Yesterday’s pitching slate was about as ugly as it looked on paper. Clayton Kershaw was dominant as we mostly expected, but was one of the chalkier plays of the year. Both Dylan Cease and Mike Clevinger were under 10 DK points as we illustrated some of their issues. The Kershaw and Taijuan Walker combo was really the way to go. The MLB DFS: Starting Rotation 9.4 looks far better with many more options to sift through and narrow down our pool!
Pitch Data – CT – 11th FB – 11th SL -16th CB – 21st
The pitch data isn’t a slam dunk matchup, but Darvish also throws a change and split finger. Since he doesn’t rely one one particular pitch more than 40%, I’m not overly concerned about the pitch data. Darvish has been dominant through seven starts, racking up a 1.47 ERA with a 2.02 FIP and a 30.8% K rate. He’s even got a higher BABIP at .314 and he’s still one of the better pitchers in baseball. He’s only had one season with 140 IP or more with w BABIP over .300, so that could come down.
Darvish should get five RHP in the Cardinals lineup and he’s whiffing that side of the plate 39.1% of the time. Even the lefties aren’t the biggest concern, and two of them sport a K rate over 25%. In cash games, there’s no reason not to pay for Darvish who has hit at least 22 DK in six of seven starts.
Pitch Data – FB – 17th SL – 20th CB – 25th CH – 28th
Dunning is only throwing the curve and change about 8% but with such a small sample, I decided to include them as well. He’s still under $6,000 which catches your eye immediately. He’s showing his promise over his first two starts, racking up 14.2 and 24.7 DK points in each. The metrics also look excellent, compiling a 2.89 ERA with a 2.17 FIP and 1.83 xFIP. The K rate is an eye-popping 40% through 9.1 IP and he’s only walked two hitters. That type of control is impressive for a rookie.
The Royals are a top 12 offense as far as K rate goes, so Dunning has that going for him. Even though the Royals did just see him, we really only need 15-18 DK points to be happy. He is projected to see five lefties, but they have a combined 23.4% K rate themselves. Only Alex Gordon has a wOBA over .300 vs RHP since the start of 2019. This is a good spot and the price is too cheap.
Pitch Data – FB – 7th CT – 19th
I want to be clear that May is a CASH ONLY play for me, simply because I don’t think he gets smashed. He’s shown little upside so far, perhaps because he throws his fastball/cutter combo 85% of the time. Mixing in something else might help the K rate rise above 16.1%. Regardless, we usually have some interest in pitchers when the Rockies are on the road. They whiff 24% of the time and are 25th or worse in OPS, ISO, wOBA and wRC+. May has started seven games and only has double digit DK in three, so I have no interest in GPP.
Pitch Data – FB – 19th SL – 28th CB – 14th
Anytime Flaherty is under $10,000, he deserves a strong look. He actually is my favorite GPP pitcher for MLB DFS: Starting Rotation 9.4. With how the Cardinals season got derailed, he’s had to work to stretch back out. He was up to about 85 pitches last outing so we can expect him to be full go today. The K rate has dipped down to 23.3% form almost 30% last year but again, judging him off his first four starts seems unfair. The whiffs should come back in no time.
Even without the strikeouts, Flaherty is only allowing a 32% hard contact rate and a 22% fly ball rate. That’s a great mix and the 14.4% swinging strike rate is better than it was in 2019. The Cubs have a good offense but they also are a bit feast or famine. They rank only 16th in average and whiff at the third-highest rate in baseball. Flaherty could put it all together tonight.
Pitch Data – FB – 16th CH – 27th CT – 18th
I’m not exactly sure where this Davies season has come from, but he does have my interest tonight. Oakland is a similar offense to the Cubs – low average, but goo OBP team with a high ISO and wOBA. That certainly is concerning, but the pitch data really skews to Davies. It looks even better when you notice he throws that change almost 41% and that’s the pitch the A’s really scuffle with.
Here’s the key to this matchup – how Davies handles the RHH. Oakland is a little less RHH heavy with the addition of Tommy La Stella, but Davies is tough to lefties with a .176 wOBA. He gives a .315 wOBA and a .737 OPS but he whiffs them at a 30.1% rate. Oakland’s projected RHH have a K rate above 25% tonight. Davies could get hammered, but if he controls the RHH and gets his K’s, he could also easily top 20 DK.
Pitch Data – FB – 24th CT – 23rd CH – 16th SL – 21st CB – 16th
We’ve watched the Indians struggle all season so far and I’m going to turn the tables tonight and use a pitcher against them. Through 32.1 IP this year, Burnes might be figuring out how to harness his raw stuff, compiling a 2.78 ERA and a 2.45 FIP. Even the xFIP at 3.75 really isn’t that bad when you have a 35.1% K rate. Cleveland strikes out 23.5% of the times and is in the bottom half, if not lower than 20th in almost every major offensive category this year.
The one aspect that could get Burnes into trouble is the walks. The Indians lead the league in walk rate to righties and Burnes does have a huge 13% walk rate. It’s the main reason he’s not a cash option to me but the plus side is his K rate is steady to both sides of the plate. The walk rate is a hair lower to LHH, which is a nice aspect vs Cleveland. Burnes has 20 DK point upside tonight.
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!
We’re going to New York tonight as Rick Porcello and Jake Arrieta take the mound. Neither pitcher is having a good year, as Arrieta is giving up at least a .341 wOBA to each side and a 1.64 HR/9 to LHH. Porcello is well over a .400 wOBA to RHH so this is a great spot to chase the offenses.
Let’s get after it tonight my friends!
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