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MLB DFS: Starting Rotation 8.30

MLB DFS: Starting Rotation 8.30

Well we can start right off the bat by being very happy pitching is FAR better on paper than yesterday. Frankly, Saturday was a tire fire and it was when we first opened up the slate. Sunday looks light years better and is way more exciting. There’s a few options at seemingly every tier, including at the top today so let’s get after it in MLB DFS: Starting Rotation 8.30!

Cash Game Options

Kenta Maeda

Pitch Data – SL – 25th CH – 12th FB – 2nd

Maeda also throws in a curveball and a cutter for fun, but not over 4% for either pitch. I assumed one of the biggest changes for Maeda this season was the Twins letting him pitch deep into games. He’s averaging about six innings per start. Last year with the Dodgers, it was 5.8 which is surprising. The biggest change is the K and BB rates, which have gone up and down respectively. Maeda’s 2.21 ERA is backed up by a 2.59 FIP and a 2.86 xFIP as well.

It’s quite nice to see Maeda getting a 15.7% swinging strike rate, which is the highest of his career. He’s also striking out RHH at a 35.4% clip and the Tigers are projected to have six in the lineup today. The pitch data matchup is surprisingly mediocre, but this is a spot where the talent of Maeda should come through. Detroit still leads MLB in K rate to RHP and we shouldn’t overthink this one.

Blake Snell

Pitch Data – FB – 24th CH – 24th CB – 18th

Now that Snell has worked his pitch count up, we can count on him in cash and he’s coming off back to back starts of 90+ pitches. He’s struck out 12 over the past 10.2 IP and the K rate overall is 33.3%, identical to last season. Snell has even cut the walks down just a bit at 7.3%, which is a career-low. The swinging strike rate is a bit low for him at 14.7% but that’s more than respectable overall.

Miami sits at the third highest K rate to LHP at 28% and are 26th or worse in OBP, slugging, OPS, ISO, wOBA and wRC+. Snell has a 3.04 ERA that is almost perfectly matched by the xFIP at 3.05 (FIP is 4.07 but that doesn’t sound alarm bells). He’s really rounding into form and is slightly underpriced for his current pitch count.

Brandon Woodruff

Pitch Data – FB – 30th SL – 15th CH – 25th

One of the better pitch data matchups on the board today, especially since Woodruff throws the fastball 65% of the time. I initially thought about putting Woodruff in GPP. He’s had a small run of not going further than five innings in three of his last four starts. Then I remembered he faces the Pirates and he moved into cash consideration pretty easily.

The last time Woodruff faced the Buccos, he racked up 10 strikeouts and a season-best 37 DK points. I can’t guarantee that result today but it’s not out of the realm of possibilities. His swinging strike rate is 12.9%, a career-high and the overall K rate is 27.3%. Woodruff also whiffs both sides of the plate relatively equally so the splits aren’t a big concern. Five of the projected Pirates starters have a K rate of 23.7% or higher and the price is right for Woodruff.

GPP Options

Dane Dunning

Pitch Data – FB – 11th SL – 17th

I had thoughts of Dunning in cash, but that might be too much of a risk to take. The price is just so low for MLB DFS: Starting Rotation 8.30. He is less expensive than right about 55 hitters today, so the temptation is severe. Dunning was a bit of a mixed bag in his first start against the Tigers. He whiffed seven but gave up three earned over 4.1 IP. That was still worth 14.2 DK and is a home run from a hitter. You don’t get pitchers this cheap, especially ones that actually could strike out hitters.

The Royals are a different matchup as far as K rate than Detroit, sitting at 23.6%. They are 20th or worse in OBP, OPS, wOBA and wRC+ so there is potential from that end. Dunning was a top-five prospect for the White Sox last year so there’s some pedigree involved here. The 23.3% swinging strike rate is intriguing, although the 18.2% barrel rate is scary. The bottom line is Dunning opens up whichever offense you want, so this is a risk worth looking at.

Luis Castillo

Pitch Data – FB – 18th CH – 14th SL – 29th

It’s hard to say use Castillo over Snell given each matchup, but that makes Castillo a prime GPP target is Snell is much more popular. We know that the Cubs are a dangerous offense, sitting in the top 12 in wOBA, wRC+, ISO, OPS, slugging and OBP. The weakness is they’re 24th in batting average and second in K rate at 27.6%. Castillo has only given up a 0.28 HR/9 through 32.1 IP so he could hold down the best facets of the Cubs offense.

Something that really sticks out for Castillo is the .400 BABIP, which is insanely high. That helps explain why the ERA of 3.62 is so much higher than the FIP at 2.06 and the xFIP at 3.10. With a career-best K rate of 31.0%, it’s not hard to see the ceiling that Castillo has today even if he’s not the prototypical cash game option today.

Framber Valdez

Pitch Data – FB – 13th SL – 18th

Valdez has been a revelation for the Astros this year, being their second-best starter by the numbers. I don’t normally attack the A’s with lefty pitching, but Valdez has been phenomenal this season. His starts have included vs the Angels twice, Mariners, A’s and in Coors Field. The lowest DK output in those starts? It was 20.7 DK points against the Mariners.

Valdez has been excellent in tougher matchups and the A’s are a top-four K rate team to LHP this year at 26.0%. Valdez has massively cut his walk rate from 13.4% in 2019 to 5.8% so far in 38.1 IP this year. The ERA of 2.35 is matched by the FIP and xFIP being under 2.85 each. Perhaps the craziest part of his production is it has come with just a 9.7% swinging strike rate and a .307 BABIP. There’s actually room for more and he’s really cheap for his production so far.

Deivi Garcia

Pitch Data – N/A

Garcia is making his major league debut today for the Yankees and he’s even cheaper than Dunning. The risk here is intense but he’s the cheapest we ever get a starting pitcher and if he hits 10 DK, it’s well worth it. Through 40 IP in AAA last year, he posted a 25.3% K rate along with an 11.2% walk rate. He was better to LHH with just a .216 average and .667 OPS given up. That’s a big plus against the Mets.

Garcia’s main calling cards are his curve (Mets rank 23rd) and the big fastball (16th) and the curve has a major spin rate, according to an MLB.com scouting report. I’m always willing to chase talent when it’s cheap and we could conceivably spend $8,500 on a pitching duo today. You could really play a Frankenstein offense after that!

Tony Gonsolin

Pitch Data – FB – 27th SF – 12th

We’re on take three for a GPP option, so this is going to be a quick one. Gonsolin has yet to be scored on this year but the 2.12 FIP is still more than solid. Sure, he’s not going to boast a 100% strand rate forever but Gonsolin is a solid arm. He’s racked up a 2.14 ERA and a 22.9% K rate through 54.2 IP at the major league level.

Texas isn’t a huge K team but 22.5% isn’t sparkling either. Gonsolin’s has given up a whopping .143 wOBA to the LHH so far and I like to see that vs the Rangers. Five of their projected lineup are on the left side of the plate. With Woodruff being cheaper in a better spot, Gonsolin won’t get a ton of ownership.

Monkey Knife Fight Picks

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 Nationals and Red Sox both get amazing matchups today. Zac Godley and Austin Voth are on the mound so we’re going after them. Voth is giving up a .403 wOBA to LHH so Devers is the perfect fit. Godley is just poor to everyone so we’ can pick two stars from the Nationals lineup with ease!

Let’s get it tonight my friends!

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