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Clayton Kershaw

Welcome to the Friday edition of the Aces and Bases, where I’ll be going through the top MLB DFS Aces and Stacks on DraftKings and Fanduel. 

Tonight we have a massive 14-game slate of MLB DFS tonight. Here are the teams that still have something to play for: New York Mets, Atlanta Braves, Philadelphia Phillies, Milwaukee Brewers, and the San Diego Padres.  The Orioles are still in the hunt, but at 5 games back they need more than a miracle to make it.  As we’ve seen over the last few days, lineups are going to be wonky.  So what makes for a good play now, may be extremely different come lock.   

Let’s dig in and see if we can find some stacks to use today!

MLB DFS Aces – Main

Corbin Burnes vs. Miami Marlins

Corbin Burnes and the Milwaukee Brewers received a nice gift yesterday with the Phillies were shutout by the Cubs.  While many MLB DFS players hated it, the Brewers were incredibly grateful.  With the Brewers now just a .5...

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Welcome to the Monday edition of the Aces and Bases, where I’ll be going through the top MLB DFS Aces and Stacks on DraftKings and Fanduel. 

Tonight we have a nice-sized 7-game slate of MLB DFS tonight.  We’re at the point of the season where teams are starting to jockey for playoff position, or are fighting for their playoff lives.  We have a little bit of both of that tonight with many teams in action tonight in the playoff hunt.  That will make for even better baseball. 

Let’s dig in and see if we can find some stacks to use today!

MLB DFS Aces – Main

Clayton Kershaw vs. Arizona Diamondbacks

Of the aces on the hill tonight, Clayton Kershaw gets arguably the best matchup on paper.  While the Diamondbacks have been better against lefties over the last month, they’re still the Diamondbacks facing Clayton Kershaw and this is a matchup that Kershaw should be able to navigate with some level of ease. 

Over the last month, Kershaw has ...

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Today’s edition of Aces and Bases focuses ONLY on FanDuel’s seven-game MLB DFS Main Slate for 7:15PM ET, hopefully finding you some green screens!

Weather is not a huge issue tonight (as much as it is for the day games), so let’s dive right in!

MLB DFS: The Aces

Top MLB DFS Ace: Clayton Kershaw ($11,000)

Kershaw is the only top MLB DFS arm we should really consider tonight, since there’s a $2,500 drop off to the next available SP (LAA RHP Alex Cobb at $8,500 — someone we can consider as a GPP pivot). Adam Strangis explains in the 7/3 Starting Rotation article why anchoring cash game lineups to Kershaw makes a lot of sense, and we can probably use the same rationale for single-entry GPP. Kershaw’s K rate is high enough that the elevated pricing on FD isn’t a dealbreaker, and the Nationals do have some K potential in their lineup.

Best GPP Value: Jake Odorizzi ($7,200)

The Indians aren’t pushovers, but Odorizzi has been pretty effective this season with and xFIP under 4.00 and a K rate over a batter an inning. Cleveland is in the bottom half of the league in OPS, wOBA, and wRC+ and they rank just 21st against the fastball — Odorizzi’s number one pitch in both effectiveness and usage. He’s a slight favorite, has averaged over 30 FD per outing over his last four starts, and his price allows us to roster basically any hitters we want in the high total games in Coors Field and/or Oakland.

Contrarian GPP Play: Alex Cobb ($8,500)

He’s a contrarian play because the price is still a little higher than we’d like to play on a slate where Odorizzi is much cheaper, but his upside is just as high. Cobb sports a 2.79 xFIP this season and the Orioles aren’t especially great at knocking around RHPs. There’s risk here, as we know this crew in Baltimore can manufacture a few runs with that potent top 4 — but if Cobb can get through that group a couple times without major incident, he’s got a great shot at eclipsing his 30 point FD projections and total of about 30 FD points. 40-45 FD points (helped by a QS and win) isn’t unrealistic,

MLB DFS: The Bases

Top Stack: St. Louis Cardinals vs. COL LHP Kyle Freeland

This lineup is filled with lefty mashers, and it’s a group that really came alive in extra innings last night — something I believe they’ll carry over into tonight’s matchup. You really can’t go wrong with Nolan Arenado ($4,400), Paul Goldschmidt ($4,300), Tyler O’Neill ($4,000 – DTD, finger) and Harrison Bader ($3,200) as your power four, with Tommy Edman ($3,700) Dylan Carlson ($3,400), Yadier Molina ($3,500) and Paul DeJong ($3,800) as your main alternates. The Rockies are all in play as well — especially Trevor Story ($4,400) , C.J. Cron ($3,900) and a cheap Yonathan Daza ($3,100 — though it will be hard to stack the entire game.

Value Stack: San Francisco Giants vs. ARI RHP Jacob Faria

The Giants were my value stack last night against the A’s, and while they did score 6 runs, they didn’t break the slate. Once again, they have enormous upside tonight with these hitters against “Journeyman Jake” Faria and his hittable ensemble of pitches: LaMonte Wade ($2,900), Mike Yastrzemski ($3,200), Buster Posey ($3,100) Alex Dickerson ($2,500), Brandon Crawford ($3,000). There are some other bats to be considered (Steven Duggar at $2,800 and a very cheap Donovan Solano at $2,300), but I’m most interested in the above four for MLB DFS.

Contrarian Stack: Oakland Athletics vs. BOS RHP Garrett Richards

There’s a great deal of leverage in stacking this entire game and fading Coors hitters, but let’s start with the Athletics bats we like: Tony Kemp ($2,800), Matt Olson ($3,700), Jed Lowrie ($3,300) and Matt Chapman ($3,600). For Boston, the top hitters are J.D. Martinez ($4,200), Kike Hernandez ($3,600), Xander Bogaerts ($3,700) and Hunter Renfroe ($3,500). Again — both sides are fine here, but the Athletics will be severely under-owned against a bad RHP, and that’s a spot I really like considering their above-average 104 wRC+ and .317 wOBA. The Sox do well against LHP (.331 wOBA, 105 wRC+), but they’re priced a little higher.

Good luck tonight, and make sure you utilize the MLB Projection models to land on your one-offs and off-the-wall value plays!

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Welcome to the Wednesday edition of Aces and Bases.  Today we have 2 nice sized slates.  A 6 gamer at 2:10 and an 8 game main slate. While we have more pitching options than we’ve had over the last couple of days, some of them aren’t in the best spots and will carry risk.  We do however have some clear cut stacks that we’ll want to use.  Let’s dig in to today’s slates!MLB DFS: The Early Slate AcesFreddy Peralta ($9.2k) vs. Cincinnati Reds– Peralta will be my top pitcher on the early slate.  While the match-up is a tough one, Peralta has already proven a couple of times this season he can handle the Reds lineup.  He struck out 13 Reds between 8 innings of work in the 2 starts.  Peralta has had a great campaign so far this year.  He has a 37% K rate this year and it’s not often we can get a pitcher with this type of K rate less than $10k.  Tarik Skubal ($8.5k) vs. Kansas City Royals – At the start of the year, I would have picked the Royals as one of my top stack...

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

Some nasty storms firing up later tonight in the area of the White Sox at Royals game but other than that no major weather concerns for the 7:05 slate.

MLB DFS: The Aces

Top Ace: Clayton Kershaw ($11,000)

The pitching in the main slate is pretty ugly, though you should check out the deep dive Adam Strangis gave us in his 5/8 Starting Rotation piece for more info. Kershaw is the top spend of the main slate and I’ll probably be avoiding Lance Lynn and the chance for a weather-impacted start for the White Sox hurler in Kansas City. I do like one pitcher a lot more for GPP value, but it’s silly to think anyone has higher floor tonight than a future HOFer in Kershaw facing their Pasadena counterparts. The Angels — slightly below league average against lefties — have a low team strikeout rate (second-lowest in baseball at 21.6%), but they also have the lowest projected run total of the 14 teams that encompass this slate. Kershaw got knocked around by the Cubs on May 4 but threw just 39 pitches and should be plenty ready for a MLB DFS rebound on short rest.

Best GPP Value: Ian Anderson ($7,900)

Another solid pitcher looking to bounce back from a bad outing, Anderson didn’t fare well against the high contact Blue Jays in his last start, failing to get into one of his customary bat-missing grooves. But the Phillies have the second-highest team strikeout rate in the majors this year (27.9%) and that’s what I’m looking for on FanDuel, where “Ks are King” for SP in MLB DFS. Anderson whiffs over 10 batters per 9 IP, and he’s been plagued by an abnormally high HR/FB rate so far this season. Expect him to notch himelf 7-8 KS and stand a very good shot at a quality start/win with his Atlanta Braves standing at -170 to -180 favorites at home.

Contrarian GPP Value: Garrett Richards ($7,400)

Richards has shown the ability to strike out 10+ batters in an outing, which he accomplished against the Mets on April 27 in a monster 58-point FanDuel performance. The Orioles aren’t the pushovers they were a couple years ago, but the team K rate is still 24.6% and their measly team wRC+ of 89 is uninspiring from a DFS perspective. If you’re looking for an off-the-radar play with some upside as a pivot from chalk and the obvious GPP value that Anderson offers, Richards could be a fine MLB DFS leverage play who’s capable of 40-50 FP tonight. Over his past 12 IP, he’s struck out 17 batters to just one BB.

MLB DFS: The Bases

Top Stack: Atlanta Braves vs. PHI RHP Vince Velasquez

The Braves have the highest total of the slate (5 runs) and while Vince Velasquez has been a dynamic pitcher in the past, his 2021 numbers aren’t great. His painfully high walk rate (6.38 BB/9) and high FIP/xFIP (6.13/4.62) could be a huge problem against an admittedly circular Braves lineup that features some of the best batters in baseball vs. RHP, including Ronald Acuna ($4,400), Freddie Freeman ($4,000), a switch-hitting Ozzie Albies ($3,300) and value-laden Austin Riley ($2,500). There’s also Marcell Ozuna ($3,500) and young C William Contreras ($2,800). The top MLB DFS guys from Atlanta are not chap, so I’ll probably make some different combos of four-man stacks with Anderson and a few with Garrett Richards.

Value Stack: Houston Astros vs. TOR LHP Steven Matz

I thought the Astros would be more expensive, honestly, but the pricing hasn’t caught up to just how hot Alex Bregman ($3,600) is getting. Bregman’s .420 wOBA this season vs. LHP is a number that’s actually come down since 2019 — when it was .430 from 2018-19. The team’s wRC+ is 124 over the past 14 days, a mark equaled only by the Yankees, who have seen their bats heat up behind a rejuvenated Giancarlo Stanton. Yordan Alvarez ($3,700) is a lefty who mashes lefties and both Yulieski Gurriel ($2,900) and Carlos Correa ($3,100) have massive HR upside in a lineup that produces lots of runs. Did I mention that Jose Altuve ($3,400) has four hits including a HR) in his last nine AB? Even Michael Brantley ($3,000) works just fine as a contrarian LHB play as the No. 2 hitter in a 1-4 stack here, and nobody’s price is too outrageous.

Contrarian Stack: Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles LHP Zac Lowther

We know that Bregman mashes lefties, but only Nolan Arenado (.460 wOBA, but with the boost of Mile-High home games) and J.D. Martinez and his .457 wOBA ($4,300) have done more against LHP since 2017. Mrtinex makes foe a great anchor in a four-man Red Sox stack that also includes Rafael Devers ($3,500) — who boats a .410 wOBA in 30 AB vs. LHP this season — Xander Bogaerts ($3,600) and the sneaky Marwin Gonzalez ($2,400), if he gets another spot near the top of the lineups tonight. Stay tuned to see who gets the final nod in the Red Sox starting nine hitters, but a core of Martinez, Devers and Bogaerts is a great start against the inexperienced Lowther, who is bound to struggle against the Sox tonight in Baltimore.

Good luck, and make sure you utilize the MLB Projection models to land on your one-offs and off-the-wall value plays!

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We’ve got some live arms and potent bats in this edition of Aces and Bases focusing ONLY on FanDuel’s five-game MLB DFS Main Slate for 7:05PM ET.

There are no bad weather issues but a possible COVID outbreak on the Houston Astros means we have to stay vigilant on news and have pivots at the ready!

MLB DFS: The Aces

Top Ace: Yu Darvish ($9,900)

Kershaw is the highest-priced arm and the likely chalk, but I’d venture to say that Darvish has more contrarian upside in a home matchup against a team that’s not known for swing-and-misses, but doesn’t have a lot of experience facing Darvish. The Japanese marvel is notoriously tricky to solve and seemed at ease in his last two starts — and while Kershaw might be the preferred option in cash games, I’ll take the cheaper San Diego RHP in GPPs for some leverage on the field, since only a small percentage of DFS gamers will use pitchers against the “Boys in Blue.”

Best Value: Dane Dunning ($8,000)

I’m a little concerned about getting six innings from Dunning, and that seems to be where he’d max out at his current pitch count progression, but he’ striking out more than a batter per inning in three major league starts and the command for this 26-year-old RHP. He throws a nasty sinker that complements his four-seamer and mixes in a decent slider and occasional use of a change and curveball. The Orioles strike out at the second-highest clip in the majors this season and Dunning could offer the cheapest path to 8+ Ks and a quality start.

MLB DFS: The Bases

Top Stack: Houston Astros at Seattle Mariners (RHP Chris Flexen)

The Astros have the fourth-highest team xOBA in baseball (.342) and shouldn’t have much trouble against the eminently hittable Chris Flexen. I’m most interested in some combination of the 2-6 hitters here, which could include Aledmys Diaz ($2,600), Michael Brantley ($3,600), Yuri Gurriel ($2,800), Kyle Tucker ($3,500) and Carlos Correa ($3,000). The prices are discounted a bit on these guys without Jose Altuve, Yordan Alvarez and Alex Bregman — who all hit the injured listed for undisclosed reasons, prompting rumors of a possible COVID outbreak. Stay tuned since there could be some news of a postponement or more players hitting that list.

Value/Contrarian Stack: Minnesota Twins at Los Angeles Angels (Jose Quintana)

So far this season, Jose Quintana has had a very difficult time retiring the 27 RH batters he’s faced, and he’s clearly on the downside of his career when those splits tend to become a little more exaggerated. The Twins are loaded with relatively inexpensive powerful righty hitters like Nelson Cruz ($3,800), Josh Donaldson ($3,000), Mitch Garver ($2,400) and Miguel Sano ($2,800). I was on them last night and they didn’t deliver against Andrew Heaney — a solid pitcher in his own right — but I’m going right back to the well. Cruz alone sports an obscene .570 wOBA and .440 ISO vs. LHP over his last 63 games, and Donaldson, Garver and Kyle Garlick ($2,200) all mash against LHP.

EDIT: The Twins-Angels game has been postponed, so remove any players associated with that game ASAP.

Value Stack: Milwaukee Brewers vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (Trevor Cahill)

It’s not one of those slates where you need to deploy a very inexpensive secondary value stack, but the Brewers strike me as a classic boom-or-bust GPP stack you might want to mix into a few large, low-cost tournaments for their upside and potent lefty bats, including Travis Shaw ($2,900), Omar Narvaez ($2,700) and Christian Yelich ($4,100), who’s missed four straight with a back injury but is still considered DTD. If he can’t go, Billy McKinney ($2,000) could get the start, as both he and Jackie Bradley ($2,400) have been used to spell Yelich. Also keep an eye on Daniel Vogelbach at just $2,100. If you’re looking to run a Pirtes hitter back against the group, I’d prefer 3B Phillip Evans, who’s been raking against LHP this season and hits out of the 4 slot.

Good luck!

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Three StriKes for Thursday July 23

Welcome into the inaugural edition of Three StriKes!! I’m super pumped to be bringing this article to the WinDaily team this season and looking forward to winning some money. We’re looking at my three favorite strikeout props, hence the Three StriKes for Thursday July 23. If you’re interested in learning a bit more of the process, I do have an intro right here.

With Thursday being a short slate, we’ll talk about the top three pitchers on the slate but I’m not sure I’ll be betting three tonight. If I do, it will likely go down to a quarter unit instead of a normal half unit in some cases and will be noted as such. Also, I will always put at least a quarter unit on a parlay of all three bets. When we get all three right, we may as well make it worth it.

StriKe One – Gerrit Cole

The very first pitcher ever written up for Three StriKes is near and dear to my heart, Gerrit Cole. As a point of reference, almost all of my betting will be done on DraftKings Sportsbook as that’s the most convenient for me personally. So when talking about the lines, they’ll be as accurate as they can at the time of writing for that site. Cole has opened up at 7.5 strikeouts at -155. While the return might not be great, this is an easy over in my eyes.

First off, he threw 87 pitches in his most recent tune up so workload isn’t a concern. Secondly, only seven of his 33 starts last year produced under eight strikeouts. That’s a very comfortable rate and the Nationals whiffed 21% of the time last year against righty pithing. Losing Anthony Rendon won’t help that mark. We have the preeminent strikeout pitcher from 2019 and his line isn’t even the highest in his own game.

Bet – Over 7.5 K’s

StriKe Two – Max Scherzer

This one is a little tougher and whichever way we bet is going to be just a quarter unit for Three StriKes for Thursday. This would be a line I might normally skip on a bigger slate but let’s have some fun.

Scherzer is set at 8.5 K’s and there are arguments for either side. Here’s the good news for Scherzer and one of the main reasons I lean to the over – he was dominant to RHH in 2019 and there’s a projected seven of them for the Yankees. Mad Max whiffed RHH at a 38.6% clip and held them down to a 0.65 HR/9. He also gave up just a .193 average, 1.62 FIP and a 2.22 xFIP.

Additionally, the Yankees did strikeout at a 23.1% clip last year to RHP. That was virtually without Giancarlo Stanton, who whiffed 31.1% of the time in 2018 (he missed almost all of 2019). What Scherzer comes down to is if he can keep the ball in the yard against this powerful Yankees lineup.

New York against RHH raked for power, ranking third in ISO at .218 and OPS at .820. For all of Stanton’s flaws, he also helps in this category. My view is Scherzer gives up a couple runs, but can control this RHH heavy lineup. I just won’t put a ton on it.

Bet – Small wager on Over 8.5 K’s

StriKe Three – Clayton Kershaw

Just because there’s only two games doesn’t mean we can’t have Three StriKes for Thursday! Kershaw does not currently have a K prop set yet. This will be a normal occurrence because I will be writing the night before, but that’s ok. We’ll discuss some of the stats and we’ll set a line that we feel comfortable with and go from there.

In 2019, Kershaw threw his fastball and slider for a combined 83.1% of his pitches. That’s a fantastic match against the Giants pitch data from 2019, as they ranked 28th vs the fastball and 24th vs the slider. That’s a strong checkmark for Kershaw and his 26.8% K rate from last season. He also has thrown 90 pitches in sim games, so we can feel comfortable with the workload.

There are a couple small drawbacks for Kershaw in this matchup. For one, his HR/9 last year jumped to 1.41. That’s easily the highest of his career so it was technically never easier to tag Kershaw for a bomb. The flip side to that is the Giants only had a .142 ISO, so it remains to be seen if they can take advantage of the long ball.

The other small knock is the Giants were not a big strikeout team against LHP at 23%. That was dead average at 16th among the league, so it wasn’t a glaring weakness. Still, this is not a lineup that should scare you at all. I’m hoping for a 5.5 K prop, but it’s likelier to be 6.5 K’s.

Bet – 5.5 is an easier over, I’m likely to still hit Over 6.5

Parlay – Cole and Kershaw over as Kershaw came in at my preferred 5.5

Thank you for reading as always. Feel free to tweet me @bucn4life with any and all questions, check out the MLB and Betting page on WinDailySports.com and let’s chat in the WinDaily Discord as well! 

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Today’s four-game playoff slate means the 10/4 DFS MLB Hitting Picks can go back to basics with a full lineup.

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10/4 DFS Hitting Picks — Catcher

Robinson Chirinos, HOU vs. TB

DK ($3,600), FD ($2,800)

Chirinos is devastating at Minute Maid Park, evidenced by a .915 OPS with 10 of his 14 homers coming in front of the H-Town faithful. He does have a homer among his four hits in 15 at-bats this season against the Rays. You do have to like his 39.5% hard contact rate and a similar 39.5% fly ball rate. He’s the best overall play among 10/4 DFS Hitting Picks behind the plate.

10/4 DFS Hitting Picks — First Baseman

C.J. Cron, MIN at NYY

DK ($3,600), FD ($3,100)

A value pick with good reason: Cron has six hits in 18 career at-bats against New York starter James Paxton. Two of those hits were homers, giving Cron a 1.017 OPS against the Pinstripes southpaw. Cron was able to cut his strikeout rate to 21.4% this season and maintained a solid fly ball rate (36.3%) while taking his hard contact rate from 39.6% last season to 41.1% this year.

10/4 DFS Hitting Picks — Second Baseman

Kolten Wong, STL at ATL

DK ($3,800), FD ($2,600)

Like Cron, I’m looking for past success against today’s starters. Enter Wong, who has a homer and a stolen base in 11 career at-bats versus Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz, producing a 1.625 OPS in the process. Wong went 2-for-4 with two RBI and a walk in Thursday’s Game 1 victory. That’s a tremendous way to shake off a sluggish September that saw Wong offer up a .735 OPS despite hitting .290. The free pass is encouraging since Wong had a mere .315 OBP in September that put a scratch on a Post All-Star break OBP of .409.

10/4 DFS Hitting Picks — Third Baseman

Miguel Sano, MIN at NYY

DK ($4,900), FD ($3,800)

Sano gives the Twins another hammer that has nailed James Paxton in the past. In 11 career at-bats versus Paxton, Sano has four hits that include a homer that helped boost his OPS to 1.326 against Paxton. A strong second half OBP of .362 was helped in part of Sano improving his walk rate to 12.5%. His HR/FB rate of 36.6% is downright frightening in homer-friendly Yankee Stadium. More frightening is Sano’s 52.7% hard contact rate.

10/4 DFS Hitting Picks — Shortstop

Trea Turner, WAS at LAD

DK ($4,600), FD ($4,200)

Turner admitted to “trying too hard” on Thursday night, so let’s take him at his word. He’ll need a different approach against Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw, even though he has three hits in 10 at-bats against him. One way Turner could achieve that would be resuming his more aggressive ways on the road when it comes to baserunning. Of his 35 steals, 20 have come in enemy territory. He has a .444 slugging percentage against southpaws, compared to .512 versus righties, so look for him to more contact-oriented.

10/4 DFS Hitting Picks — Outfielder

Yordan Alvarez, HOU vs. TB

DK ($4,800), FD ($4,000)

The Rays were not exempt from Alvarez’s tour of destruction, as Tampa Bay hurlers allowed a pair of homers and a double to him in 11 at-bats. Alvarez’s best work came at Minute Maid Park, where he sported an 1.140 OPS built on a slash line of .349/.441/.699. Rays starter Tyler Glasnow allowed just one homer in 97 at-bats versus left-handed hitters. Facing a slugger with a 51.1% hard contact rate, Glasnow could see that number increase by at least one.

10/4 DFS Hitting Picks — Outfielder

Marcell Ozuna, STL at ATL

DK ($4,100), FD ($3,600)

Ozuna has a pair of homers off Braves hurler Mike Foltynewicz, who was shelled by the Cardinals this season for nine runs (eight earned) and 12 hits over 10.2 innings for a robust 6.79 ERA. Ozuna doubled twice, drove in a pair of runs and scored once on Thursday, making us all forget his .143 average against Atlanta pitching this season. Ozuna’s .243 batting average and .259 BABIP also make you forget his career-best 48.1% hard contact rate and the fact his 2018 BABIP was exactly 50 points higher.

10/4 DFS Hitting Picks — Outfielder

Aaron Judge, NYY vs. MIN

DK ($4,700), FD ($4,400)

Although he failed to record a homer against them this season, Judge did hit .462 (6-for-13) against Twins pitching, making him a good 10/4 DFS Hitting Picks play. He also comes into the postseason with the momentum of an 1.109 OPS with four homers over the past two weeks and an equally imposing .948 OPS under the lights. Judge also has three hits in five career at-bats versus Twins starter Jose Berrios, while his late season surge boosted his Isolated Power to .267. Ignore the 31.5% strikeout rate, and Judge offers you a hitter with a .360 BABIP and an intimidating 53.8% hard contact rate.

10/4 DFS Hitting Stacks

10/4 Hitting Stack of the Day: St. Louis Cardinals: Wong and Ozuna should be paired with Paul DeJong ($3100 FD), who has a homer and a 1.064 OPS versus Foltynewicz, along with Matt Carpenter ($4100 DK), who also sports a career dinger off the Braves’ Game 2 starter.

10/4 DFS Showdown

Using the FanDuel template, it’s 2x the points for MVP, 1.5x the points for All-Star and regular production for the three Utility spots. October is filled with unsung efforts, something to keep in mind when filling out the Utility roles. Look for players who’ve had success this season against a particular team, along with taking a gander of recent production. I’m a strong believer in OPS, more so if a strong OPS is bolstered with stolen bases.

My MVP plays for Showdown:

Tampa Bay at Houston: Yordan Alvarez, HOU, OF, $8,000 Salary

St. Louis at Atlanta: Paul Goldschmidt, STL, 1B, $8,500 Salary

Minnesota at NY Yankees: Gleyber Torres, NYY, 2B, $6,500 Salary

Washington at LA Dodgers: Cody Bellinger, LAD, OF, $9,500 Salary

10/4 DFS Pitching Picks

Justin Verlander, HOU vs. TB

DK ($10,700), FD ($11,200)

No shock here, as he is projected to deliver 45.03 points at FanDuel and 26.03 points at DraftKings. Verlander has produced 15 straight starts of at least 30 points at FD, hitting above 50 points nine times in the same span. The 12.11 K/9 rate assures DFSers of plenty of whiffs, and while the 1.45 HR/9 rate raises the eyebrows a wee, Verlander has been able to keep most them solo blasts.

Jack Flaherty, STL at ATL

DK ($8,200), FD ($10,500)

You could save some salary and run with Flaherty over Verlander. In his one start versus the Braves this season, Flaherty allowed one hit and struck out 11 over seven innings. His 0.91 ERA and .142 OBA after the All-Star break was overshadowed by a host of hitting performances and the “can you top this?” clash between Verlander and Astros teammate Gerrit Cole, but Flaherty’s 124 strikeouts over 99.1 post-ASB frames were anything but a fluke.

Clayton Kershaw, LAD vs. WAS

DK ($9,300), FD ($10,300)

Only Kershaw can post a 2.95 ERA and fan nearly 10 batters per nine innings post-ASB and still have people wondering about his effectiveness. The home run rate (1.41) was a career-high, and the 2.07 BB/9 was his highest since 2012. Name recognition will make his usage rate climb, yet Kershaw presents something of a bargain compared to the two hurlers above him.

Stephen Strasburg, WAS at LAD

DK ($9,600), FD ($10,100)

He’s good to go after throwing 34 pitches in relief on Tuesday, allowing just two hits and fanning four. Strasburg could be overlooked by some, yet he did strike out 16 and allowed only three earned runs in 16 innings against the Dodgers this season, sporting a 2.08 ERA.

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These pitching articles have been fun to write all season long and we’re finally getting down to the final two weeks. That’s really disappointing news but we really want to continue our stellar form and give you guys some solid plays for this last week of MLB DFS. One thing that I hate about this time of the year is that we have managers doing funky things, like limiting pitch counts and scratching starters. That means anything can change at any given time and we’ll do our best to provide pitchers who are actually pitching for a purpose. With that in mind, let’s get into our 9/20 DFS pitching picks.

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9/20 DFS Pitching Cash Game Plays 

Jacob deGrom, NYM at CIN 

DK ($11,600)   FD ($11,000) 

deGrom is arguably the best arm in the league right now and he’s always worth considering as your cash game pitcher. His 2.61 ERA and 1.01 WHIP this season is incredible but it’s actually lower than his 1.70 ERA and 0.91 WHIP from last year. Those absurd statistics equate to a 2.12 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and 32 percent K rate in that two-year span. His form right now is on par with that 2018 season, with deGrom pitching to a 1.76 ERA, 0.89 WHIP and 11.5 K/9 rate over his last 13 starts.

That’s bad news for a Reds offense that ranks 22nd in runs scored, 21st in OPS, 22nd in OBP and 27th in xwOBA. This team has only gotten worse over the last two months too, trading away players like Yasiel Puig and Scooter Gennett while dealing with injuries from guys like Joey Votto, Nick Senzel, Jesse Winker and Derek Dietrich.  

Clayton Kershaw, LAD vs, COL 

DK ($10,800)   FD ($10,400) 

Kershaw has been in this article a lot this season and he’s truly the definition of a cash game pitcher. The reason for that is because of his consistency, with CK pitching at least six innings in 24 of his 26 starts this season. That’s reliability at its finest and it’s led to a 3.05 ERA and 1.05 WHIP.

His recent form only adds to his intrigue, with Kershaw providing 11.5 K/9 across his last 12 starts. Facing the Rockies is simply the icing on the cake, with Colorado ranked 23rd in K rate, 28th in runs scored, 29th in OPS and 30th in OBP on the road this season. That’s why Kershaw and the Dodgers enter this matchup as a –320 favorite. 

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9/20 DFS Pitching GPP Plays 

Mike Foltynewicz, ATL vs. SF 

DK ($9,400)   FD ($7,700) 

While Folty’s terrible start to the season obliterated his season averages, he’s been a much better pitcher over the last month or so. Over his last eight starts, Foltynewicz is accruing a 2.76 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 8.5 K/9 rate. That’s the guy that we saw in 2018, with Folty amassing a 2.85 ERA and 1.08 WHIP.

Those amazing statistics make him very attractive against an offense like this, with the Giants sitting 28th in runs scored, 27th in OBP and 28th in both OPS and wOBA. These are two teams headed in opposite directions and that’s evident by the fact that Foltynewicz enters this matchup as a –250 favorite. 

Anibal Sanchez, WSH at MIA 

DK ($8,100)   FD ($8,300) 

Using pitchers against Miami is always a good idea. The reason for that is because this club ranks either 29th or last in runs scored, OBP, OPS, wOBA, SLG and xwOBA. That’s a recipe for disaster, especially in one of the most pitcher-friendly parks in baseball.  We certainly want a veteran like Sanchez opposing them too, with the right-hander tallying a 3.38 ERA and 1.19 WHIP since the start of last season. He’s absolutely rolling right now, throwing at least seven innings in both his last two starts while allowing just two combined runs and nine total baserunners. That’s why Vegas has Sanchez and the Nationals as a –200 favorite in this fixture.  

9/20 DFS Pitching Punt Plays 

Dylan Cease, CWS at DET 

DK ($8,300)   FD ($6,300) 

This is totally risky but there’s reason to like Cease. Let’s start with his matchup, as he faces a Detroit team that ranks at the bottom in nearly every offensive statistic. In fact, the Motor City Kitties rank last in runs scored, OBP, OPS, K rate and xwOBA. That puts any pitcher in play against them, particularly a talented, young arm like Cease.

While he’s currently got an ugly 6.18 ERA, this dude was nails at the minors. In fact, he had a 3.02 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 11.3 K/9 rate for his minor league career. A 4.63 xFIP at the Majors also indicates that he has some positive regression headed his way and a matchup with the Tigers might be just what the doctor ordered. In his two starts against Detroit this season, Cease has actually scored at least 30 FanDuel points in each outing.  

Mike Fiers, OAK vs. TEX

DK ($5,700)   FD ($6,800)  

It’s risky to trust a guy who’s struggling so badly but we can overlook some tough matchups. Despite allowing 16 runs over his last three starts, Fiers is actually in a great spot to succeed. He’s actually pitched to a 2.44 ERA and 1.05 WHIP in his previous 21 starts and its way easier to trust a 21-game sample size over a small three-gamer.  

What really makes him enticing here is this matchup though, with the Rangers sitting 29th in K rate, 21st in OBP and 19th in wOBA. That’s scary in a spacious ballpark like Oakland Coliseum, with Fiers pitching to a 3.15 ERA and 1.11 WHIP there this season. Not to mention, Fiers enters this game as a -180 favorite.

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Steven Brault Under 4.5 Strikeouts

I’m not so sure that Brault will even last four innings in this game. The Brewers are projected for about six runs in Miller Park, which is horrible news for Brault and his 4.98 ERA and 1.49 WHIP with Milwaukee playing for their lives.

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Zach Greinke Over 5.5 Strikeouts

Greinke didn’t find his way into this article because I wanted to save him for this prop. We are talking about a pitcher with a 2.95 ERA and 1.00 WHIP facing an Angels offense who ranks dead-last in runs scored for the month of September. That’s really no surprise when you consider that they’re without Mike Trout, Justin Upton, Justin Bour and Tommy LaStella

MKF Record: 35-24

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With the season winding down, we’re back at it with more pitching picks here. We nearly went 3-0 with our Monkey Knife Fight picks last week but just missed because Dinelson Lamet couldn’t keep his pitch count down. We have some absolute studs taking the mound today though and it should make for a fascinating schedule. Let’s get into our 9/13 DFS Pitching Picks!

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If you’d like to see more of my work click here! Also, Follow me on Twitter @Bartilottajoel

9/13 DFS Pitching Cash Game Pitchers

Gerrit Cole, HOU at KC 

DK ($12,200)   FD ($12,000) 

Is there any question that Cole was going to be the cash game pitcher of the day? This dude has been absolutely absurd this season, pitching to a 2.73 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 2.51 xFIP and 39.4 percent K rate. Those are probably the best numbers around and he’s been even better recently. Over his last nine starts, Cole has a 1.75 ERA and 0.70 WHIP while striking out at least 14 batters in three-straight and 10 victims in five-straight.

Those are little league numbers and it’s truly horrifying for a bad Royals lineup like this. In fact, Kansas City currently ranks 28th in runs scored, 25th in OBP, 27th in OPS and 24th inwOBA. That’s why Cole and the Astros enter this matchup as a –400 favorite.  

Clayton Kershaw, LAD at NYM 

DK ($10,800)   FD ($10,800) 

Many people were very concerned about Kershaw’s reliability in the offseason but he’s proved all the doubters wrong. Not only has he reached at least six innings in 24 of his 25 starts this year, he’s currently pitching to a 3.06 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. That’s vintage Kershaw and his 11.7 K/9 rate over his last 12 starts indicates that he has everything clicking right now. To back up that reliability even more, CK actually has at least 30 FanDuel points in all but four starts this season.

That consistency is truly incredible and it’s the definition of what we want when discussing a cash game pitcher. Pitching in Citi Field against an average lineup like this is simply a bonus, with that ballpark surrendering the fewest runs in the Majors dating back to 2017. That’s why we’re looking at a meager total of 7 in this fixture. 

9/13 DFS Pitching GPP Plays 

Andrew Heaney, LAA vs. TB 

DK ($9,900)   FD ($8,400) 

Heaney is a very volatile pitcher but his K-upside makes him a very intriguing option on this slate. We’re talking about a guy with a 29.2 percent K rate facing an offense who ranks 21st in K rate.  The biggest part about this is the fact that Heaney is absolutely rolling right now, pitching to a 3.38 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 11.8 K/9 rate over his last four starts.

Heaney has been much more comfortable at home through his career too, pitching to a 3.67 ERA and 1.18 WHIP at Angels Stadium. All of that doesn’t even take into consideration that the Rays really struggle with lefties, sitting 20th in OBP, 22nd in SLG and 19th in OPS against them this season.  

Sandy Alcantara, MIA at SF 

DK ($8,100)   FD ($7,400) 

Alcantara was the lone All-Star for the Marlins and he’s showing why with his recent form. After recording a shutout in his last start, Alcantara is now pitching to a 2.77 ERA and 0.92 WHIP over his last seven appearances. More importantly, Alcantara has gone at least seven innings in five of his last six starts while striking out at least seven batters in four-straight.

That means he’s feeling it right now and that becomes very attractive against a putrid offense like this. Not only do the Giants play in the worst ballpark in baseball, they currently rank 26th in runs scored, 27th in OBP and 28th in both OPS andwOBA.   

9/13 DFS Pitching Punt Plays 

Tyler Beede, SF vs. MIA 

DK ($6,300)   FD ($5,700) 

I am going to use pitchers from this series all weekend, as we have two of the worst offenses in the league hitting in the most pitcher-friendly park in baseball. That’s why I don’t imagine any team scoring more than five runs in any of these games and I want to use every pitcher possible.

That makes this Beedes price all the more surprising, facing a Marlins team who ranks bottom-two in runs scored, OBP, OPS and xwOBA. That’s a great sign for a pitcher who’s coming off one of the best starts of his career, throwing five scoreless innings against the Dodgers. That offense is obviously way better than this Marlins one and we’re going to look for Beede to carry over that momentum here.   

Yusei Kikuchi, SEA vs. CWS 

DK ($5,400)   FD ($6,100) 

This is the definition of a punt play. Kikuchi has been one of the most inconsistent pitchers in baseball this season, mixing flashes of brilliance with complete blowups. We feel like he can have one of his gems in a spot like this, facing a weak offense in a pitcher’s park. Let’s start with that matchup, as the White Sox currently rank 25th in K rate, 27th in runs scored, 23rd in OBP and 24th in wOBA.

The thing that makes Kikuchi such a great punt play is because he’s gone off on numerous occasions this season. That’s evident by the fact that he has at least 27 FanDuel points in 12 starts, which would be an incredible total from someone in this price range. His last four games have been much better too, with Kikuchi pitching to a 3.52 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in that span. 

Monkey Knife Fight Pick of the Day 

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Gerrit Cole Over 8.5 Strikeouts

Cole has at least 14 Ks in three-straight starts and faces one of the worst offenses of the league here. I was shocked that this prop wasn’t a double-digit number.

MKF Record 34-24

Featured Image of Clayton Kershaw via Arturo Padavilla III

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