Fridays are undoubtedly my favorite DFS day of the week and it’s clear that MLB realizes this is their prime day. All 30 teams are in action every Friday night and each game starts within a three-hour span. That’s a DFS players dream and it makes our job so much easier. That makes variables like lineup changes and weather so much simpler to navigate through, but you still need to check in with Mark Paquette about forecasts before submitting lineups. We also got some free Monkey Knife Fight Picks at the end and I’m 8-3 over my last 11 selections!
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Cash Game Plays of the Day
Gerrit Cole, HOU vs. TOR
DK ($11.900) FD ($12,000)
Cole was actually my MKF pick and cash game play last week and his 14 Ks to show us that we made the right choice. The simple fact is, this dude is whiffing bats at an unsightly pace. Not only does he lead the Majors with 130 strikeouts, Cole is also at the top of the hill with a 39 percent K rate. That’s simply one of the best marks in Major League history and it makes him one of the best DFS plays every single time he toes the rubber. Facing Toronto is simply the icing on the cake, with the Blue Jays ranked 27th in runs scored, 21st in K rate and 28th in OPS. That’s why the Houston righty enters this game as a –270 favorite.
Max Scherzer, WSH vs. ARI
DK ($11.500) FD ($11,600)
Cole isn’t the only guy who’s sending batters back to the dugout with their heads shaking, as Scherzer is quite the strikeout king in his own right. In fact, Scherzer is currently second in the league in total Ks, sitting just four back of Cole. His swing-and-miss stuff is actually more reliable than Cole too, with Scherzer posting a 32 percent K rate dating back to 2015 while providing a FIP south of 3.00 in that same span. The reason I have Cole ranked higher is because Scherzer has the much tougher matchup. Arizona has sneakily been one of the best offenses in the league but they really don’t have any bats that necessarily make me want to fade Mad Max. He still enters this matchup as a –200 favorite with Arizona projected for about 3.5 runs.
Mid-Tier Pitcher Options
Trevor Richards, MIA vs. PIT
DK ($9,000) FD ($8,700)
Richards is a guy who I’ve been using all year and recent results are finally paying some dividends. Over his last four starts, Richards is pitching to a 1.09 ERA and 0.81 WHIP while striking out 24 batters across 24.2 innings. That’s simply elite production and it’s no surprise when you consider that he gets to work in one of the best pitcher’s parks in the Majors. Facing Pittsburgh is simply the cherry on top, with the Pirates ranking 20th in runs scored, 23rd in xwOBA and 24th in xSLG. Vegas expects this to be a pitching duel too, with the Pirates projected for only four runs in spacious Marlins Park.
Kyle Gibson, MIN vs. KC
DK ($9,300) FD ($8,300)
Gibson has really surprised me so far this season and it’s hard to argue with the results. Much like Richards, Gibson is playing his best baseball of the season right now. In fact, the Twins righty is posting a 3.25 ERA and 1.15 WHIP over his last nine starts while striking out 59 batters across 52.2 innings. That K rate is especially impressive, as it’s clear that Gibson is really adapting to this new swing-happy environment. Facing Kansas City is nothing we need to worry about either, with the Royals sitting 23rd in runs scored, 25th in xSLG and 24th in xwOBA. Minnesota’s recent form puts Gibson in a great spot for a win too, entering this game as a –220 favorite.
Eduardo Rodriguez, BOS at BAL
DK ($8,000) FD ($8,500)
This is the ultimate tournament play, as Rodriguez has sky-high K-upside in a matchup like this. We’re talking about a nasty southpaw who has posted a 26 percent K rate in three-straight seasons, which is all you can ask for from a player in this price range. He becomes particularly intriguing against an offense that ranks 19th in K rate, 25th in runs scored and last in xwOBA. Vegas understands all of these statistics and that’s why Rodriguez enters this game as a –210 favorite.
Adam Plutko, CLE at DET
DK ($7,200) FD ($7,600)
I always target the Tigers when picking pitchers and Plutko makes for a fantastic, cheap option. It’s easy to see why when looking at the Tigers statistics, with the Motor City Kitties ranking 29th K rate, 27th in wOBA and last in runs scored. That’s why they’re always worth picking on, as any pitcher is in play against them. It’s not like Plutko has been terrible either, with the Indians righty pitching to a .318 xwOBA and 1.04 WHIP so far this season. He enters this matchup as a –160 favorite, making him a heck of a value in the $7,500-range.
Chris Bassitt, OAK vs. SEA
DK ($7,800) FD ($7,500)
Bassitt has quietly been extremely consistent this season and we have to like him against a struggling offense like this. The Oakland righty has allowed three runs or fewer in all but one of his nine starts this season, pitching to a 3.57 ERA and 1.15 WHIP. In addition, Bassitt has matched his 53 innings pitched with 53 Ks, which simply means he’s outperforming this price tag. Seattle’s season-long numbers may be concerning to some but this is a club that ranks bottom-10 in K rate, runs scored and OBP since the beginning of May. Hitting in Oakland Coliseum certainly won’t help those ugly offensive numbers, with that park ranking Top 5 in park factor for pitchers. All of these factors have made Bassitt a –195 favorite in this game, with Seattle projected for only four runs.
Monkey Knife Fight Picks of the Day
Gerrit Cole Over 7.5 Strikeouts
Ok, what is going on here? We recommended this exact same prop last week but it was 8.5 strikeouts. He rewarded us with a 14-K performance against the Orioles and there’s no reason why this number should have dropped. We’re talking about a guy with a 39 percent K rate facing one of the worst offenses in the league and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him reach double-digit Ks once again.
Chris Bassitt over 5.5 Strikeouts
Bassitt’s strikeout numbers have been down the last few starts but facing the Astros and Angels did that to him. Bassitt had at least six Ks in all six of his starts to begin the year, posting a K rate close to 30 percent in that span. He becomes very intriguing against a team who ranks 29th in K rate, hitting in a pitcher’s haven.
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.