer, CLE at CWS 

DK ($9,200)   FD ($10.500) 

This play comes with a ton of risk because of Bauer’s recent struggles, but there’s also a chance that he’ll be the highest-scoring pitcher on the board. That’s what really makes him enticing here, with Bauer accruing 88 Ks across 76.1 innings so far this season. His early-season form shows the sort of dominance he possesses, with Bauer pitching to a 1.99 ERA and 1.03 WHIP over his first six starts. We expect to see that Bauer here against the White Sox, with Chicago sitting 22nd in OBP, xwOBA and runs scored while ranking 26th in K rate.  The White Sox actually have the worst K rate in the Majors dating back to last season and that spells disaster against a guy who has a 30 percent K rate in that same span. 

Caleb Smith, MIA at SD 

DK ($9,700)   FD ($9,800) 

Smith is not really getting the recognition he deserves, as he’s truly developed into one of the best southpaws in the game.  Over his first 10 starts, Smith is pitching to a 3.05 ERA and 0.96 WHIP while striking out 72 batters across 56 innings. Those strikeout numbers are downright absurd and he actually has at least six Ks in all but one start this season. He becomes very intriguing against an offense like this, with the Padres ranked 27th in K rate, 28th in xwOBA and 25th in runs scored.  

Mid-Tier Options 

Brad Peacock, HOU at OAK 

DK ($9,900)   FD ($8.600) 

This price is almost getting too high, but we have to consider him with his recent form. Over his last four starts, Peacock is pitching to a 0.39 ERA and 0.78 WHIP while striking out 32 batters across 23 innings of action. Those numbers are simply hard to believe and it really makes him difficult to avoid in a pitcher’s park like Oakland Coliseum. Oakland’s very good offense only ranks 22nd in runs scored and slugging percentage at home.  

Joey Lucchesi, SD vs. MIA 

DK ($8,800)   FD ($7,600) 

Lucchesi recent results would indicate that we’ve been making the correct recommendation on him as he has been included here in his past three starts. In fact, Lucchesi is providing a 2.68 ERA and 0.68 WHIP while striking out 21 batters across 19 innings over his last three starts. That absurd WHIP and high K rate would indicate that his ERA should be even lower, as his 3.48 FIP shows that he has some positive regression from his 4.25 ERA. That form would make him worth considering against anyone, but facing the Marlins is simply the best matchup in baseball. Miami currently ranks last in runs scored, OPS, xSLG, wOBA and xSLG. That says a lot about this horrific lineup and it’s really no surprise that Lucchesi is a –160 favorite with a minuscule total of 7. Don’t be afraid to bet this under and use both of these pitchers. 

Mike Foltynewicz, ATL vs. DET 

DK ($8,500)   FD ($7,300) 

Folty’s early-season struggles have kept his price at an affordable number and we really love him on FanDuel at $7,300. The last few starts are what we really like, with Foltynewicz posting a 1.50 ERA and 0.67 WHIP over his last two starts. A two-start sample size is small, but the fact that it came against elite offenses like the Brewers and Cardinals is a fantastic sign. We’re talking about a guy who provided a 2.85 ERA and 1.08 WHIP last season and it’s clear that he’s starting to recapture that form. Facing Detroit is a good way to keep rolling, with the Tigers ranked 25th in wOBA, 28th in xwOBA, 27th in runs scored and last in K rate. They’ll also be without a DH, which will only make their lackluster lineup even worse. 

Value Play of the Day 

Mike Fiers, OAK vs. HOU 

DK ($7,700)   FD ($6,700) 

Did Joel escape from the looney bin, recommending Fiers against the Astros? It’s very possible but let me loosen up my strait jacket to explain why I like Fiers. The first reason is because he’s facing Houston (WHAT?). While the Astros rank at the top in nearly every offensive category in the league, this simply isn’t the same team recently. Houston will be missing Carlos Correa, George Springer and Jose Altuve and that’s a ton of production to make up. That’s three MVP candidates out of the lineup and they’re going to be replaced by guys like Derek Fisher, Tony Kemp and Jake Marisnick. No, that’s not the 2004 Los Angeles Lakers. Their situation puts any pitcher in play against them for the next few weeks and recent results make me believe that Fiers has found something. In fact, Fiers is generating a 2.53 ERA and 0.75 WHIP over his last five starts. Pitching in Oakland Coliseum is huge too, as we’re looking at a total of 8 in one of the best pitcher’s parks in baseball. 

Monkey Knife Fight Pick of the Day 

Caleb Smith over 5.5 strikeouts 

Smith has at least six strikeouts in all but one start this season and has a spectacular matchup. Not only does he face a Padres team that ranks 27th in K rate in one of the best pitcher’s parks in the Majors, Smith is also one of the league leaders with a 33.2 percent K rate. 

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Caleb Smith and Joey Lucchesi over 12.5 strikeouts 

We’re going to hedge our previous pick with this one, as I expect a low-scoring pitcher’s duel in this matchup. Smith’s strikeout potential was explained in the previous write-up but Luchessi’s 26 percent K rate is no joke either. Facing the Marlins is huge too, with Miami ranking at the bottom in nearly every offensive statistic. I honestly believe that these two will pass the 14.5-K threshold for 2X-value but we’re going to keep it safe with the over 12.5 at 1.5X-value. 

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.

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