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DFS Pitching and Monkey Knife Fight Picks for 6/1



I will cover all potential pitchers here, not just the main slate. St. Louis looks like the only game with the threat of a delay or PPD due to the weather.

Upper-Tier Arms

Justin Verlander, Astros at Athletics ($11,900 FD, $11,900 DK): It is a rather rare event when a pitcher;s price is exactly the same on both FD and DK. Anyway, Verlander is coming off a relatively rough start, for him at least, at home against the Red Sox. He now gets to pick on a weaker opponent and at a park better for pitchers (Minute Maid Park ranks 10th in ease to hit HRs so far this season, the Oakland Coliseum ranks 23rd). Verlander has a 2.05 ERA with 35 strikeouts in 29 innings over his last four starts even with his somewhat rocky start against the defending World Series champions thrown in. The Athletics rank in the middle of the pack (16th overall) in pop against righties with an ISO of .173 but much of that damage was done by Khris Davis (who is on the IL but could be activated for this game, watch the announced lineups) and on the road, where they have a fifth best .205 ISO compared to a 20th best .172 at home. He enters this start only five strikeouts away from Cy Young for 21st all-time. If he wins this game, it will be his 30th regular-season victory since joining the Astros on the last day of August of 2017. Verlander is certainly cash-game worthy, but to try and fit some Coors bats into my lineup, I will go cheaper.

Mike Soroka, Tigers at Braves ($10,300 FD, $10,900 DK): This early-season candidate for Rookie of the Year certainly has a strong All-Star case. He has allowed one earned run or less in each of his first eight starts of 2019. He is coming off simply a tremendous May, with a 0.79 ERA and having limited opponents to a .145 batting average over five starts. In come the Tigers, who rank as the 26th ranked road team in terms of ISO at .163 and lead the league with a 28.6% strikeout rate. You can’t really ask for a better matchup for Soroka. He is cash-game worthy, but I may try get savings by going cheaper to afford Coors bats in GPPs.

Clayton Kershaw, Phillies at Dodgers ($10,100 FD, $10,100 DK): Another pitcher where the prices match up on the two sites, and we see a big bat in the middle of the order really struggle against him. Bryce Harper is only 2-for-21 with 13 strikeouts when these two players face each other. You know things are going Kershaw’s way when he is critical of his last start, a six-inning quality outing against the Mets at home where he gave up 10 hits and struck out five. You are not getting much of a discount for the two arms written up above but you need all the savings you can get to spend up for some Coors bats. The Phillies struggle to hurt opponents away from Citizens Bank Park, ranking 26th in the league with a .146 road team ISO. As can be expected, this is a major park downgrade for them as well. Kershaw is cash-game worthy, but I think I will keep saying the same thing, get savings for Coors bats by going cheaper in GPPs.

Middle-Tier Arm

Brandon Woodruff, Brewers at Pirates ($9,500 FD, $10,100 DK): Woodruff has been a pleasant surprise for the Brewers. He is coming off a spectacular start vs. Philadelphia where he allow only one hit (a solo homer by Andrew Knapp) over eight innings and had a season-high 10 strikeouts. Woodruff has allowed no more than two runs in any of his past six starts. Miller Park to PNC is a major upgrade for pitchers, going from the fifth easiest park to hit a HR in to 17th. I know it is a broken record, but he is not going to be my cash game pitcher by now because I want to be able to choose as many bats from Coors as I can.

Bargain Basement

Derek Norris, Tigers at Braves ($6,300 FD, $7,500 DK): Norris has been quietly solid this season. Over his last four starts, he has given up more than two earned runs only once. He was cruising in his last start against the Orioles until his own error allowed traffic on the basepaths (he threw away a double play ball) and two hits followed. Still, he was only one out away from a quality start. Norris is showing command of a four-pitch arsenal that is keeping his team in games. In the past, walks were a big problem for him. So far in 2019, his last start was the only one when he walked more than two batters. On the all-day FD slate with that price, he is my favorite cash pitcher. Let’s get more creative on DK.

David Hess, Giants at Orioles ($6,200 FD, $4,200 DK): They are basically daring you to use him on DK. So you know what? Let’s do that! Hess really is not that bad of a pitcher, as he has battled and kept his team in basically every start but two, May 21st against the Yankees and April 17th against the Rays. Do you see a theme there? Those are AL East opponents, teams that know him a bit better than others. His big issue on the season is HRs allowed, but he showed improvement there in holding Colorado to only one HR over 5.2 innings on Sunday in his first career start at Coors Field. Luckily, the Giants lack much pop, ranking 21st in the league with only 33 HRs.

Monkey Knife Fight Pick of the Day

Christian Yelich Over 1.5 Hits plus Walks: Yelich is due to break out. He gets to take some cuts against struggling right-hander Nick Kingham, who gave up seven hits in his last start and didn’t even go five innings. If the surplus of hits trend continues for Kingham today, we can expect Yelich will be in the middle of it. Play MLB Prop Games now and get Bonuses!

DFS meteorologist concentrating on MLB and the NFL, I graduated from UMass-Lowell with a degree in meteorology in 1996. I worked at AccuWeather as a meteorologist for almost a decade. I combined my two loves, weather and sports, and like to think I help 1000s of DFS'ers out each day. Huge Boston sports fan, lover of nature and animals and a proud father of 4 boys (2 biological).

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