Pitchers’ Paradise – Research and Analysis for the MLB DFS Main Slate on Friday, July 7th

For Daily Fantasy Sports baseball, nothing is more important than the pitcher. Choosing the correct pitcher can help stave off certain danger when your batters are falling short of their perceived value. Unfortunately, choosing the wrong pitcher can ruin a beautiful team stack that sent several home runs into the bleachers. No matter how many batters you choose correctly if your pitcher gets shelled for six runs in the first inning you are in catch-up mode from the start. Countless hours of research and lineup tuning can go right down the drain in 30 pitches or less. It’s an awful feeling knowing your night is over before you had time to finish your chips and salsa.

This is where I come in. Every Friday, I deep dive into research and come up for breath only to write this article. It will be filled with data for my fellow numbers nerds and analysis on who to play and why you need to consider rostering them.

  • Main Slate Musings

This will be a night where there are a handful of excellent pitching options. The issue will not be finding a good one but to make sure you have the best one. My choices will be backed by numbers and data instead of opinion. My goal is to present you with the best choices available based on data and allow you the opportunity to flex your muscle and make the best choice possible for the type of lineup you’d like to construct. Let’s get to work.

  • Max Scherzer

He has double-digit strikeouts in seven of his last eight starts and I see no reason why that shouldn’t continue against the Braves. Vegas has the Braves projected to score 3.0 runs at the opening and I can see that moving down. Max has allowed more than three runs just one time since April 23rd. In addition to all of the double-digit strikeout games in the last eight starts, he has allowed more than one earned run once (two runs to the Rangers). He has 61 or more Fanduel points in six of his last eight and has scored in the 70’s twice (72 and 73 FD points).

Against right-handed pitchers over the last two weeks (358 at-bats), the Braves have been one of the worst teams in the league. Over that timeframe, they have a .125 ISO, .271 wOBA, .271 BABIP and .630 OPS. They are struggling against everyone as of late and going to D.C. to face the hottest pitcher in baseball is not when they’ll turn it around.

  • Zack Greinke

Zack has been incredibly reliable this season for the DFS community. He’s normally a notch below the elite priced pitchers but has a ceiling and floor that is extremely close to their own. In his past thirteen starts, he’s allowed three runs or less in ten of them. He averages a little over a strikeout per nine innings and hasn’t been shelled all season. He’s safe and we like that for DFS. With thirteen games on the slate, Greinke is a great play in that we can have a strong ceiling while not having to find a bunch of value hitters because of his lower salary than Max.

  • Jordan Montgomery

The lefty has had a surprisingly strong season for the New York Yankees. Once considered a back-end starter he has looked the part of a very reliable number three. For DFS purposes he has been an excellent low budget arm for most of the season. He has only scored less than 27 Fanduel points three times in his last fifteen starts. At 7.9k on Fanduel, you have a pretty solid floor. He is hit or miss with making it to the Quality start bonus but always has a chance to get the win bonus because he pitches for the powerhouse offense of the Yanks. Speaking of offense, the Yankees are projected to score 6.3 runs which means Montgomery, barring a catastrophe, should be in line to get the six-point win bonus. He also has been stretching out his ceiling lately with 43+ Fanduel points in three of his last six starts.

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  • Jacob deGrom and Carlos Martinez

It’s a shame that these two face off in the same game between the Mets and the Cardinals. They both are in decent spots and are in excellent form coming into the game.

deGrom has increased his strike ratio and pitch speed while decreasing opposing batted ball distance and batted ball exit velocity over his last three starts. He has had four straight starts of excellent production which has resulted in 52+ Fanduel points in all four games. He is priced at the elite production level and but you get what you pay for out of Jacob.

Martinez is similar to Greinke in that he’s priced a notch below the elite level but offers security with upside on most nights. Carlos is probably the best GPP play on the slate. In his last 12 starts, he has 40 or more Fanduel points in 9 of them. He has topped 50 twice including a 70 point game against the Phillies.

Neither the Mets nor the Cardinals are projected by Vegas to score many runs (3.8 for the Mets and 4.2 for the Cardinals). Both pitchers offer solid value but are best used in GPPs because it is tough to predict who might get the win bonus.

Don’t let a pitcher sink you on this beautiful slate.  Swim on over to Pitchers’ Island and enjoy the plentiful fruits of my labor.  You can find me on Twitter @DFSnDONUTS where I love to interact with my followers and discuss all things sports.


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