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MLB DFS: Starting Rotation 9.5

MLB DFS: Starting Rotation 9.5

Yesterday was sort of a mixed bag for the Rotation. Yu Darvish and Corbin Burnes were absolutely lights out while Dane Dunning and Jack Flaherty struggled. Dustin May did right about what I figured and Zach Davies wasn’t far behind. Tonight’s slate is bigger but the mid-range and punt categories are a bit tougher to find matches. The top end is loaded tonight so let’s get onto the rubber to figure out who to prioritize in MLB DFS: Starting Rotation 9.5!

Cash Options

Lucas Giolito

Pitch Data – FB – 16th CH – 26th SL – 21st

This could really be a great spot for Giolito since 57 of his 66 strikeouts this season gave come via the fastball or changeup. He’s also coming on absolute fire, compiling 21 IP, two earned runs, seven hits and 34 strikeouts. Granted two of those starts cam vs the Tigers and Pirates, but he still put up 20 DK vs the Twins. The Royals are more towards the first two offenses and Giolito deserves to be the highest salaried pitcher on the slate.

His swinging strike rate has jumped all the way up to 17.3% and the K rate overall is over 34%, to go along with a 0.74 HR/9. Both sides of the plate whiff at a fairly close rate so there’s not much to worry about there. Giolito is set up to cruise in this one, even though any pitcher can have a rough night anytime they take the mound.

Kenta Maeda

Pitch Data – SL – 26th CH – 15th FB – 4th

Even though the Tigers kill the fastball, it’s the third-most used pitch in Maeda’s arsenal so that helps avoid the tough matchup. The former Dodger has been the model of consistency this year, with only one start out of seven below 19 DK points. Even that one was still 13 so he’s been excellent so far.

His swinging strike rate is a career-high 15.8% which has helped boost the overall K rate to 30% also a career-high. The Tigers can be pesky some nights but they are still leading the league in K rate and Maeda just got them for eight in his last start. Giving up two home runs in that game seems like a fluke since he’s only given up five total on the season. There’s no reason to not consider Maeda in cash tonight.

Justus Sheffield

Pitch Data – FB – 27th SL – 30th CH – 22nd

The format you consider Sheffield in depends on the site. He’s only a cash option as an SP2 on DK, whereas he’s solely GPP for FanDuel. The pitch data matchup really couldn’t get much better, as the fastball/slider combo is 85% of the pitches for Sheffield. Texas whiffs at the sixth-highest rate in MLB to lefties at 25%, which helps the ceiling here. They also rank 29th in OBP, 27th in OPS, 23rd in ISO, 27th in wOBA and 30th in wRC.

The 4.75 ERA is interesting because he also has a 2.94 FIP and a 4.25 xFIP. He may have seen some bad luck so far. Sheffield himself doesn’t have a massive K rate himself at just 22%. The aspect that I think helps cover that is the ground ball rate. Sheffield is respectable himself at 45.6% but Texas leads the league at 53.3%. They also rank bottom-five in fly ball rate, which should help keep the ball in the park. We saw Sheffield score 20 DK two starts ago and he could get there again tonight.

GPP Options

Aaron Civale

Pitch Data – FB – 28th CT – 26th CB – 7th SL – 24th CH – 21st

I’ve been going after the Brewers offense for most of the year and tonight is no different. The jury is still out on Civale as a strikeout pitcher. He was only at 20.3% last year and this season is only at 23.5%. However, his swinging strike rate went from 8.8% in 2019 to 11.2% this year so the improvement could be here to stay. It’s not going to hurt that the Brew Crew whiff 27.3%, second-most in baseball.

They have now had 1,001 plate appearances as an offense to RHP this year and are bottom four across every major category. There’s very little there for them this year. I don’t love the .344 wOBA for Civale to RHH but the projected Brewers lineup only has four. LHH only have a .264 wOBA this year so there’s plenty of room for upside here.

Seth Lugo

Pitch Data – FB – 10th SL – 15th CB – 2nd

This is surely the riskiest play in MLB DFS: Starting Rotation 9.5 tonight, but when pitchers are priced lower than high-end hitters, we have to look. Lugo is getting stretched out and should throw close to 80 pitches. That may not get us through five innings, and the Phillies do not strike out. They’re the third-best team in that category behind only the D-Backs and Dodgers. Still, Lugo has a 17.1% swinging strike rate thus far through 17 IP. The K rate is 35.4% but it has to be noted that he has only started two games. You’re hoping for the same result as the Yankees game, 12-15 DK and the hitters you can afford with him do the job.

Monkey Knife Fight

Since this is a pitching based article, we don’t talk about offenses too much unless we’re attacking them. It’s a great time to sign up with our link to monkeyknifefight.com and make some bets yourself that are based on offense!

The Bomba Squad Twins get a lefty tonight, and Tarik Skubal has not acquitted himself well early on. Through 32 RHH faced, he’s given up a .407 average, 1.253 OPS and a .495 wOBA. Oh, that comes with a 4.26 HR/9. Of course, 32 hitters does not a career make but these are decidedly not ratios you want to display vs the Twins. Donaldson has a .375 ISO, Cruz has been smashing lefties since the Jurassic Era and Sano has power to spare. His 48.8% K rate doesn’t overly scare me vs a rookie.

Let’s get after it tonight my friends! 

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