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Today’s edition of Aces and Bases focuses ONLY on FanDuel’s eight-game MLB DFS Main Slate for 7:10PM ET, hopefully finding you some green screens!

No rain in the forecast but we do have winds blowing out in St. Louis for the Reds-Cards game — something to consider for Cincinnati GPP stacks.

MLB DFS: The Aces

Top MLB DFS Ace: Walker Buehler ($9,700)

We can chalk up his last outing (3 IP, 7 H, 1 K, 6 ER @SF) to a bad day, and his last start vs. the Padres yielded a solid outcome. The K rate is down a bit in 2021, but the walks are down, the ground ball rate has increased and the solid 2.31 ERA isn’t too far separated from the 3.18/3.59 FIP/xFIP combo. We’re looking at about a 35-40 point projections here, with a 50-point ceiling, and that’s good enough to make him the top SP for cash games and single-entry.

Best GPP Value: Charlie Morton ($9,000)

Morton looks like a solid value tonight against the Marlins, who have the second-highest team K% in MLB. The veteran’s upside probably even exceeds Buehler’s tonight given the matchup, and that upside comes with a built-in discount from the top two arms on the slate in Buehler and Luis Castillo. I’m not as interested in Castillo because of how he can get lit up, especially against a team filled with potent bats like the Cards, but he’d make for a semi-contrarian choice given that tougher matchup. Morton seems to fit the best and carry the highest chance of notching both a QS and W, so he’s my first choice for GPPs.

Contrarian GPP Play: Luis Garcia ($8,300)

Garcia isn’t a very exciting play, but if we need a leverage pivot with some upside, he’s probably it. His ownership should be lower than Morton’s, and he’s seen an uptick in velocity on his pitches lately. The problem is that he’s got a much lower floor than either Morton or Buehler, and while the price is severely discounted compared to DraftKings, he hasn’t notched double-digit Ks in any start this season despite a 10.41 K% because he rarely pitches six full innings.

MLB DFS: The Bases

Top Stack: Houston Astros

The implied run total is well over 5, and the Astros have been red-hot offensively over the past few games, so we should start any stack off with Alex Bregman ($3,200), and then play some combination of Jose Altuve ($3,800) and Yordan Alvarez ($3,400), Carlos Correa ($3,500), Kyle Tucker ($3,200) Yuri Gurriel ($2,900) and value options Michael Brantley ($2,600) and Martin Maldonado ($2,100). There’s really nobody that’s out of consideration given the circular nature of this powerful lineup.

GPP Stack #1: Chicago White Sox

The prices are still relatively affordable for the White Sox (even moreso on DK), with Luis Robert ($3,900), Jose Abreu ($3,800), Eloy Jimenez ($3,500) and Yasmani Grandal ($3,800) all in play for stacks against Red Sox projected starter Connor Seabold. Andrew Vaughn is just $2,300, and both Brian Goodwin ($2,200) and Yoan Moncada ($3,200) are in play as well. It’s simply a great spot for mixing and matching a few different four-man stacks of White Sox.

GPP Stack #2: Cincinnati Reds

Miles Mikolas doesn’t scare me one bit, and while the Reds are a dynamic bunch who can disappoint on occasion, I like the four-man stack of Jonathan India ($3,700), Nick Castellanos ($4,100), Joey Votto ($3,700) and Tyler Naquin ($2,700) the best among this bunch, with Eugenio Suarez ($3,200), Max Schrock ($2,100) and Tucker Barnhart ($2,400) the best of the rest.

Bonus Value Stacks: Seattle Mariners, Minnesota Twins

Make sure to keep an eye on the starters as lineups are released. Good luck tonight, and please utilize the MLB Projection models to land on your one-offs and off-the-wall value plays!

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Today’s edition of Aces and Bases focuses ONLY on FanDuel’s 10-game MLB DFS Main Slate for 7:05PM ET, hopefully finding you some green screens!

Some light rain in Baltimore, where I’m not looking at pitchers anyway, and some normal pop-up chances in Atlanta and Cincy, but nothing tumultuous that could PPD a game we’re featuring. Giddyup!

MLB DFS: The Aces

Top MLB DFS Ace: Julio Urias ($10,000)

Urias may not have the highest upside on the slate, but both he and a pitcher to be named later offer the best chance at safety in cash games. His solid July numbers (2.30 ERA, .264 wOBA, 20% K rate, 5.6% BB rate) portend a more steady stretch in the season’s second half. The scuffling Angels have hit just .216/.271/.342 over the past week and this should not be considered a get-right spot for the halos. I’ll be plugging Urias in about half my cash and a third of my GPP lines tonight and moving on to some value stacks.

Best GPP Value: Yu Darvish ($9,600)

Last week we discussed how Darvish has struggled in July and had a good spot against the Rockies and he got lit up (including yielding a HR to the opposing pitcher, German Marquez) for 5 ER — though he did rack up 8 Ks and 27 FD points. This time we have reason to expect he can improve on those numbers and hit the 40+ threshold we’re looking for in GPPs. Adam Strangis discusses Darvish’s matchup in the 8/7 Starting Rotation article and as usual it’s a must-read. Darvish has been a reverse-splits pitcher in 2021 because of the soft contact he induces against LHB, and with the D-Backs’ featuring a slew of lefty hitters and the team K rate at 23.6% (24.4% vs. RHP), he’s once again in a great spot for GPPs.

Value Cash/Single-Entry GPP Play: Charlie Morton ($8,700)

At one point, a matchup against the Nationals would have scared me off a guy like Morton, and there may still be some oblivious DFS folks who don’t take advantage of what we’re really getting on this slate with the veteran hurler in this spot. That’s a solid floor of around 30-35 FD points and the opportunity to notch 55-60+ points if he hits his ceiling. Over his past nine starts dating back to June 17, Morton has at least 25 FD points in every one, with four in the 45+ point range and three at 52, 54 and 64 FD points. The Nats have been decimated by injuries and trades and have only or two hitters that really frighten me, so I’ll have some shares of Morton in both cash and GPPs where I may need the extra $1,000 to $1,300 to squeeze in a potent stack.

MLB DFS: The Bases

Top Stack: Colorado Rockies

This idea that we don’t have to tell you to play hitters n Coors has been around for quite a while, but some days you need to reiterate just how high the team total for Colorado (or in many cases their opponent) is. Today’s the home team is in a really great spot against a talented but unproven starter in Jesus Luzardo that may not be ready for the Mile-High treatment. There’s a very good avenue to some decent value in fastball-mashing Brendan Rogers ($3,500) and Elias Diaz ($3,400) before we have to pay a premium for Trevor Story ($4,300) and C.J. Cron ($4,000), and we could always mix in a guy like Yonathan Daza ($3,000). It’s not a slate we need to overthink, and getting exposure to the Rockies is a good idea on a slate where they won’t garner that high of the ownership share.

GPP Stack: Cincinnati Reds

They’ve been RED-hot as of late and just got Mike Moustakas back from the IL Damn near everybody in the lineup got in on the action last night, and now we’ve got a roster chock full of left-handed hitters looking to annihilate Mitch Keller and exceed the massive projected 6+ run total the Cincy crew is carrying into the slate. Moustakas is a ridiculous bargain at $2,500, while some of the usual suspects — Joey Votto ($4,100), Jesse Winker ($4,100), Jonathan India ($3,700) and Nick Castellanos ($3,500) — still feel underpriced somehow. Throw in Kyle Farmer ($2,900), who’s been on absolute fire in the second half (.421/.470/.671 slash line, 1.141 OPS with a 200 wRC+), and lefty Tyler Naquin ($2,900) — and you’ve got plenty of options to choose from.

Contrarian Stack: Cleveland Indians

With the majority of ownership heading to the Rockies, Reds and likley the Dodgers and Braves, I’m more than happy to give the future Guardians a chance to put up galactic numbers against a weak Detroit southpaw (Tyler Alexander) and bullpen. Getting exposure to the top four — Myles Straw ($2,600), Amed Rosario ($2,900), Jose Ramirez ($3,700), Franmil Reyes ($3,500) is optimal, and we can take a few shots with Harold Ramirez (2,400), Bobby Bradley ($2,500) and Oscar Mercado ($2,500) if we need some bargain plays. If we want to pay up for a top arm and fade Coors in some lineups, there’s a few cheap and potent bats on the Detroit end (facing the hittable Eli Morgan) to make this a full game stack! Let’s go DET-CLE!!

Make sure to keep an eye on the starters as lineups are released. Good luck tonight, and please utilize the MLB Projection models to land on your one-offs and off-the-wall value plays!

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Cash with the Flash Best Bets had a winning MLB day yesterday, thanks in small part to a resilient Washington Nationals side that never gave up and some bad luck on a misplayed ball that could happen nearly every day, But this one particular error will live on in infamy because of when it happened.https://twitter.com/bubbaprog/status/1179259777920241665?s=20Either way Cash with the Flash Best Bets pumps out another winner and if you played the Nationals as we suggested, you are likely a happy camper this Wednesday morning!Cashwith the Flash Best Bets has plenty on our plate todayand we must get after it. Let’s begin with tonight’s American League Wild Cardgame being played at the Oakland Coliseum between the Tampa Bay Rays andOakland Athletics.Tampa Bay Rays vs OaklandAthleticsCharlie Morton (16-6, 3.05) vs Sean Manaea (4-0, 1.21)Cash with the Flash Best Bets isn’t sure what kind of baseball game we’ll see tonight but the numbers are much better than last night, and we are thankful for...

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It always amazes me how quickly the MLB season flies by. It seems like one day you are studying for upcoming seasonal drafts and the next you are sitting here writing a Wild Card round article. This 10/1 MLB DFS piece will guide you through everything you need to know to succeed for the Tues-Wed slates. With Incendiary’s “Cost of Living” playing in the background, and a hopeful Dodgers future, let’s get this show on the road.

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The most important fact to consider when selecting postseason pitching is, they are all top starters. Especially in one game situations. All four pitchers on this slate are viable options, even if the starter for Oakland has not been officially named yet. But, if it is Sean Manaea like we all think, for his salary on DK he is just as much in the mix. On this 10/1 MLB DFS slate I would have no problem locking him in while I wait to see what develops.

Max Scherzervs. Milwaukee Brewers (Tuesday)

$11,000 FD / $9,400 DK / $12,600 DK-SD / $18,900 DK-SD-CP

This game could be a lot higher scoring than most believe. The Brewers are striking out 25.8 percent of the time versus RHPs this season while coming in 15th in MLB in wOBA. We do have several factors in play here for this game, the first being that Scherzer’s ERA has more than doubled in the second half. There was serious talk of possibly not having him start this game, but Dave Martinez decided Mad Max’s 1.50 ERA versus the Brew Crew with 10 strikeouts over six innings was enough to give him the nod.

The next big factor to look at is the Brewers themselves. The get a negative ballpark shift playing on the road in Washington despite Scherzer’s higher home ERA. Plus, let’s not forget the monster known as Christian Yelich is on hiatus due to injury. All numbers point to a low scoring game to be decided by the bullpens. On this 10/1 MLB DFS slate every starter is viable, especially the Scherz.

BrandonWoodruff vs. Washington Nationals (Tuesday)

$6,200 FD / $6,400 DK / $10,000 DK-SD / $15,500 DK-SD-CP

Much like Scherzer on this 10/1 MLB DFS slate Woodruff benefits from the same positive park shift. However, the Nationals are seventh in MLB in wOBA versus RHPs, and near the bottom of the league in strikeouts. This season Woody dominated the Nats in his only start, facing them back in May, striking out nine batters over six innings while only allowing one earned run. Keep in mind he is working his way back from injury and more than likely will only pitch a few innings.

Charlie Mortonvs. Oakland Athletics (Wednesday)

$9,500 FD / $8,600 DK

As much as I would love to see Oakland advance here the numbers are really telling me differently. Against the Athletics over two starts, Morton has a 0.68 ERA with 13 strikeouts over 13 1/3 innings. Much like tonight’s game this one is also going to come down to the bullpens. With the A’s batting .207 over the last seven days Morton is going to feast on them tomorrow night.

2019 Starting Pitching Stats

Max ScherzerNationals172.112.691.720.9440.80%11.60%2.922.88
Charlie MortonRays194.211.12.640.6948.20%10.40%3.053.28
Brandon WoodruffBrewers121.210.582.220.8944.60%12.00%3.623.36
Sean ManaeaAthletics29.


So, here is the trick to selecting offense on this 10/1 MLB DFS slate, attack the bullpens. With top tier starters taking the mound often it’s that dicey bullpen who ends up surrendering runs. This means we need to look at their numbers. My favorite stat for this is second half bullpen ERA. By this point in the season most guys are wearing out, especially on teams that have found themselves in high leverage situations leading up to this point. Like most Wild Card teams. I expect a lot of pitching changes tonight, much more so than tomorrow night, so I would focus my offense on the Brewers-Nationals game.

Second Half Bullpen Stats


Stack #1: Brewers versus RHPs

As mentioned, this is the game to stack on this two-game 10/1 MLB DFS slate. After locking in Manaea and Morton for tomorrow night you are left with a remaining player salary on DK of nearly $4,300. With the Nationals having one of the worst bullpens in MLB in the 2nd half, I prefer Milwaukee tonight.

Don’t let he BVP scare you versus Scherzer tonight. If he finds himself giving up a few runs, or in trouble, he will be pulled early.

Keston Hiura2656.80%30.20%0.2360.418159
Eric Thames39710.60%30.50%0.3530.362122
Yasmani Grandal43816.40%21.90%0.7530.35114
Mike Moustakas4039.90%17.60%0.5630.342109
Ryan Braun3325.40%23.50%0.2380.338106
Trent Grisham14711.60%23.10%0.510.31994
Lorenzo Cain4457.60%17.10%0.4590.29679
Ben Gamel27710.10%29.60%0.3410.28471
Travis Shaw21916.40%32.90%0.500.27867
Cory Spangenberg847.10%32.10%0.2220.2762
Orlando Arcia4117.80%20.70%0.3870.26156
Hernan Perez1275.50%33.90%0.1620.2442
Manny Pina989.20%25.50%0.3600.23338
Tyler Austin6910.10%44.90%0.2310.23241
Tyler Saladino527.70%32.70%0.2420.1888

Stack #2: Nationals versus RHPs

Brandon Woodruff as nasty as he is may not go deep into this game. His recent starts suggest maybe three innings. Unless of course they have been babying him and plan on letting him go full bore tonight. Either way, I still prefer the Nats offense tonight over both teams tomorrow night.

Juan Soto43818.30%20.30%0.990.414155
Anthony Rendon47511.40%12.40%0.9220.411153
Howie Kendrick2447.80%12.70%0.6110.385136
Trea Turner4417.50%20.40%0.37270.36120
Adam Eaton49910.60%15.60%0.68110.342108
Asdrubal Cabrera37410.20%22.20%0.4630.33299
Kurt Suzuki2377.20%11.40%0.6300.31993
Victor Robles4585.90%23.60%0.25160.31490
Matt Adams2707.00%35.20%0.200.31489
Brian Dozier34612.40%22.30%0.5620.31288
Gerardo Parra2326.90%19.80%0.3560.29176
Ryan Zimmerman1379.50%19.70%0.4800.27765
Yan Gomes2738.40%25.30%0.3320.27564
Michael A. Taylor577.00%36.80%0.1950.2654
Wilmer Difo1159.60%18.30%0.5200.25450

Stack #3: Rays versus LHPs

The numbers suggest the Wednesday games will be lower scoring. For the simple reason I see more innings coming out of Morton in this one, the Rays take precedent over the A’s. There will be more bullpen exposure here, pure and simple.

Tommy Pham19718.80%17.80%1.0680.407161
Yandy Diaz11712.00%21.40%0.5610.402158
Travis d’Arnaud1508.70%21.30%0.4100.362130
Eric Sogard1209.20%18.30%0.520.353122
Michael Brosseau734.10%23.30%0.1800.347120
Austin Meadows1775.10%29.90%0.1720.346120
Guillermo Heredia1246.50%23.40%0.2800.337114
Kevin Kiermaier1303.80%21.50%0.1850.332110
Avisail Garcia1777.90%22.60%0.3500.328107
Jesus Aguilar14512.40%22.10%0.5600.30386
Daniel Robertson9610.40%28.10%0.3710.29988
Brandon Lowe682.90%52.90%0.0600.28277
Ji-Man Choi9411.70%23.40%0.500.2875
Michael Perez110.00%45.50%000.26967
Willy Adames1986.60%27.80%0.2410.24551
Matt Duffy6613.60%19.70%0.6900.24551
Mike Zunino1019.90%33.70%0.2900.21430
Joey Wendle596.80%25.40%0.2710.168-1

Stack #4: Athletics versus RHPs

With Charlie Morton having dominated the Athletics this season, and the Rays having one of the best bullpens in MLB, this really lowers the offensive production possibilities. This places Oakland at the bottom of the list for me.

Mark Canha34012.90%23.50%0.5520.405160
Sean Murphy4010.00%27.50%0.3600.394152
Matt Olson37411.20%25.90%0.4300.391150
Seth Brown6910.10%27.50%0.3710.379142
Marcus Semien54511.60%14.30%0.81100.367134
Ramon Laureano3466.40%26.60%0.2490.361129
Matt Chapman49110.20%22.80%0.4510.355126
Robbie Grossman42412.50%17.50%0.7280.30793
Jurickson Profar3998.80%14.50%0.670.28679
Chad Pinder1914.20%25.70%0.1600.2875
Stephen Piscotty3018.00%22.30%0.3620.27269
Josh Phegley2395.00%21.80%0.2300.26666
Khris Davis3837.30%30.80%0.2400.25256

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DraftKings Showdown

Obviously, you are going to want both starting pitchers in all your lineups. The big decision is the Captain spot. I would find a cheap player that steadily produces fantasy points and reserve this spot for him. This allows you the spending power to pretty much have your way with bats. Here is a screenshot of two of my Showdown lineups for tonight as an example.

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This one seems easy for me tonight. Scherzer, despite having some recent woes with earned runs allowed, still strikes out batters at an incredible rate. This one is over all the way.

Brandon Woodruff may not go deep into this one but will certainly achieve this over in a matter of three innings.


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The options in tonight’s 7:05 EST 9/25 DFS main slate are limited, and most of the arms we’re focusing on are in the upper pricing tier. But there’s a couple lower priced options in the mix of today’s pitching picks to help you get some of those potent bats in your lineups. Let’s go!

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9/25 DFS Pitching Cash Game Plays

Jacob deGrom, NYM vs. MIA

DK ($12,000)   FD ($11,900)

I don’t normally like to pick too much on the Marlins, but after last night’s big Mets rally and subsequent victory, I think Miami will have a tough time getting up for this game against the NL’s most electric starter. The dominant deGrom has thrown seven scoreless innings in each of his last two starts and most recently allowed just four hits with no walks and nine Ks in an 8-1 win over the Reds. He’s carrying a 3.44 ERA in 21 career starts against the Marlins but those numbers should improve overall after tonight.

Zack Greinke, HOU at SEA

DK ($10,400)   FD ($9,400) 

He’s a huge favorite on the road in Seattle and this will be his final start in the regular season – one that’s been somewhat tumultuous. But in nine starts since being traded from the D-backs back to the AL on July 31, Greinke is 7-1 with a 3.48 ERA. 9/25 DFS features a couple of proven veteran arms with upside — and Lester has now topped 200 innings pitched for the ninth time – a feat that only Justin Verlander, who’s done that 12 times, has accomplished more among active pitchers. The Mariners don’t scare me much, so Greinke makes sense in cash and GPP.

9/25 DFS Pitching GPP Plays

Shane Bieber, CLE at CHW

DK ($11,800)   FD ($11,500) 

Bieber might not be the most dominant arm on tonight’s slate, buthe’s a couple hundred bucks cheaper than Jacob deGrom and should command muchlower ownership for GPPs. He had a clunker a couple starts ago, which shouldkeep him from donning the chalk, and he’s still sporting a 28.1 K% over hislast two seasons. The White Sox have a 25.6 K% this season and Bieber should besinging them the blues in the Southside tonight.

Jon Lester, CHC at PIT

DK ($8,300)   FD ($6,700)

It’s been a frustrating season for Lester, who’s 35 years old and winding down an impressive career. He’s okay for 9/25 DFS cash if you’re fine with a little bit of risk, but I think he’s more of a GPP play tonight. The Cubs southpaw has gone 3-0 with a 3.20 ERA in four starts against the Pirates this season and is 2-1 with a 5.48 ERA in four outings in September. He’s not an exciting guy to plug into your lineups, but he’s pitched well versus the Pirates and seems to be one of the best options in this slate.


9/25 DFS Pitching Punt Plays 

Jeff Samardzija, SF vs. COL

DK ($7,500)   FD ($7,100) 

I guess the aforementioned Lester could be considered apunt on FD, where he’s less than $7K, but there just aren’t too many arms inthat price range who I’ll be rolling out this evening. Samardzija will make thefinal start of his 2019 season at home versus the Rockies, who are much less frighteningon the road. Last night’s game lasted 5 hours, 31 minutes, with the Giants making12 pitching changes – so they’ll be looking for some length out of Big Jeff tonight.The 34-year-old veteran is 6-7 with a 3.89 ERA in 20 career appearances againstthe Rockies and makes for a fine cheap SP2 on DK and a contrarian GPP play onFD.

Jacob Waguespack, TOR vs. BAL

DK ($6,200)   FD ($6,100)

Speaking of contrarian options for 9/25 DFS, we’ll close out the recommendations with Jacob No. 2. Waguespack, a reverse splits pitcher with an occasionally aggressive approach that’s feast or famine for opposing hitters, pitched well in his last start against the Yankees in New York, peppering hitters with inside fastballs and cutters, limiting hard contact and striking out six batters over five innings. This version of the Orioles lineup (the one with Chris Davis) strikes out at a pretty high clip, and I’m less frightened of them the day following a big offensive explosion. Mix him into a few GPPs as your SP2 on DK and stay away from him on FD.

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Charlie Morton Over 7.5 Strikeouts & Masahiro Tanaka Over 4.5 Strikeouts (2.4x WIN) UPDATE: Tanaka NOT starting Wednesday — Jonathan Loaisiga/J.A. Happ expected to pitch

Morton should rack up plenty of Ks against the Yankees. He’s posted at least eight Ks in seven of his last 11 and three of his last four games. If there’s one thing the Yankees do other than hit home runs, it’s strike out, and they really don’t make a lot of contact in Tampa.

Tanaka has at least 5 Ks in six of his last seven games and matches up well with the Tampa lineup. There’s plenty of upside here if you want to take the risk and bank on the over for both pitchers.

Dinelson Lamet Over 5.5 Strikeouts & Ross Stripling Under 5.5 Strikeouts (2.4x WIN)

I love Lamet’s 12.57 K/9 this season and 14.2 SwStr% this season,a number that’s been 15.2 over the last 30 days, good for 10th bestin baseball (min 20 IP) during that stretch. He’s posted K totals of 14,7,4,10,5, 6, 7 and 12 since the start of August. He’s also gone at least 5.0 IP in allthose games. I’m taking the over and counting on at least six Ks from Dinelson.

Stripling’s pitched just 2.0 innings in three of his last four appearances(the other was 3.0 IP), and has whiffed just 3,2,2,2 in those outings. He’s basicallyan opener now and the odds of him of racking up more than five Ks have to bepretty low. I’m taking under 5.5 Ks from the Dodgers’ opener.

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Two elite arms on Friday’s schedule are Cash Game worthy. There’s at least four pitchers who sit on the cusp of CG status. However, the 9/13 DFS Pitching Picks is most intrigued by the punt option.

I think I made myself sick with that thought.

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9/13 DFS Pitching Picks – Cash Game Pitchers

Gerrit Cole, HOU at KC

DK ($12,200), FD ($12,000) 

Sunday’s 76-point performance was the 13th straight start that Cole has scored at least 40 points at FanDuel. He’s averaged at least 52 FD points in his last five starts. Cole also enters tonight with at least 10 strikeouts in eight of his last 10 starts and is just 19 Ks away from the 300 mark. Oddly enough, the Royals are one the few teams he’s slipped against this season, allowing four earned runs over 6.1 innings in his only previous appearance them. He did happen to fan nine before departing.

Cole is striking a sick, sick, sick 39.4% of the batters he’s faced along with 6.53 K/BB rate. He’s dropped his xFIP to 2.51 with SIERA of 2.67. Only eight pitchers have a better DRA- (Deserved Run Average Minus) than Cole’s 2.64. Kansas City’s projected lineup will have at least four players with better than 100 strikeouts this season with only three with above-average Deserved Runs Created+ Even with Jorge Soler’s 43 homers and Hunter Dozier’s breakout campaign, the Royals are lagging near the bottom of the American League in most offensive categories while also playing in a park that is strongly tilted toward pitchers.

In short, Cole’s easily the best Cash Game arm on the night. The Ks will be there in spades.

Max Scherzer, WAS vs. ATL

DK ($10,900), FD ($10,200) 

Scherzer still put up 52 points for his FanDuel users despite pitching just six innings. He reportedly “felt good” during a bullpen session on Tuesday, which is good news as he faces a Braves team that he limited to two hits and one earned run when he pitched in Atlanta last Sunday.

Only four pitchers — including teammate Stephen Strasburg — has a better PWARP than Scherzer’s 5.72. He leads all qualified starters with a 2.28 FIP and has lowed his BB/9 to a career-low 1.75. He has allowed a homer in four straight starts, but continues to fan batters at a 35% rate. What makes him almost a stone lock for Cash Game consideration every time out is also his ability to induce grounders (41.6%) better than he allows fly balls (38%), an underrated trait in this offensive frenzy of a season. The Braves offer an imposing lineup, yet Scherzer has held opponents to a .218 batting average while posting a 114:20 K:BB rate at home.

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9/13 DFS Pitching Picks – GPP Pitchers

Clayton Kershaw, LAD at NYM

DK ($11,900), FD ($11,700) 

Kershaw has been a Cash Game letdown of late, finishing with a combined 18.05 FanDuel points in his last two starts. With the NL West already clinched, there’s also the likelihood that the Dodgers could ease Kershaw’s workload. Those two reasons are why I can’t put Kershaw into a Cash Game format. He’s also lost his last three starts, approaching the 100-pitch count in his last two despite not reaching the sixth inning.

Blip or not, Kershaw has been hittable in his last two starts, allowing eight earned runs and three homers. The strikeouts are still there (12 over nine innings), yet his FB/GB rate has been 24:15, quite unusual for a hurler who has a 48.3% GB rate and allows fly balls at a 33.1% clip. The Mets did tag him for 10 hits and three earned runs over six innings on May 27. That memory also offers another reason why Kershaw is sitting at GPP status. The cost is too damn high to expect him to suddenly have his A-stuff when he’s been hovering around D+ of late.

Noah Syndergaard, NYM vs. LAD

DK ($10,400), FD ($9,400) 

Like his equally high-profile mound opponent, Syndergaard has been erratic of late. His ERA is above 4.00 for the first time since July 30 after allowing four earned runs over five innings against the Phillies last Sunday. It feels like Syndergaard has a brilliant outing only to have a letdown the following start. He pitched seven shutout innings against the Giants in his previous start before the Phils. However, he had come off of allowing nine earned runs in three innings against the White Sox.

Syndergaard is keeping the ball down (32.9% fly ball rate), a huge trait when facing Dodgers lumber. That’s allowed him to maintain an 11.8% HR/FB rate, a number further enhanced by the fact Syndergaard has allowed a 30% hard contact rate to opposing batters. There’s also the issue of who’s behind the plate. Syndergaard wants either Tomas Nido or Rene Rivera to catch him, but the Mets may go with Wilson Ramos’ offense rather than either of the two defensive-minded backstops. If Syndergaard gets his wish, he might border on Cash Game, but is best suited here.

Luis Castillo, CIN at ARI

DK ($10,500), FD ($10,400) 

Consider this striking while the iron is hot. Castillo gets a reeling Diamondbacks offense that managed just four runs in losing all four critical games at the Mets. Prior to Thursday, Arizona was a hitting a combined .199/.290/.321 over the previous six games, averaging over 10 batters’ strikeouts per game.

Castillo has four straight starts of at least 20 points at DraftKings and should be a solid play tonight. He has struck out 29 batters in his last 19.2 innings and offers an odd stat: Castillo has a very low 26.7% fly ball rate but has an 18% HR/FB rate. Don’t let that bother you when considering Castillo tonight. He could be one of higher scoring pitchers on the evening.

Charlie Morton, TB at LAA

DK ($9,800), FD ($9,990)

Morton has bounced back nicely since being smoked by the Astros on August 27. Since then, he’s produced consecutive starts of 43 points for his FanDuel users. His 30.4% strikeout rate is going to be challenged by an Angels lineup that has the third-fewest batters strikeouts in the majors.


9/13 DFS Pitching Picks – Punt Pick

Sandy Alcantara, MIA at SF

DK ($8,000), FD ($6,800) 

Alcantara has quietly ripped off four straight starts of at least 30 FanDuel points, striking out at least seven in each. He’s got an 0.92 WHIP in his last seven starts while holding batters to a .209 average since the All-Star Break. His 4.09 BB/9 rate remains an issue, but the increased strikeout rate makes him a sneaky good play against a so-so San Francisco offense in a heavily-favored pitcher’s park.

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We’re getting down to the final few weeks of the regular season and we’re seeing something strange. The good teams are really taking control right now and it’s caused some very bizarre betting lines. There are more –300/-400 favorite than ever before and it’s making pitchers extremely chalky for DFS purposes. What makes it even more bizarre is the fact that cheap pitchers have been most successful in terms of DFS and that totally throws everything into a loop. That’s why most of the GPP/punt play recommendations in this article won’t be big name players because it’s key to pick a guy with low ownership. Let’s get into our 9/6 DFS Pitching plays!

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9/6 DFS Pitching Cash Game Pitcher 

Clayton Kershaw, LAD vs. SF 

DK ($11,900)   FD ($11,700) 

Is there any question that Kershaw is one of the best cash game plays? Not only is he arguably the most reliable pitcher around, he’s also got a superb matchup. Let’s begin with his consistency, with Kershaw throwing at least six innings in all 24 of his starts this season. He’s the only pitcher in the league to do that and it’s led to a 2.96 ERA and 1.01 WHIP. That’s vintage Kershaw, as he’s also got 90 Ks over his last 70 innings pitched.

All of those fantastic numbers make him tough to fade against an offense like the Giants, with San Fran ranked 26th in runs scored, 27th in OBP, 26th in OPS and 28th in wOBA. In his two starts against the Giants this season, Kershaw has gone at least seven innings in both outings while allowing just two combined runs. That’s why he and the Dodgers enter this matchup as a –250 favorite.  

Charlie Morton/Brendan McKay, TB vs. TOR 

DK ($10,600/$7,800)   FD ($9,700/$7,100) 

Morton is easily one of the best cash game pitchers on the board. We’re talking about a guy with a 3.06 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 30.2 percent K rate facing one of the worst offenses in baseball. That doesn’t even take into consideration that Tropicana Field ranks as one of the best pitcher’s parks around, with Morton amassing a 2.62 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 12.1 K/9 rate there this season.

Battling the Blue Jays is simply the icing on the cake, with Toronto ranked 21st in K rate, 23rd in runs scored, 28th in OBP, 24th in OPS and 27th in wOBA. Vegas agrees, making Morton and the Rays a –350 favorite in this stellar matchup. There is some thought out there that Brendan McKay may move into this starting spot and he would definitely be in play with his absurd minor league statistics against a poor offense like this.

9/6 DFS Pitching GPP Pitchers 

Robbie Ray, ARI at CIN 

DK ($10,500)   FD ($8,800) 

Ray is literally the definition of a GPP play. Any pitcher with a 1.32 WHIP and 31 percent K rate is the anthesis of a GPP pitcher, because that’s volatility as its finest. The reason we can trust that K rate more than that WHIP today is because of this matchup, with the Reds ranked 22nd in runs scored, 21st in OPS, 22nd in OBP and 27th in xwOBA. In addition, Cincinnati actually ranks 27th in runs scored against left-handers. Ray has shown some signs of consistency recently too, allowing four runs or fewer in 13-straight starts, scoring at least 24 FanDuel points in all but two of those outings.  

Dinelson Lamet, SD vs. COL 

DK ($10,300)   FD ($8,400) 

This has double-digit strikeouts written all over it. As a Rockies fan, I can tell you that this is one of the worst offenses in baseball right now. They’ve completely given up on the season and it’s evident by the fact that they rank 29th in OBP and last in OPS on the road this season. They also happen to rank 27th in K rate on the road and traditionally struggle in a pitcher-friendly stadium like Petco Park. That’s horrifying against a strikeout-king like Lamet, with the right-hander posting a 3.72 xFIP and 32 percent K rate this season.  

9/6 DFS Pitching Punt Plays 

Pablo Lopez, MIA vs. KC 

DK ($6,300)   FD ($6,700) 

The 4.89 ERA from Lopez will surely scare some owners off but this dude has been better than that would indicate. His 4.22 xFIP and 1.16 WHIP are much more indicative of how good this guy can be, as he’s been rather unlucky this season. Getting to pitch at Marlins Park is the main reason we trust him here though, with the ballpark ranked as the most pitcher-friendly park in the Majors.

That’s why Lopez has a 2.66 ERA, 0.89 WHIP and 8.6 K/9 rate there so far this season. That’s bad news for a bad offense like this, with the Royals ranked 27th in runs scored, 25th in OBP, 28th in OPS and 23rd in xwOBA. In addition, it’s even scarier with KC having to play this game without a DH.  

Homer Bailey, OAK vs. DET 

DK ($8,500)   FD ($8,200) 

I was tempted to throw Bailey in the cash game play section but he’s simply too volatile to classify him as a cash game pitcher. That’s why he’s found himself in the punt plays but he’s honestly a better option than that would indicate. The reason we like him so much on this slate is because of this matchup, with the Tigers ranked last in runs scored, OBP, OPS, K rate and xwOBA.

That simply means they’re the worst offense in baseball and that’s going to make it really tough to hit in a spacious ballpark like Oakland Coliseum. Bailey has been much better since joining the A’s too, allowing three runs or fewer in six of his last seven starts while pitching to a 2.22 ERA and 0.98 WHIP over his last four fixtures. All of that has led to Bailey and Oakland entering this matchup as a –250 favorite.  

Monkey Knife Fight Picks of the Day 

Dinelson Lamet Over 6.5 Strikeouts

A guy with a 31 percent K rate facing one of the worst offenses in the league should have projection of about 8 Ks, not 6.5.

Brendan McKay Over 4.5 Strikeouts

If McKay gets the start, this is probably my favorite play on the board. McKay had a K rate north of 34 percent at the minors this season and faces a Toronto offense who struggles across the board.

Miles Mikolas Over 3.5 Strikeouts

I ate using a contact-pitcher against a low-K lineup but Mikolas could clear this prop in a bad game. Pittsburgh ranks 22nd in OPS since the All-Star break and Mikolas has reached this K-total in 19 of his last 23 starts.

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MKF Record: 32-23

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8/21 DFS Pitching Picks

Hump Day offers a smattering of daytime baseball but the best cash plays for our 8/21 DFS Pitching Picks come out at night. With the usual 15-game slate, expect solid choices for all formats.

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8/21 DFS Pitching Cash Game Pitchers 

Justin Verlander, HOU vs. DET

DK ($12,400)   FD ($12,500) 

It begins and ends with Verlander for the 8/21 DFS Pitching Picks when it comes to best cash game options. Yes, it’s going to cost you, but Verlander has put up at least 30 FanDuel points in all but two starts dating back to April 8. He’s been freaking Lights Out over his last six starts, recording at least 10 Ks in each, putting within the outer edge of his first 300-K season. Barring the unforeseen, Verlander will push the streak to seven at the expense of a Tigers team that is third only to the Mariners and Rangers in batter’s strikeouts (1,219). You don’t need a lot of fancy next gen numbers with this pick: Ante up and watch the K’s come.

Charlie Morton, TB vs. SEA

DK ($11,100)   FD ($11,600) 

Easily the best play among the daytime starters, Morton has helped deliver the long green in his past three starts, having produced FanDuel totals of 46, 42 and 55 points. He’s pitching at home in the Trop, where opponents have managed a .197 batting average and where Morton has a K:BB rate of 105:16 over 75.2 innings at home. Expensive? Yes, but if you’re playing an afternoon slate, there’s no other pitcher that comes close to giving you what Morton can provide.

This should be a dual act of Morton either fanning batters at will (remember, the Mariners lead the majors with 1,237 Ks from their hitters) or watching his 48.7% ground ball rate improve a tick or two. Seattle’s lineup doesn’t look like the Triple-A offense the Tigers will have in Houston tonight, but it’s one that is essentially playing for their fans at 10:10am.

Walker Buehler, LAD vs. TOR

DK ($11,400)   FD ($11,000) 

Like Verlander, Buehler finds himself in an ideal scenario: at home against a free-swinging team that’s allergic to walks. Slightly less expensive than V-Squared, Buehler also has lacked Verlander’s consistency, having pitched a combined 10 innings in his last two starts, but I love the FanDuel projection (41.70 points) for him tonight. Buehler has a sick, sick, sick K:BB rate of 10.57:1.66. That number is more perverse when looking at his K:BB rate when pitching at Dodger Stadium, as Buehler sports a 94:7 rate in 73.1 innings tossed at home. To paraphrase a line of the song “Walking in LA” by the 1980s new wave group Missing Persons, nobody walks in LA, especially when Buehler is on the mound.

Toronto is 23rd in batter’s strikeouts, but for all the future talent brimming in their lineup, the Blue Jays are 28th in the majors with a .304 OBP. Do not count on that number improving after Wednesday night. In short, Buehler is money well spent for the 8/21 DFS Pitching Picks.

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8/21 DFS Pitching GPP Picks 

Mike Minor, TEX vs. LAA

DK ($10,400)   FD ($9,300) 

He’s matched up well against the Angels, having gone 3-0 with a 2.08 ERA in five starts against them. Minor put up 58 FanDuel points against them on April 16 and followed that with a solid 34 FDP in a May 25 start before a 16 FDP clunker versus Team Trout on July 2. His ability to reduce his fly ball rate (40%) is a key element behind his underrated performance this season and is also a welcomed fact considering how the ball can fly in Arlington on a hot August night.

Minor also brings a 12:7% HR:BB rate to the party and does come into this start with a lot of DFS momentum, recording 52 and 67 FanDuel points in his last two starts. The Angels managed just 13 hits in a double-header split on Tuesday, and I don’t suspect their bats will come alive against Minor.

Mike Fiers, OAK vs. NYY

DK ($9,600)   FD ($7,700) 

This sets to be a trap game for those who like to stack Yankees batters. Fiers is Cy Young-caliber at Oakland Coliseum, where he has a 7-2 record with a 2.89 ERA while allowing hitters to get him at a .215 clip. He’s a bit pricey at DraftKings and does come off his worst DFS scoring performance since May 1, managing just 18 FanDuel points against the Tigers (!!!). However, he has delivered at least 30 FanDuel points in three of his last four starts at home. If there is any concern regarding Fiers, it’s the 5.99 K/9 rate he brings to the table.

That’s a tad unnerving, especially considering the level of lumber the Yanks will have in the lineup, but since Fiers is at home, you have to give him the edge and simply trust he can keep his infielders busy while hoping his 39.5% fly ball rate doesn’t take a sharp turn.

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8/21 DFS Pitching Punt Pick 

Joe Musgrove, PIT vs. WAS

DK ($5,900)   FD ($7,200) 

Musgrove is a roller coaster, but what fun he can be when he’s on. He comes off a solid outing against the Cubs that resulted in 47 FanDuel points, continuing a season-long trend that has seen him either blow up DFS lineups or become an unsung hero to those crazy enough to run with him. Musgrove has allowed three or fewer earned runs in three of his last four starts and is also on a 10-start stretch that has seen him walk two or fewer batters eight times.

The Nats’ offensive onslaught was slowed on Tuesday night, and if you’re a believer that it’s a sign of regression from Washington, boy, do I have a sleeper play for you.

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I always look forward to writing these pitching articles and we have yet another fascinating slate here. While a lot of these pitchers are guys I haven’t used much this season, there are still some great options out there. With that in mind, let’s get into our 8/16 DFS Pitching Picks. 

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8/16 DFS Pitching Cash Game Plays 

Luis Castillo, CIN vs. STL 

DK ($10,800)   FD ($11,100) 

I really haven’t written up Castillo a whole lot this season and that’s probably a mistake on my part. We’re talking about a complete breakout, with the Reds righty pitching to a 2.69 ERA and 1.11 WHIP this season while striking out 172 batters. That equates to an incredible 29.5 percent K rate, which is no surprise when you look at his 3.57 career xFIP.  

That’s why his price has risen so much and it’s amazing just how consistent he’s been. Castillo has at least 30 FD points in 20 of his 24 starts this season. The icing on the cake is this matchup though, with the Cardinals establishing themselves as one of the worst offenses in the league. In fact, St. Louis sits 25th in runs scored, 24th in OPS, 22nd in OBP and 25th in wOBA. That’s why Castillo and the Reds enter this matchup as a –160 favorite.   

Charlie Morton, TB vs. DET 

DK ($11,600)   FD ($11,300) 

Morton is easily my favorite play on the board. This dude has been downright special the last two seasons and it’s a wonder why more people aren’t taking notice. Dating back to last season, Morton is providing a 3.02 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 30 percent K rate. That’s backed up by a 3.33 xFIP and it’s amazing just how much this guy has improved.  

Much like Castillo, Morton is extremely reliable too. In 25 starts this season, the Tampa Bay righty has reached at least 33 FanDuel points in 21 of those fixtures. That appears to be the floor in a matchup like this, with the Motor City Kitties ranked bottom-three in runs scored, OBP, OPS, xwOBA and K rate. That’s truly frightening in a pitcher’s park like Tropicana Field and it’s main reason why Morton and the Rays enter this matchup as a –320 favorite.  

Noah Syndergaard, NYM at KC 

DK ($10,100)   FD ($9,800) 

Syndergaard has been slightly disappointing for season-long fantasy owners but his recent form shows just how much talent this dude possesses. Over his last six starts, Syndergaard is pitching to a 1.91 ERA and 1.04 WHIP while striking out 44 batters across 42.1 innings of action. He also went at least seven innings in all six of those starts, which is unheard of in today’s MLB. That’s the guy that we’ve been expecting, as his 2.85 FIP and 26.3 percent career K rate for show the sort of potential he has. All of that pairs beautifully with this matchup, with the Royals ranked 26th in runs scored, 25th in OBP, 26th in OPS, 23rd in wOBA and 22nd in xwOBA. All of these factors have him entering this matchup as a –190 favorite.  

8/16 DFS Pitching GPP Plays 

Vince Velasquez, PHI vs. SD 

DK ($7,200)   FD ($7,200) 

Velasquez has been stellar the last month or so and it’s not indicative in his price. Over his last 49 innings pitched, Velasquez is generating a 4.04 ERA, 3.50 xFIP, 1.12 WHIP and 9.7 K/9 rate. That’s the stud we’ve been waiting for and it’s really encouraging to see him pitching so well. This guy has always shown that sort of capability, with Velasquez posting a 4.19 xFIP. 4.04 SIERA and 25.4 percent K rate for his career.  

What makes him an enticing option here is this matchup, with the Padres ranked 23rd in runs scored, 23rd in OBP, 22nd in OPS, 27th in K rate and 28th in xwOBA. What makes that even scarier is the fact that they’re missing Fernando Tatis Jr and are throwing out a bunch of righties against Velasquez. For his career, VV has a .320 wOBA and 27 percent K rate against right-handed batters.     

Kyle Hendricks, CHC at PIT 

DK ($8,200)   FD ($7,800) 

Hendricks is coming off one of his worst starts of the year but that has lowered his price enough to entice me. We’re still talking about a guy with a 3.48 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 114:27 K:BB rate facing one of the worst offenses in the league. Prior to that ugly start against a scorching-hot Reds offense, Hendricks pitched to a 2.35 ERA and 0.97 WHIP over his previous seven appearances. All of that makes him tough to fade against a Pirates offense that ranks 20th in runs scored, 20th in wOBA and 19th in xwOBA.  

Jake Odorizzi, MIN at TEX 

DK ($9,200)   FD ($8,800) 

This is very risky when you look at Texas’ team total but there’s a lot to like here about Odorizzi. Let’s start with the Twins pitcher, as he’s in the midst of a breakout year. A 3.44 ERA and 1.22 WHIP speaks for itself but his 25.3 percent K rate is also the best mark of his career. That impressive strikeout stuff becomes very attractive against an offense like this, with the Rangers owning the worst K rate in the Majors. In addition, the Rangers also rank 19th in OBP and they simply haven’t been the same offense since Joey Gallo went down.

Monkey Knife Fight Pick of the Day 

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Kyle Hendricks Over 4.5 Strikeouts

We had an ugly 0-2 outing in our last article, so its time to rebound with this pick. This happens to be pitching and I’m actually hitting over 70 percent with these strikeout props. While Pittsburgh is pretty good in terms of strikeouts, their weak offense should allow Hendricks to pitch into the sixth inning. As long as he does that, he will likley reach five Ks with his 21 percent K rate and good peripherals.

MKF Record 26-18

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Trust me, the 8/10 DFS pitching slate is pretty darn thin in quality. Sure, there’s a handful of familiar names, some of whom were once solid pitchers. The majority of starting arms feels more like a Saturday special from Guy’s Groovy Grab Bag, one that includes the ever-annoying TBD, otherwise known as the DFS version of Mystery Date (kids, Mystery Date was a…aw, just Google it).

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8/10 DFS Pitching Cash Game Pitchers 

Charlie Morton, TB at SEA

DK ($10,700)   FD ($10,100) 

One of two Cash Game-worthy arms pitching today, Morton is on pace to get the A.L. Cy Young scraps that former Astros teammates Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander will leave on the floor. Morton is on pace to surpass his career-best 201 strikeouts, fanning at least six in eight of his last 10 starts. He’s been a model of consistency, especially for FanDuel users, as he’s recorded at least 30 FD points in 11 of his last 13 starts. The Mariners are almost tailor made for another evening of Morton making opposing lineups look like human air conditioners as Seattle’s offense is 26th in strikeout percentage (25.6%). Morton is difficult to homer against, having allowed just 11 over 143.1 innings of work, with much of that is due to the struggles that come from getting fly balls off of him (30.1% fly ball rate). If you’re going to spend money on an arm, then invest it in Morton.

Noah Syndergaard, NYM at WAS

DK ($10,500)   FD ($10,800) 

…or Syndergaard, who’s been ruthlessly efficient over his last five starts, going at least seven innings while allowing three or fewer earned runs in each. Oh yeah: he’s not given up a homer since July 6. His run is part of the reason why the Mets have won 14 of their last 15 as Syndergaard goes against a Nationals lineup he’s handled well this season, holding them to a .179 batting average and striking out 19 over 20 innings (three starts). The Nats have, however, homered three times against him, neatly explaining the 3.60 ERA. Syndergaard’s 3.44 FIP is a better indication of how effective he has been rather than his 3.96 ERA. Like Morton, Thor drops major hammer on those seeking to get solid contact off him, oppressing batters to a 28% hard contact rate while keeping fly balls at a modest 32.6% clip.The Nats’ 95 OPS+ falls just below league average. More concerning about the Nationals’ lineup is how bereft of power they are on the road. Washington loses 60 points off its slugging percentage (.466 to .406) when away from home. Those numbers are worse when looking at their production at Citi Field, where Washington goes .227/.238/391.

8/10 DFS GPP Plays

Mike Soroka, ATL at MIA

DK ($9,100)   FD ($8,100) 

Miami’s bats roll over for Soroka almost as easily as my cat rolls over for treats. In 15 innings against Soroka this season, the Marlins have batted .115 with six hits and one earned run against the breakout righty. Soroka continues to be downright stingy when it comes to allowing fly balls, limiting opponents to a paltry 23.6% rate. With that kind of infrequency, it’s easy to see why Soroka has allowed just seven homers this season. He’s more miserly on the road, allowing a OBA of .197 in 12 starts outside the ATL and should be in line for another start in which his infielders stay fairly busy (54.6% ground ball rate).Since this is a family site, I’ll just say the Marlins offense stinks. Not my first choice of description, but rules. Miami is tied for last in OPS+ (78) and have hit a composite .235/.288/.399 since the All-Star Break. In a year of graphic power displays across the league, the Marlins remain the only team in the Majors without at least 100 homers. You can’t use Marlins Park as too much of an excuse; you could put Miami’s lineup in Yankee Stadium and they’d still struggle.

Kenta Maeda, LA vs. ARI

DK ($7,000)   FD ($7,700)

He’s pitching at home, which is why it can be considered safe to start Maeda, who has a 3.17 ERA and a .181 OBA at Dodger Stadium. Maeda also gets bonus points for his work against the Diamondbacks this season, holding Arizona’s bats to a .175 OBA. Home runs, which weren’t an issue in 2018, have reared their ugly head this year with Maeda allowing 1.40 HR/9. That’s due in part to a rise in his fly ball rate, which has gone to 39.1%, almost near the levels that got him in homer purgatory in 2017. Being at home should also further suppress Maeda’s 29.6 hard contact rate. Although the Diamondbacks have been solid in making contact this season, again, the pleasure of being in Dodger Stadium, where he strikes more than a batter per inning, works in Maeda’s favor.

8/10 DFS Punt Plays

Aaron Sanchez, HOU at BAL

DK ($6,900)   FD ($8,200) 

Who else but Sanchez to highlight the punt play? If you saw his 10-strikeout, no-walk effort in his last start with the Blue Jays, last Saturday’s six innings of no-hit ball against the Mariners as part of a combined no-no could have been seen coming (somewhat). Granted, no one expected the no-hitter, but Sanchez had been quietly regaining his control. He enters this evening’s start having gone five straight starts with two walks or fewer and with the Astros bullpen far more reliable than what he had in Toronto, Sanchez can air it out for 5-6 innings with limited damage before hitting the showers. His fastball was more pronounced in his first Houston start, making him yet another apt pupil from Astros pitching coach Brent Strom.


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