This is a very funky slate. While I don’t necessarily love this crop of pitchers, we have some interesting arms in great circumstances. That’s all we can ask for as DFS players and it’s a lesson that needs to be learned. Sometimes, we have to step outside of our comfort zone sand use players we normally wouldn’t consider because you simply can’t have biases in this industry. As always, you need to check in with Mark Paquette before submitting lineups to see if we have any weather issues.
Cash Game Pitcher of the Day
Gerrit Cole, HOU vs. BAL
DK ($12,200) FD ($11,200)
I hate to say he is only the best cash-game play of the day because this is undoubtedly the best play on the board no matter what. The simple fact is, you can’t match this guy’s ability to whiff batters. That’s evident by his league-leading 37.4 percent K rate, which is backed up by his 35 percent K rate from last season. That’s simply elite production and it’s clear that his 1.04 WHIP and elite K rate means that he has some positive regression headed his way from his 3.94 ERA. Facing the Orioles is simply the icing on the cake, with Baltimore ranked 24th in runs scored, 25th in OPS and last in xwOBA. That’s why Cole enters this matchup as a –355 favorite.
Mike Soroka, ATL at MIA
DK ($11,600) FD ($10,800)
It feels weird to recommend a rookie above $10,000 but he’s earned every bit of that lofty price tag. In fact, Soroka is pitching to a 1.41 ERA and 0.91 WHIP this season while striking out 51 batters across 57 innings of action. That is elite for anyone and it’s clear that he’s the frontrunner for NL Rookie of the Year with this stellar season. The reason we like him here is because he gets to face Miami in Marlins Park. Not only is that arguably the best pitcher’s park in the Majors, the Marlins also sit at the bottom in nearly every offensive category. So far this season, Miami ranks 28th in wOBA, 29th in runs scored and 30th in both OPS and xwOBA. Vegas agrees with our assessment, as they have Soroka as a –180 favorite in a game with a total of 8, which means the Marlins are projected for about 3.3 runs.
Clayton Kershaw, LAD at SF
DK ($11,200) FD ($10,700)
Kershaw is always worth considering any time he takes the mound, especially against the Giants. I mean, we’re talking about an offense who just allowed Jason Vargas to throw a complete game shutout against them. C’Mon man, that’s embarrassing! That’s really no surprise when you consider the fact that San Francisco ranks 28th in runs scored, 29th in OPS and 28th in wOBA. That says a lot about this offense and it’s really no surprise hitting in a pitcher’s park like Oracle Park. Kershaw is back to his All-Star ways too, posting a 3.20 ERA and 1.05 WHIP this season while posting a 55:9 K:BB rate. Kershaw completely owns the Giants too, posting a 13-4 record in San Fran while providing a 1.54 ERA and 0.83 WHIP, striking out 156 batters across 164 innings.
Andrew Heaney, LAA vs. SEA
DK ($9,200) FD ($9,400)
Heaney is generally overlooked in terms of great pitchers but he’s truly established himself as one of the best southpaws in the league. In his first two starts, Heaney has allowed only eight baserunners across 11 innings while striking out 18 batters. That’s simply elite production, as his 4.09 ERA is not indicative of just how good he’s been. His 2.68 xFIP this season and 3.68 xFIP from last season really show how special he’s been and it’s hard to argue with a 25 percent K rate in that span. Facing Seattle right now is quite the treat for any pitcher too, with the Mariners ranking 28th in both runs scored and OBP in May while sitting 27th in K rate for the year.
Zach Eflin, PHI vs. CIN
DK ($8,700) FD ($8,300)
Eflin has quietly had a breakout year for the Phillies, as his 3.02 ERA and 1.19 WHIP are actually the best numbers in the Philly rotation. While his 51 Ks are lacking a bit, it’s hard to argue with a guy who is producing like this. The reason we really like Eflin today is because he gets to face the Reds. So far this season, Cincinnati ranks 24th in wOBA, 26th in xwOBA and 23rd in OPS. That’s why we have Eflin projected to enter this matchup as a –180 favorite. With all that in mind, Eflin is coming off the IL for this start and its unclear exactly how long he’ll last but he is worth the risk.
Brandon Woodruff, MIL vs. PIT
DK ($7,800) FD ($8,600)
Woodruff is probably my favorite value play of the day, as he’s been the Brewers’ best pitcher since the end of April. Aside from a dud against Pittsburgh in his most recent game, Woodruff was pitching to a 1.42 ERA and 0.82 WHIP over his previous six starts while striking out 43 batters across 38 innings of action. That elite strikeout potential has been there all season long, with Woodruff recording at least five Ks in all 11 starts en route to a 28.3 percent K rate. While he did struggle against the Pirates in his last start, this is a matchup we love. In fact, Pittsburgh currently ranks 23rd in both runs scored and xwOBA while ranking 25th in xSLG. Vegas loves Woodruff too, as they have him as a –250 favorite in this game.
Monkey Knife Fight Picks of the Day
While I did miss on our last MKF pick because of a blowup by Aaron Nola, I’m still 7-3 over my last 10 selections. There actually wasn’t a whole lot I like on MKF today but there is one pick that I do really prefer.
Gerrit Cole over 8.5 strikeouts
Honestly, I would almost never pick a pitcher to pick up more than eight Ks but I think Cole is a guarantee for double-digit strikeouts. His 37 percent K rate is a huge reason why, but facing a bad offense like this only adds to his K upside.
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.