Saturdays are weird with the slates split up as they are, but hey, we have Justin Verlander pitching! I personally like to play the all-day slate on FanDuel but I know other people like to play other ways. So I will be using pitchers and Monkey Knife Fight plays for all 15 games. Do not forget, we have the game in London between the Red Sox and the Yankees that starts at 1:10 pm eastern.
Upper-Tier Arms: Verlander on Top
Justin Verlander, Mariners at Astros ($11,500 FD, $11,500 DK): The Astros ace has thrown at least seven innings in eight of his past nine starts so we know he is going deep into games. He has given up a lot of homers (21) this year, but on the positive side 17 have been solo shots. The ace pitcher seem to limit the HRs they give up to solo shots for the most part. Verlander gave up three homers in back-to-back starts before allowing only one on Sunday in New York to the powerful Yankees. Luckily, since the Mariners traded away Edwin Encarncion, they are still striking out at a good clip (23.3%, 10th most). At the same time, their wOBA has dropped to .336, 14th in the league. Verlander should have his way at his home park, which is a better pitcher’s park (13th in normalized runs scored) than people think. His price probably makes him a GPP-only option.
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Brandon Woodruff, Pirates at Brewers ($9,100 FD, $8,100 DK): Wow look at this price on DK as your second option next to Verlander. The only thing that really worries me here is that the Pirates just do not strike out a lot. They are dead last in striking out at 14.4% over the past two weeks. However, Woodruff has been the Brewers’ best starter, their ace recently, with all three of his double digit strikeout performances within his last six starts, including a career-best 12 in his last start against the Reds. Something has to give here! He is certainly in consideration as my cash game pitcher.
Zach Plesac, Indians at Orioles ($8,800 FD, $8,600 DK): Boy that was quite the beating the Orioles put on the Indians last night! I would not expect a repeat tonight and the biggest reason for that is Plesac. Rapidly becoming the Indians ace, Plesac will look to win his third consecutive start on Saturday. The 24-year-old right-hander struggled in his last start Sunday against the Tigers, but found his groove to pitch seven quality innings, allowing only one run (a solo HR) on five hits. He just might be my cash game pitcher and opens up the Verlander alternatives section if you cannot bring yourself to spend up or need an SP2.
Dakota Hudson, Padres at Cardinals ($8,400 FD, $6,900 DK): At that DK price, you lock him in as your SP2 next to Verlander and move on. On FD, where striking out batters is so important, he is likely more of a GPP-only play. Hudson has emerged as one of the league’s best ground-ball pitchers. He pitched well in his last start. allowing only one run on five hits in a victory against the Angels. In that start last Saturday, he pitched a career-high seven innings. He’s now 4-0 in his last seven appearances with a 2.22 ERA. He has the potential to be the Cardinals’ ace.
Brendan McKay, Rangers at Rays ($5,700 FD, $7,600 DK): It is hard to imagine myself paying that much for this highly-touted two-way prospect on DK, where he will not be my SP2 to pair with Verlander. But on FD, with that savings, I can get almost every Coors bat I want! McKay is a fascinating player to watch, a potential ace pitcher in the making. He becomes the second two-way player (Ohtani) in as many years to make his debut. The 23-year-old lefty is the Rays’ top pitching prospect and their No. 2 prospect overall. In MLB, he is listed as the No. 23 overall prospect. Manager Kevin Cash sounds excited to see McKay pitch: “We’re all pumped.”
Our MKF plays have been absolutely on-fire recently. But we will not be going with the Verlander theme here.
Joc Pederson, Alex Verdugo, Cody Bellinger Over 1.5 HRs
Double your money if these guys combine for two or more HRs. With the way these games are going at Coors, you have to like the chances of a couple HRs between these three powerful lefties.
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DFS meteorologist concentrating on MLB and the NFL, I graduated from UMass-Lowell with a degree in meteorology in 1996. I worked at AccuWeather as a meteorologist for almost a decade. I combined my two loves, weather and sports, and like to think I help 1000s of DFS'ers out each day. Huge Boston sports fan, lover of nature and animals and a proud father of 4 boys (2 biological).