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MLB DFS: Starting Rotation 8.20

MLB DFS: Starting Rotation 8.20

We’re back after a pretty successful day one of the Starting Rotation! We hit pretty well on six of eight pitchers mentioned. The only two misses were Ryan Castellani (Coors, am I right?) and Julio Urias. Still, a 75% hit rate would be excellent for the season and we’ll happily take that. Hopefully it helped you yesterday to pick some pitching. The slate for MLB DFS: Starting Rotation 8.20 has quite a few big names so let’s get after it and have a great night again!

*Note* A quick reminder that pitch data is the opposition’s rank vs that pitch. Also, a pitcher has to throw it more than 10% of the time for me to list any pitch.

Cash Game Picks

Shane Bieber/Dineslon Lamet

This will be the case for a couple more days while I cover Picks and Pivots, but these pitchers have been covered. There’s no need to repeat it here.

Sonny Gray

Pitch Data – FB – 19th SL – 14th CB – 26th

Using pitch data for the Cardinals is a bit tough considering they’ve played all of 13 games, but that’s the data at hand. Gray gets a great matchup by the numbers with the Cards in the bottom 10 in OPS, ISO, wOBA and wRC+. Additionally, they are whiffing 25.1% of the time vs RHP. Maybe that’s partially due to lack of playing time, but it’s still something Gray can take advantage of.

For his part, Gray is boasting a 37.2% K rate through his 30.2 IP already. His fly ball rate is phenomenal at 23.1%, 13th best among starters. The swinging strike rate of 12.3% would be a career high and supports the gaudy overall K rate. There’s no real reason to not use Bieber in cash, but if you just desperately want money for bats, Gray is certainly safe.

Clayton Kershaw

Pitch Data – FB – 30th SL – 19th CB – 17th

I will not be using Kershaw really at all tonight, but he’s likely fine for cash. We aren’t going to see vintage Kershaw very often any more but the 28.1% K rate with a 13.6% swinging strike rate is certainly nothing to complain about. Just like we talked about yesterday, Seattle is a sweetheart matchup.

They rank bottom-five in wOBA, wRC+, ISO, OPS and OBP so there’s not a ton of threat on paper. The 26.1% K rate they have is the fifth-worst as well. Urias wasn’t able to take advantage yesterday but Kershaw is still a far different animal. He should provide a solid floor, even if I’m not particularly on him myself.

GPP Options

Jose Berrios

Pitch Data – FB – 28th CB – 11th CH – 15th

The GPP options for MLB DFS: Starting Rotation 8.20 are interesting. I will likely be very heavy on the Bieber/Lamet combo but let’s get different. Berrios can be joy or nightmare to roster on any given night. He’s had a rough year so far with a 5.92 ERA and a 5.03 FIP. The K rate has gone down for him to just 21.6% and the HR/9 is 1.48, highest of his career. You’re likely asking why in the world I’m talking about him and he main answer is simple – Brewers.

With Milwaukee sitting in the top three in K rate at 28.1%, the K spot can’t get much better. Berrios is still generating an 11.1% swinging strike rate, so he has the ability. In theory, it’s a good run prevention spot as well. Milwaukee is not above 26th in OBP, OPS, ISO, wOBA or wRC+. This is an offense we want to pick on, even with unreliable pitchers like Berrios. His price will leave him virtually un-rostered on this slate.

Brandon Woodruff

Pitch Data – FB – 21st SL – 11th CH – 9th

We’re not going far for perhaps the ultimate risk/reward option on this slate. Yes, the Twins are a very dangerous offense. They are second in home runs to righty pitching this year behind only the Dodgers. With that power approach comes strikeouts, with the eighth-highest rate at 25.4%.

Woodruff’s main weapon is his strikeout rate at 29% and he leans on his fastball mix over 60% of the time (sinker and four-seam). With that being the worst pitch type for the Twins, Woodruff could have sneaky appeal here. He’s held LHH to a .239 wOBA and the Twins are projected to have six in their lineup tonight, which would help him. Just treat carefully, as Woodruff has not made it past 4.1 IP in his past two starts.

Kevin Gausman (riskiest of the bunch)

Pitch Data – FB – 25th SF – 8th CH – 23rd

This is a super interesting spot for Gausman and is the lowest I’m going on DK. The Angels are good vs the splitter, but that’s a little used pitching general across the majors. I’m not sure reading too far into that is a great idea. Gausman is still getting a big 14.5% swinging strike rate, generally backing up his 31.8% K rate to this point. His 4.21 ERA actually looks a little unlucky. Both the FIP and xFIP sit at 3.10 and 3.15 respectively.

The Angels don’t strike out a ton by any stretch. The 21.7% K rate is one of the 10 best in the league. Likewise, the OBP and OPS is top 10 so this is definitely not a dream spot for Gausman. One of the keys for Gausman is his L/R splits. LHH have tagged him for a .392 wOBA and a .956 OPS. RHH only have a .242 wOBA and are whiffing almost 37% of the time. The Angels lineup projects to be five RHH. The lefties do have a combined .356 wOBA vs RHP. If Gausman can navigate that side and keep the Mike Trout/Anthony Rendon combo in check, he could pay off his price.

Let’s get it tonight my friends!

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