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MLB DFS: Starting Rotation 8.26

MLB DFS: Starting Rotation 8.26

When you write up a pitcher that walks our there and scores 55 DK points and throws a no-hitters, things can’t bee that bad! Lucas Giolito was phenomenal last night and did whatever he wanted to the Pirates. Shane Bieber continued his run of dominance with double-digit strikeouts and if you paired those two up, you were in pretty good shape last night. MLB DFS: Starting Rotation 8.26 features two premier strikeout pitchers but we also have at least one pitcher at a significant mis-price to go after tonight!

Cash Game Options

Jacob deGrom

Pitch Data – FB – 13th SL – 21st CH – 22nd

deGrom does throw a curveball every now and again, but it makes up under 5% of his arsenal. Really the only nit-pick we an make here is it’s the third straight time for deGrom facing off against the Marlins. I’m not sure it makes him easier to hit, but it is an odd occurrence. Miami is also just mid-pack for K rate to RHP and deGrom hasn’t passed seven K’s or 25 DK in the first two starts. These are still minor concerns.

The righty for the Mets has seen his swinging strike rate jump by 3% this year to 18.3%, top-five in the majors. Unsurprisingly, the K rate is right at his career best of 32.1%. The ERA is under 2.00 and the FIP is a tiny 2.12. He’s one of the best for a reason and should be considered in all formats, and is likely cash chalk.

Dinelson Lamet

Pitch Data – FB – 28th SL – 17th

I’m not sure why DK keeps pricing Lamet so low, but it’s making it really easy to pair up deGrom and Lamet tonight for a potential 20 strikeouts in the lineup. Chris Paddack was flat awful in this same spot last night but those pitchers are not the same. Lamet is sporting a 34.1% K rate on the season to go along with his 1.98 ERA and 2.96 FIP.

He’s been lights out to both sides of the plate with a wOBA of .250 or under to both sides. He does whiff RHH more than LHH, but lefties are still over a 30% K rate. Splits aren’t a huge concern even with five lefties projected. The four RHH have a collective K rate of 29.2% so there’s no real reason to suggest Lamet shouldn’t dominate. He’s also still at least $1,000 too cheap, again.

Clayton Kershaw

Pitch Data – FB – 14th SL – 7th CB – 27th

If you feel compelled to not play the deGrom/Lamet pairing in cash (I’m fairly locked in), you almost have to go to Kershaw by default. I said last start we might not get vintage Kershaw but that’s exactly what we got. He struck out 11 hitters across 7 IP and just 96 pitches. The 32.2% K rate is the best Kershaw has had since 2015, a bad sign for the rest of baseball.

The swinging strike rate is back up over 15% for the first time in four years on top of that. The whiff rate on the slider has jumped by about 5%, which certainly helps explain some things. That pitch has gotten 62% of his strikeouts, where it was 57% last year. The Giants have given Kershaw his worst start of the year, but that is an outlier of the four starts. I strongly prefer deGrom/Lamet, but it’s hard to ever go wrong with Kershaw.

GPP Options

Elieser Hernandez

Pitch Data – FB – 18th SL – 8th CH – 1st

We don’t love the data for the slider and change, but Hernandez does use the fastball over 60% of the time so that helps mitigate the fear. The other factors that point me to Hernandez are the 32.9% K rate to just a 4% walk rate. He’s hit at least 13 DK in all four starts and given up three earned or under in all four. Coming off back to back 20+ DK starts, Hernandez didn’t see a salary raise from $6,600.

The splits really work out in the favor of Hernandez as well. He only gives ups .187 wOBA and .412 OPS to the left side of the plate so far. The K rate is spiked all the way to 40% and the FIP is 0.88. With five LHH projected for the Mets, Hernandez is a great low cost options with the tangible upside tonight. He is my favorite GPP option for MLB DFS: Starting Rotation 8.26.

Jose Berrios

Pitch Data – FB – 24th CB – 22nd CH – 24th

It’s always scary putting Berrios in any article, let alone the next start after a dominating performance. Berrios is consistently inconsistent and getting him right twice in a row could be a lot to ask. Still, the matchup is good on paper. The pitch data really lines up well for Berrios, as does the ninth-highest K rate to RHP for the Indians at 24.7%.

Cleveland is also not above 24th in average, OPS, ISO, wOBA or wRC+ so the offense is one we can target. They do have more talent than the numbers indicate, so there’s sill risk. For Berrios, the 25.2% K rate is right about at his career best mark. The 11.5% swinging strike rate would be the best mark so there’s reason to believe he has some upside tonight. If the “Good” Berrios shows up, he could go for another 25+ DK game like last time.

Kevin Gausman

Pitch Data – FB – 1st SF – 18th CH – 9th

In the long run, there’s not a lot of money to be made using pitchers against the Dodgers. However, Gausman has already faced the gauntlet once and came away with 6.1 IP, six strikeouts and 22.5 DK points. That was on the road to boot. His pitch count has been over 100 for the last two starts so if things got relatively well, six innings is well within reach.

The Dodgers are the best K rate team to RHP but Gausman counters that with a 31.6% K rate of his own. He gets a swinging strike 14.8% of the time and the 4.65 ERA doesn’t match the 3.12 FIP. Pitchers against the Dodgers always come in low-owned, especially one without a real reputation like Gausman. Still, he’s already shown ceiling once in this spot and is capable of doing it again. This is only a play for the bold at heart.

Let’s get it tonight my friends!

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