Top-Tier Option 1Max Scherzer, WSH vs. SD Scherzer’s rough start against the Marlins may keep his ownership down, but that shouldn’t stray you away from using him here. What we really like today is his matchup, with San Diego ranking 28th in runs per game against right-handers this season. That number is no fluke either, with the Padres posting a lineup full of righties while ranking 25th in xwOBA. With so many righties in this lineup, Scherzer should cruise right through them. Throughout his storied career, Scherzer has an incredible .579 OPS allowed to opposing right-handers while owning a strikeout rate close to 36 percent. That’s obviously absurd and the fact that he enters this matchup as a –200 is simply the icing on the cake.
Top-Tier Option 2James Paxton, NYY at SF Paxton got off to a rough start with his new team but the last two outings indicate that he’s back to ace status. In fact, Paxton has allowed just five baserunners and no runs across his last two starts, striking out 24 batters across 14 innings of action. That’s obviously ridiculous and it makes him really hard to fade against the Giants. Not only is Oracle Park arguably the best pitcher’s park in baseball, the Giants currently rank bottom-three in runs scored, batting average and wOBA. You never want to say that this is a guaranteed quality start but it’s as close as it gets.
Middle-Tier Option 1Hyun-Jin Ryu, LAD vs. PIT Ryu is a fantastic value on both sites, as he enters this matchup as a –180 favorite, Him being such a large favorite should be no surprise when considering his form, with Ryu posting a 3.10 ERA and 0.98 WHIP while owning a 23:2 K:BB rate so far this season. The Pirates lineup has actually been better than expected but it’s still not good. In fact, they currently rank 25th in wOBA and 26th in slugging percentage. That’s why they’re projected to score only three runs here and Ryu is a great bet for a win and quality start.
Middle Tier Option 2Carlos Rodon, CWS vs. DET Rodon has been a breakout performer for the White Sox this season and his control problems appear to be a thing of the past. His 1.11 WHIP speaks loudly, as he owns a 35:12 K:BB rate this season. That’s a shocking number from a guy who’s owned one of the worst BB rates over the past few years and it’s truly led to a breakout campaign. A 2.89 ERA and 1.11 WHIP while striking out 35 batters across 28 innings is enticing enough, but this matchup is simply brilliant. Not only does Detroit rank 26th in OPS and wOBA, but they also own the fourth-worst strikeout rate in the majors.
Dirt-Cheap Value 1 :Miles Mikolas, STL vs. CIN While Mikolas’ strikeout upside is concerning, he showed last season that he can be successful without whiffing a whole lot of batters. In fact, Mikolas posted a 2.83 ERA and 1.07 WHIP in 32 starts last year. His 3.28 FIP indicates that it really wasn’t fluky either and he should be due for some quality starts sooner rather than later. That could begin here against this putrid offense, with Cincinnati ranking last in xBA, xSLG and xWOBA. That’s the trifecta and it says a lot about how much this team has struggled. That’s why Mikolas enters this game as a –155 favorite at home and that too makes him tough to fade in this price range.
Dirt-Cheap Value 2Danny Duffy, KC vs. LAA This is easily the riskiest pick in the article but there’s a chance Duffy could return to his pre-2018 form. Since 2012, Duffy has only had a FIP over 4.00 once before last year and a K-rate north of 22 percent. What really makes him an attractive option here is this matchup though, as the Angels simply can’t hit southpaws. Not only do they own a .633 OPS against lefties this season, but they also have the second-worst batting average as well (.206). That makes Duffy a GPP shot in the dark and a decent bet for a quality start at home.
Top-Tier Pitcher to Avoid:Jacob deGrom, NYM vs. MIL This might be one of the stupidest recommendations in this article, but there’s a lot here that makes me want to fade deGrom. The first thing is the weather. There is moderate rain projected throughout the night in New York and that alone makes deGrom a tough bet to throw his usual allotment of pitches. What adds to that is the fact that deGrom is coming off an elbow issue. This is his first start after missing nearly two weeks and the Mets would be incredibly stupid to stick him out there after a lengthy rain delay. There is nothing worse for a pitcher coming off an injury than to alter his usual throwing routine. The final piece to the puzzle is this matchup, with the Brewers having one of the most potent lineups in baseball. Monkey Knife Fight Pick of the Day Carlos Rodon Over 5.5 Strikeouts Rodon is easily my favorite bet on Monkey Knife Fight and he should have no problem reaching at least six Ks against this Tigers lineup. Not only does Detroit own the fourth-worst strikeout rate in the majors, Rodon has posted a 29.4 percent K-rate this season. All we need is Rodon to throw at least five innings to reach this total and that seems like a great bet with Detroit projected to score fewer than four runs. I also like Hyun-Jin Ryu to surpass his 5.5-K projection with his 28 percent K-rate the last two seasons against a weak Pittsburgh lineup.
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.