The last Saturday of the unofficial first half of the baseball season features the clear-cut ace pitcher in all of baseball, Max Scherzer. It is also a day which finally features all 30 MLB teams playing, though not all are being used on the main DFS slate.
Max Scherzer, Royals at Nationals ($12,400 FD, $12,200 DK): Every fifth day we can point to Max and say: “use him in your cash games and forget it”. I do not think today is any different but if you were ever to play the leverage game, would today be the day to fade him? I say no. You have to go back to Pedro Martinez in his heyday, Verlander in September of 2017, Kershaw in the midst of one of his Cy Young season, or a run like this by Max himself to see a pitcher this hot. He was named N.L. Pitcher of the Month in June after going 6-0 with a 1.00 ERA with 68 K’s.
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Andrew Cashner, Orioles at Blue Jays ($7,000 FD, $9,200 DK): There is quite the wide price difference between DK and FD. It is almost like FD is daring you use Cashner over Scherzer and take the savings. On DK, I think he is a great pairing with Max for your SP2. Wait a minute, an Orioles pitcher being praised? An Orioles pitcher!?!? Yes, an Orioles pitcher is in a good spot today for DFS purposes. He’s enjoying a rejuvenation at age 32, going 8-3 with a 4.03 ERA in 16 starts. Cashner was simply terrific in June, with a 1.44 ERA over four starts.
Michael Pineda, Rangers at Twins ($7,500 FD, $8,800 DK): Since returning from injury, Pineda has simply been a different pitcher. He turned in one of his best starts of the season in his last outing against the White Sox, when he struck out eight and walked only one while allowing one run on four hits in six innings. Pineda had 25 strikeouts and four walks in five June appearances since returning from the previously mentioned injury. He is certainly a cash-game option when taking the savings from Max into consideration.
Bargain Basement Arms
Chris Bassitt, Athletics at Mariners ($7,200 FD, $7,500 DK): Both prices seem way too low for a pitcher who has had a really good first half. It is almost like FD is now challenging you to use someone other than Scherzer (if you are playing the all-day slate or one where he and Max are on the same slate). Bassitt was very good in his last start as he limited the Angels to two runs over 5 2/3 innings in a win, walking only one batter. He allowed four runs (three earned) over 5 2/3 innings in a loss to Seattle a couple of starts back on June 14.
Kenta Maeda, Padres at Dodgers ($6.700 FD, $7,700 DK): Again FD, why tempt me away from Max! I love to play the all-day DFS slate so that is why I say that. Obviously, if they are not on the same slate, this price seems absurdly low for a guy with a rather high ceiling. Maeda was cruising in his last start with four scoreless innings at Coors Field, certainly an accomplishment, then couldn’t get out of the fifth. He is 6-3 in his career against San Diego
No Need to get cute here for me. Scherzer has gotten into double digit strikeout totals in four consecutive starts and five out of six. There is no reason in my mind why he won’t extend those streaks to five in a row and six out of seven.
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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).