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MLB DFS: Starting Rotation 9.11

MLB DFS: Starting Rotation 9.11

We took a night off last night and rain wreaked havoc with a lot of the pitching options on the slate. I’m not sure we really missed much of anything on Thursday and Wednesday was an unmitigated disaster. Let’s start fresh on this Friday and we definitely have some big names to sort through at the top of the salary range for MLB DFS: Starting Rotation 9.11.

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Cash Options

Lucas Giolito

Pitch Data – FB – 7th CH – 15th SL – 27th

Giolito should be the overwhelming favorite for cash, even with Shane Bieber on the slate (more on him in a few minutes). The matchups are far different and Giolito faces off against the offense that whiffs the most to RHP in the league at 28.5%. The one other time Giolito faced the Tigers this year? He racked up 43 DK points and struck out 13 hitters.

Even if he doesn’t hit that mark again, his 34.9% K rate and 17.9% swinging strike rate are phenomenal targets. Both the FIP and xFIP are under 3.00, suggesting his ERA could actually be a little lower. The HR/9 is a career-low 0.82 and the splits are about dead equal. There’s very little to quibble with here.

Kenta Maeda

Pitch Data – SL – 21st CH – 18th FB – 26th

Maeda has been rock solid all season and there’s not a ton of reasons to think it changes tonight. The righty has faced the Indians twice and has scores of 23.7 and 28.3 in those two starts. It’s not going to be super ideal to use Maeda and Giolito together because that doesn’t leave a ton of salary for bats but it can be done.

Nobody is making hard contact on Maeda with just a 24.8% rate and the fly balls are barely over 30% as well. Cleveland is 27th in hard hit rate vs RHP this year, so hat’s a huge check mark for Maeda. They also whiff 24% of the time and the 4.4% walk rate for Maeda means Cleveland likely can’t use their third-highest 11.7% walk rate either. The smart play is Giolito but Maeda looks quite safe as well.

Kris Bubic

Pitch Data – FB – 29th CH – 20th CB – 30th

It might seem odd to target a pitcher with an ERA approaching 5.00 inn cash, but let’s take a step back. Bubic has made seven starts and has faced the Cubs, the Twins twice and the White Sox three times. The fact he’s emerged with three double-digit DK scores is a miracle, frankly. All these teams have lefty mashers, even if the Cubs and Twins haven’t shown as much as should be expected. Pittsburgh is a little better to LHH but that just leaves them as a league-average offense.

The pitch data is incredible for Bubic and you won’t find it much better. The K rate for Bubic is only 20% but at his price you’re not going to need a ton of whiffs to pay off. He’s kept the fly balls low with only a 32.7% rate so I’m not sure the 1.54 HR/9 will stand up over time. We need someone to pair up with Giolito and if you choose salary for hitters, Bubic is my choice.

GPP Options

Shane Bieber

Pitch Data – FB – 14th CB – 20th CT – 28th SL – 24th

We’re going to be quick here and it’s really just the matchup. Bieber has waned the Twins this year with 29 DK and 46 DK so it’s not like he’s incapable, it’s just I’m picking on the Tigers if paying up in cash. The Biebs has been frighteningly dominant with a 42.9% K rate and a 17.6% swinging strike rate. The ERA, FIP and xFIP are all under 1.75. That’s simply absurd and I’d likely be heavier on Bieber in GPP than Giolito.

Luis Castillo

Pitch Data – FB – 15th CH – 29th SL – 20th

This will be the first time Castillo has faced the Cards and he’s had a weird season so far. The 3.95 ERA is way outside the 3.01 xFIP and 2.85 FIP. When that happens, I look to see if something stands out and the .387 BABIP fits the bill. That’s caused he strand rate to be only 67.3% which could be messing with some ratios. His K rate is a career-high 31.1% and the swinging strike rate is over 15%.

There’s going to be starts where it all comes together for Castillo, and this could easily be one of them. The Cards aren’t a giant K team, but they are almost dead last to the change. That’s the money pitch for Castillo and I’m very interested in him tonight as an alternative to the high end, bigger name pitchers. He might be a very sneaky play on MLB DFS: Starting Rotation 9.11.

Monkey Knife Fight

We can’t leave Friday’s slate without talking about it being #LesterDay! The Cubs southpaw is paying for being a fraud for a couple years now and is getting smashed with an ERA approaching 6.00. He’s given up a .362 wOBA, .858 OPS and 2.31 HR/9 to the right side of the plate. The Brewers have Avisail Garcia and Jedd Gyorko who both have ISO’s over .240 and wOBA’s over .435 to LHP. Keston Hirua is a K machine at nearly 40% but that’s less of a concern with Lester.

Let’s get after it tonight my friends! 

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