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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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It is a decent-sized 11 game slate to choose our DFS MLB pitchers from tonight. There are plenty of top arms and bargain basement options as well.

DFS MLB Upper-Tier Arms

Gerrit Cole, Athletics at Astros $11,700 FD, $12,500 DK: A top DFS MLB option whenever he toes the rubber, and even more so on this 11-gamer. Cole has put himself squarely in the American League Cy Young race, going 6-0 with a 2.11 ERA and 0.98 WHIP in his last 10 starts. He has struck out 94 batters in 64 innings over that span. Cole leads the Majors with 194 strikeouts and 13.47 strikeouts per nine innings. He has the potential to break this slate tonight. He is a cash-game staple tonight and probably for the rest of the season whenever he is on top of the hill.

Mike Clevinger, Indians at Blue Jays $10,200 FD, $12,100 DK: His strikeout rate this season is absurd. He has 58 strikeouts in 35.1 innings pitched! We will see tonight if the kid-gloves are removed from Terry Francona. Last time out, he allowed one run in six frames with 12 Ks. If you are fading Cole on FD, this guy has to be your next choice.

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DFS MLB Middle-Tier Arms

Robbie Ray, Orioles at Diamondbacks $9,600 FD, $11,400 DK: Wherever you classify him on this list of DFS MLB pitchers, his strikeout potential means I want a piece of him in my cash-game lineups. Ray has won each of his last three starts. Last time out against the Rangers he allowed four runs on six hits over six innings. In his two starts prior to that he gave up just two runs in 12 1/3 innings.

Sonny Gray, Reds at Brewers, $8,600 FD, $9,700 DK: Brewers at home!?!? No way am I using Gray here! That is what you may be saying to yourself after reading this. Well, how about if I told you the Brewers offense is 25th of the season in productivity against right-handed starters? I understand that the risk is there but to differentiate from the crowd, Gray is an excellent GPP choice.

DFS MLB Bargain Basement Arm

Homer Bailey, Athletics at Astros $6,900 FD, $7,400 DK: Making his second appearance for the Athletics, Bailey is a intriguing GPP option tonight. Bailey was sharp in his A’s debut, allowing just two runs over six innings in a win against the Mariners. The right-hander returns to his home state of Texas for a matchup with the Astros, whom he’s 4-0 against with a 1.46 ERA in eight career starts.