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MLB DFS: Starting Rotation 8.25

MLB DFS: Starting Rotation 8.25

Last night’s slate didn’t turn out exactly how I had envisioned, but we still hit on a lot of solid plays. Maybe the higher end like Trevor Bauer were a little disappointing but overall, it wasn’t the worst night. Lance Lynn and Jesus Luzardo especially stood out so let’s keep building momentum. Tonight’s slate has two of the best arms in the business so let’s get right into MLB DFS: Starting Rotation 8.25!

Cash Game Options

Shane Bieber

Pitch Data – FB – 19th SL – 18th CT – 25th CB – 18th

Perhaps one of the reasons Bieber has already had a 13 strikeout, 46.2 DK performance against these Twins is the pitch data. Minnesota isn’t in the top half of the league against any of Bieber’s main four pitches. The 46 DK points have been Bieber’s best score to date, so I can’t say I’m extremely worried about the matchup. He still leads MLB starters in total strikeouts, K% and ERA. On top of that, the swinging strike rate is also best in the majors at almost 19%. Still under $11,000 for some unknown reason, Bieber is an incredible option across all formats tonight.

Gerrit Cole

Pitch Data – FB – 3rd SL – 3rd CB – 3rd

Well, talk about a not-so-encouraging pitch data matchup. The Braves sit third vs all Cole’s major pitches and we’d be silly to not consider that. However, Atlanta is also top six in K rate to RHP at 25.6% on the year so there’s absolutely room for Cole to mow them down.

The key for Cole this year has been what type of lineup he’s facing. LHH have actually had some success with a .344 wOBA and an .800 OPS. Additionally, the K rate is 27% versus a 35.5% mark to RHH. The 6.33 FIP to LHH is eye-opening as well. Fortunately for Cole, the Braves lineup projects to be skewed to the right side of the plate with five RHH. I prefer Bieber, but Cole is still talented enough to overcome whatever flaws we can pick at.

Chris Paddack

Pitch Data – FB – 29th CH – 24th

With Paddack relying on these two pitches 87% of the time, they’re the pitches that are most important to look at. I believe the Bieber and Paddack pairing will be the chalk pairing in cash over on DK to afford some offense. With the Mariners having a 22.8% K rate and bottom 10 in ISO and wOBA, it’s hard to argue.

Paddack has only had one poor start this year that has skewed some of his results. Considering it was against the Dodgers in LA, I’m fine giving him a pass. He’s at home tonight and he continues to love it in San Diego with a 2.66 ERA through 23.2 IP. His K rate isn’t spectacular at 21.1% but he is under $8,000. His swinging strike rate is only down one percent so he should see an uptick in K rate. Paddack recorded a 26.1% rate last year and 25% seems reasonable the rest of the way.

GPP Options

Lucas Giolito

Pitch Data – FB – 28th CH – 22nd SL – 12th

This is one of the more interesting picks in MLB DFS: Starting rotation 8.25. If this was last year when Giolito was in full breakout mode, he’d be sitting in the cash options pile. He has had a couple bumps in the road so while I do think he’s right at the cash line, the Bieber/Paddack combo is likely the route to take. Giolito is coming off his best start of the year, racking up 43.4 DK points against the Detroit Tigers. Now he gets the Pirates, who are of little threat.

The K rate and swinging strike rate this season are really right in line for last year for the righty. One thing that has shifted is the walk rate from 8.1% to 11.3%. Since Pittsburgh is dead last in walk rate to RHP, this is less of a concern tonight. Giolito might be lower owned than Cole or Bieber, making him very interesting tonight.

German Marquez

Pitch Data – FB – 30th SL – 1st CB – 9th

As is typical of Marquez, he’s two different pitchers so far this year. He’s been awesome on the road with a 1.93 ERA and .237 wOBA through 18.2 starts. Somebody please trade for him to get him out of Coors. Anyways, he’s in Arizona tonight and the D-Backs offense has been less than inspiring this year. They are 20th or worse in wOBA, wRC+ and ISO so far.

The bugaboo here is the six LHH projected for the D-Backs. Marquez only gives up a .250 wOBA on the road to lefties, but the K rate is only 16.7%. Combine that with a second-best 20.4% K rate for Arizona and there’s risk here. The risk is more “does he pay off price” because I don’t think he gets lit up. I always have shares of Marquez on the road and tonight will be no different.

Adam Wainwright

Pitch Data – FB – 6th CT – 16th CB – 27th

This pick isn’t exactly typical, as I’m not a big Wainwright guy at this point in his career. However, the deeper I looked, the more sense he made in GPP. Splits are important for Waino. Last year he was lights out at home with a 2.56 ERA compared to 6.22 on the road. Through 13 IP at home this year, he’s at a 2.08 ERA and just a .208 wOBA. The opposing lineup composition is important as well.

Waino only has an 11.9% K rate to LHP compared to 24.1% to RHH. The Royals are projected for five lefties, but three have a K rate above 26%. With the Royals being near the bottom of the league against the curveball, that could help Wainwright in a major way. It’s been responsible for seven of 12 strikeouts already. The only two hitters in the positives of FanGraphs rating vs the curve is Whit Merrifield and Maikel Franco. Wainwright could be a stealthy option with Paddack and Marquez both cheaper.

Let’s get it tonight my friends!

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