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DFS Pitching, Monkey Knife Fight Picks for 5/10 – Rays of Hope

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Cash-Game Play of the Day 

Justin Verlander, HOU vs. TEX 

DK ($11,000)   FD ($11,300) 

Verlander is the highest-priced pitcher on the board and rightfully so. The Hall-of-Fame exploits pretty much speak for themselves, as Verlander is probably the best pitcher in the Majors right now. He’s in top form too, sitting with a 2.86 ERA and 0.87 WHIP while striking out 60 batters across 50.1 innings so far this season. He’s always had success against the Rangers too, with Verlander posting a 2.90 ERA and 1.10 WHIP in 27 starts against them, owning a 30 percent K rate. That’s why he enters this matchup as a –265 favorite, with Texas projected to score only three runs.

Top-Tier Options: 

Luis Castillo, CIN at SF 

DK ($10,600)   FD ($10,700) 

Castillo is probably the best cash-game play on the board, as he has the highest floor of any pitcher on this slate. The main reason why is this matchup, with San Francisco ranking 27th in OPS and 28th in xwOBA. That’s really no surprise when you consider the fact that their best hitters are Brandon Belt, Kevin Pillar and the injured Buster Posey, while hitting in the best pitcher’s park in the majors. Castillo is absolutely breaking out right now too, collecting a 1.97 ERA and 0.97 WHIP while striking out 59 batters across 50.1 innings. That has led to him scoring at least 15 DK points in all eight of his starts, averaging 24 fantasy points per game.

Tyler Glasnow, TB vs. NYY 

DK ($10.400)   FD ($10,500) 

Glasnow has truly developed into one of the best pitchers in the league and he’s always dangerous in a pitcher’s park like Tropicana Field. So far this season, Glasnow has generated a 1.47 ERA and 0.86 WHIP while striking out 46 batters across 43 innings of action. While facing the Yankees sounds tough on the surface, we’re talking about a lineup without Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks and Didi Gregorius. That may lower the ownership of Glasnow, which is particularly tempting with the Yankees projected to score fewer than four runs. That makes Glasnow a better tournament play than a cash-game option.

Middle-Tier Options: 

Zack Wheeler, NYM vs. MIA 

DK ($9,700)   FD ($9,200) 

Wheeler is a fantastic cash-game play, as he’s easily one of the best bets to accrue a quality start. What’s lowered Wheeler’s price is the fact that he has two duds but that really shouldn’t be an issue against an offense like this. In fact, Miami ranks last in wOBA, runs scored and OPS while ranking 29th in xwOBA. That looks particularly enticing considering the fact that Wheeler has posted a .306 xwOBA while owning a 26 percent K rate this season. The icing on the cake is Citi Field, as that ballpark has ranked bottom-three in runs scored since the beginning of last season. 

Jake Odorizzi, MIN vs. DET 

DK ($8,800)   FD ($9,100) 

Odorizzi is not a guy that I expected to be in one of my articles at the beginning of the season, but he’s truly having a spectacular year. If you remove a nightmare start at Philly, Odorizzi has arguably been a Top-Five pitcher in the AL. While he allowed five runs in less than an inning in that shelling, Odorizzi still owns a 2.78 ERA and 1.09 WHIP this season. That says a lot about just how good he’s been, with Odorizzi posting a career-high 26 percent K rate. What makes his recent run even more impressive is the fact that he faced the Astros twice and the Yankees in his last three starts. Facing Detroit should only help, with the Tigers ranked 24th in both wOBA and runs scored while posting the third-worst K rate in the majors. 

Frankie Montas, OAK vs. CLE 

DK ($8,400)   FD ($8,500) 

While DraftKings has Aaron Brooks projected to start, it’s likely going to be Montas. This is a guy we always want to use at home, with Oakland Coliseum ranking Top-Five in park factor this season. In three starts at home this year, Montas has posted a 2.50 ERA and 1.09 WHIP while striking out a batter per inning. His overall numbers are actually pretty similar, with Montas recording a 2.75 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 21 percent K rate. Cleveland is not a team we need to fear either, with the Indians ranking 28th in xwOBA, 29th in runs scored and 19th in K rate.   

Cheap Tournament Play: 

Dereck Rodriguez, SF vs. CIN 

DK ($6,300)   FD ($6,400) 

The cheap options on this slate are an absolute nightmare but Rodriguez makes for a nice pivot. The main reason why is pitching in Oracle Park, as that ranks as the best pitching venue in the Majors based on park factors. That would make anyone worth using, but facing the Reds is an absolute treat right now. In fact, Cincinnati ranks 25th in xwOBA, 30th in batting average and 29th in xSLG. A no-hitter from Mike Fiers against them shows just how bad they’ve been, as that lowered his ERA just below 6.00. Rodriguez is not exactly a gas can arm either, as he posted a 3.54 ERA and 1.00 WHIP in his first five starts of the season before two recent duds. That is pretty comparable to his numbers last year, when Rodriguez posted a 2.81 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. 

Monkey Knife Fight Picks of the Day 

Tyler Glasnow 0.5 more strikeouts than Domingo German 

While German has been solid, Glasnow has simply been better. The reason we like Glasnow to get more strikeouts is because I anticipate Glasnow lasting longer. Not only do the Rays possess a tougher lineup to navigate through, the Yankees strong bullpen could give German the quick pull. In addition, Glasnow is averaging 6.1 innings and 6.5 Ks per start while German is averaging 5.4 innings and 5.5 Ks per start. 

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Lance Lynn under 4.5 strikeouts 

With Houston projected to win this game easily and score nearly five runs, I anticipate Lynn having a short start. That alone makes Lynn a tough bet to reach five Ks, but the fact that Houston owns the second-lowest K rate in the league makes this a great pick. Not to mention, Houston is averaging 8.2 runs per game across their last five outings and that’s a scary thought for a struggling pitcher like Lynn. 

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.

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